Languedoc
Posted: 13 October 2012 03:30 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’ve always thought this a wonderful name referencing as it does the regional use of oc instead of oui for the word yes. As Wikipedia has it:

Languedoc was known in the Middle Ages as the county of Toulouse ...............  Later the name given to the area was Languedoc, literally meaning “language of oc”, from the word “yes” in the local Occitan language ("oc", as opposed to “oïl”, later “oui”, in the north of France).

I’ve been trying to think of any other place that has a name referencing the language or dialect of the inhabitants but to no avail. Is this unique?

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Posted: 13 October 2012 04:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’ve been trying to think of any other place that has a name referencing the language or dialect of the inhabitants but to no avail.

Taken literally, that would be a very broad category (there are many places with such names), so I assume that your meaning is stricter than what you’ve said, but I am not sure _exactl?y_ what you mean.

Could you please clarify?

edit:added question mark

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Posted: 13 October 2012 05:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’m pretty sure aldi means a language whose name references a word in the language (e.g., oc ‘yes’); what is now Standard French used to be called langue d’oïl (Wikipedia).  There are a number of minor languages of Siberia and Africa (and doubtless elsewhere) with such names; if I can manage to dredge any specific examples out of my increasingly porous memory, I’ll mention them.

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Posted: 13 October 2012 06:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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You have it, lh. I could have made it clearer but it is indeed a place name referring to a word in the language that I’m after.

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Posted: 13 October 2012 08:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Here’s one: Okay, Oklahoma, USA

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Posted: 13 October 2012 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks, sobiest, but that’s not quite what I meant, and again this may be because I’ve expressed myself poorly. Specifically I’m looking for a place which identifies itself by a word peculiar to that region, as in Languedoc. For instance, if Scotland were known as Ochaye, that would qualify.

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Posted: 13 October 2012 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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This isn’t an answer to the question, but I read quite recently that whereas Classical Latin had no word for ‘yes’, speakers of Late Latin took to saying hoc ille (literally ‘that’s it’) to signify an affirmative. In Northern Gaul this phrase was worn down over the centuries to ‘ouil but in the South the first syllable survived as ‘oc. Hence, the language divide in medieval France was between the langue d’ouil and the langue d’oc.

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Posted: 13 October 2012 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Ah… Now I think I see more clearly what you’re looking for.

I thought “Okay, Oklahoma” as a town name qualified because it seems to be a pun based on the word “okay” as in “OK” in the sense of acknowledgement or affirmation, coupled with a possibly charming phonetic alliteration when used as a postal address, “OK” being the official two letter postal abbreviation for the state of Oklahoma.

“OK” is frequently spelled “okay”.

The town of Okay had several names before being officially named “Okay” in 1919 in honor of the O. K. 3-Ton Truck and Trailer manufactured there by the Oklahoma Auto Manufacturing Company.

“OKLAHOMA IS OK” appears on Oklahoma license plates (starting in 1967) and is a state slogan (slogans are often designed to foster tourism and good will) for the US state of Oklahoma.

“OK” is the official two letter postal abbreviation for the state of Oklahoma since 1963.

As wordplay, it’s probably only mildly interesting to Okies and humorous only to native Okayians at the expense of the victims of the wordplay.

I missed the point because “okay” is not a word peculiar to that region.

There are many places in the US with Native American names, such as “Narragansett Bay”, and “Iroquois County, Illinois"--"Iroquois" being the name of both the Iroquois People and the Iroquois language, and likewise with “Narragansett”.

There are also many places with names derived from Native American words, such as Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania:

...the name “Punxsutawney” derives from a Native American term which translates to “town of the sandflies” (or, perhaps, “town of the mosquitoes")…

--wikipedia

Or am I still missing the point?

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Posted: 13 October 2012 04:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Sorry for being obtuse, aldi, I get your meaning.

Most of the Australian Aboriginal languages are named for the word meaning “man”. The names are also applied to the group that speaks the language, and there some place names (e.g. Wulguru) that have in turn been named for those groups.

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Posted: 14 October 2012 04:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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You have it, lh. I could have made it clearer but it is indeed a place name referring to a word in the language that I’m after.

Although in the case of Languedoc, the name of the region probably comes from the name of the language, which in turn takes its name from the word oc. Although it’s a bit unclear which came first, the name of the region or the language. Early citations are scarce and they are both recorded at roughly the same time.

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Posted: 14 October 2012 05:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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and they are both recorded at roughly the same time.

and became langued0x3d.

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Posted: 14 October 2012 08:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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aldiboronti - 13 October 2012 03:30 AM

I’ve always thought this a wonderful name referencing as it does the regional use of oc instead of oui for the word yes. As Wikipedia has it:

Languedoc was known in the Middle Ages as the county of Toulouse ...............  Later the name given to the area was Languedoc, literally meaning “language of oc”, from the word “yes” in the local Occitan language ("oc", as opposed to “oïl”, later “oui”, in the north of France).

I’ve been trying to think of any other place that has a name referencing the language or dialect of the inhabitants but to no avail. Is this unique?

Perhaps Eureka, California comes close. “Eureka!” is supposed to have been the exclamation of gold prospecters at that important moment when they found gold.

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Posted: 14 October 2012 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Maybe Eureka doesn’t come close. But this question seems to impale one on the twin horns of a dilemma. On the one side, Deutschland is the place where they speak Deutsch. The people, the language, and the location are one in the same. On the other, you may find placenames based on unique local expression which don’t actually reference the dialect. “Ochaye” seems like an example of the latter.

Placenames are fascinating for any number of reasons. The Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat in Groningen seemed a little odd to this American. The explanation given at the time was that it meant the “Old Look into the Hole Street,” referring to some giant remnant of a crater at the end of the street. According to wikipedia, now, the “jat’ in the name isn’t a hole (modern Dutch “gat") but is a cognate to the German “Gasse” or small street. From what I can make out of the Dutch wp article, there used to be a stone with perhaps some kind of engraving along the lines of “I still look into the street.”

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