Book Reviews

1966 Names  
M. Poirier, geographer and secretary of the Commission de Geographie de Quebec has put together a most helpful and interesting book on toponymy. The principal aim is to answer the questions 1) what is toponymy ~and 2) what is the proper method to be used in place name investigation ~The first part is concerned with the origins, meaning, changes, semantics, and social influences. This is followed by a discussion of the divisions of geographical names, and the importance of documents and all
more » ... rting sciences (charts, maps, archives, history, etc.) in place name research. Part II is concerned with putting the explanations already given into practice. The reader learns the methods of original investigation, the role of the investigator and the informant, and the "ideal" questionnaire to be employed, one that will record meaning, pronunciation, literal meaning and dialectal form, origins, and source of all information. The study has a most intriguing bibliography on Quebec place names. This is an excellent manual for one who wishes to begin research in the fascinating field of place names; it shows how to go about the process in an orderly and scholarly fashion. One is told the theory and then sees it put into practice. This charming small book is introduced in a preface by M. Fernand Grenier, Directeur de 1'Institut de Geographie of Laval University. He points out that "Le Quebec a herite d'une toponymie fort riche ou les sources indiennes et fran<;aises ont constitue un apport fondamental. Plus tard, malheureusement, la negligence des autorites locales entraina l' oubli des toponymes anciens et la fixation des noms nouveaux plus ou moins heureux." (pp. 8-9) But the Quebec Geographic Commission is doing a marvelous job in straightening out what was about to develop into an unhappy condition. M. Grenier hopes others will follow their example.
doi:10.1179/nam.1966.14.4.239 fatcat:uvf2p7mzzjfk7ivcci5wovmx2u