Local knowledge refers to the understandings, skills, and philosophies developed by societies with long histories of interaction with their environment. Place names (toponyms) can be considered an important mirror of the local knowledge and perceptions about the surrounding living space. The aim of this research has been to investigate, through an integrated ethnopedological approach, the meaning and distribution of toponyms, with particular (but not sole) reference to pedonyms (toponyms connected to soil resources) used in the traditional and recent cartography of Sardinia (southern Italy). As a paradigmatic case study, the toponyms belonging to an important sub-region of Sardinia, the Gulf of Oristano (central-western Sardinia), have been investigated. To draw appropriate comparisons between local and scientific knowledge, the research was conducted through the following approach: i) toponymy research and collection from different sources; ii) database creation and toponym translation; iii) categorization of toponyms; iv) soil field investigation and analysis of several physical-chemical parameters; and v) graphical, statistical (including multivariate analysis), and cartographic data processing. Generally speaking, the research shows that toponymy cannot be intended merely as a contextual geographic practice aiming to attribute a specific place name to a predefined geographical space. It rather represents a complex and articulated dynamic objectivation (in terms of the conversion of a concept or abstraction into an object) of a geographic entity. This process is the consequence of a strong, deep, and often conflicting interaction among humans, culture, and the surrounding environment. During the Anthropocene period, the influence of human activities on toponymy has been so intensive that many place names are now coined to mainly indicate the "artificial" man-made features of an intensively anthropized environment. Such "technogenic toponyms" could represent the "written witness" of the Anthropocene during subsequent eras.

Combining place names and scientific knowledge on soil resources through an integrated ethnopedological approach / Capra, Gian Franco; Ganga, Antonio; Filzmoser, Peter; Gaviano, Carla; Vacca, Sergio. - In: CATENA. - ISSN 0341-8162. - 142:(2016), pp. 89-101. [10.1016/j.catena.2016.03.003]

Combining place names and scientific knowledge on soil resources through an integrated ethnopedological approach

CAPRA, Gian Franco;GANGA, Antonio;Gaviano, Carla;VACCA, Sergio
2016-01-01

Abstract

Local knowledge refers to the understandings, skills, and philosophies developed by societies with long histories of interaction with their environment. Place names (toponyms) can be considered an important mirror of the local knowledge and perceptions about the surrounding living space. The aim of this research has been to investigate, through an integrated ethnopedological approach, the meaning and distribution of toponyms, with particular (but not sole) reference to pedonyms (toponyms connected to soil resources) used in the traditional and recent cartography of Sardinia (southern Italy). As a paradigmatic case study, the toponyms belonging to an important sub-region of Sardinia, the Gulf of Oristano (central-western Sardinia), have been investigated. To draw appropriate comparisons between local and scientific knowledge, the research was conducted through the following approach: i) toponymy research and collection from different sources; ii) database creation and toponym translation; iii) categorization of toponyms; iv) soil field investigation and analysis of several physical-chemical parameters; and v) graphical, statistical (including multivariate analysis), and cartographic data processing. Generally speaking, the research shows that toponymy cannot be intended merely as a contextual geographic practice aiming to attribute a specific place name to a predefined geographical space. It rather represents a complex and articulated dynamic objectivation (in terms of the conversion of a concept or abstraction into an object) of a geographic entity. This process is the consequence of a strong, deep, and often conflicting interaction among humans, culture, and the surrounding environment. During the Anthropocene period, the influence of human activities on toponymy has been so intensive that many place names are now coined to mainly indicate the "artificial" man-made features of an intensively anthropized environment. Such "technogenic toponyms" could represent the "written witness" of the Anthropocene during subsequent eras.
Combining place names and scientific knowledge on soil resources through an integrated ethnopedological approach / Capra, Gian Franco; Ganga, Antonio; Filzmoser, Peter; Gaviano, Carla; Vacca, Sergio. - In: CATENA. - ISSN 0341-8162. - 142:(2016), pp. 89-101. [10.1016/j.catena.2016.03.003]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11388/162954
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