LINGUIST List 2.835

Wed 04 Dec 1991

Disc: Names

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Stavros Macrakis, 2.817 Names
  2. LL23000, "The Donald"
  3. , RE: 2.831 Names

Message 1: 2.817 Names

Date: Mon, 2 Dec 91 17:52:52 EST
From: Stavros Macrakis <>
Subject: 2.817 Names
David Gil <RHLE813HAIFAUVM.bitnet> says:
 ... 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.
A net poll strikes me as a less than reliable way of assembling
statistics on features of languages.
 This universal ... rules out a fourth type of language, using
 articles in construction with names (but not protypical common
Oh? How about Ottoman Turkish `bey' or Japanese `san'? (or for that
matter English `Mr.' -- but English does use articles for common
nouns). You may argue that these are not articles at all, but would
you call any word used only in construction with names and not common
nouns an `article'? (Of course, `bey' is also a common noun meaning
`lord', but this appears to be quite distinct from its use as an
honorific, just as `Mr.' and `master' are now completely distinct in
English; I understand also that `san' can be applied to some inanimate
objects, but perhaps this is `personification'?)
My point is that you'd better have a watertight definition of
`article' before you look for universals.
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Message 2: "The Donald"

Date: Tue, 03 Dec 91 09:23:07 EST
From: LL23000 <LL23NEMOMUS.bitnet>
Subject: "The Donald"
> 	In reference to the discussion of definite articles with
> 	proper names: does anyone know how/why Donald Trump was
> 	dubbed "The Donald"? And does the use of the article reflect
> 	any particular attitude of respect (or lack thereof)?
This is what Ivana calls him--I have no idea where she is from, but my ----
understanding is that this is an anglicization of what she would say in
her native language. I think it USED to be meant affectionately!
Karen Kay
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Message 3: RE: 2.831 Names

Date: Tue, 3 Dec 91 17:29 MET
From: <>
Subject: RE: 2.831 Names
In reply to Sharon L. Shelly's query about Donald Trump:
I think Donald Trump was dubbed "The Donald" because his ex-wife, Ivana,
called him that way, supposedly because she was born and raised in
Czechoslovakia where addressing someone by the definite article is common
practice. As I don't know any Czech, I'd like to see this verified by
someone more knowledgeable about this subject. If so, it would be a nice
addition to the other languages with definite-article reference mentioned so
Richard Piepenbrock
CELEX - Centre for Lexical Information
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