The central topic and main aim of the symposium is to examine questions related to indigenous and minority names using various different approaches, as well as from a cross-disciplinary viewpoint. Since names are the subject of the symposium, presentations may touch on all types of name categories in onomastics, such as, e.g. minority language place names, personal names, administrative names, business, animal and artefact names.
The symposium has as its topic, both the oral and written contexts of indigenous and minority language names, and the thematic of the presentations will therefore include all the various different aspects of how names are used orally in the various linguistic and cultural environments, and of how minority names function in contact in bi- or multilingual environments; of what rights minority names have in written and/or official contexts; of how such names are used in linguistic and onomastic landscapes; of how minority names are recognized in the Name Acts; of how legal protection functions in practice with respect to minority names and of what kinds of name political conditions and challenges exist with regard to indigenous and minority languages.
This name symposium clearly constitutes dissemination of socially relevant research, since it also relates to the various different authorities whose work involves dealing with indigenous and minority name issues, such as, naming in mapping and road-signs, as well as personal name registration and approval. The aim of the symposium is therefore also to act as an arena for communication between scholars of indigenous and minority language onomastics and representatives of relevant authorities.
The Sámi University of Applied Sciences is actively working on and promoting Sámi onomastics, which in turn form part of indigenous onomastics, as a research topic. The symposium will also help to disseminate Sámi onomastic research topics to a wider Nordic and international academic community.
The Sámi University of Applied Sciences has been actively engaged in network building in the field of onomastic research, as it also hosted a cross-disciplinary, International Conference on Indigenous Place Names in 2010.