In the workshop series we will examine how the analysis of names can provide important perspectives on structural problems, challenges and cultural developments such as globalization, migration, cultural diversity, urbanization, majorities vs. minorities, and digitization.

New theoretical perspectives relevant for socio-onomastic studies – Helsinki, Finland, October 2018

In the first workshop the participants familiarize thoroughly with the socio-onomastic “state of the art”: what has been done before, and especially the theories that worked as a base for this research field. Due to socioonomastics in many ways being parallel to sociolinguistics, the participants in the workshop discuss the central theories in sociolinguistics and their relationship to socio-onomastics. Finnish guest speakers from various fields of sociolinguistics will participate: pragmatics, variation analysis and the traditional sociolinguistics, and folklinguistics and attitude research, are invited to get a better picture of what have been done so far and what could and should be done and which theoretical approaches that would be the most relevant. Central concepts are identity, which is closely linked to the above-mentioned theories, and the concept of power in relation to contact-onomastic, multilingualism but also in relation to social variety, status and identity.

New methodological tools relevant for contemporary onomastic studies – Halmstad, Sweden, March 2019

In the second workshop, the focus is on exploring new methodological tools that are suitable for the study of contemporary name materials. Swedish guest speakers with expertise and deep experience of the individual methods are invited. The methods’ advantages and challenges are also discussed, i.e., what kind of data they generate, any ethical issues raised, and assessment of factors such as the validity and generalizability. An important point of discussion will also be which methods that suit better or worse in relation to the different theoretical points discussed at the previous workshop. The methodological tools in focus in the qualitative part are: a) ethnography and cyber-ethnography, b) visual participating methods, and in the quantitative part: a) statistical correlation with focus on SEM and factor analysis. We will also explore tools such as interactive screens and VR.

New methodological tools relevant for historical onomastic studies – Copenhagen, Denmark, October 2019

In the third workshop, the focus is on methods for socio-onomastic research on historical name material. Danish guest speakers with expertise in digitation of big historical name data, qualitative research in social relations, and in what old place-names can tell about the relation between humans and places, are invited. As in the other workshops, practical exercises are carried out with concrete materials. The methods discussed include considerations on lemmatisation of different spellings, the fact that informants and the recording person are not always known, as well as relevant theories and methods discussed in the two previous workshops, especially the considerations on the quantitative methods regarding digital data, crowd sourcing, statistical correlation, and regression analysis. It is an important issue on this workshop to discuss which theories and methods that can be used to get results that research in contemporary name material can relate to.