LINGUIST List 2.817

Sat 23 Nov 1991

Disc: Names

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. , RE: 2.804 Names
  2. Michael Newman, Re: 2.804 Names
  3. David Gil, Names
  4. Dave Moskovitz, RE: 2.804 Names

Message 1: RE: 2.804 Names

Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1991 11:16:48 MST
From: <li_amlewis.umt.edu>
Subject: RE: 2.804 Names
Sergio Balari:
>Note that these latter comments hold for Italian as well, even if this
>language seems to be very much reluctant to adopt the article+name
>construction. Things like
>
>(5) a. La Callas
> b. Il Veronese
> c. Il Brunelleschi
>
>are good in Italian.
Tom Wachtel:
>It is quite common to use the definite article with a personal name in
>Italian, with no semantic/pragmatic marking. (I'm not sure, but I
>believe it may be restricted to women's names.)
Migliorini and Chiappelli in Lingua e Stile (1968), a high school textbook
write:
 "I nomi propri di persona (o prenomi) non vogliono l'articolo: Carlo e'
uscito; ... Ho visto Teresa.
 "Nel linguaggio familiare, accennando a persone intime, si puo' usare
l'articolo davanti ai nomi di donna: Ho fatto la pace con la Titina e
con la Giulietta. E' invece errato dire il Giulio, il Carlo.
 "I cognomi sono di solito preceduti dall'articolo: E' giunto il Panetti...
per alcuni cognomi di grandissima notorieta' come Colombo, Verdi, Gari-
baldi, Mazzini, l'articolo non si adopera mai. Per altri l'uso e' oscil-
lante: Carducci o il Carducci, Leopardi o il Leopardi..." (p. 118).
Tony Mattina, U MT.
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Message 2: Re: 2.804 Names

Date: Thu, 21 Nov 91 15:26:39 EST
From: Michael Newman <MNEHCCUNYVM.CUNY.EDU>
Subject: Re: 2.804 Names
Just a clarification on Sergio Balari's comments on names in Catalan. While the
use of a special article for males 'en' is normative, most of the time--in in-
formal situations, at least in the Barcelona area--what you hear is the normal
masculine article 'el.' Thus, I am known as'EL MICHAEL' not'EN MICHAEL.'
The use of that form would have been excessively formal, approaching the
level of the Spanish form 'don.' (In fact, etymologically, 'en' and 'don' are
cognates. Unfortunately, due to the peculiar sociolinguistic situation marked
by greater than average linguistic insecurtiy, Catalans will often report what
they think they should say, when asked, rather than what they do say.
Now, I think such insecurity is misplaced. Don't we have proof of imminent Cat
-alanization of the English in New York, since our most famous if-somewhat
less-rich-than-he-used-to-be millionaire, Mr Trump, is universally known in
tabloid land as THE DONALD. Then again maybe the influence is from Portuguese.
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Message 3: Names

Date: Thu, 21 Nov 91 23:27:15 IST
From: David Gil <RHLE813HAIFAUVM.bitnet>
Subject: Names
Thanks to all of you who commented on my remarks in
LINGUIST Vol 2.794 on the syntax of names.
Many of the remarks pointed to the use of articles in
construction with names in a variety of European languages.
Together, these remarks suggest the existence of a sprachbund
of the article-name construction, stretching across a (very rough)
triangle with Portugese, Flemish and Greek at the three apexes.
This leads to a follow-up query: is anybody familiar with
occurrences of the article-name construction *outside* this
triangle? (Negative answers also welcome!)
>From a general typological perspective, the following
implicational universal seems to be true:
If a language uses articles in construction with names,
then it also uses articles in construction with prototypical
common nouns (but not vice versa).
This universal predicates the existence of three types of
languages (a) using articles in construction with names
and prototypical common nouns, eg. Portugese; (b) using
articles in construction with prototypical common nouns,
eg. English; (c) not using articles, eg. Russian. However,
it rules out a fourth type of language, using articles in
construction with names (but not protypical common nouns.
Is anybody familiar with a counterexample?
Perhaps some further hedges should be added to take into account
various ways in which the use of articles with either names
or prototypical common nouns may be optional.
David Gil
Department of English
University of Haifa
Haifa, Israel, 31999
rhle813haifauvm.bitnet
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Message 4: RE: 2.804 Names

Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1991 21:39:16 EST
From: Dave Moskovitz <moskomatai.vuw.ac.nz>
Subject: RE: 2.804 Names
With regards to John Limber's query about names, there is an excellent recent
paper on Name Signs in ASL:
Suppala, Samuel J. 1990. The Arbitrary Name Sign System in American Sign
 Language. Sign Language Studies 67.
This paper also briefly describes the descriptive (non-arbitrary) name sign
system.
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