Literary Onomastics: a Theory
This study addresses the issue of functions of literary proper names. The main aim is to present and organise the state of the research and propose a new methodological approach to the matter.
The research concentrates on the form of a novel and the analysed material includes proper names of characters that appear in the main text of the novel and of characters that appear in parts of the text of the novel inaccessible to fictional characters, for instance in quotations preceding the content of chapters.
One of the aspects of the subject of study that gave form to the proposed
methodology is the fact that a novel is a finished entity. Therefore, the set of characters’ proper names in any novel is closed and no new nomina propria or new uses of the already included names can be added. Since the examined material is of linguistic character, the analytic tools is related to the linguistic and onomastic methods rather than to literary theory.
The main issues that will be addressed in this study include the functions
of literary proper names that have been identified and defined, the methods on which their identification was based, a theoretical approach to the discussed issue that allows a complete and coherent analyses, an application of the new approach that shows its applicability.