Annual Colloquium of the Henry Sweet Society location:Pembroke College, Cambridge date:13-15 September 2016
Conceptually speaking, GLOTTONYMY (< fictional Greek γλωττωνυμία < γλῶττα “language” + ὄνυμα “name”), conceived of as the study of the names and naming of language varieties, is a potential subfield of onomastics. While remarks about the subject of language names are by no means scarce in academic and popular works (nor on Wikipedia), glottonymy does not seem to enjoy any status as a recognized field of inquiry. I hope to show that while it is not currently an actual subfield of onomastics, it could be, and further suggest some ways in which attention to glottonymical matters, drawing inspiration from toponymy, ethnonymy and demonymy, may contribute to identifying patterns of (dis)continuity, tradition and innovation in the historiography of linguistics. In this way, I hope to add a new chapter to an old and fruitful tradition of using names as sources for history.