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Proper names are nouns, albeit with specific characteristics, so they play the roles other nouns play in syntax (subject, object, etc). They also partake in morphology; if a language has genders, it will distinguish between Cláudio and Cláudia just like it distinguishes between gato and gata; if a language has cases, it will have Cladius and Claudii. The ...


8

This question has been discussed in various fora more than it probably even deserved, may the gods of linguistics forgive me for contributing to that. Quite simply the Anglophone world had no direct contact with what is now Ukraine, nor was English a lingua franca in Eastern Europe in that era, at the time that some cognate of Ukraine entered the English ...


7

Fermat was fluent in multiple languages, including French and Occitan. Though he was born and raised in Beaumont-de-Lomagne (Occitania), his paternal family was originally from Catalonia: In the second half of the fifteenth century, the Fermat family apparently emigrated from Catalonia to Beaumont-de-Lomagne... Pierre de Fermat (1601?-1665): His life ...


6

The 1999 Routledge grammar Catalan: A Comprehensive Grammar describes four variations in in Catalan with respect to the personal article: i) En, Na, N' ii) en, na, n' iii) en, la, l' iv) el, la, l' These have the following distribution: i) is formal literary written style; ii) is Balearic Catalan; iii) is current in Catalonia; iv) is ...


6

Bantu languages typically treat names distinctly from common nouns. In Logoori and Kerewe, nouns have an initial vowel which is part of class agreement (omitted in certain contexts): names do not allow this prefix. The form of certain preposition differs when attached to a common nouns vs. names, for example ha- "at" for common nouns, hali- for names. ...


5

The primary reason is because there were many Germanic tribes with which the other nations came into contact with directly. This may actually be because of the position in Central Europe - i.e. the contact happened on all sides so on each side the peoples devise their own name instead of adopting a loanword from their neighbours from which they heard about ...


5

The currently favoured view is that (late) Sanskrit kastūrī- is a loan from Greek, not the other way around. There is no consensus about the origin of κάστωρ “beaver” or its relationship with the name Kάστωρ. The connection with the verb "to shine" is however surely a folk etymology. Beekes writes: “Schrader-Nehring 1917: 138 point out that the animal no ...


5

Onomastics¹ has a big overlap with linguistics, specially with historical linguistics (derivation and meaning of names, sound shifts, etc.). Some valuable historical linguistic information is only available by the study of proper names (several languages are otherwise completely undocumented). It is traditionally seen as a branch of linguistics. However, ...


4

Korean lacks articles, or any grammatical/orthographic feature to distinguish proper nouns (e.g., capital letters). On the other hand, most Korean names do not coincide with common words, so there's less potential for confusion. In case when a name do sound like another word, usually we think of them as just two different words that happen to have the same ...


4

Yes, it's possible in French too. Il y a trois Caroline dans ma classe. In French, proper nouns never take a plural mark. The noun Caroline in that sentence is plural, but it is invariable. (This may be a mistake that natives make in this case, but I don't think it's raised to the point of being considered acceptable even by most descriptivists.) ...


4

It is simply a reduction of the common, unstressed element: the vowel is centralised, and the initial /h/ is lost. (Note that there are few English words with /h/ after a consonant, and apart from names they are virtually all compounds like offhand and uphill). A similar case is the /w/ in -wich and -wick, which in many place-names (but not all) has ...


4

Pape–Benseler's 1911 dictionary of proper names is old, and its etymologies maybe disproportionately rely on the etymological guesses of Byzantine lexicographers; but it is comprehensive, and always a good starting point.


3

Babiniotis "Ετυμολογικό Λεξικό τής Νέας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας" is definetely a good source for personal and place names. The title refers to the modern Greek language, but includes etymologies on mythological names, ancient Greek names and placenames. Even biblical names are included. Here is a small sample: Of course, it's purpose is not to cover all Greek ...


3

Proper names are created in many languages, often by taking an interpretable phrase and using it (e.g. the Shona names Chipo "gift", Farai "be happy (pl)!"), the name of the Tanzanian author Kezilahabi "came from a bad place"). They frequently have special morphology (different inflectional affixes; only they take the "honorific" prefix; often wider use of ...


3

Spanish has what is known as the a personal, or "personal a". When a person is the direct object of most verbs, it takes an 'a' preposition (which normally translates as 'to' in English). This is a case that is not exactly identical with yours, since the preposition is required when the direct object is a person rather than a proper noun per se, but it ...


3

Apart from use in "regions" (the Sahara, the Middle East, the South...), definite articles are often used with certain countries: Ukraine, Bahamas, Netherlands, Philippines, Congo, Comoros, Maldives, Seychelles, Sudan. The use is more predictable in names that form branching NPs, like Central African Republic and even more obligatorily in Central African ...


3

Words, definitely. A 2016 study suggests that your average 20-year-old knows over 42,000 lemmata ("basic" words, like run, as opposed to running and runs). Multiply that by three if you want to include "non-basic" words: as a rule of thumb, English nouns have two forms, verbs four, adjectives three. While there are a lot of proper nouns out there in the ...


3

Lots of languages precede proper names with a definite article. The phenomenon is called the 'preproprial definite article'. You can find an article with a quick survey of languages and some theoretical conclusions here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/253773804_Why_Rose_is_the_Rose_On_the_use_of_definite_articles_in_proper_names The main ...


2

Like the majority of the Slavic languages, Russian has no articles. In Russian, Луна (Luna) is ‘Moon’. It's a proper noun when you talk about it astronomically, like the Apollo missions to the Moon, but when you describe a summer night it becomes луна (luna), a common noun, like a tree, the wind, the sound of the stream – just a part of the landscape. Even ...


1

A distinction between common and proper nouns is a semantic one, not grammatical. There is nothing special in a morphology of proper nouns, as any common noun can become a proper noun. In fact most proper nouns were at some point common. e.g. brand names like Windows, surnames like Smith, etc. Pronoun is not a type of noun. It's a word, typically shorter ...


1

I think it would be possible, if cumbersome, for a hypothetical language to avoid proper nouns. Writing the aliens' dialogue in a book might not be fun, but it might work for an occasional detail. The question is, what function do proper nouns fill? And can anything else do that job? Proper nouns pick out a particular entity or set of entities. They are a ...


1

Welcome to Linguistics SE. The answer to your question would be yes ( is what I think ), since all cultures/languages have names and all names are proper nouns. Now, that is just one case, but it answers your question. Were you meaning to ask about any other class of proper nouns?


1

We can build a model for this if we consider many words or country names specifically. The respective names for certain concepts vary little, they spread very fast or through some bottleneck. Country names generally are clustered near the low-variance end of the spectrum, near the words for potato and internet. In the case of Germany, the specific factors ...


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I am simply quoting etymonline.com which has the following under "castor": "It has been assumed that the hero's name was given to the animal because he was a noted healer and the odorous reddish-brown secretions of the inguinal sacs of the animal (Latin castoreum), were used medicinally in ancient times, especially for women's diseases. But the animal did ...


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A case where a pronoun cannot be substituted by any definite description that may be recovered from the context is discussed by Walter Edelberg in his paper ‘A New Puzzle about Intentional Identity’ (Journal of Philosophical Logic 15 [1986]). Edelberg discusses the sentence in (1) from Peter Geach’s paper ‘Intentional Identity’ (Journal of Philosophy 74 [...


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I don't see any figurative element here either. "Negative Nancy" is perceived as having a negative attitude to many things, quite literally. These nicknames may be exaggerations, but that doesn't make them figurative. A figurative nickname would be "Thunderstorm Thomas" to describe an irate person. Thomas is not actually a thunderstorm, but has some ...


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