Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Geographic Information Systems

Department or School/College


Committee Chair

Anna Prentiss

Commitee Members

Anna Prentiss, Irene Appelbaum, Cheyenne Laue, Kevin McManigal


ethnophysiography, toponymy, GIS, land cover, landscape, language


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Geographic Information Sciences | Human Geography | Social and Cultural Anthropology


This thesis investigates the ethnophysiography of Missoula County, Montana via place names. Toponyms and landscape have been observed to have a relationship that can be studied through many lenses. Ethnophysiography, the study of how language and landscape relate to each other via human conceptualization, is a lens that was applied to this thesis because it recognizes the embodied information that toponyms carry and investigates landscape accordingly. Thus, the following research seeks to understand if ethnophysiographic diversity exists between toponyms in the Salish and English languages of Missoula County, Montana by analyzing place names and land cover in GIS and analyzing the data for a Zipfian distribution. I research, collect, and analyze the secondary information available on Missoula County names and land covers in order to empirically examine this ethnophysiographic relationship.



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