Identifying the role of proper names in folk tales

General characteristics of proper names. The Theory of Onomastics. Proper Name as a Specific Unit of Language. The Role of Proper Names in Folklore. Linguistic Peculiarities of Proper Names in Folk Tales. Proper names in English and Armenian fairy tales.

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Names of people are the most typically cited kind of proper names. They occupy a particular space: on the frontiers between language and the world, between word and thing, between diesis and signification. The definition of what counts as a proper name remains a question.

Proper names, forming in language an extensive layer of lexicon, attract the attention of scientists for a long time. Originality of proper names has allowed allocating their studying in a separate science - onomastics. In onomastics a linguistic component dominates because each name is the word developing under laws of language as well as because names carry the information which "is extracted" by means of linguistic means.

Our graduation paper is devoted to the study of linguistic peculiarities of proper names in folk tales. We are going to reveal various features and characteristics of proper names in English and Armenian folk tales. We will try to find out traditional ways of naming folk tale heroes and also those ways or methods which are not ordinary. In the work we are going to analyze both Armenian and English folk tales trying to find similarities and differences connected with traditions of giving names to folk tale characters.

The aim of our graduation paper is to reveal the role of proper names in folk tales. According to the aim the following objectives are set:

1. to define what is a proper name

2. to introduce a branch of studies dealing with proper names in general.

3. to introduce the mysterious world of folk tales.

4. to speak of the importance of naming in folk tales

5. to analyze the proper names in English and Armenian folk tales.

This work is valuable as the study may provide a deep understanding of the role of proper names in folk tales. It presents vivid and distinct theories suggested by various scholars.

Our research consists of an introduction, 2 chapters, conclusion and bibliography.

In the introduction the main background of the work its research focus, overall research aim and research objectives as well as the value of this work are provided.

The first chapter presents the existing approaches to the study of proper names, tackles the proper names as specific unit of language and goes to the theory of onomastics.

Chapter 2 focuses on the study of proper names in folklore, on the importance of naming in folk tales. The main, central role is devoted to the linguistic peculiarities of proper names in folk tales. Here we present folk tales of different nations like English, Russian, and Armenian.

The main aim of this is to reveal and prove that certain peculiarities of naming folk tale characters are similar not only in the folklore of two nations but they are observable in other nations' folklores as well.

In the conclusion we are going to summarize our ideas trying to present what we have found out carrying the graduation paper.

The list of references will prove the sources of materials illustrated in this work.

Chapter 1. General characteristics of proper names

1.1 Defining Proper Names

Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language (1976) defined a proper name as `a noun that designates a particular being or thing, does not take a limiting modifier, and is usually capitalized in English'. The famous French Grand dictionnaire encyclopdique Larousse (1982) defined a proper noun as a sub-category of nouns, that designates a being or an object considered as unique. These two definitions constitute fair summaries of the way linguists define proper names. I consider some definitions of `proper name' from various linguistic and non linguistic dictionaries are worth considering:

`The name of an individual person, place or object, as opposed to a common noun which refers to any one of all things denoted by the noun. Thus, John, Eiffel Tower, the Tyrol, and London are proper nounsIn English proper nouns are usually written with an initial capital letter' (Hartmann and Stork 1972: 187).

`The name of an individual, place, etc. Proper nouns cannot be used with determiners in the way common nouns can' (Crystal 1980: 392).

`Proper nouns are basically names of specific people (Shakespeare), places (Moscow), months (September), days (Thursday), festivals (Christmas), magazines (Vogue) and so forth. Proper nouns do not generally share the formal characteristics of common nouns. In particular they lack articles, or rather article contrast. Proper nouns generally have unique denotation (Quirk et al. 1985: 288).

Most of these definitions share a number of features:

1. A proper name designates a particular being or thing. Typically, authors cite names of persons and names of places as examples of proper names.

2. Proper names have a capital initial letter.

3. Proper names are not used with determiners in the same way as common names are.

However, each of these features deserves more comment. Typically, authors cite names of persons and names of places as examples of proper names, `proper name' is generally used as alternative terms, and some authors do draw a distinction between these two expressions.

A proper noun is then seen as a single word while a proper name may consist of more than one word (e.g. Oxford Road, Good Friday).

Names of people are the most typically cited kind of proper names. Names of people include family names, first names, pseudonyms and nicknames, while names of places include names of cities, villages, monuments, districts, countries, islands, mountains, rivers, seas and stars.

But linguists have identified other kinds of proper names: for instance, temporal names, animal names and titles. In English, temporal proper names include names of festivals and religious periods (Christmas, Ramadan, Easter, Independence Day), names of months (January, February) and days (Monday, Tuesday ). Animals may also receive a proper name (e.g. Bucephalus, the horse of Alexander the Great). Some objects like ships commonly receive a proper name (Jules Verne gave the name `Nautilus' to a famous sub-marine). Some people give a proper name to their computer. Crystal also noted that a set of meaningful words can become a proper name when it is used to designate a particular entity. This is the case with titles of books or musical pieces (Crystal 1980: 398).

Proper names are written with a capital initial letter. This property does not perfectly distinguish proper nouns from common nouns, since not all nouns beginning with a capital letter are proper nouns. For instance, in English, ethnic or national adjectives (African, Canadian) are written with a capital initial letter but they are not proper names (Quirk et al, 1985: 302).

In English, personal names and temporal names have no article. But several kinds of proper names are preceded by the definite article. Classes of proper names typically preceded by `the' are plural proper names in general (the Netherlands), and more particularly groups of islands (the Bahamas, the Shetlands) and ranges of mountains (the Himalayas, the Alps). Names of rivers (the Danube), seas (the Atlantic, the Baltic), canals (the Suez Canal) and other geographical features of coastline (the Gulf of Mexico, the Cape of Good Hope, and the Isle of Wight) are also preceded by the definite article. However, Quirk et al. argued that proper names, unless they are reclassified as common names, lack article contrast. This means that the article preceding the proper name cannot be varied to give expressions like `a Nether land' or `some Netherlands'. In contrast, proper names, when reclassified as common names, may have their meaning modified by determiners. For instance, `an Einstein' can mean `somebody as clever as Albert Einstein', or `the French Bob Dylan' means `a French singer whose songs sound like those by Bob Dylan'. This much on the grammar of proper name (Valentine, Brennen, Bredart 1996: 2- 4).

Now let us turn to proper names in fiction. There is something peculiar about proper names. They occupy a particular space: on the frontiers between language and the world, between word and thing, between diesis and signification. The definition of what counts as a proper name remains a question.

It might be assumed that proper names are easily identifiable: they include, for example, ''Paris'' and ''Marcel'', and not ''I'' or ''red''. However, certain philosophers have also declared that these last two examples are kinds of proper names. The delimitation of fiction is equally problematic. Indeed, fiction's use of proper names helps us to see why 'reality' and 'fiction' cannot simply be opposed to one another. Works of fiction use both real proper names ('Venice') and invented ones ('Balbec'); and they also borrow proper names from other works of fiction, mythology, etc.

Should we say that the name ''Venice'' in a work of fiction successfully refers to the town on the Adriatic? Does the name ''Balbec'' refer to nothing, since the referent of this name cannot be found in the 'real world'? The distinction between different categories of proper names (real, invented, borrowed, etc.) is another problem in itself. Analytic philosophy, which crucially relies on theories of proper names, has traditionally considered the problems presented by fiction to be marginal.

Frege's concentration on the semantic analysis of propositions has had vital consequences for logical philosophy's special interest in proper names. What counts as a proper name? Here is Frege's definition: 'any designation figuring as a proper name ...has as its reference a definite object (this word taken in the widest range), but not a concept or relation (Frege 1986: 206).

''A designation'' can also consist of several words or other signs. Therefore, ''natural'' names are substitutable by definite descriptions ''such that the referent of the name is the object uniquely satisfying the description''. Frege thinks that such descriptions can themselves be called proper names. So what does a proper name mean? According to Frege, the only meaning afforded by a name is its 'sense', and 'the sense of a proper name is understood by everybody who is sufficiently familiar with the language or totality of designations to which it belongs; but this serves to illuminate only a single aspect of the thing meant, supposing it to have one''. In a footnote, he remarks that ''so long as the thing meant remains the same, variations of sense may be tolerated''. Frege argues that the ideas or images associated with a name will differ from person to person: 'the same sense is not always connected, even in the same man, with the same idea. Therefore, sense is unique, or singular; we can speak of the senses. A particular proper name thus always has the same referent, regardless of the different ''images'' of that referent in circulation (Frege 1986: 208).

Proper names can be dealt with in a number of ways in translations. First, a proper name can be transported wholesale from the target text (allowance being made for possible transliteration or transcription depending on the languages concerned). Second, it can be partly transported from the source language and partly translated.

Thirdly, it can be replaced with more or less different names in the target language. Finally, it can be dispensed with altogether. In spite of the translation rule, there are no rules for the translation of proper names (Heikki Srkk:

It is also important to mention perception of such age group of readers as children. Psychologists are assured that folk tales play the major role in progress of children's mentality. Through a folk tale the child understands such concepts, as kind and evil, light and dark, courage and femininity.

Therefore while translating folk tales it is important to be guided by children's perception of this literature, namely, to transfer the text, and especially proper names which the child remembers first of all so that the child has certain associations with this or that hero.

Many names of heroes of folk tales are either "speaking" name, the sense of which the child should catch easily while reading, or are based on onomatopoeia, that also allows the child to associate easier heroes with any action, event or even a sign of an animal. Therefore the translator should pass a folk tale so that the child did not have any questions or misunderstandings of the text ( .. :

1.2 The Theory of Onomastics

The science that studies names is called onomastics (Greek onomastikos from onoma 'name'). It is usually divided into the study of personal names (anthroponomastics from Greek anthropos 'human being')and place names (toponomastics from Greek topos 'place'). Crystal considered division of onomastics into toponomastics and anthroponomastics an arbitrary one, as places can be named after people (e.g. Alberta in Canada is named after the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Louise Caroline Alberta) and vice versa (e.g. Israel is also used as a first name) (Crystal 1997: 115).

Onomastics as the linguistic science is engaged in studying the essence of proper names, their functional specific character, occurrence, progress, and their communication with all levels, or circles, language, theoretical and practical significance.

Robinson concludes a plea for more attention to `Anglo-Saxon onomastics' thus: Far too more attention was accorded to onomastics by the Anglo-Saxons for the poetic results to be limited to an occasional adventitious subtlety or a random epithet. But in approaching all these questions, it seems above all important that we bear in mind the essential difference between the literary onomastics of the Anglo-Saxons and that of our own writers today. Their precedents then were the sacral etymologies of the Bible, the commentaries of the Fathers, the exuberant interpretations of Isidore and the Irish writings, all of which encouraged a learned searching out of etymological significance in names received from tradition. Our own precedents, by contrast, are the explicit, moralizing names of late medieval drama and the comic sobriquets of Congreve or Dickens. On the whole, their tradition was subtle, learned, and artful, while ours tends to be spontaneous and obvious (Robinson 1993: 217-218).

Just like objects, artifacts and domestic animals, it is difficult for individual beings to exist without some kind of identifying label such as a name. Although names are carefully considered before being chosen for the name-bearer, a proper content or effect of the name on the name-bearer is not as significant later.

A note should be taken to the onomastics in the art texts. The term poetic onomastics is understood as full set of proper names in an art, literary work in view of principles of their creation, style, functioning in the text, perception by the reader, as well as outlooks and aesthetic installations of the author. Language and poetic onomastics have a number of distinctive sides.

During the analysis of proper names in a work of art five basic signs, marking a specific character of poetic onomastics have been allocated. In a basis of first sign the criterion of primacy/secondariness lays. The second sign distinguishing poetic onomastics from language is based on criterion of subjectivity/objectivity.

Poetic onomastics possesses objective character, representing a product of long times continuing process of not one century, distinctive feature of which is strict historical determinacy. Subjectivity of poetic onomastics is shown by the fact that it is a choice of the author of a work of art or its creation.

Functional distinctions are put in the basis of the third distinctive sign of onomastical units in system of language and the art text: the spectrum of the functions.

The fourth sign marking a specific character of poetic onomastics consists that alongside with process of transformation of language onomastical units in poetic it is possible as well return process - return poetic onomastical units in language.

Fifth sign is set by the structure of the art text causing existence within the limits of work of verbal work of special type proper names - titles of works, their parts, chapters, sections.

Considering questions of poetic onomastics, it is necessary to mention a problem of so-called "speaking" ("meaning", "etymological", "semantic") names which are being semantically transparent and carrying out in text first of all characteristic function. Having caught implied sense of a "speaking" name, the reader enriches the perception of an image, deciphers secret signs on the subjective author's attitude to the hero. Alongside with names in which the lexical basis of word meaning lays, there are names with unusual sound shape, and the author quite often pays them special attention at creation of an artistic image of characters.

Many scientists adhere to that point of view that proper names are capable to express national or speaking language specificity, therefore while translating it is necessary to aspire to conservation of sounding of the name close to language of the original.

However "speaking" names should be a subject of translation in the true sense words since a transcription / a transliteration it is impossible to pass internal form of proper names: such name "will break off" and will not play certain role desired by the author.

1.3 Proper Name as a Specific Unit of Language

Proper names, forming in language an extensive layer of lexicon, attract the attention of scientists for a long time. Originality of proper names has allowed allocating their studying in a separate science - onomastics. In onomastics a linguistic component dominates because each name is the word developing under laws of language as well as because names carry the information which "is extracted" by means of linguistic means.

Many scientists made linguistic analysis of proper names, objective of which was revealing various associations and the images connected with sounding of a name: physical appearance, personal qualities, a social status of characters etc. Some researchers in connection with onomastics had mentioned problems of the intercultural communications: any use of proper names of another language in speech is the certificate of both interlingual and intercultural communications, and its result is the interoperability of two languages and speech systems, two cultural-psychological traditions.

At a choice of names for the characters the writer pays attention to the phonemic and morphemic structure which makes him capable to pass additional emotionally- expressive shades. Thus the author is guided on actual list of names, the formula standard in given culture by means of which it is possible to pass the information about nationality, age, and social and so forth position of the hero. In proper names it is necessary to differentiate direct (primary) and indirect (secondary) nominative functions. In direct nominative function of proper names the indication on that subject matter to which it is appropriated in the individual order serve to.

Indirect nominative function of proper names is characterized by carry of the name on other subject matter; in this connection it receives capacity to attribute any properties to a number of objects.

Proper names have formal and substantial sides. It is sometimes complex to understand what to consider as content of proper names. First, all proper names possess value of concreteness, i.e. a part of their content is the message on existence of a certain subject matter. Secondly, majority of proper names designates any class of subject matters among which one subject matter is allocated especially. In system of language from the logical point of view the individualizing nomination is possible only among the subject matters already somehow classified on the basis of generalization.

Thirdly, proper names, designating individual subject matter, fix in the value a certain agreement, an arrangement to call this subject matter definitely. Fourthly, proper names bear in themselves any information on this subject matter, on its properties. This information maybe rich or poor, and it happens equally as it is known in different areas of dialogue.

If this information is extended in scales of all language collective it means, that the information on the given subject matter form a part of language value of a proper name. Concepts and the knowledge connected by different people with same reviewer can differ.

Participants of the certain area of dialogue put in the speech background knowledge of specific subject matter and if this area of dialogue extends on all language collective of their background knowledge there is an individualizing component of value of proper names in language as to system.

Chapter 2. Proper names in folk tales

2.1 The World of Folk Tales

A folk tale is a type of traditional story that tries to explain or understand the world. Such stories were orally passed down through the generations and they feature morals or lessons. The stories usually take place long ago in a faraway place and are woven around talking animals, royalty, peasants, or mythical creatures. In a folk tale, goodness is always rewarded. Heroes and heroines live happily ever after while villains are suitably punished. Throughout the generations, the story may change but its core remains the same. Folk tales usually have no identified author, but they mirror the values and culture of the society from which they originated.

The acquaintance to art creations which brings us from the limits of habitual children's world begins with folk tale. Folk tale is the most popular genre, but it appears one of the most mysterious in history of national work. How to pin-point, what is a folk tale, when it has arisen, how it has developed and extended, how it corresponds with other genres, oral and written mesh in it, what validity is reflected in it, what ideals it expresses? It is not easy to answer to all these questions. And many scientists-researchers studied an extensive material before trying to answer these questions.

What is the folk tale? Sometimes all types of folklore prose are called a folk tale; more precise definition is based on its characteristic sign - functionality: the anonymous author of a folk tale meaningfully created poetic fiction and listeners perceived it. But even this sign is not enough. The folk tale assumes the certain vision of the world, the certain types of plots, the characters, the certain precise structure, the special stylistic form of a narration that is quite developed poetics. When was formed this genre? Its separate elements go back to the most ancient times; however it has started to be formed later and has reached blossoming during an epoch of feudalism. Slow progress of a folk tale genre has imposed the print on a content of folk tales - it is multilayered. Going back to mythological concepts, the folk tale is not necessarily born directly from myths, it can arise from the brief story about the extraordinary incident that had happened to any member of a community and which is painted by its imagination. The reality intertwines with a fantasy, and this interlacing -is the most characteristic feature of a folk tale.

The folk tale fantasy is not simple transposition of popular beliefs, it was created also by imagination of anonymous creators of the folk tales passed them orally from generation to generation and accordingly changed them.

In folk tales there is a precise concept of good and evil, colliding among them. Usually the folk tale comes to an end with a victory of the good, to be exact, a celebration of validity: the good is awarded, the evil is punished. The strict sequence of events creates special fantastic atmosphere. Folk tales are switched off from the actual time.

The formula with which they begin testifies to it: "Once upon a time". This formula sometimes is added to the final formula: They live till now if have not died, which emphasizes timeless character of a folk tale and absence of aspiration to external reliability.

Inauthenticity of a narration is emphasized by uncertainty of a scene of the action. Listeners have got used, that the wood in a folk tale should be dark, a palace crystal, princess fine. These repeating definitions have replaced vast descriptions of appearance of characters and surrounding nature, they were supplemented with imagination of listeners. The folk tale world is depicted neatly, laconically, semitones are not present, paints are not much, they are contrast, bright, and in general light color prevails. At first sight the image seems plane, but there is a depth in it. It is reached due to symbolic. Separate figures, subject matters, numbers except for direct value have also symbolical: a dragon is not only a monster, but also an embodiment of the hostile elements, a ring - a symbol of fidelity, flowers - youths, the virtues, the certain numbers have magic properties.

The list of literature devoted to folk tale studies is truly extensive. The traditional folk tale has been an object of folkloristic, structuralist, psychoanalytical, feminist, historicist and literary approaches. Folk tales present a specific possible world, which is endowed with distinct spatial and temporal characteristics. In a certain sense the creation of possible world is an endeavor to escape from reality. Psychology views a flight from reality as one of typical features of childishness. Fabulous otherworlds are not the privilege of the folk tale genre. Max Lthi centers on the ways the folk tale otherworld is different from similar worlds in other genres of the fantastic. In the first place, the scholar focuses on the lack of a sense of the numinous, of the fear of the uncanny and all sense of the extraordinary.

Characterizing the typical folk tale hero, Lthi comments: He lacks all sense of the extraordinary. To him, everything belongs to the same dimension. The question of the hidden laws by which enchantment comes about is never raised. The marvelous events of the folk tale require no more explanation than do the events of daily life.

An outstanding feature of the folk tale possible world is its remoteness in time. Remoteness of time and space seems to lie in the very essence of the folk tale as genre and this feature is manifest in the ways different languages indicate a folk tale. An essential dimension of the folk tale possible world is that it is often inhabited with supernatural personnel.

The relations of the tale heroes with these otherworldly figures are unique: Everyday characters and otherworld characters are thus distinguished in the folk tale, as in the legend; but in the folk tale these actors stand side by side and freely interact with one another. Everyday folk tale characters do not feel that an encounter with an otherworld being is an encounter with alien dimension. It is in this sense that we may speak of the one-dimensionality of the folk tale.

The traditionally folk tale is an oral narrative. Orality is to folk narratives, what writing is to literature. The difference between oral and written types of narrative has always been realized as fundamental. James Riordan comments on the nature of this dissimilarity: An English recording of the tales told by storytellers of the past provides only a pale shadow of the original narration. The voices, with their many modulations, fall silent on the printed page; the audience is absent. Only the pattern of narrative and procession of motifs remain. This is especially true of translations.

The folk tale text is anonymous, i.e. the notion of authorship is not applicable to it. The anonymity of the folk tale is in the first place conditioned by the chronology and genesis of the genre. The printing of folk tales with the tellers' names attached to them seem to be stealing the folk tale's anonymity. Anonymity of the traditional folk tale is uniquely expressed on the level of the tellers' language, an aspect considered by Pjotr Bogatyrev and Roman Jacobson.

Thus the traditional folk tale can be defined as a special type of text endowed with a number of distinct structural, poetic and rhetorical characteristics which distinguish it from other kinds of folk narratives.

2.2 The Role of Proper Names in Folklore

The folklore represents a part of history. It is the original encyclopedia of a national life that fulfils the functions storage and the information transfer connected with traditions and culture of the certain nation. Therefore the research of the system of antroponyms, meeting in folk tales, allows drawing the conclusions concerning not only contents and art features of folklore texts, but also the socio-historical experience of people embodied in them. The folk tale is the most ancient genre of oral national work, the classical sample of folklore traditions. About an indispensability of its research wrote such researchers as V.J.Propp, V.P.Anikin, N.I.Kravtsov, S.G.Lazutin, E.M.Meletinsky, etc. Really, in accomplished, harmonious, capacious writing, the folk tale has organically apprehended all that is true, that has been developed by traditional folklore: spiritual experience of people, ideals and hopes, concepts about the world and the person, good and harm, the truth and validity.

But the folk tale is not only the sample of spiritually-moral perfection, it leaves its roots in national poetry in which basic concepts of people about good and a evil, the truth and a lie wisdom and nonsense are laid.

It is national poetic traditions of a folk tale that is possible to track on material case (semantic, speaking proper names) on semantics of which it is possible to define national mentality of people which has created these folk tales (Igorevna:

In English fantastic folklore the special seat is devoted to the folk tales deriding nonsense. The morals of such folk tales is All misfortunes in human life occur from nonsense under which, from the point of view of the British mentality, impracticality to the certain vital conditions is meant.

Folk tales take a special seat in system of folklore genres; possess the certain figurative-poetic structure in which the leading role belongs to the proper names, capable to assess any situation and to give the figurative characteristic to any character. Besides proper names enrich contextual semantics of a folk tale, causing a number of the associative communications concerning mentality of the nation.

From ancient times, from the moment of occurrence of language and progress of speech, people designated subject matters with certain words. Then there was a division into words-nominees and own names which named people, habitats, animals to distinguish them from each other. People designated these differences very brightly.

The person hunted, engaged in crafts, was at war, grew bread, children, travelled, submitted the new countries and people. About all this there were legends and folk tales, epics and songs, and national memory stored names of the most differed heroes, the events of which have occurred at memorable seats.

Subsequently scientists have created the whole science onomastics, objectives and problems of which became studying personal names, toponyms, used in oral national work and in texts of works of art of authors for expression of the certain ideas.

Studying proper names, the modern person learns secrets of distant times for semantics of a greater part of toponyms goes back to sources of history of mankind, and the sense of not clear names becomes clear. Only those people will have the future which carefully stores and passes from generation to generation the history, and does not trample in dirt.

In consciousness of people the concept of the personal name is an original means of finding by the person of "autonomy", a way of allocation person from other people. In order to provide the image of heroes predominance typical above individual, in a plenty of texts they have been left anonymous. Therefore common nouns are used more often specifying sex, age, a social status of characters.

Due to it each of hero's starts to be perceived as an embodiment of features, characteristic of people for the certain category.

proper name folk tale

2.3 Proper Names in Folk Tales

The proper name plays a major part in our life and has a very much fundamental importance in folk tales. Fantastic proper names bear the certain semantic load. In folk tales such differentiation is appreciable especially well; therefore studying proper names becomes especially fascinating. In a magic folk tale a proper name and functions of the hero can be interconnected.

In spite of the fact that proper names were in detail considered by A.V.Superanskoj in work The General theory of a proper name, and folk tales were investigated by V.J.Propp in the monograph Historical roots of a magic folk tale, today there are no works connecting these two concepts. A.V.Superanskaja developed the general theory of a proper name regardless to folk tales. V.J.Propp has defined the formula of a folk tale; he has allocated the general components for all folk tales.

Proper names are created artificially. Such proper names are used in works of art; the objects created by work of the artist. Their application is occasional. These proper names are especially applied in folk tales as fantastic heroes are unusual on physical appearance, behavior, origin, and usual or common proper names cannot reflect it fully. Therefore authors should invent the new names which are fitting well characters. In an actual life similar names do not get accustomed because of the exotic nature and incomprehensibility.

We can find all types of proper names in folk tales:

1. forms Usual "natural" names which are transferred by the author to a literary work;

2. Book names, study of which begins only in poetic onomastics. They can be divided into two inadequate groups depending on functional features which are reflected in their external and internal:

1. Proper names which have been "cut out" by authors on existing models. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish them from real ones. These proper names keep the basic function defining them language essence and originality.

2. Those book names which combine characteristics of own and nominal names. In speech they carry out function of both a naming sign, and meaning, and characterize subject matter usually from an ironical or satirical side.

In folk tales such division can be tracked neatly, the unusual thought up names are appreciable at once. The author intentionally uses usual names for the heroes who are not possessing magic capacities and are not carrying out special functions. Names of these characters approach them to reality, make them not so surprising. The names created for certain heroes, characterize them from various sides. In magic folk tale proper names steal up depending on actions of the hero, from its social status, an origin, a role in the given specific folk tale.

We consider that a proper name and functions of the hero in a folk tale can be interconnected.

But all over again we shall note the interesting fact. In folk tales except for names of direct heroes there are also names of non heroes, that is characters who lived and acted during another time. It is rather atypical device for folk tales as the narration should not be long both overloaded with additional names and the facts. But in this case the background of developed events is given, the general context, the environment is created. Also we can put forward one more assumption of the reason for occurrence in a folk tale of names of non heroes. As it is known, in an antiquity the name has consisted of the whole formula including a personal name, a patrimonial name and sometimes an additional nickname. Due to such design we learn more information about the person. We obtain data about his family, his environment, we can sometimes draw conclusions on his residence and his position occupied in a society.

In a folk tale the author also emphasizes, that heroes originate from a royal dynasty (King Bode, King Clode), they have relatives (brothers Cloon, Garf and Clode, Thag, Gallow and Jorn). Consequently, names of non heroes are included in the narration not accidentally. The characters named by these names, are connected with occurring events besides they can bring additional clarity to the action, make it more clearly. Scientists have allocated general and individual names. The individual name can be applied fairly only to one person, and the general name concerns to any thing or any object from direct similar ones.

At a choice of names for the characters the writer pays attention to the phonemic and morphemic structures which are capable to pass additional emotionally- expressive shades. Thus the author is guided on actual list of names, the formula standard in given culture by means of which it is possible to pass the information about nationality, age, social and so forth position of the hero.

2.4 The Importance of Naming in Folk Tales

In reading folk tales we tend to identify characters basically by the names given to them. It is on this basic premise that some character analysis methods tend to define characters by taking recourse to their names and sometimes identifying them in metaphorical terms or as speaking names. Names play a very central and important role in any reading exercise and so the names given to characters are of importance to us. These are linguistic or semiotic signs that play a very crucial role in the overall linguistic structure of a literary text or its signification. Decoding of the names therefore becomes an important critical engagement in as far as it helps the reader in his deciphering of the text in which the names are.

There is an interest among critics in the names of characters that tend to go beyond the narrow limits and confines of seeing them as mere tags that distinguish one folk tale character from another into the broader figurative import and implication of those names. Character's names can be used as expressions of experience, ethos, teleology, values, ideology, culture and attitudes of varying shades. It is not surprising that theorists pay so much attention to naming in folk tales since proper names are the nodal points through which actions and descriptions are interconnected.

Characters' names can be used artistically to achieve a number of goals like encoding a central trait in a particular character's signification, embracing crucial thematic motifs, ideological toning as well as even showing the particular writer's point of view. Characters' names, besides individualizing the characters, have important semantic, pragmatic, allusive and symbolic import. One of the most basic qualities about a name is the relationship with a particular culture; this is what can be termed as the social contextuality of naming. The choice of names reveals the ethnic society which inhabits the literary works' recognized setting. Most cultures attach a lot of significance to names. A creative writer may use a name that situates a particular folk tale character within a specific and identifiable cultural setting. This is a fact that constitutes an important structural element in achieving fictional verisimilitude of the work. In certain cases, characters are given names that reflect on certain physical features in them, reflect particular nuances or tell us something about the birth.

In some cases, a character's name may serve as an important plot device. This is an issue that was raised by Aristotle in Poetics by commanding that in comedy the writer constructs the plot on lines of probability, and then inserts characteristic names while, writers of tragedies keep to real (historical) names.

Another important aspect of names is related to the concept of place or setting. Setting refers to the spatio-temporal circumstances in which the events of a narrative occur. One can approach names of literary characters as pointers to the social, economic and political setting in which they find themselves. In this particular case the name becomes a marker of particular quality associated with a fictional character.

One can actually argue that the failure to stick to normal naming system may be questioning the very basic use of the power of naming. It is instructive to note that the new mode of naming in folktales, symbolized by the affixing mtu, come after the society has undergone a transformation. This is therefore an element of what can be seen as post colonial re-writing of history. Seen from this point of view names therefore become a sote of empowering self-definition, asserting one's identity by abnegating imposed descriptions.

All narratives or stories, whether literary or otherwise, are told from a perspective of a particular person. The issue of point of view in literature has been discussed expansively by Russian Boris Uspensky in his A poetics of composition.

There is a tendency to polarize characters into good and bad and give them characteristic names. This method is a useful symbolic device and has an important thematic role. It may however be worth noting that when a writer describes and names a character in a given way, the fixed nature of the may end up endangering the freedom to change the individual character as already noted in the foregone. A character may be more than the name encapsulates.

Names play a big role in the general framework of the whole story. The use of meaningful names appears to be teleological, thematically and, sometimes even, ideologically, significant serving a foregrounding or defamiliarizing role. They do allow the writer to weave and create a more powerful symbolic strategy. The method as well the process of naming or coming to recognize a name is intimately and intricately associated with not only the production of the individual narratives but also with the subsequent process of reading the resultant narrative.

Names of folk tale characters in majority of folk tales are important nodal points where aesthetics and teleology come to converge.

Folk tales often manifest general human behavior. For this reason a folk tale character does not always have to be given a proper name. Sometimes, these unnamed characters may also be more precisely denoted with an attribute such as a poor boy, an old man and an old woman having a daughter, a wise little boy. Naturally, all this lies outside the scope of name giving traditions in English folk tales. Most characters, however, like in other nations' folk tales, carry proper names in English folk tales. The names of characters in English folk tales are of various types. Some of these names are genuine personal names. An even greater part of the names of characters playing a role in the folk tales do not exist as genuine personal names. All these names, fall into such classes as: names derived from abstract nouns, names referring to the parts of body, names of animals and birds, names of plants, names of objects and instructions, nicknames of mental and moral or physical characteristics.

The study of names is also relevant with regard to the construction of the character, as means of characterization. Firstly, the nature and the status of the character directly affects the formation of the name, but secondly, examining other aspects of the name, for instance, the semantic content and the name form, may also be considered to contribute information of the character.

Characters and genre are related factors, so as to the characters - at least partly - in fantasy genre are commonly of imaginary status, whereas realistic genres are usually concerned with more life-like or realistic persons. Still the distinction is not entirely straightforward as characters, and thus also names, overlap between genres. Regarding the name, the tendency is, however, clear: a fantasy character is usually labeled with an invented or imaginary name form whereas conventional names usually, although not always, play major roles when selecting names for realistic persons.

Cratylus proposes the following paradox: no particularity can be posited prior to the attribution of proper names which identify particular referents. But how do we establish that there is a referent to name unless it already has a name?

The name should be a 'copy' of the unique essence of its bearer. But Socrates points out that the validity of such analyses as he has provided of the propriety of existing names is questionable. If the 'posterior names are able to effect (their propriety) through the prior', 'after what manner will the first names, which no others precede, make, as much as they possibly can, the things existing clear to us, if they are about to be names?

Cratylus has argued that the name-giver first knew the things he was to name, but Socrates asks: from what names did he either learn or find out the things, if the first names were not yet laid down? But, on the other hand it is impossible to learn and find out about things by any other way, than by learning or finding out ourselves the quality of names?

Whereas personal names generally belong to an existing stock of names from which they are then selected, the names of folk tale characters are not automatically chosen from such a pre-existing name dictionary. The view is that almost all fictive names to different degree are subdued to the literary context in order to serve certain narrative purposes. Proper names in folk tales have more diverse functions than general names have.

Artistic creativity and linguistic innovation characterize the name of folk tale characters. Therefore the procedure of naming characters after other characters is commonly not used; new characters need new names.

2.5 Linguistic Peculiarities of Proper Names in Folk Tales

It is widely believed and there are various theories trying to assure that a name was not only a word by which a person was known, it was more than a means of identification. Names were ascribed a unique wisdom and were held to have a definite influence on the appearance, character and even the life of the child. This belief is not unknown to our days: witness numerous cases of name changing and the existence of special laws regulating and realizing this process.

Name-giving traditions reveal a series of names thought to influence the longevity of the name-bearer. In this case, from a unique ritual, name-giving grew into a verbal challenge to death. The creation of such names was well-motivated in times when the rate of childhood morality was extremely high.

An analogous role was attributed to the tradition of leaving the child nameless. In the old times the babies of both sexes were left nameless in hope that a child bearing this name would not be mentioned in Archangel Gabriel's book and would live a long life.

The tradition to name the child in such an uncomfortable way fits perfectly in the set of beliefs suggesting children should not die. And, as it commonly happens, the wish is transformed into reality on condition it is placed in a past and remote possible world.

The tradition of leaving the child nameless is noticeable in the folk tales also. We meet a great number of folk tales where the heroes are nameless. They are greatly distinguished according to gender; age (the old, the girl, the young), according to social state and occupation (that King, the King's son/daughter, that priest, the peasant's boy, the rich, the poor, the merchant) and according to corresponding features (the bold, the invalid, the lame, the heartless, etc.). The mentioned names that replace the heroes' names can also be found in various titles of folk tales.

Based on the belief that the folk tale is an architext, the characters of folk tales can also be described as archetypes or ancient beings which are basis of human imagination. That is why the description of characters in folk tales is strictly general and not personal.

The folk tale hero either positive or negative has no personal portrait. Philologists assure that in folk tales the description of characters external appearance and of internal characteristics are given either by very simple lines or are absent at all. It is here that folk tale hero differs from that of myth's hero: myth's hero has name, sufficient description, while the hero of folk tale is devoid of even the only personal characteristics that is name.

If we compare the peculiarities of the proper names in the English and the Armenian folk tales we find out that in Armenian also there are a great number of folk tales where the characters are nameless. Thus we can conclude that this phenomenon is peculiar to the folk tale genre. First of all such traces are found not only in Armenian folk tales but also in the real life.

In Armenian the child was called Unanun meaning Nameless. One of the main reasons for this is the wish to give the child longevity. Calling a child Unanun (Nameless) should not be equated to leaving it unnamed or unchristened, which was as great a sin in Armenian as in the rest of the Christian world.

According to the observations, the proper names in the Armenian folk tales depending on their origin are divided into four groups.

1. Proper names originated from totemic notions about plants, animals and organic combinations, as well as depending on the origin-tribal relations (Arevat, Aghunik, Margarit, Sadaf, Koryun, Jeyran, Aslan).

2. Proper names based on the social status (Ranchpar-(meaning farmer, Torchi-fisherman, Derdzak-tailor, Shakhzade-The son of king).


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