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date: 29 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Do names have meaning? Scholars from different disciplines have claimed that names do not have meaning, they only have reference. The identifying, deictic function of a name is most important, perhaps the most important one. Using a name is an efficient way to individualise an object (the referent) and to point at it with a concentrated linguistic expression (the name) instead of describing or ‘explaining’ it. Other scholars disagree. Surely names identify and individualise but still they do have meaning, at least some kind of meaning. In this chapter I discuss different aspects of meaning—lexical meaning, proprial meaning (i.e. the meaning of a word when used in a proprial function), categorial meaning, associative meaning, emotive meaning. To understand the concept of meaning it is helpful to discuss the dichotomies denotation–connotation, name–appellative, and lexicon–onomasticon.

Keywords: associative meaning, category, connotation, denotation, emotive meaning, lexicon, meaning, onomasticon, presupposition, reference

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