The University of Sussex

English Proper Names since 1776: a theoretical and historical survey

Richard Coates

This is a comprehensive survey out of which will be condensed a chapter for volume IV of the Cambridge History of the English Language, edited by Suzanne Romaine (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming), and a theoretical article on properhood. the first part deals in a novel, pragmatic, way with the concept of properhood and presents it in a form suitable for handling the historical notion of becoming-a-proper-name, whilst attempting to set right errors in some philosophical approaches to properhood. The remainder is a wide-ranging survey of strategies for creating proper names in English-speaking areas since 1776, and of changes in proper names during that period; with special emphasis on the morphology of personal and place-names and the sociolinguistics of the collocation patterns of previously-existing names.

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