Life in the Fells: names in a nineteenth-century Cumberland landscape

Colla, Chloe (2023) Life in the Fells: names in a nineteenth-century Cumberland landscape. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis examines the field-names of Crosthwaite parish, Cumberland. A survey of the fieldnames and a corresponding glossary of elements and their localised usage(s) within the study area, some previously unattested, form a significant part of the thesis.

The field-name data is compiled chiefly from nineteenth-century Tithe Awards which records the names and descriptions of Crosthwaite’s 8,626 land units, 3,351 of which are field-names (3.4.1). These 3,351 field-names, recorded in the survey (Chapter Four), contain 6,052 elements which fall into 586 element types, presented in the glossary (Chapter Five).

The work of this thesis is underpinned by the data from two key resources which were created as part of this research: a) a field-name dataset composed of all linguistic data held within the Tithe Awards for the parish (3.1); and b) an interactive digital map of all 8,626 land units, into which the field-name data is embedded (3.3). The first resource – the onomastic data – allows for the fieldnames to be analysed linguistically. The second – the cartographical data – allows for the fieldnames to be analysed spatially, enabling the evidence of the landscape to inform the interpretation and analysis of the names.

A quantitative analysis of all Crosthwaite’s field-name elements (Chapter Six) highlights the close relationship between the language of the field-names and the landscape they describe. The extent to which the field-names reflect their landscape is marked and is observable both in the use of individual elements, and in the language use of townships within the parish more broadly.

The survey (Chapter Four) and glossary (Chapter Five) constitute a substantial contribution to the available field-name data for Cumberland, and for England more generally, supplementing the English Place-Name Society survey for Cumberland.

Other key findings from this research (Chapter Seven) include the discovery of metaphorical elements unattested elsewhere, as well as other elements or element usages particular to the study area. Field-names which provide evidence for lost place-names, and instances of toponomastic overlap between England and Scotland, are observable within the data of this thesis; a lack of genitival -s in personal names within field-names is likewise notable. This thesis advocates for the development and implementation of a new field-name terminology model.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Supervisor's Name: Hough, Professor Carole and Taylor, Dr. Simon
Date of Award: 2023
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2023-83934
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2023 14:31
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2023 14:31
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83934

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