Naming


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Wikipedia.

Naming

 

in linguistics, the process by which linguistic elements are associated with the objects that they signify. Three aspects of naming are distinguished: the object named, the naming subject, and the linguistic means from which the selection is made. The object named may be a particular concept, a physical object, or an attribute (“beauty,” “to go,” “horse,” “white”); an object with modifiers (“white horse”); or an entire event (“Fire!,” “The train has arrived”). In this respect, different lexical and propositive names (the latter expressed by a word combination or sentence) are used.

The attribute selected as the basis for the name creates the inner form of the name. Thus, one and the same object may receive different names based on its different attributes. For example, the Russian detskii stul’chik, literally “children’s little chair,” is based on the object’s intended use, whereas the English “high chair” is based on the form of the object. The external form of a name is determined by the lexicogrammatical linguistic resources used in naming, so that names that signify identical concepts may differ in their outward form; for example, the Russian staryi chelovek and starik both denote “old man.”

The laws of naming are manifested not only in the ready-made naming resources of language (words, word combinations, grammatical forms) but in every act of speech in which an object is named on the basis of one of its characteristic attributes. Names for specific objects in a given language are relatively consistent, which ensures linguistic communication, but they are not absolute. An object may receive new names based on its other attributes (secondary naming), or the same name may designate other objects (figurative, or indirect, naming). The relative stability of naming determines the growth of the name-creating possibilities of a language and the use of such possibilities for literary purposes.

V. G. GAK

References in classic literature ?
In confirmation of this, she related the particulars of all the pecuniary transactions in which they had been connected, without actually naming her authority, but stating as such as might be relied on.
You know, Porthos, I could not give him the particulars without naming our friends; to name them would be to commit them to ruin, so I merely said they were fifty and we were two.
Go on, my dear Fanny, and without fear; there can be no difficulties worth naming.
It was the same place we have already had the honor of describing to our readers; we shall therefore satisfy ourselves with naming it.
A bulky, blue-chinned man in white clothes, his name red-lettered across his lower shirtfront, spluttering from under a green-lined umbrella almost tearful appeals to be introduced to the Unintroducible; naming loudly the Unnameable; dancing, as it seemed, in perverse joy at mere mention of the Unmentionable--found those limits.
It was said once to me that it is inexpedient to write the names of strangers concerned in any matter, because by the naming of names many good plans are brought to confusion.
We two spoke together under the earth, and I spoke of thee, naming thee as a man.
But the Roman name attaineth the true use and cause thereof, naming them participes curarum; for it is that which tieth the knot.
You are going to denounce Verner from a public platform, naming him for what he did and naming the poacher he did it to.
And, Miss Bartlett not favouring the scheme, they walked up the hill in a silence which was only broken by the rector naming some fern.
This penitential mood kept her from naming the wedding-day.
My Lady," in naming whom he always made a courtly gesture as if particularly to exclude her from any part in the quarrel, "is expected, I believe, daily.