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GUINEA

TYPES OF EXONYMS

WEST AFRICA

Historically, the Sahara was the major barrier separating Libya from Guinea in the north. The regional divide nowadays begins in the scrub marches of the Sahel, where horses and cattle could be raised beyond the reach of the tsetse fly and associated pestilences. Guinea was thus beyond the reach of Muslim cavalry-dependent armies, and the peoples here developed in relative isolation from the rest of Ecumina, at least until the use of camel caravans from northern Libya became common. Instead, Guinea became the site of independent agrarian and iron-working revolutions, and the home of resilient and innovative settled peoples who adapted to co-exist with Africa's megafauna and tropical diseases.

 

Though the region was marred by slavery and colonialism, in its wake, newly independent states achieved rapid economic growth at the expense of embracing modernity, an alienating force which continues to ripple across the region and in successive generations. 

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ON TOPONYMS

Ethnocentrism has always dogged geographers. Atlas Altera is written in English for those of the Anglosphere, who have generally inherited neighbouring European traditions. Here, countries and regions are rendered as if it is the tradition most familiar and accepted in practical usage by native English-speakers in Altera. Thus, the political map of Altera is rendered with exonyms, and the atlas draws deep from situated knowledges while simultaneously attempting to push the boundaries of those knowledges.

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TYPES OF EXONYMS

The names of earth’s landmasses, continents, regions, and toponyms in Libya, Asea, and Erythrea were normalized by Venetian cartographers, who readily brought west maps of the south and east via their contact with the Grecians in Constantinople, a critical nexus point for trafficking things and knowledges across Borealea and Africa until the Age of Discovery. Toponyms of western continental Europea, generally corresponding to historically European Catholic areas, are derived from the naming conventions of the Dieppe school, which was influential until becoming eclipsed by the mapmakers of Antwerp. The Antwerp School made places of the Arctic and Norway known to the rest of Europea. Thus, the -ny, -land, and -ia suffixes generally correspond to these three schools of cartography influential to the English tradition.

The Dieppe School also began to incorporate the less systemic toponyms of the Spanish and Portuguese, which came out of early conquests in Septentrea and Crucea, most of which broke from the practice of naming places after native inhabitants but instead came from the Doctrine of Discovery. The Antwerp School fully normalized the practice of transliterating foreign toponyms through the lens of the regional hegemons in places where there was closer power parity between Europeans and natives, especially in Indea, Serica, and in the parts of Septentrea and Crucea that retained autonomy. The transliterations made in this time preserve the local pronunciations in the 18th and 19th centuries and may now be quite distant to the modern endonyms.

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