In differing ways, linguistics and geography each observes that a name's significance is connected to a society. According to lexical theory, a word is arbitrary: Its sound and meaning have no intrinsic link; its function is grammatical. Names are, however, special words. We bestow names based on how they sound or on what they may already have come to represent; names are not arbitrary. In turn, toponyms are special names, and as example we discuss a specific one, " New Orleans." Far from an arbitrary pairing of form and meaning, this toponym reveals that names reflect the experience of the people who use them.
- New Orleans
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Earth-Surface Processes