Aldo Frigerio

La dipendenza contestuale dei nomi propri: omonimia o deissi?

Are you already subscribed?
Login to check whether this content is already included on your personal or institutional subscription.


Although both indexicality and homonimy are linguistic phenomena related to meaning contextuality, they need to be carefully distinguished and not confused. A word is homonymous when it has two or more code meanings and when the context allows the addressee to understand which one among these meanings is what the speaker means. On the contrary, a word is an indexical when it has only one code meaning. This code meaning however is incomplete because it alone does not fix any referent. The context is needed to get the referent. In the case of indexicals the context does not allow the addressee to choose among different code meanings, but allows him to complete the only code meaning and to determine the referent of the indexical in that particular context. Now, the meaning of many proper names is contextually dependent: "John" does not refer to the same person in every context. How this contextual dependence must be interpreted? Are proper names indexical or homonymous words? Many linguists and philosophers of language have argued that proper names are indexical. In this paper I'll try to show that they are wrong and that proper names are homonymous words. In my opinion, these scholars have a mistaken idea of what the linguistic code and the linguistic meaning are. By criticizing the indexical theory of proper names I attempt to criticize these mistaken ideas as well.


Article first page

What do you think about the recent suggestion?

Trova nel catalogo di Worldcat