IIF   26912
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
No name. The allosemy view
Studia Linguistica
Año: 2020 vol. 74 p. 60 - 97
According to certain versions of predicativism, names denote metalinguistic predicates of a certain type, e.g. the name Perón as it occurs in the sentence Perón died in 1974 denotes a predicate more or less paraphrasable as ?being called Perón? (Burge 1973, Matushansky 2008 and Fara 2011, among others). The metalinguistic theory of names is claimed to be superior in nontrivial ways to direct reference theories, according to which names contribute an individual without the mediation of descriptions (Kripke 1980). The alleged triumph of predicativism is that by assuming the ?being called N? property as basic, both referential and non‐referential uses of proper names can be given a uniform semantic analysis. By contrast, the referentialist needs to resort to homonymy or semantic ambiguity. In addition, there are some systematic connections between referential and predicative uses of names that at first glance also seem to favor predicativism. The goal of this paper is to present an alternative syntax, semantics and pragmatics of proper names. We assume that grammatical categories and the associated meanings that they are supposed to encode are not grammatical primitives, but epiphenomena that result from the particular way in which syntax combines functional material and lexical Roots. Before syntax, lexical Roots have no detectable meanings. On this account, there are no names before syntax, as there are no nouns, verbs or adjectives. Names are thus seen as the result of a particular syntactic configuration whose semantic realization is that of contributing an individual. Metalinguistic uses of names, and other derived uses, are involved in a different syntactic scheme, one that makes a name Root a predicate of a certain type. Besides their different syntactic basis, we argue that metalinguistic inferences in both referential and predicative uses of names have a pragmatic source. According to the theory we propose, then, the so‐called Being Called Condition is neither a syntactic nor a semantic primitive. Under this conception of proper names the uniformity argument does not hold and the adduced linguistic evidence cannot lead to any (meta‐)semantic consideration.