In the past, toponyms reflected certain characteristics of that time, and their meaning was derived either from the natural characteristics of the place they named or from the historical and cultural development of the community that inhabited the area. Today, street names and names of other places are used as an instrument of a nation-state, which help create a unified collective memory of a community in a certain territory and represent the "adhesive" that binds different regional entities into a homogeneous nation-state whole. Because of their inseparable connection to certain locations, historical place names can be used to discover that space, its history, economic, social and political events that this space has witnessed. In Gorizia, old toponymy also opens the door to the town's rich history; however, this knowledge seems to be slowly disappearing from people's consciousness and from their collective memory.
We have established that naming is one of the most important parts of one's identity. Every thing, being, phenomenon, event and place must be given a name, as naming plays an important role in shaping human attachment to a particular place and represents its record in space. By naming a place, the group living there marks its settlement area and thus enforces its power over this area. The commemorative names of authorities can be used to create the desired collective memory, since the community always returns to its memories of the past that are important to it with the help of the environment that surrounds it. Therefore, in studying collective memory, we must direct our attention to space, and that is why controlling space is the key to controlling society as a whole.
In the study, we examined the "control" aspect of space naming. The subject of research was the Gorizia's official name from the beginning of the last century to the present. At the beginning of the 19th century, urban toponymy was officially recognized. The place names given back then most often described the spatial features of the city (e.g. Via Corta, Via Cipressi, Via Giardini, Via Lunga, Via Mercato, Via Stretta), public buildings or other architectural features – e.g. bridges (Via Bagni, Via Ospitale, Via Ponte Isonzo, Via Posta Vecchia), some streets were named according to geographical area (Via S. Andrea, Via Salcano, Via Trieste), and a few new names bore the memory of impotant historical figures. The planned renaming of places (the one "forced from above") means a symbolic conquest of space, which happened in Gorizia several times, for example, during the outbreak of World War I, when Austria, as a result of the threat of losing its coastal territories, tried to strengthen its political government in the city with the symbolic renaming of certain urban areas, as well as after World War I, when the new Italian authorities renamed almost the entire city.
For centuries, the Province of Gorizia was the meeting point for Latin and Slavic worlds. In the second half of the 19th century, the rising nationalist tendencies and the formation of national consciousness led various communities in this area to demand toponymy in their own language. The latter also applies to the Slovene-speaking community which – despite the strong presence of the Slovene language in this area – had never obtained official street toponymy in Slovene. The Slovene-speaking community had its own names for the city, and some of these have been preserved to this day, since they have been orally transmitted from generation to generation. The field research of Slovenian names has shown that these names mostly derive from the period before World War I. However, since it is known that language acquires its power only when seen, this thesis and its field research determined how much of these names have been preserved among Slovenes in Gorizia to this day, or in other words, to what extent the official memory of commemorative street names prevailed over the folk remembrance of the Slovene national community in Italy up to this day. The results showed that the degree of familiarity with names is decreasing – this was especially evident when comparing the results of the older and the younger generation. Field research suggests that the official language spoken by the majority is slowly eradicating unofficial namings of the space and that the memory of the Austrian period before the First War – at least among Slovenes – is becoming lost. Institutional support would be necessary in order to preserve the denominations in minority languages today. The first step in this direction will be the placement of signs carrying old Slovenian names, which will be limited only to the surrounding areas of Štandrež, Pevma, Oslavje and Štmaver. In the very center of the city, where certain historical names in Italian have already been put in place, signs with Slovenian names will not be placed. The municipality will erect signs with Slovenian folk names only in the area of the implementation of the provisions of the the protection law for the Slovene national community 38/2001 regarding visible bilingualism, which is valid only in Štandrež, Podgora, Pevma, Štmaver and Oslavje. The urban center of Gorizia will remain exclusively Italian.
According to the Assmann theory (2008), unofficial Slovenian names belong to a communicative memory, since they were created through mutual relations and in a relatively small spatial circle of the Slovenian community in the Province of Gorizia where they are preserved as well. Communicative memory, which includes unofficial Slovenian names, is considered to not be institutionalized, is not supported by educational institutions, is usually not examined by experts, not celebrated on special occasions, not formalized or in any way eternalized in the material world. Nevertheless, communicative memory has the power to connect families, groups and generations, because it is present in everyday interactions and communication between the members of a community. The opposite is true for cultural memory, among which the official commemorative street names are considered – it is institutionalized, exteriorized, objectified and "stored" in the form of symbols.
Since the time of communicative memory is limited – it lasts from three to a maximum of five generations, or from 80 to 100 years, in a community that is connected by the same experiential, memorial and narrative reality – most likely the fate of Slovenian street and place names in Gorizia will follow this rule.
In areas where memories are complex, controversial and distinctive, it is all the more important to create a framework of memories that connects people living in a particular community. Here, awareness is needed to ensure that true respect for identity goes beyond the individual, and this must be "stretched" to the whole area where a linguistic minority lives, therefore bilingual or multilingual toponymy in ethnically mixed territories is crucial. The recognition of linguistic rights to minorities is important because it promotes equality despite diversity, improves communication and public services, and contributes to stability and conflict prevention. The presence of Slovene (and Friulian) in Gorizia would not be of crucial importance only to minorities that would use these languages to fortify their presence there, their position on the territory and the presence of their language, but also for the members of the majority population, because they would be given the opportunity to deal with the language of the minority on a daily basis and familiarize themselves with it, which would consequently facilitate the development of a positive attitude towards this language.