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Sequent Occupance and Toponymy in Singapore: The Diachronic and Synchronic Development of Urban Place Names

Linguistics and Multilingual Studies, School of Humanities, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639818, Singapore
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Urban Sci. 2019, 3(3), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3030098
Received: 21 July 2019 / Revised: 29 August 2019 / Accepted: 30 August 2019 / Published: 3 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Place Names: Political, Economic, and Cultural Dimensions)
This paper is aimed at investigating the applicability of the notion of Sequent Occupance to the Singapore context. Sequent Occupance as a phenomenon in Human Geography was first theorized by Derwent Whittlesey in 1929 in order to describe the current cultural landscape of a region as a combination of all the people which have ‘sequentially’ occupied that region from the past to the present. According to the Sequence Occupance Theory, the cultural imprint of each civilization is never completely lost and its traces can be seen to the present day. This is a historical phenomenon that occurs in the same region or space, but at different times. Sequent Occupance regards each region as a pattern of many cultural layers laid upon each other, where each layer can be attributed to a particular civilization or culture, which overlaps the ones before it. Singapore, with its multilingual and multicultural context and with its colonial past, is a very important test-bed for Sequence Occupance approaches both in the fields of Historical Toponomastics and Human Geography. This paper aims to apply the notion of Sequence Occupance to the study of Singapore Toponomastics with a focus on Odonymy and Micro-Toponyms. The study discusses the notion of Sequent Occupance in Singapore in the light of several local Toponyms, trying to ascertain if this concept can be applied to the diachronic and synchronic development of the Urban Toponymy of the Lion City. The article also highlights historical processes in the “making” of the multi-layered Singapore society. View Full-Text
Keywords: Singapore; sequence occupance; toponymy; historical toponomastics; historical geography Singapore; sequence occupance; toponymy; historical toponomastics; historical geography
MDPI and ACS Style

Cavallaro, F.; Perono Cacciafoco, F.; Tan, Z.X. Sequent Occupance and Toponymy in Singapore: The Diachronic and Synchronic Development of Urban Place Names. Urban Sci. 2019, 3, 98.

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