Abstract : The studies of Proper Names start to be very fruitful. The present work allows an illuminating insight into some of the major issues at stake in contemporary proprial semantics. In fact, one of the main implicit presuppositions underlying onomastics is a certain vacuity, or, quite the contrary, superfluity of the sense. Our purpose is to acknowledge the personal name as the linguistic sign with its meaning and sense, by recognizing the “reflecting faculty of semantics” by means of the associations and representations in the culture or a context. We bestow on onoma's dialectics a leading role in the correlation of the generalized meaning in the language and the personalized sense in the discourse, reflecting the time-varying changing world.
Our Ph.D. thesis aims at a twofold task. The objective is to survey the literature on the meaning of proper names from the point of view of appellativization, that is semantic change of proper names. The second task is closely linked to this : to find a possible model for the appellativisation of proper names which is acceptable for different languages and various types of proper names; we attempt at stressing those factors which contribute to the formation of such semantic change and at exploring the general characteristics of such a change. Finally we show the characteristics of this change on a selected material of given names. Onomastic material to be analysed now was selected in a way appropriate for the illustration of significant proportions and tendencies.
This helped to develop our own proposal regarding both the semantics and the pragmatics of Proper Names. According to this view a semantic theory dealing with Proper Names should account for the connotative semantics of Names, their foundational semantics, and the semantics of modal statements in which they figure. Connotative semantics focuses on the contribution a Recategorized Proper Name makes to the associative fields in which it occurs. Based on such an analysis, a semantically Modified Proper Name is assigned a psychosemantic value, which is supposed to provide us with an interpretation of that name, deonym. A crucial part of this task is to see just what kind of thing the associatively semantic value of a Proper Name is and how this appellativization is gradually proceed.