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date: 24 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on research traditions concerned with name usage in the broadest sense. It illustrates the epistemological roots and investigative methods of those disciplines which explore the social dimension of names. Interest in how names relate to social life developed in the nineteenth century within American anthropology and within philosophy. The work emanating from these areas of study has been consequential for the more linguistically oriented approaches that this chapter presents, such as the pragmatics of names, (critical) discourse analysis, socio-onomastics, the sociology of names and interactional onomastics. Hence, this chapter shows how different branches of knowledge converge towards a common interest for the social significance of personal and place-names, while at the same time discussing crucial methodological differences among them.

Keywords: discourse, interaction, anthropology, sociology, pragmatics, philosophy, identity

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