Toponymic literature generally recognizes three main structures in English: those with a specific + generic element (e.g. Tweed River, Mount White); those that consist of a specific element alone (e.g. Perth, Washington); and less commonly, those with a generic element preceded by the definite article (e.g. The Bend, The Bluff). There are of course combinations and variations on these three (e.g. The Maiden Mountain, Valley of the Giants). Very rarely has the existence of toponyms comprising solely a generic term (e.g. Pinnacle, Sugarloaf) been mentioned or discussed. This survey investigates the occurrence and use of such toponyms in four English-speaking regions.
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- specific/generic element
- geographic feature term
- simplex generic toponyms