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THEORY: Meaning of names (was Re: [CONLANG] language names)

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Thursday, March 20, 2008, 8:58
On 20.3.2008 MorphemeAddict@WMCONNECT.COM wrote:

 > Must the name of the language have a meaning?

I dareasay all names originally had meaning. That in many
cases this meaning has eventually fallen into oblivion is
another matter.

As regards personal names this process was intensified in
Europe because of the demand by the church that people be
given saints names: those names that were of Greek origin
were meaningless to Romance speakers, and those of Latin
origin were meaningless to Greek speakers and often to
Romance speakers too, since many were built from obsolete
Latin roots that had become archaic already by early
imperial times. Needless to say all those names were
meaningless to the Germanic and Slavic peoples of central
and northern Europe.

This has lead people in Western culture not to expect names
to have meanings, but outside the Western cultural sphere
the meanings of names are as a rule still remembered and

/BP 8^)>
Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se
   "C'est en vain que nos Josués littéraires crient
   à la langue de s'arrêter; les langues ni le soleil
   ne s'arrêtent plus. Le jour où elles se *fixent*,
   c'est qu'elles meurent."           (Victor Hugo)


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Scotto Hlad <scott.hlad@...>