Some issues in research of eponymous business name motivation (with reference to ukrainian onomasticon)

© The Editorial Council and Editorial Board of Linguistic Studies

Linguistic Studies
Volume 36, 2018, pp.  110-116

Some issues in research of eponymous business name motivation (with reference to ukrainian onomasticon)

Yermolenko Serhiy, Zymovets’ Halyna

Article first published online: December 15, 2018 


Additional information

 Author Information: 

Yermolenko Serhiy, Doctor of Philology, Professor, Leading Researcher at the Department of General and Comparative Linguistics, O.O.Potebnia Institute of Linguistics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Correspondence: signum70.1@gmail.com

Zymovets’ Halyna, Candidate of Philology, Senior Researcher at the Department of General and Comparative Linguistics, O.O.Potebnia Institute of Linguistics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Correspondence: galynazymovets@gmail.com

Citation: 
Yermolenko, S., Zymovets’, H. Some issues in research of eponymous business name motivation (with reference to ukrainian onomasticon) [Text] // Linhvistychni Studiyi / Linguistic Studies : collection of scientific papers / Vasyl' Stus 
Donetsk National University; Ed. by Anatoliy Zahnitko. Vinnytsia : Vasyl' Stus DonNU, 2018. Vol. 36. Pp. 110-116. ISBN 966-7277-88-7

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.31558/1815-3070.2018.36.16

Publication History:

Volume first published online: December 15, 2018
Article received: November 25, 2018, accepted: November 30, 2018 and first published online: December 15, 2018

Annotation.

У статті пропонується комплексний лінгвістико-семіотичний підхід до вивчення внутрішньої форми деонімічних ергонімів (як лексем, так і словосполук), що має враховувати взаємодію і можливість суміщення різних аспектів і типів умотивованості, забезпечуючи в цей спосіб повноту аналізу.

Keywords: onomastics, business name (ergonyms), eponymy, motivation, inner form, semantics, pragmatics, arbitrariness.



Abstract.

SOME ISSUES IN RESEARCH OF EPONYMOUS BUSINESS NAME MOTIVATION

(WITH REFERENCE TO UKRAINIAN ONOMASTICON)

 

Serhiy Yermolenko, Halyna Zymovets’

Department of General and Comparative Linguistics,

O.O.Potebnia Institute of Linguistics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Ukraine

Abstract

Background: Business names (ergonyms) constitute a fast-growing section of Ukrainian onomasticon. As well as giving insights in cultural orientations and preferences of Ukrainian culture, the study of ergonym motivation elucidates tendencies and models in Modern Ukranian deonomastic derivation as different from deappellative one.

Purpose: The purpose of the analysis is to discuss issues in establishing factors which determine the inner form structure of ergonyms derived from proper names.

Results: In investigating the motivation of eponymous business names, in order to encompass the whole range of their traditional and present-day varieties, it is advisable to use an approach that is both linguistic and linguosemiotic, Within its framework, ergonyms will be analyzed from the viewpoint of the typology of semantic shifts as well as that of semiotic representation. An integrated approach of this kind, while taking into consideration clear-cut as well as borderline and heterogeneous cases, will be able to give them all a unified systemic interpretation. Establishing semantic and pragmatic factors relevant for ergonym inner form structuring, and elucidating them from both the socio-cultural and language-internal perspective, this scheme of analysis will find out how different aspects and types of eponym motivation, rather than remain isolated, interact, combine and overlap in individual ergonyms determining their specificity.

Discussion: Results yielded by employing such an approach bear significantly upon onomastic and word-formative as well as sociolinguistic and sociocultural studies, at the same time giving useful insights in the nature of proper name meaning as well as frame semantics underlying eponym formation. Coincidentally they will necessitate the development of  new methods and technique of semantic analysis designed specially to be applied to the meaning of proper names in general and ergonyms in particular.

Keywords: onomastics, business name (ergonyms), eponymy, motivation, inner form, semantics, pragmatics, arbitrariness.

Vitae

Serhiy Yermolenko is Doctor of Philology, Professor, Leading Researcher at the Department of General and Comparative Linguistics, O.O.Potebnia Institute of Linguistics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The fields of his research interests include general and linguistic semiotics, general and historical linguistics, ethnolinguistics, phraseology, and theory of grammar.

Correspondence: signum70.1@gmail.com

Halyna Zymovets’ is Candidate of Philology, Senior Researcher at the Department of General and Comparative Linguistics, O.O.Potebnia Institute of Linguistics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Among her research interests are onomastics, sociolinguistics, language contacts and borrowings, linguistic concept analysis.

Correspondence: galynazymovets@gmail.com


Article.

Serhiy Yermolenko, Halyna Zymovets’

DOI 10.31558/1815-3070.2018.36.16

УДК 811.161.2’373.2

 

SOME ISSUES IN RESEARCH OF EPONYMOUS BUSINESS NAME MOTIVATION

(WITH REFERENCE TO UKRAINIAN ONOMASTICON)

 

У статті пропонується комплексний лінгвістико-семіотичний підхід до вивчення внутрішньої форми деонімічних ергонімів (як лексем, так і словосполук), що має враховувати взаємодію і можливість суміщення різних аспектів і типів умотивованості, забезпечуючи в цей спосіб повноту аналізу. 

Ключові слова: ономастика, ергонім, епонімія, мотивованість, внутрішня форма, семантика, прагматика, умовність.

 

In this country and elsewhere, onomastics traditionally was, and sometimes still is, considered a predominantly historical scholarly discipline of the philological cycle, indeed a branch of historical linguistics par excellence. Correspondingly, proper names, or onyms, have been regarded first and foremost as an object of historical and etymological study, while such topics as their usage in present-day language and society, in particular their secondary employment to coin new proper names, both lexical and phrasal, still tends largely to remain outside onomastic research scope. Mutatis mutandis, it applies to new onomastic coinages, such as product names, or chrematonyms, and business names, or ergonyms, and also (relatively) recently created place names (as different from ancient ones), which are assessed at times as unworthy of “serious” scholarly attention. Meanwhile, the said  varieties of onomastic items, in particular ergonyms, constitute a fast-growing section of modern language lexicon in general and onomasticon in particular, and so, too, are becoming an increasingly frequent object of interest of onomasticians in Ukraine and elsewhere (Beley; Karpenko; Kutuza; Lyesovets; Otin, “Iz istorii”; Petrashyk; Soboleva; Sydorenko; Tsilyna). In fact, as far as ergonyms and chrematonyms are concerned,  the importance of this new vista in proper name investigation goes beyond linguistics proper as the coining and functioning of business and product names in the modern world involves issues of nature that is not only purely scholarly and theoretical but legal and economic, i. e. practical, as well, being related to questions of intellectual property, naming, brand and commercial names, and trademarks and therefore to laws regulating these, including claims and controversies related to them (Zymovets, “Zasady”; Yermolenko, “Linguistic description” 13-14). Besides, names of enterprises and institutions have sociopolitical significance too, since they are aften coined to reflect society’s ideological and cultural values and orientations (Yermolenko, “Ukrains’ka eponimiya” 45; Zymovets, “Vidobrazhennia ideologichnykh spriamuvan”).

The subject matter of the present article is discussing some theoretical and methodological issues concerning the study of motivation of business names built from onoma propria, with particular reference to Modern Ukrainian ergonyms, which we shall alternatively call business names, using the latter designation in a broad sense covering institutions, organisations and enterprises, see (Podol’skaya 151). In this, we will consider not only those business names that are lexemes but also phrases, i.e. so called phrasal names (Booij 219).

Business names, or ergonyms, can be formed by using common as well as proper names (or  onyms), cf. Бурячок (a L’viv restaurant ‘s name), on one hand, and промислово-будівельна група Ковальська, on the other. In the latter case, their derivation is called transonymization (Podolskaya 138). Another term applicable here is eponymy (Ukrainian епонімія), which, however, in modern linguistic usage has a more general meaning, referring to items both appellative and onomastic that are derived from proper names. Also, it can denote both lexical and phrasal names (Yermolenko, “Linguistic description” 10-13). Still a novelty in this country’s onomastic usage and fairly common elsewhere, this extended range of reference of the term eponymy (and, consequently, eponyms, Ukrainian епоніми) seems both feasible and worthwhile in that it puts the study of all kinds of proper names deriving from proper names in a general framework of exploration into deonomastic word and phrase formation as well as onomasiological potentialities of onyms. That would induce onomasticians to take into consideration all relevant linguistic material, i.e. all onomastic items sharing the said property, so that the study of lexical proper names, on one hand, and phrasal ones, on the other, would not be carried out separately; this, in its turn, would allow to find their other common features along with differences existing between them and so to make generalizations concerning both (Yermolenko, “Ukrayins’ka eponimiya” 46). Accordingly, we will subsume under the heading of eponyms both lexical and phrasal business names that are formed with the help of onoma propria.

However, speaking of eponymy in general and eponymous ergonyms in particular, it is necessary to mention the category of connotative proper names introduced by Y.S.Otin (Otin, “Slovar konnotativynkh” 5-14), since in his study of these he discussed instances of business names derived from them by means of what may be called indirect transonymization involving, as an intermediary step, a secondary appellative meaning, e.g. Aркадия «a region in the central part of the Peloponnesus peninsula in southern Greece; also, as used in classical literature and 16th-18th  century pastorals, an idyllic fabulous country whose inhabitants lead unsophisticated and patriarchal yet happy lives”; this connotative toponym was employed as the name of parks, leisure and entertainment venues, and a steamboat (Otin, “Slovar’ konnotativnykh” 55-57).

This category of connotative onyms comprises the cases of more or less codified secondary (or, as Otin put it, periphrastic) nominations performed by using proper names in metaphorical, or symbolical, meaning to denote generalized referents that already have stylistically neutral appellative designations. Alongside these, he registered instances of further semantic evolution of such items again turning them into proper names, although it is not quite clear how he assessed them in terms of their inner semantic form. In any case he maintained that connotative names as such should be distinguished from such words as бойкот or ампер which he regarded as resulting from metonymy. Yet one cannot fail to notice that among entries in Otin’s „Dictionary of connotative proper names” there are items that should be qualified not only as metaphors but as metonymies as well, e.g. the anthroponym Фриц «1. A German; 2. A soldier in Hitler’s German armed forces; 3. an enemy» (Otin, “Slovar’ konnotativnykh” 367-368) (cf. also Ukrainian  фрицувати «drill» < Polish frycować “bully a rookie” < fryc «a rookie” < German Fritz, the diminutive form of the anthroponym Friedrich (ESUM 7: 13), probably influenced by the name of Prussian king and military leader Friedrich der Grosse; cf. also Цусима (the elliptical form of the chrononym Цусимское сражение) „defeat, destruction, annihilation”, Цусима being the name of the island in the Korea strait near which Russia’s Pacific flotilla was completely defeated by Japanese in 1905 (Otin “Slovar’ konnotativnykh”,  381-382) (for other instances of the same pattern of toponym meaning shift, see (Akulshyna 104); in all these examples the initial step of semantic change was based on the association of contiguity between the original referent of the name and its certain feature, such as Фриц being conceived  Germans’ typical name or Цусима being a place of catastrophic failure.)

In the present paper, our attention will be focused on the analysis of that aspect of those items that has to do with their motivation. i.e. the semantic relationship between the underlying and derived name, and also the extralinguistic relationship between their respective  referents which the intralinguistic relationship between names reflects. Serving as a derivation base, an underlying item not only provides for the nomination, indication, and identification of a derived unit’s referent, but it also gives the latter a certain interpretation, constructing, with the help of its own primary meaning, the latter’s certain mental image. Correspondingly, we will treat the relationship of eponymy between a business name and an onym from which it was derived, both linguistically and linguo-semiotically, regarding the meaning of the underlying onym as a (part of) the inner semantic form as well as the semiotic structure of the eponymous business name. As used in the scheme of analysis that we propose, the linguo-semiotic approach is in its turn twofold, too. Firstly, the traditional, Aristotelian in its origin (Aristotel’ 174), typology of semantic change should be employed as well as Ch.S.Peirce’s typology of the relation of semiotic representation  between sign and object (Yermolenko, “Movne modeliuvannia” 11-26). Yet in many instances the application of these analytical tools is not sufficient to provide an adequate explanation of motivation behind the choice of this particular onym to be used secondarily as a designation (or a part of a designation) of this particular business venue and what is the representational relationship between the two. It is our contention that in such a case, to account for an opaque motivation or the apparent lack thereof, on should have recourse to another facet of sign, that of its pragmatic characteristics, and therefore a specific communicative-functional context for which such nominations were designed. Invariably present in any sign from the very beginning of its existence, its pragmatic aspect co-exists with its semantic one, with which it interacts, sometimes penetrating into, and overlapping with, it, and sometimes getting the better of, and even supplanting it.

Let us start with some clear-cut cases, such as the name of Kyiv aircraft manufacturing company Державне підприємство Антонов: it is but natural that this enterprise should be named after Oleh Antonov (Олег Антонов, 1906-1984 ), an outstanding aircraft designer and its first director (cf. also Aвіант, the name of a plant within this company whose segment -ант represents the same surname).

Similarly, the confectionery shop Лісова пісня that existed for some time in the Kyiv downtown, was fairly transparent too, since it reproduced the name of very popular chocolate sweets produced at the local factory (now known as Roshen and then named after German economist and philosopher Karl Marx); however, the situation is entirely different with the motivation of these sweets’ name since it, also eponymous, is originally the name of a literary work, namely, a fairy drama by Lesia Ukrainka  (1871-1913), one of Ukrainian literature classics, and why should it have been referred to in this way is, at first glance, anyone’s guess, yet, as we will show, there is actually a reason behind the choice of the underlying item in this coinage, all the more so since there is a tradition of long standing to name confectionary produce after literary works and characters, e.g. the Polish confectionary factory and brand Goplana (after one of the main characters of J.Słowacki’s tragedy “Balladyna”), or sweets with the Russian names of Пиковая дама (after O.S.Pushkin’s story), Алеко (after his poem and its character), and Сказки Пушкина.

Also, the name of a wine shop-bar that once used to be on one of Kyiv’s central streets, Троянда Закарпаття, corresponded to that of one of the wines that were sold there, a vintage white dessert one produced from the Pink Traminer sort of grape and distinguished by its delicate bouquet resembling the aroma of tea rose, the feature accounting for the wine’s name.

These three are exemplary cases of metonymic nomination, and in semiotic terms, they are indexical signs representing, as such signs do, their object by virtue of the relation of contiguity between them. With their motivation fairly transparent and, so to say, logical, such (more or less) informative ergonyms can be further analyzed and consequently classified into more concrete subclasses of metonymy according to what specific feature of their denotatum is chosen to operate as an onomasiological marker by which the former can be identified. So there are several such subclasses of ergonyms formed with the help of anthroponyms.

The first anthroponomical subclass is eponyms commemorating people involved in activities of, or in some other essential way related to, their referents. This model is productive in naming large, predominantly state-owned agencies, universities, and research centers. There are several recurrent patterns of metonymic relation between an underlying onym and a derived ergonym: an organization named after its founder: Донецький державний університет економіки і торгівлі ім.  М. Туган-Барановського, Миронівський інститут пшениці ім. В.М. Ремесла; Музей мистецтв імені Богдана та Варвари Ханенків, Фабрика ім. Левинського; an organization or business named after their former managers: Національна кіностудія художніх фільмів Ім. О. Довженка, Державний трубний інститут ім. Я.Ю. Осади, Завод залізобетонних конструкцій ім. С. Ковальської.

There are numerous examples of legal firms and private medical clinics named after their founders and partners, like Гаптер і Франц, Глєбов і партнери, Дмитрієва та партнери, Клініка академіка Земскова, Клініка доктора Валіхновського, Клініка Доктора Дідевича etc.

А university or college named after people who studied (and later worked) there: Національний медичний університет ім. О.О. Богомольця, Київський інститут музики ім. Р.М. Глієра.

In some cases, the metonymy relation is of a more complex nature in that there is no immediate contiguity between an underlying anthroponym and a commemorative ergonym whereas they are related through a feature they share, such as their geographical location, the corresponding toponym also a part of such a phrasal ergonym. For instance, several universities or other institutions were named after famous people who were borne or lived in a respective area: Волинський державний університет ім. Лесі Українки, Тернопільський державний технічний університет ім. Івана Пулюя, Сумський державний педагогічний університет ім. А.С. Макаренка, Черкаський національний університет iм. Б. Хмельницького, Фундація ім. князів-благодійників Острозьких.

Another semantic feature shared by an anthroponym and a derived ergonym is a field of activities common to their referents, cf. enterprises named after prominent people in respective areas: Інститут бджільництва ім. П.І. Прокоповича УААН, Агрофірма ім. Мічуріна, Книжкова палата України ім. Івана Федорова, Уманське державне музичне училище ім. П.Д. Демуцького.

The following metonymic subclass includes cases of semantic shift from a name of fictional character to a business name, their referents having a common field of activity: Айболит (vet services), Кузня Вакули (smith equipment and services), Робінзон (a travel agency), Папа Карло (a carpenter) , Гобсек (a jewelry and pawn shop). This semantic shift is also found in mythical names turned into ergonyms: Арго (a tourist agency), Посейдон (a ship company), Феміда (a legal firm), Гефест (smith services), Дріада (seeds and seedlings). In all these eronyms, underlying items not only point to the specific nature of business, but also acquire a metaphorical and even symbolical value, becoming a graphic emblem of the business in question due to both contiguity and similarity associations embedded in culture, in particular literary and mythological texts.

The third, toponymic subclass comprises cases of semantic shift from a place name to a business venue name. Among place names used as ergonyms there are 1) horonyms, i.e. area names: Волинь, Нивки, Оболонь, Полісся, Таврія, Тавріда; 2) hydronyms: Буг, Десна, Дніпро, Дністер, Світязь, Тиса; 3) mountain names: Бескид, Горгани, Карпати; 4) city names: Бердянськ, Київ, Одеса. Generally, these toponyms correspond to a place where a specific business venue is located. However, place names can also specify the source area companies deal with, which is the case for the following business names: Антарктика (fish), Автоцентр-Баварія (cars), Балтика (fish), Богемія (glassware and sanitary equipment), Валенсіа Фрут (fruit), Мертве море (cosmetics).

Thus, continguity between the referents of underlying onyms and ergonyms is based on relations within the lexical as well as notional frame of business venue, this frame including such slots as location, field of activity, and person involved in it.

However, the metonymic character of the inner form of a business name does not necessarily preclude this form from being at the same time more or less arbitrary and (seemingly) unmotivated as well. Generally speaking, certain arbitrariness is inevitable in any sign’s representational structure. More specifically, it is also true of choosing an object’s feature to be used onomasiologically. Drawing on evidence outside eponymous business names, we will cite a few examples of such ergonyms derived from common nouns. So, for instance, sugar and mustard are staples to be ordinarily found in cafés and restaurant where they are offered for free, and therefore naming catering businesses after them seems not to convey any useful information and altogether irrelevant. And yet, there are two coffee shops in Lviv called  Цукор (Цукор red and Цукор black)  whose advertisement in internet mentions only crepes and breakfast, and no sugar, either red, black, white, or brown, and in Kyiv, there is a restaurant-café of French haute cuisine Гірчиця. Obviously, it is some other function that these names are intended to perform, such as an anti-aesthetic one, attracting potential patrons by appealing to “raw” basics rather than the exquisite and the elegant. The arbitrariness is still higher in the another Kyiv restaurant’s name Дрова which may project an image of something traditional and rustic yet does not imply dishes really prepared on wood-fuelled stoves or in ovens. Returning to deonymic business names, here, too, one can encounter cases of rather loose relationship of contiguity, as in Фігаро, the name of a restaurant of Hispanic and European cuisine in Kyiv, Figaro being the central character of P.Beaumarchais’ play and G.Rossini’s opera The barber of Seville. Besides, the association of the ergonym Фігаро with the colloquial expression Фігаро тут, Фігаро там (originally a fragment from Figaro’s aria, Figaro qua, Figaro là) referring to work which requires constant quick movements, and also with the comparative phrase як Фігаро “incessantly moving” (literally “like Figaro”), metaphorically alludes to the restaurant’s efficient service, so that the ergonym’s inner form combines metonymy with metaphor. Another Kyiv restaurant, Фелліні, occupies the ground floor of the Україна cinema edifice in Kyiv, this particular location influencing, along with its specializing in Italian cuisine, the choice of its name: Federico Fellini (1920-1993) was an outstanding Italian film director. As to this cinema’s name, it, of course, has a very indirect relation to it being actually located in Ukraine, and rather indicates «Україна»’s status as one of Kyiv’s and Ukraine’s most well-known historical movie theaters.

Yet another kind of metonymy combined with arbitrariness is found in the name of the Lviv restaurant Голодний Микола. Микола being a fairly common Ukrainian masculine anthroponym, the phrasal name indicates its referent by portraying its typical customer as an average male Ukrainian hungry after day’s work, the absence of any title (such as пан or добродій) before Микола  emphasizing the ordinary rather than upscale character of its clientele. Such use of a widely met anthroponym to denote a typical representative of some nationality or any other community occurs in various languages (Soshko 31-32) cf. also the already mentioned  name Фриц (< German Fritz, a short form of Friedrich) which also has the generalized meaning “a German; a German soldier”, or the Russian name Наташа which in present-day Turk usage refers to any Russian female tourist (Otin “Slovar’ konnotativnykh” 252-254). This way to employ anthroponyms bears certain resemblance to the figure of speech called antonomasia, in which a proper name initially referring to a person known for something or having a distinctive trait comes to express a general idea, such as Cicero for a skilled orator (Taranenko 20). However, antonomastic names (such as Крез, Венера etc.) tend to be used predicatively (e.g. виявляється, чоловік у неї справжній Отелло), whereas in the case when an anthroponym as such does not have a unique reference, it is primarily a means of nomination (although possibly not devoid of imagery value and emotional connotation).

As we see, pragmatic factors, along with semantic ones, can bear upon the semantic as well as semiotic structure of an onym. The influence of pragmatics becomes still more pronounced when we turn to metaphor and iconicity in business names.

Yet as far as metaphorical ergonyms are concerned they seem to be mostly of the kind that is derived not directly from the underlying proper name but from its secondary appellative metaphorical meaning, cf. the company name Еверест, the corresponding mountain name first becoming a metaphor of highest achievements (Otin, “Slovar’ konnotativnykh” 374), and the like. While there are plenty of business names that are linked to underlying common names by the association of similarity (cf. yet another Lviv restaurant Вулик boasting house specialties, dishes as well as beverages, made with the addition of honey), yet, generally speaking, it seems uncertain whether an onym can be used metaphorically to form another onym.  For instance, there is a café in Lviv called Блеквуд Кава і Бургер, while in Los Angeles, Ca., there is a coffee bar with basically the same name  Blackwood Coffee Bar; are we to assume that one of these names was coined as a metaphor of another highlighting the resemblance between the two cafés, or maybe the owners of one of them, instead of creating a name that is genuinely new and original, just appropriated an already existing one?

The following motivation variety is based on pun, i.e. a linguistic joke realized by means of the juxtaposition of two or more formally identical or similar linguistic entities, such as the same word in its different meanings or words that look alike but have different meanings, to produce humorous effect, cf. the name of a shop in a town near Kyiv, Вербена, whose name relates not only to the plant Verbena (cf. the nearby shop’s name Ромашка) but also to the Christian name of its owner, Вера; cf. also the name of the betting company Паріматч (founded in 1995 in Kyiv), superficially resembling that of the French weekly Paris Match, yet its first component at the same time is similar to the word парі „agreement as to the what the person who has lost has to do; bet” (SUM 6: 70), and the second to матч „game”, their composite meaning pointing to betting on the result of a sport event. One of the restaurants at the Besarabska square in Kyiv is called Беcсарабія; the choice of this name obviously reflects the restorateur’s Odessa background and the restaurant’s Bessarabia cuisine, yet at the same time it relates by means of a fanciful back-derivation to the square’s name (actually deriving from Бесарабія).   

As in the previous cases, this kind of motivation can be found in ergonyms whose formation involved appellative items: e.g., on Shota Rustaveli street in Kyiv, there used to be a restaurant that had a name У Сені і Гоги, whose two principal components corresponded to the short forms of the anthroponyms Ceня (< Семен) і Гога (< Георгій); at the same time, the combination of the two resembled the word синагога. With the Brodsky Choral Synagogue situated nearby, the said resemblance had to be the reason for choosing the restaurant’s particular name.

Arguably, to describe this kind of motivation adequately, the semiotic category of iconicity should be employed referring to the relationship of representation between the sign and its object in which the very form of the former reflects the latter. Thus, as different from metaphor, the association of similarity does not link here the denotata of two words; also, contrary to most iconic signs, the relation of reflection connects in this case two signs rather than the (linguistic) sign and its (extralinguistic) object, so that iconicity is language-internal here.

The pragmatic factor reigns supreme in the formation of ergonyms lacking usual motivation. For instance, in naming the Kyiv university after the greatest Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko (Київський національний університет імені Тараса Шевченка), at least one of the reasons could be that of commemoration due to the fact that Shevchenko once worked with the Kyiv Archeographic Commission which was housed in the principal edifice of the university; therefore the university’s full name is to a certain extent metonymic. However, Shevchenko’s name within the full name of the Kyiv Opera (Національний академічний театр опери та балету України імені Т.Г.Шевченка) obviously fulfills another role, honorifying both the theater and Shevchenko as leading representatives of the Ukrainian culture.

Then there are countless names of cafés, restaurants, pizzerias, stores and the like which have little or nothing to do with their referents (such as the restaurant and hotel Шопен in Lviv or, say, numerous catering venues or hotels that have sonorous names of various iconic European and American  cities). Instead of reflecting some objective features, they are chosen to project, by exploiting significance associated  with their primary reference, a lucrative image of what they secondarily come to refer to, commercially promoting it by inducing interest of potential customers. Yet these choices, too, are indicative of society’s cultural preferences, requirements and fashions. Semantically, referents of such eponymous ergonyms can be compared, mutatis mutandis, with what R.Ingarden termed intentional objects created in fictional discourse rather than existing objectively (Ingarden 179-243). Also, as linguistic items whose actualization creates a new state of affairs (albeit an imaginary rather than real one), they can be regarded as performatives of sorts. The same also applies to the formation of chrematonyms (product names).

So “the human factor” in its many embodiments can more or less overrule the “usual” motivational approach to nomination, making the sign producer voluntarily or forcibly to renounce “logical” strategies and established patterns found in appellative nomination, instead intentionally adopting ones that would impose some world view and system of values (ideological or cultural, or just fashionable and “trendy”) upon both the signified object and future recipients and users of his coinage.

Summing up, in investigating the motivation of eponymous proper names it is advisable to examine it within a framework that is both linguistic and linguosemiotic, analyzing it from the viewpoint of the typology of semantic shifts as well as that of semiotic representation. An integrated approach of this kind, while taking into consideration the whole gamut of cases, traditional as well as modern and clear-cut as well as borderline and heterogeneous, will be able to give them all a unified systemic interpretation. Establishing semantic and pragmatic factors relevant for ergonym inner form structuring, and elucidating them from both the socio-cultural and language-internal perspective, this scheme of analysis will enable the researcher to find out how different aspects and types of eponym motivation, rather than remain isolated, interact, combine and overlap in individual ergonyms determining their specificity. Investigating business names in such a way will yield results that would be significant for onomastic and word-formative as well as sociolinguistic and sociocultural studies, at the same time giving useful insights in the nature of proper name meaning as well as frame semantics underlying eponym formation. Coincidentally they will necessitate the development of new methods and technique of semantic analysis designed specially to be applied to the meaning of proper names in general and ergonyms in particular.

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List of Abbreviations

EDUL Etymological dictionary of the Ukrainian language (Etymologichnyi slovnyk ukrayins’koyi movy). Кyiv: Naukova dumka, 1982-2012. V. 1-12.

DUL Dictionary of the Ukrainian language (Slovnyk ukrayins’koyi movy). Kyiv: Naukova dumka, 1070-1980. V. 1-11.

 

Надійшла до редакції 25 листопада 2018 року.