Questions tagged [proper-nouns]

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51 views

On the etymology of Balearic Catalan personal articles “en/na”

Catalan (like certain regional dialects of Spanish and Italian) uses definite articles before proper names: El Pere ha arribat tard aquest matí. La Maria ha arribat tard també. In eastern (Balearic) ...
3
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1answer
67 views

Do people know more words or proper nouns?

I'm curious if the average adult knows more words in their language (excluding proper nouns), or more proper nouns? At first I'm inclined to think the former, but then I think of all the names I know: ...
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0answers
53 views

How to formalize rules on what's a proper name?

TL;DR: Why do I have trouble deciding what is a proper name and how can I find a reasonable set of rules to follow when deciding? I’m a member of a team responsible for the National Photocorpus of ...
5
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0answers
47 views

How does the Natural Semantic Metalanguage deal with proper names?

The natural semantic metalanguage gives definitions of common words in terms of semantic primes, as can be found here. I am curious, however, as to how the NSM deals with proper names (or does it?) ...
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2answers
152 views

Do all languages use Proper Nouns?

I'm currently building an alien language that I'm trying not to base on English or basically Europe in general, because that's what cool these days, right? Anyway, what I think proper nouns are is a ...
6
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3answers
398 views

How do languages distinguish proper nouns from common nouns?

This is something I was just thinking about. In English, we seem to rely mostly on articles to tell proper nouns and common nouns apart. Proper nouns are always singular, and lack an article. While ...
5
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4answers
297 views

Use of the definite article in “the Ukraine”

This Google ngram compares the use of the phrases "in the Ukraine" and "in Ukraine" over time. A big change happened in the mid-1990s, when use of the definite article declined significantly. Use of ...
7
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3answers
213 views

Why does the name for Germany vary so much between languages?

I understand that there are occasionally one or two different origins for the same word, but for Germany there are at least six distinct roots found in languages of nearby countries. Why so for ...
-1
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1answer
94 views

In the context of proper nouns, are there any examples in French where they are used as appellatives? [closed]

There exists many examples of this in English, for example 'there are 3 Carolines in my class' or 'there are several Aberdeens in Scotland' (not true of course..just for example!). I was wondering if ...
5
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3answers
834 views

Is the study of proper names really a branch of linguistics?

Is the fact proper names are somewhat fixed in language (often not translated and also do not tend to change even in light of a change in attributes from which it gained its name), mean that it is no ...
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0answers
96 views

Proper vs. common nouns: Are there more differences, esp. in grammar, than capital letter and simpler plural?

Proper nouns in English have a capital starting letter and the plural is simpler (e.g. -y ending gets -ys instead of -ies). Are there any other differences? Especially when analysing/parsing the ...
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2answers
359 views

connection between Castor (one of the Διόσκουροι) and the animal (beaver)?

The history of the Ancient Greek word κάστωρ (beaver) is unclear. It may be : a foreign loan-word (? Sanskrit कस्तूरी kastūrī, “musk”) a Greek word meaning "shining (animal)" from καίνυμαι (perfect ...
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1answer
392 views

Why is “h” of “-ham” dropped in English place names?

In English, "h" in suffix "-ham" (originated from Old English "home") are skipped when pronouncing so "-ham" sound like "-am". Examples are "Fulham", "Tottenham" etc etc. My question is what causes ...
5
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2answers
432 views

Sources for etymologies of Ancient Greek proper names and placenames?

There are good etymological dictionaries for Ancient Greek: if you're searching for the origin of a word, you'll probably find information in Frisk, Chantraine, or Beekes. But if you're looking for ...
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1answer
122 views

Why does this pronomial not refer?

Consider the following interlocution, Maria: "A man fell off the cliff!" Tabish: "He didn't fall, he was pushed." My professor concluded, This shows that pronouns cannot be the same as the ...
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3answers
7k views

What “category” are proper names of this kind “Debbie Downer”, “Negative Nancy” etc? [closed]

I need some umbrella term for those funny names like "Debbie Downer", "Negative Nancy", "Realistic Rita", "Chatty Cathy". Could I say that they are examples of figurative language?
8
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1answer
4k views

Why do we call some countries a different name than the people of that country?

For example, in English we say Germany, Japan, and China but they say Deutschland, Nihon, and Zhongguo respectively. If we change the names because they are difficult to say or spell outside of their ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Does Chinese have proper nouns and are they distinguished morphosyntactically or only lexically and or semantically?

In an earlier question I wanted to learn about the nature of proper nouns in a language-neutral way, but the comments and answers to that question so far state that this is not possible, that only ...
12
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4answers
2k views

How are proper nouns distinguished from other nouns in linguistics (not in orthography)?

When you ask most people the difference between common nouns and proper nouns they mostly can only tell you that proper nouns start with a capital letter. But this has problems: Capital letters and ...