Proper Noun

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An Proper Noun is a concrete noun that is an explicit entity referencer.




    • 1. The name of a particular person, place, organization or other individual entity; in English, it is normally written with an initial capital letter.
    • Examples: Mike, United Nations
    • Synonyms: proper name
    • Antonyms: common noun
  • (WordNet, 2009) ⇒
    • S: (n) proper noun, proper name (a noun that denotes a particular thing ; usually capitalized)
  • (Wikipedia, 2009) ⇒
    • … In English and most other languages that use the Latin alphabet, proper nouns are usually capitalized. [8] Languages differ in whether most elements of multiword proper nouns are capitalised (e.g., American English House of Representatives) or only the initial element (e.g., Slovenian Državni zbor 'National Assembly'). In German, nouns of all types are capitalized. The convention of capitalizing all nouns was previously used in English, but ended circa 1800. [citation needed] In America, the shift in capitalization is recorded in several noteworthy documents. The end (but not the beginning) of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and all of the Constitution (1787) show nearly all nouns capitalized, the Bill of Rights (1789) capitalizes a few common nouns but not most of them, and the Thirteenth Constitutional Amendment (1865) only capitalizes proper nouns.

      Sometimes the same word can function as both a common noun and a proper noun, where one such entity is special. For example the common noun god denotes all deities, while the proper noun God references the monotheistic God specifically.

      The common meaning of the word or words constituting a proper noun may be unrelated to the object to which the proper noun refers. For example, someone might be named "Tiger Smith" despite being neither a tiger nor a smith. For this reason, proper nouns are usually not translated between languages, although they may be transliterated. For example, the German surname Knödel becomes Knodel or Knoedel in English (not the literal Dumpling).

  • (Wikipedia, 2009) ⇒
    • This article is about the philosophical issues relating to a certain class of nominative words. For general grammatical information, see Proper noun.
    • "A proper name [is] a word that answers the purpose of showing what thing it is that we are talking about" writes John Stuart Mill in A System of Logic "but not of telling anything about it". The problem of defining proper names, and of explaining their meaning, is one of the most recalcitrant in modern analytical philosophy.
  • (Wikipedia, 2009) ⇒
    • A referring expression (RE), in linguistics, is any noun phrase, or surrogate for a noun phrase, whose function in a text (spoken, signed or written on a particular occasion) is to "pick out" an individual person, place, object, or a set of persons, places, objects, etc. ...
    • The kinds of expressions which can refer (as so defined) are:
      • (3) a proper name, like Sarah, London, The Eiffel Tower, or The Beatles. The intimate link between proper names and type (1) REs is shown by the definite article that appears in many of them. In many languages this happens far more consistently than in English. Proper names are often taken to refer, in principle, to the same referent independently of the context in which the name is used and in all possible worlds, i.e. they are in Saul Kripke's terminology rigid designators.
    • What are proper names? For the purposes of this article, one might think of proper names as at least roughly co-extensive with the sorts of expressions that ordinary (non-philosophical) folk call ‘names.’ Expressions like ‘George W. Bush’, ‘Barcelona’, and ‘Mount Everest’ are thus to be counted as proper names. What do these expressions have in common? In virtue of what do they constitute a genuine class of linguistic expressions? They are syntactically simple expressions that refer, or at least purport to refer, to particular objects/individuals. Thus, ‘George W. Bush’ refers to a particular man, ‘Barcelona’ refers to a particular city, and ‘Mount Everest’ refers to a particular mountain. And even though it is questionable whether expressions such as ‘Santa Claus’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes’ actually refer to anything at all — there can be no doubt that they at least purport to refer: to Santa Claus and Sherlock Holmes, respectively. They thus count as proper names for present purposes.
    • There are many theories concerning the means by which proper names refer. We will consider three of the more popular (and plausible) kinds...





  • (Donnellan, 1972) ⇒ K Donnellan. (1972). “Proper Names and Identifying Descriptions.” In: D. Davidson and G. Harman (eds) The Semantics of Natural Language, Dordrecht: Reidel.