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Perception of Dalmatia in selected foreign lexicographic publications

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Author(s): Lena Mirošević | Josip Faričić

Journal: Geoadria
ISSN 1331-2294

Volume: 16;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 119;
Date: 2011;

Keywords: lexicography | region | mental map | Dalmatia | Croatia

ABSTRACT
The paper discusses the perception of Dalmatia in selected foreign, primarily French, British, Italian, German and American, lexicographic publications. Knowledge related to a specific area can be gained by personal (primary) experience, i.e. one's own experience of space, and by indirect (secondary) experience, i.e. from textual descriptions, graphic and cartographic presentations. Geographic knowledge is a certain type of spatial cognition that contributes to creating one's own mental map of a specific area. Probability of existence of different versions of such a mental map is much higher in case of larger areas that cannot be perceived as a whole, or in case of areas that have been marked by significant changes throughout their historical and geographic development.Indirect experience has a great importance in view of unknown and less known areas, because it is gained by the use of secondary and tertiary sources of geographic information. Among those sources of geographic information are lexicographic publications, such as encyclopedias, lexicons and geographic dictionaries, marked by availability, systematic form and conciseness. The problems that occur when defining spatial extent of Dalmatia in such works derive from the fact that the origins of that Croatian region were not the result of gradual centennial development within one state. Namely, it was a region on the contact of three powerful states (Venetian Republic, Ottoman Empire and Habsburg Monarchy), and its spatial extent differed from the extent of the great Roman province of Dalmatia that stretched from the Adriatic Sea to Posavina, and from the extent of the Byzantine theme that comprised different small and territorially disconnected urban communities on the northeastern Adriatic coast.
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