Vol. 50 No. 4 (2002)
Research Article

Slouching Toward a Theory of Names: A Tentative Taxonomic Fix

Published 2002-12-01



Despite the accumulation of immense quantities of empirical treatments, the development of a genuine theory of names remains woefully mired at the primitive level of specifying the distinction between proper and common nouns. As an initial step forward, this paper sets forth, for the first time, a comprehensive taxonomy of the entire universe of names. In so doing, it draws attention to the many name-types that have been seriously or totally neglected as opposed to the inordinate amount of attention lavished on personal names and place names. Urgently needed is a single standardized classification system to be applied to the occurrences within each name-type. Such a standardization would render feasible meaningful cross-analysis among different cultural communities and historical periods as well as among name-types, thus laying the groundwork for posing serious theoretical questions.


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