Question about city names that are being renamed

Mahajan, Gyanam mahajan at HUMNET.UCLA.EDU
Wed May 18 22:18:45 UTC 2011


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Greetings from UCLA. There is a UC Berkeley paper that might be of interest and it also provides several references http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~easwaran/papers/india.html.
I remember another article which pointed out that the Bombay Stock Exchange or Bombay High Court or Madras University etc. have retained their name. I will try and find the link to that article and pass it on.
Best,
Gyanam

Gyanam Mahajan, Ph.D.
Language Program Coordinator, SSEALC
ALC Department, UCLA



From: South Asian Linguists [mailto:VYAKARAN at LISTSERV.SYR.EDU] On Behalf Of Thrasher, Allen
Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 2:59 PM
To: VYAKARAN at LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
Subject: Re: Question about city names that are being renamed

VYAKARAN: South Asian Languages and Linguistics Net Editors: Tej K. Bhatia, Syracuse University, New York John Peterson, University of Osnabrueck, Germany Details: Send email to listserv at listserv.syr.edu<mailto:listserv at listserv.syr.edu> and say: INFO VYAKARAN Subscribe:Send email to listserv at listserv.syr.edu<mailto:listserv at listserv.syr.edu> and say: SUBSCRIBE VYAKARAN FIRST_NAME LAST_NAME (Substitute your real name for first_name last_name) Archives: http://listserv.syr.edu
Hal,

Do you mean you didn't hear Madras referred to as Chennai by local people when speaking English, or when speaking Tamil as well?

Peter Hook remarked to me back in 69-70 when the push was starting to rename Poona Pune (or rather, in the unreformed Marathi spelling of the day, PuneM), that the same people who insisted on Pune(M) in fact said Poona/PunA, in both Marathi and English.

Allen

Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
Senior Reference Librarian and Team Coordinator
South Asia Team
Asian Division
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-4810
USA
tel. 202-707-3732
fax 202-707-1724
The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of Congress.



From: South Asian Linguists [mailto:VYAKARAN at LISTSERV.SYR.EDU] On Behalf Of Harold Schiffman
Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 4:31 PM
To: VYAKARAN at LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
Subject: Question about city names that are being renamed

VYAKARAN: South Asian Languages and Linguistics Net Editors: Tej K. Bhatia, Syracuse University, New York John Peterson, University of Osnabrueck, Germany Details: Send email to listserv at listserv.syr.edu<mailto:listserv at listserv.syr.edu> and say: INFO VYAKARAN Subscribe:Send email to listserv at listserv.syr.edu<mailto:listserv at listserv.syr.edu> and say: SUBSCRIBE VYAKARAN FIRST_NAME LAST_NAME (Substitute your real name for first_name last_name) Archives: http://listserv.syr.edu Hi, all:

I've been asked by a colleague in another (non-South Asian) area of the world
what is the history of colonial city naming in India, and whether it is possible to
reconstruct what the "original" names for Bombay/Mumbai, Madras/Chennai, and
Calcutta/Kolkata.

Two questions in particular I have is whether (1) Bombay was ever called Mumbai by
speakers of other languages of India, other than Marathi, and (2) when exactly did the
call for renaming Bombay as Mumbai began?  I'd be interested to know how recently
this phenomenon is.

I know that in the case of Madras/Chennai, I never heard of "Chennai" when I first went
to Tamilnadu (then called Madras State) in 1965 and only later was there a push to rename the
city.

I keep in mind an incident from when I was involved in SEASSI and went to Hanoi to
recruit teachers of Vietnamese.  We noticed that when speaking Vietnamese, people
referred to Saigon as Saigon, but when speaking English, they called it Ho Chi Minh City.
So I'm wondering whether this practice is all current in referring to Indian city names.

Hal Schiffman

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 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com<mailto:haroldfs at gmail.com>
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/

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