Claim Choronyms as a Toponymic Tool of Propaganda

Room D
Monday, 31 August 2015
15.15 – 17.00
choronyms, exonyms, place names, propaganda, semantics

The aim of the paper is to introduce the concept of claim choronyms and to discuss their semantics and use as a linguistic tool of propaganda employed to manifest present or past power or claims to a given territory. The introductory theoretical part discusses a semiotics-based understanding of proper names in general and of choronyms in particular. The semiotic approach to the semantics of geographical names does not perceive them only as labels attached to geographical features. According to the semiotics-based model of choronymic semantics three types of claim choronyms are discussed, depending on the type of name modification. These are: formal, conceptual, and formal-conceptual claim choronyms. The phenomenon is discussed with reference to the current exonym-endonym-debate and is illustrated with examples from the 19th century as well as with the newest ones, e.g. Novorossiya, Donetsk People's Republic, and Luhansk People's Republic.

Wojciech Włoskowicz
Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences
wloskowicz [at]

Organizing Partners

Main Sponsors