Placenames and the settlement pattern of dark-age Scotland
Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Vol.106 (1977)
The settlement pattern of Scotland before the 10th century is not as well understood or researched into as that of England during the same period. Much of the clarification of both favoured and repellent settlement areas in England has come from the study of placenames,as has the knowledge of immigrant entry routes and subsequent population diffusion (Cox 1972; Dodgson 1966; 1973). The possibility of work in Scotland with this approach is at present more limited, largely due to the paucity of philological work on placenames, arising in large measure from the lack of a survey comparable with that of the English Place Name Society. However, just as in England, there have been replacements of one language by another with each donating elements to the naming of features in the landscape,and this provides a possible means of elucidating aspects of the landscape in the past which are unrecorded and unremarked in any other source.