Functions of proper names in literature and literary onomastics
A B S T R A C T
The first part of the article presents various approaches to the functions of proper names in literature and lists those which are most commonly encountered in literary onomastics. The primary theoretical point of departure is based on German (K. Gutschmidt, V. Birus, D. Lamping, F. Debus), Polish (A. Wilkoń) and Czech (M. Knappová, S. Pastyřík) scholarly works. The second, analytical, part of the article examines functions from two different perspectives: name – character – reader – author and name – text – literary context – cultural context. It argues that the functions should not be viewed in isolation, but rather, it is necessary to explore the ways in which they are interrelated, complement each other and work together. A single name can have multiple functions. The evaluation of these functions is always based on the relationship between the name and its bearer (literary figure) and is interpreted in the context of a particular work. Names are understood as a part of the onymic system of the work (the so-called “name landscape”) and as an element of the overall construction of the artistic text. Although it is thus far just a note, not a comprehensive concept, the article aims to contribute to the debate on functions.
Key words: literary onomastics, proper names, functions of proper names
Klíčová slova: literární onomastika, vlastní jména, onymické funkce
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Slovo a slovesnost, volume 73 (2012), number 3, pp. 194-207
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