Toward a functional theory of names and naming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mill's classic distinction among definite descriptions, common names, and proper names differentiates them on logical grounds: definite descriptions and common names refer in virtue of their meaning, but proper names refer by arbitrary connection - they are viewed as having no meaning. Subsequent discussion has shown that proper names display a rich variety of meaning, and more recent discussion has sought to characterize proper names (and other types of singular terms) on functional, as well as logical, grounds: referring crucially to notions like ‘baptismal ceremony’, ‘bearerhood’, ‘causal chain’, ‘speech context’, ‘speaker purpose’, etc. Nevertheless, little has been said to constrain these functional notions by grounding them in empirical analyses of actual names and naming practice. Existing behavioral research and anecdote suggest some constraints, elaborate and specify some previously proposed general types of constraints, and underscore the potential value of an integration of philosophical speculation with psychological and linguistic research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-372
Number of pages32
JournalLinguistics
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983

Fingerprint

behavioral research
speculation
Proper Names
Naming
Names
linguistics
Definite Descriptions
Logic
Singular Term
Ceremony
Psychological
Naming Practices
Grounding
Speculation
Causal
Anecdote

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Carroll, John. / Toward a functional theory of names and naming. In: Linguistics. 1983 ; Vol. 21, No. 2. pp. 341-372.
@article{c1ce31d078264e0c822e56ef1213c3c5,
title = "Toward a functional theory of names and naming",
abstract = "Mill's classic distinction among definite descriptions, common names, and proper names differentiates them on logical grounds: definite descriptions and common names refer in virtue of their meaning, but proper names refer by arbitrary connection - they are viewed as having no meaning. Subsequent discussion has shown that proper names display a rich variety of meaning, and more recent discussion has sought to characterize proper names (and other types of singular terms) on functional, as well as logical, grounds: referring crucially to notions like ‘baptismal ceremony’, ‘bearerhood’, ‘causal chain’, ‘speech context’, ‘speaker purpose’, etc. Nevertheless, little has been said to constrain these functional notions by grounding them in empirical analyses of actual names and naming practice. Existing behavioral research and anecdote suggest some constraints, elaborate and specify some previously proposed general types of constraints, and underscore the potential value of an integration of philosophical speculation with psychological and linguistic research.",
author = "John Carroll",
year = "1983",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1515/ling.1983.21.2.341",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "21",
pages = "341--372",
journal = "Linguistics",
issn = "0024-3949",
publisher = "Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG",
number = "2",

}

Toward a functional theory of names and naming. / Carroll, John.

In: Linguistics, Vol. 21, No. 2, 01.01.1983, p. 341-372.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Toward a functional theory of names and naming

AU - Carroll, John

PY - 1983/1/1

Y1 - 1983/1/1

N2 - Mill's classic distinction among definite descriptions, common names, and proper names differentiates them on logical grounds: definite descriptions and common names refer in virtue of their meaning, but proper names refer by arbitrary connection - they are viewed as having no meaning. Subsequent discussion has shown that proper names display a rich variety of meaning, and more recent discussion has sought to characterize proper names (and other types of singular terms) on functional, as well as logical, grounds: referring crucially to notions like ‘baptismal ceremony’, ‘bearerhood’, ‘causal chain’, ‘speech context’, ‘speaker purpose’, etc. Nevertheless, little has been said to constrain these functional notions by grounding them in empirical analyses of actual names and naming practice. Existing behavioral research and anecdote suggest some constraints, elaborate and specify some previously proposed general types of constraints, and underscore the potential value of an integration of philosophical speculation with psychological and linguistic research.

AB - Mill's classic distinction among definite descriptions, common names, and proper names differentiates them on logical grounds: definite descriptions and common names refer in virtue of their meaning, but proper names refer by arbitrary connection - they are viewed as having no meaning. Subsequent discussion has shown that proper names display a rich variety of meaning, and more recent discussion has sought to characterize proper names (and other types of singular terms) on functional, as well as logical, grounds: referring crucially to notions like ‘baptismal ceremony’, ‘bearerhood’, ‘causal chain’, ‘speech context’, ‘speaker purpose’, etc. Nevertheless, little has been said to constrain these functional notions by grounding them in empirical analyses of actual names and naming practice. Existing behavioral research and anecdote suggest some constraints, elaborate and specify some previously proposed general types of constraints, and underscore the potential value of an integration of philosophical speculation with psychological and linguistic research.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84926273464&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84926273464&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1515/ling.1983.21.2.341

DO - 10.1515/ling.1983.21.2.341

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84926273464

VL - 21

SP - 341

EP - 372

JO - Linguistics

JF - Linguistics

SN - 0024-3949

IS - 2

ER -