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Peculiarities of orientating names and their development in Modern English

As can be seen from the previous chapters orientating names form a special class of names which consists of proper, common nouns and prepositional phrases.

Orientating names of Modem English have several peculiarities.

1. There is a certain overlap between various groups of orientating names, which reflects the overlap and ties between various fields of human activity.

Names of islands and continents, for example, may belong to both address and geographical names. On the one hand, they are used to denote address and on the other hand, they denote points which serve for orientation during navigation. Address names in their turn can be treated as a subgroup of geographical names.

There is a marked overlap between the subgroups of social orientating names. For example, from the point of view of a businessman names of drugs can be treated as trade-marks in the sphere of business and names of TV and radio companies may belong to names of companies in the sphere of business too. Orientating prepositional phrases denoting dally activities may be treated together with the corresponding social activities:



university education

to be in hospital medicine

to go to church religion

town address/ geographical


2. A marked tendency of Modern English is the acquisition of an orientating function (form) by a greater number of proper and common nouns as well as prepositional phrases.

Among the proper names which have acquired an orientating form (i.e. lost the definite article) we can mention the names of countries which had the definite article as an exception (Ukraine, Congo, Lebanon, Crimea etc.). An orientating function has also been acquired by some universal temporal names,

cf. the Greenwich Mean Time (1986, Dictionary of Britain), Greenwich Mean Time (1994, 'London Calling'). A growing number of common nouns and prepositional phrases are developing an orientating function. Among them are:

- the word combination 'in (the) first (second) year,

e.g. In first year Mel was pretty gawky, but in third year he underwent a change (New Idea, 1991);

- the word combination 'on (the) one hand',

e.g. On one hand, Oslo, Stockholm will now move with circumspection in preparing for negotiations on EC membership (Guardian, 1992).

Some common nouns acquire orientating function only in certain meanings, a tendency well demonstrated by the noun 'part'.

No article is used with the noun 'part' to denote a fixed part of the whole or to express an objective opinion,

e.g. Obviously speaking and writing, and their counterparts listening and reading are both part of reality (M.Halliday). The indefinite article with the noun 'part' renders personal or subjective view:

e.g. Government economists didn't even consider them a part of domestic industry (Business Week, 1993).

Sometimes authors can impart an orientating function to the nouns which are normally used with the definite article,

e.g. They stfiggered into John Thonton's camp at the mouth of White River (J.London).

The number of orientating names in Modem English is likely to increase, due to globalization.

Date: 2015-02-03; view: 1670

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