2011-09-17

Linguistic Geography

I love mapping, especially when it shows connections that go beyond pure geography. In this map, Derek Watkins took the National Hydrography Dataset and color-coded the flowlines by name. He then researched the origins of each name; for instance, bayous (shown in lime-green on the map) show up in areas of French settlement.

It’s interesting to note how the cultural histories of places directed the naming of places, which then cemented the settlement culture to the landscape. Using bayou as an example again, those places will always have a French influence because of the naming conventions of the culture.


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