Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorCoates, Richard
dc.identifier.citationProceedings of the 23rd International Congress of Onomastic Sciencesen
dc.description.abstractIt is well known that many of the major island-names of the archipelago consisting politically of Ireland, the United Kingdom and Crown dependencies are etymologically obscure. In this paper, I present and analyse a corpus of those which remain unexplained or uncertainly explained, for instance 'Man' and 'Ynys Môn', 'Ar(r)an', 'Uist', 'Seil', 'Islay', 'Mull', 'Scilly', 'Thanet', 'Sark', among others. It is timely to do this, since in the disciplines of archaeology and genetics there is an emerging consensus that after the last Ice Age the islands were repopulated mainly by people from a refuge on the Iberian peninsula. This opinion is at least superficially compatible with Theo Vennemann’s Semitic and Vasconic hypotheses, i.e., that languages (a) of the Afroasiatic family, and (b) ancestral to Basque, are important contributors to the lexical and onomastic stock of certain European languages. The unexplained or ill-explained island names form a sufficiently large set to make it worthwhile to hope for the emergence of some hard evidence bearing on their collective linguistic heritage, and therefore to give – or fail to give – preliminary support to Vennemann’s hypotheses.en
dc.publisherYork Universityen
dc.rightsThe following articles are © 2009 with the individual authors. They are made available free of charge from this page as a service to the community under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivative Works license version 3.0. For full details go to
dc.subjectNames of Islandsen
dc.subjectNames of North-West European Islandsen
dc.titleA Glimpse through a Dirty Window into an Unlit House: Names of Some North-West European Islandsen
dc.title.alternativeSession Paperen

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

All items in the YorkSpace institutional repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved except where explicitly noted.