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The Grammar of Names in Anglo-Saxon EnglandThe Linguistics and Culture of the Old English Onomasticon$
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Fran Colman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198701675

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701675.001.0001

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Names are not nouns

Names are not nouns

(p.50) 3 Names are not nouns
The Grammar of Names in Anglo-Saxon England

Fran Colman

Oxford University Press

This argues against the common grouping of names with nouns, and presents previous alternative views. Names have been characterized as one of the three types of definite referring phrases: names, personal pronouns, definite determiner phrases. A revised characterization in notional dependency grammar groups names with pronouns and determiners as determinatives. But names differ from other determinatives by being inherently nondefinite: they do not always refer (cf. vocative and nominations). This grouping has the major drawback (addressed in Chapter 4) that, while determiners govern nouns, the remaining names and pronouns do not govern. The argument distinguishes lexical (or typically ‘contentful’) and functional primary categories. Secondary categories reflect the prototypical notional character of a primary category. They have a role in allowing referentiality to names. They can play a part in conversion of lexical items from one primary category to another.

Keywords:   conversion, dependency, determiner, functional category, nomination, notional, pronoun, prototypicality, reference, vocative

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