Morphology - proper nouns

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Morphology - proper nouns

Proper nouns.

The general definition of a proper noun is that it belongs to a grammatically distinct class of nouns which characteristically function as the head of noun phrases serving as proper names. A prototypical proper name is the institutionalized name of some specific person, place, organization, etc. – institutionalized by some formal act of naming and/or registration. It is necessary to distinguish between proper nouns and proper names for two reasons:

a) Although a proper name may have the form of a proper noun, as in the case of John or London, it need not have. Thus The Open University is a proper name but not a proper noun: what distinguishes it from, say, the older university is precisely that it is the official name of a particular institution

b) Proper nouns do not always function as the head of noun phrases serving as a proper names. Thus in They weren’t talking about the same Jones the proper noun Jones is head of the noun phrase the same Jones but this is clearly not a proper name. Similarity in He likes to think of himself as another Einstein, The Smiths are coming round tonight, etc.

At the language-particular level, the property distinguishing central proper nouns from common nouns in English is that they can form a definite singular count noun phrase on their own, without a determiner. In John was falling, for example, John has the same kind of interpretation as an noun phrase of the form the + common noun. Central proper nouns do not enter into construction with the unless it carries nuclear stress (Are you referring to “the Attlee?) or is accompanied by another dependant (He’s not the Jon I meant). More peripheral to the proper noun class are examples such as Rhine, Hague, Himalayas, father. Names of rivers and mountain ranges do take the, as in the Rhine, the Himalayas: the heads here differ from common nouns in that the definite article is more or less obligatory and non-contrastive: any other use (as perhaps in This river is hardly another Rhine) will be very clearly derivative from their use as the head of a proper name. Kinship terms like father resemble central proper nouns in being able to stand alone as a definite singular count noun phrase (Father is in the garden) but differ in combining freely with the (he father was much smaller than the son): their somewhat marginal status reflects the fact that they do not serve as proper names in the sense given above.

Proper nouns with “the”

Proper nouns are the names of persons (John, Mary, Mr. Jones), of places (Africa, London, Brazil), of streets (Oxford Street, Fifth Avenue) and other items that have their own names such as days (Monday), months (April, June), languages (Arabic, French, Greek, Spanish). A proper noun begins with a capital letter.

Personal names:
A person’s own name already defines that person; we do not use the. Before a name, we can have social, professional, military and religious status words; we still do not use the:
 Mary, Peter, Susan Black, Harold Clark, Mrs. Mills, Mr. Stone, Miss Carter, Lord Devon, Professor Barnes, Nurse Kelly, Constable Parry, Captain Coles, Corporal Davis, Father Denis, Sister Angela, Brother Thomas, Bishop Lang. – but the Reverend John White for a clergyman.
We refer to a whole family in the plural with the: the Clarks, the Smiths and sometimes to a specific person who has a rather common name: There are hundreds of Reagans – the Reagan I refer to was a president.

Personal titles without a person’s name:
These usually have a prepositional phrase in item. The comes before the title even when the phrase is absent; it is always implied.

A title is for one person only at any time; the holder of the title is unique, in this way:
 The Queen, The Prime Minister, the Minister for the Environment, the Dean, the Duke of Parma, the Count of Monte Cristo, the Sheikh of Oman, the Bishop of London, the Colonel of the Regiment – Notice that God is One without definition and the.

Unique items:
Unique items such as famous buildings and works of art are proper nouns; the precedes the name:
 The Blue Mosque, the Eiffel Tower, the Kremlin, the Louvre, the Parthenon, the Mona Lisa, the Unfinished Symphony, the Bible, the Koran, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Vatican

Planets and stars:
The planets in the/our solar system have person’s names, and few individual stars also have their own names ; we do not use the:
 Mars, Venus, Neptune, Mercury, Sirius, Polaris
Notice also these common nouns:
 The sun, the moon, the earth, the pole star, the evening star, the dog star
These stars can also be proper nouns:
 The Pole Star
Constellations usually take the:
 The Great Bear, the Milky Way, the Scorpion, the Southern Cross
Some have personal names:
 Orion, Cassiopeia, Pegasus, Leo

Geographical names:
Each lake, mountain or island has its own proper name, without the:
 Lake Erie, Lake Como, Lake Placid, Mount Everest, Fujiyama, Trinidad, Popocatepetl, Majorca, Long Island, Capri, Crete.
 But the Isle of Man/Capri/Skye, the Mount of Olives
Groups of lakes, chains of mountains and groups of islands all take the:
 The Great Lakes, the Andes, the Alps, the Ural Mountains, the Pyrenees, the Atlas Mountains, the British Isles, the Azores, the West Indies, the Dodecanese, the Shetland Islands

Continents, countries, cities, towns:
Geographical names for these do not take the:
 Continents: Africa, Asia, North/South America, Europe
 Countries: Argentina, Brazil, China, England, Egypt, France, India
 Cities/towns: Athens, Caracas, Moscow, Paris, Naples, New York
 Exceptions are: the Hague, the Netherlands; we also have the Argentine/Argentina, the Antarctic/Antarctica
The precedes the names of some regions:
 The Far East, the Middle East, the Arctic, the Crimea, the Levant, the Punjab, the Sudan, the Ruhr, the Saar
and all deserts:
 The Gobi Desert, the Kalahari Desert, the Sahara Desert
notice also:
 The north, the east, the south, the west
As region within a larger geographical area: north, south are nouns, here: The south is warmer than the north.
Generally, there is of + name in political titles of countries; so they all take the before the words that name the form or regime of the country or state:
 The Kingdom of Denmark/Norway/Sweden/Jordan/the Netherlands, the Republic of France/Greece/Italy/Mexico/Algeria, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Union of Socialist Soviet Republic, the People’s Republic of China, the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, the Principality of Monaco

Oceans, rivers, seas:
The precedes the names of all waters except lakes. Some of the names consist of adjective + noun and some of them have an of phrase.
 The Atlantic, the Pacific, the Arctic, the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the Sea of Azor, the Sea of Japan, the Thames, the Danube
Channels, straits, canals, bays, gulfs generally take the:
 The English Channel, the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal, the Straits of Dover, the Straits of Gibraltar
The name of a bay or a gulf can include an of phrase, and the is than obligatory:
 The Bay of Bengal, the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf of Finland
otherwise we use the only before national adjective + Gulf:
 The Arabian Gulf, the Persian Gulf but Baffin Bay, Botany Bay, Goose Bay, Thunder Bay
and with personal possessive noun:
 Amundsen´s Bay, Hudson’s Bay

Languages:
The name of a language is a proper noun and singular; in English we do not use the:
 English is spoken in many parts of the world. Portuguese is the language of Portugal and Brazil.
We can, of course, say: the English language, the Spanish language in which Spanish and English are adjectives. Also:
 The English that I learnt at school, the English of North Americans – with a following definition

A Public places:
Cinemas, hospitals, hotels, libraries, museums, restaurants and pubs, theatres, parks and the like usually take the before the name except when it is a person’s name in the possessive form:
 The Odeon, the London Hospital, the Royal Hotel, the Westminster Library, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Trocadero Restaurant, the Green Man, the King´s Arms, Claridge´s, Miligan´s
 We also have (the) Green Park, the Memorial Park but without the before a personal or place name: Bushey Park, Hyde Park, Richmond Park, Victoria Park, Wembley Park.
 This applies also to Universities, Colleges and Schools: London University, Harrow School, Clare College, Watson´s College

Streets and roads:
Named streets in cities, towns and villages do not take the.

In addition to the word Street we have a good many terms that refer to streets: Avenue, Crescent, Gardens, Place, Road, Square, Terrace, Ways and Bridge, Circle, Circus, Hill
Each word in the name of a street starts with a capital letter and receives equal stress:
 Oxford Street, Stanley Avenue, Elgin Crescent, Norton Gardens, Panmure Place, Victoria Road, Berkley Square, Mayfield Way.
In the Oxford road, the Dover road, the North road with road as a common noun, we mention ordinary main roads or motorways; the road goes to Oxford, to Dover, to the North and so on.
There are a few streets in almost every town that take the but without the word Street: the Mall, the Strand, the Haymarket.

The calendar:
The names of seven days of the week and the twelve months of the year are proper nouns, they do not take the:
 Monday, Friday, Saturday, January, April, August, December
Special seasons and days are proper nouns; without the:
 Christmas, Easter, Lent, Ramadan, Passover, Labour Day, May Day
The seasons of the year are common nouns, usually without the:
 Spring, summer, autumn, winter
In accordance with the general rule, we use the when a day, month or season has a defining phrase or clause after it:
 The first Sunday in June, the Christmas before John was born, the April of 1985, the Saturday after next

Historical events and documents:
These often have a prepositional phrase in the name; whether do or not the precedes the name of the event or document normally, personal possessive nouns excepted:
 The Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, the Great Charter, The Treaty of Vienna, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance

Newspapers and magazines:
The is often the first word in the title:
 The Times, he Guardian, The Farmer’s weekly.
When the title is a personal possessive name, the is not used:
 Collier’s Magazine, Stubbs´Magazine, Old Moore´s Almanac
nor when the title consists of one word only:
 Vogue, Punch, Look, Woman, Playboy
Professional magazines generally, do take the:
 The Lancet, the Teacher, the Motorist, the Economist

Nationalities:
When we refer to a whole population in general terms (the British, the French) we need a plural verb: The Dutch are the people of the Netherlands. Arabic, English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish are spoken as national languages in more than one country. However, most of the national adjectives in the chart also serve as noun that name the language: We need a Greek typewriter if we want to write in Greek. Reference to national identity is very often by the adjective: Mary is an English girl. She is English. A Japanese business man was in our office. The Aphrodite is a Greek ship.
A Chinese, a Finn, A Dane, a Pole refer to either a man or a woman. However, we generally assume that the speaker refers to a man, if the context does not clearly imply a woman; we can say. Ships and boats:
These usually have names and the precedes them:
 the Marie Celeste, the Queen Elizabeth, the Blue Dolphin
So, we can show the difference between Queen Elizabeth and Windsor Castle and other items of the same name, e.g. ships, hotels etc.



CONTENTS.


Proper nouns ........................................................................ 1
Proper nouns with “the” .................................................... 2
Personal names .................................................................... 2
Personal titles without a person’s name ...................... 2
Unique items ........................................................................ 3
Planets and stars ................................................................ 3
Geographical names ........................................................... 3
Continents, countries, cities, towns .............................. 4
Oceans, rivers, seas .......................................................... 4
Languages ............................................................................. 5
A public places .................................................................... 5
Streets and roads .............................................................. 6
The calendar ........................................................................ 6
Historical events and documents ................................... 6
Newspapers and magazines .............................................. 7
Nationalities ......................................................................... 7
Ships and boats ................................................................... 7
References ...........................................................................

8










REFERNCES.
(Použitá a odporúčaná literatúra)

1. HUDDLESTON, R.: English grammar – an outline. Cambridge university press 1988
2. LYONS, J.: Language and Linguistics. Cambridge university press 1992
3. PAVLÍK, R.: Phonetics and phonology of English PdF UK, Bratislava 2000
4. QUIRK, R.: A Grammar of contemporary English. Longman 1992
SPANKIE, G.M.: More Grammar You Need. Macmillan 1989.

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