Event names

Demarcation of other name classes

Event names are a name class somewhat neglected by research. They occur in few classifications of names, and are only beginning to be duly taken into account (cf. Brendler 2004: 78-82; Nubling, Fahlbusch, and Heuser 2012: 316-325). This neglect is apparent in the variety of terms that are used to denote this name class. Alongside event name itself, countless Latin and Greek-Latin hybrid formations have been used, like chrononym, documentonym, eventonym, geortonym, machonym, politonym and praxonym (Hoffmann 2004: 669). Recently the last of these, coined in opposition to phenonyms, the names of natural phenomena, has begun to become accepted, (Nubling, Fahlbusch, and Heuser 2012: 316-335). For the purposes of this chapter praxonyms are treated as a separate name class in line with Nubling, Fahlbusch and Heuser, even though they could be treated as ergonyms in accordance with Eckkrammer and Thaler’s (2013:14) definition of these as “names consciously created by people for activities, working processes and their material and immaterial results”. In fact, the borders of the term praxonym, as with ergonyms in general, remain fluid. All in all, though, it makes sense to examine praxonyms independently of other name classes and to emphasise the coherence of many of their features.

In order to determine the exact extent of the class of praxonyms, it is necessary first to explain the concept ‘event’. As a category in the humanities and historical sciences, events are to be seen, according to Rathmann (2003:12), not just as political and economic processes resulting from extensive planning, but also as contingent outcomes of communicative, discursive or ritual action. It is possible to discern two basic types of event names that arise in both politics and economics. On the one hand, we have the names given to specific wars, protests, strikes, meetings or negotiations (e.g., Russian 6-oi Moskovskii mezhdunarodnyi festival1 reklamy [6th Moscow International Advertising Festival]). On the other, we have names for events in a broader sense, that is, the contents or results of political and economic processes, such as programs, projects, plans and actions (e.g., programma “Sem1 shagov v mir ekonomiki” [the “Seven Steps in the World of Economics” program]). These two groups are generally designated in the literature as actionyms and actonyms, respectively (Knappova 1996:1567). According to the corpus used, 85% of event names in economics are actonyms, while in politics actionyms and actonyms are represented to roughly equal extents. This has consequences for the onymic status of event names in business, as will be explained in more detail below, starting from Hoffmann’s (2004) article on the names of political events.

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