Last week I had the privilege to participate in a colloquium again. The topic was place names identification in Mendes Pinto's travels.
This is a synopsis:
"We present here our current work on a positivist analysis of place names. It aims to be valuable for either a literary reading or a more strict historical and geographical interpretation of Pinto's work. We sketch three methods to trace a place name.
1) Through phonetic analysis, does a given place name match a geographical entity in an Asian language?
2) By examining context, do we find historical, ethnographic, topographic, architectural, any descriptive features to relate the place name to a particular geographical area?
3) Given a point of reference and a vector of displacement, is it possible to solve the place name through cartography? "
A pdf file with slides is available here