Other Sites

Other Sites


The Breton Place-Name Survey – or Hanoiou-Lec’hiou Breiz Izel in Breton (HLBI) – is an ambitious project which aims to publish 40 volumes containing the local indigenous form of the 60,000 or so place-names of Western Brittany (Fr. La Basse Bretagne) along with cartographical and historical data. It is anticipated that the first volumes in the series will see the light of day in 2020. The Survey’s priority is the fieldwork and collection of the pronunciations of place-names in Western Brittany where the Breton language is still spoken, but only by a dwindling community of elderly native speakers.

The importance of collecting the traditional local oral forms of place-names may not seem so evident to toponymists studying English and French place-names, accustomed as they are to the pre-eminence given to medieval written forms in pursuit of their etymologies and origins. However, as in the other Celtic countries, the importance of ascertaining the pronunciation of place-names is more important in Brittany where the original Breton form is often disguised and distorted by official written forms which are anachronistic or frenchified to varying degrees. As elsewhere, historical forms can be assiduously collected by researchers in archive collections and, over time, such activity will lead to comprehensive collections of historical documentary forms but there is no impending urgency to this work. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the traditional local oral forms of place-names which are more often than not ignored by most toponymists, through lack of experience and expertise.

Apart from the strictly linguistic justification for collecting oral forms, methodical place-name studies have generally suffered from being restricted to documentary investigations in libraries and archives at the expense of field investigations. This neglect of fieldwork often leads place-name specialists to commit gross errors in their interpretations, errors which can so easily be avoided by the simple precaution of consulting with local populations and benefitting from their knowledge.

For further details, see the 'Hanoiou-Lec'hiou Breiz Izel' site (in French)


This site focuses on the teddy boys, a fashion for young men which flourished in Britain in the 1950s and which saw a revival in the 1970s. In the manner of an online scrapbook, the site looks at the origins and trends of the clothes, the music, the dances, the slang, the European, American and worldwide analogies, reviews, as well as sometimes broaching more philosophical subjects such as what being a ted means. Portrayals of individuals are given, audiovisual documents are provided, and the history of the teds is conveyed in 'snippets' from its beginnings to the present.

For further details, see the 'The Lone Lamp' site (still in development)


Launched in a draft from in 2011, this site (in Welsh) constitutes the beginning of what is intended to function as a forum for the discussion of intellectual discussions on languages, onomastics, society and measurements. The name which means the ‘wise or intellectuals of Lampeter’ took its inspiration from the fact that the author was brought up in Lampeter and was able to partake in many enjoyable and profitable intellectual encounters there. This Welsh-medium intellectual life in Lampeter was the independent and organic outcome of individuals’ curiosity and took place organic very informally in local cafes. The local university, which was largely anglicised, had nothing to do with this, even if some encounters were held in the park on the campus (weather permitting). The hope for Lampeter university as a centre of Welsh intellectual life has ebbed even further following the catastrophic reorganisation of 2009 which changed its name and nature (losing in the process its venerable department of Welsh).

Wales serves its Welsh-speaking population badly in cultural matters – due in part due to a lack of political autonomy from the English body politic – and the university at Lampeter no longer serves the community as far as Welsh is concerned. It is because of this conjuncture at which we find ourselves that the thought of establishing a virtual space in which Welsh intellectual life could continue came to me. And whilst Lampeter – or rather Llanbedr to give its Welsh name – is the home of the wise in this parallel world, Welsh intellectuals of any background will be welcome to contribute to the forum.

The intellectual framework and character of Dyallusion Llanbedr is resolutely Welsh and is geared to being scholarly but popular rather than academic and irrelevant to the body of Welsh speakers. The reasons for proclaiming such a manifesto is perforce that the academic world being largely English it follows that its priorities will largely be those of the worldwide English-speaking community which do not always coincide with the priorities of the Welsh-language community. And, because academic relevance is nearly wholly measured in relation to the body of English academic literature, this results in Welsh academic writing swallowing whole swathes of English modes of thought and analysis. This is most obvious in the evolving form of the Welsh language as it becomes more employed for official purposes with the coining of often unhappy neologisms on the pattern of English in an ultimately vain attempt to catch up with its model. Such developments in Welsh scholarship are, to some extent, unavoidable given the present-day societal conjuncture of the Welsh but, rather than provide academic articles in Welsh as does the officially-sponsored e-journal Gwerddon – established in 2007 –, Dyallusion Llanbedr aims to provide articles which serve the Welsh public expressly rather than constituting a feather in the cap of authors who are largely engaged in pursuing English-medium academic careers.

Despite adhering to a non-negotiable stance which defends the sanctity of knowledge in all its complexity, Dyallusion Llanbedr is aware that those factors which militate against full access to source materials of knowledge for those outside academic institutions is one reason why ‘competing’ on academic terms is bound to handicap further the Welsh-speaking community unless it finds its own ‘spaces’ where it can develop independently. Another aspect typifying academic research is that equal esteem is bestowed to all pieces of research, irrespective of their relevance or importance, and whilst it is not our intention to condemn this fact of academic research and the positive and negative aspects resulting therefrom, we aim in this website to function as a clearing house providing relevant knowledge to our targeted readership. One of our guiding principles is relevancy to the Welsh readership and relevancy to the pure and simple progress of research.

The site is not designed as a web-forum which welcomes loose-ended contributions presented in any old fashion, nor are purely facetious or intentionally malicious commentaries tolerated. It is a forum in the traditional sense of the word, spearheaded by well-thought-out articles to which is added the possibility of conversing on the subject through the medium of comments and responses. The hope is that Dyallusion Llanbedr will attract many contributors, both composers of articles and invigorating commentary.

For further details, see the 'Dyallusion Llanbedr' site (incipient stage)