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French on Shifting GroundCultural and Coastal Erosion in South Louisiana$
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Nathalie Dajko

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496830647

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496830647.001.0001

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Oak Point or Dog Point?

Oak Point or Dog Point?

The Importance of a Name

(p.96) Chapter 6 Oak Point or Dog Point?
French on Shifting Ground

Nathalie Dajko

University Press of Mississippi

Chapter Six confirms the findings of chapter Five, via an examination of the dispute over the name of the town that is either Pointe au Chien or Pointe aux Chênes. Place naming is an important part of place-making: those who name a place are the authentic stewards of the place. The chapter traces the history of the confusion and shows that the long-standing dispute seems to pattern along ethnic lines today. However, via an examination of many factors, including the linguistic landscape, storytelling, and a consideration of semantics, it becomes clear that both groups lay claim to the same space, using the same means to do so. Because place is so closely tied to personal identity, the competing goals of the two sub-groups results in the need to characterize the place differently. The dispute over the name is not a dispute over boundaries or stewardship, but rather over characterization.

Keywords:   Place naming, Linguistic Landscape, Story telling, Place-making, Pointe au Chien

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