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Title: Legendary Place Names: Coastal Micro-Toponomastics in Alor through the Lens of an Abui Myth
Authors: Perono Cacciafoco, Francesco
Keywords: Lamòling
Toponyms in Legends and Myths
Diachronic Toponomastics and Anthropological Linguistics
Coastal Abui Place Names
Coastal Micro-Toponomastics in Alor
Issue Date: 2015
Source: Perono Cacciafoco, F. (2015). Legendary Place Names: Coastal Micro-Toponomastics in Alor through the Lens of an Abui Myth. 13 ICAL (International Conference on Austronesian Languages).
Series/Report no.: 13 ICAL (International Conference on Austronesian Languages)
Abstract: This paper reconstructs a number of Abui (Papuan) place names and micro-toponyms from the coastal area of the Alor Island (South-East Indonesia) through the analysis of a legend about two gods of the Abui traditional religion and the replacement of the first with the second one. The myth appears as diachronically ‘multi-layered’, from ancestral times to the ‘arrival’ of the Christianity in the Alor Island and the consequent identification of the ‘bad’ (or ‘weaker’) god as a demon and, then, as the devil. The story allows the etymological explanation of the meaning of around eight place names (toponyms and micro-toponyms), drawing a map of that ‘mythological’ space and landscape that is still real, attested, existing, known, and recognized by Abui native-speakers. The etymological and historical / diachronic analysis of place names, in this case, is fruitful not only in the reconstruction of their origins and in map-tracking, but it also involves an anthropological study about cultural aspects of the oral tradition of Abui religion. The story here described is considered true (not a legend) by Abui people and all the place names part of that story are ‘felt’ and assumed by Abui people according to the features they have in the legend. These place names and micro-toponyms, therefore, show to have a relevance that goes beyond the etymological reconstruction, allowing important remarks in the fields of anthropology and history of culture and a close association between diachronic toponomastics and anthropological linguistics.
Schools: School of Humanities and Social Sciences 
Rights: © 2015 The Author(s). This paper was published in 13 ICAL (International Conference on Austronesian Languages) and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of The Author(s). The published version is available at: []. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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