Title Identity of Name(s) As a Crucial Problem in Name Studies, or: Towards the Recognition of Onymic Identity As a Principal Onomastic Concept

  • Silvio Brendler Linguence


In general, identity plays an increasingly important role in name studies. People consider their personal name(s) to be part of their identity, after all. And no less importantly from the onomastic perspective, cultural, social, ethnic or national identity is at least to some extent related to names. So name students utilize names as markers of cultural, social, ethnic or national identity. On the other hand, name studies have in particular neglected to deal explicitly with identity of name(s). As a problem it has, however, been implicitly present from the very beginning of modern name studies. So this paper introduces identity of name(s) as a crucial problem of name studies that is worth, and indeed in need of, being explicitly recognized as a principal onomastic concept. Nomematics, an identity-theoretical framework based upon a dynamic model of language, is applied to achieve this purpose. It is shown that only the various manifestations of one and the same name are identical, with the nomeme serving as an identification schema. Onymic entities (the various manifestations of names) are identical if and only if they match the identification schema (criterion of identity).