Onomastics in Interaction With Other Branches of Science. Volume 2.

Anthroponymy and Pragmatics. Proper Names: Levels and Functions

Daiana Felecan
Technical University of Cluj-Napoca
North University Centre of Baia Mare, Romania



Starting from the framework established by Eugen Coșeriu with respect to the levels of language, this paper examines proper names on three functional planes with corresponding stages of competence and speech evaluations. Thus, on the universal level, names are rigid designators; they are non-deictic, devoid of lexical meaning, and display a designative function. This is the level of general naming. On the historical level, names are “embedded”; they develop idiomatic (language-specific) content. This is the level of conventional naming, on which names fulfil an idiomatic function. On the individual level, names are meaningful expressions, describing bearers by means of “clusters of definite descriptions”. This is the level of unconventional naming, of the nominal mark which renders the denotatum unique. The linguistic content of this level consists of the meaning of the name, and the functions developed by it are textual and emotive: the participation of the name giver in the discourse by means of an act of novel linguistic creation (see the instance of nicknames, bynames, usernames, various anthroponymic phrases, etc.). To reach the above-mentioned aims, the paper uses the theoretical tools specific to anthroponymy, pragmatics, and related fields: text theory, speech act theory, and philosophy of language.

anthroponym, speech act, conventional anthroponym, unconventional anthroponym, discursive function

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