Keith Briggs

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Old English collective plant-names in place-names

This article of mine is in the Journal of the English Place-Name Society, 51 (2019), 5–14 (actually appeared Feb 2021). The abstract follows:

Tree-names and other plant-names are widespread in English place-names, and in most cases consist of either a simplex name (e.g. Noke), a nominal compound (Oakley), or an adjectival compound (Okenhill). Missing from such a picture is the more conjectural class of collectives, which are recognized in the philological literature as a common Germanic grammatical feature. Here I consider the analysis of names such as Each in Kent, which could be either a dative singular (ǣce `at the oak'), or a collective (*ǣce `the oak-copse' or `the oak-covered region'). I argue that there are more collective plant-names in place-names than generally recognized.

A pdf offprint is available here.

bibtex citation

  author= {Keith Briggs},
  title=  {Old English collective plant-names in place-names},
  journal={Journal of the English Place-Name Society},
  volume= {51},
  pages=  {5--14},
  year=   {2019},
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