We found out that proper nouns are widely used in speech and bear additional semantic-pragmatic meanings peculiar to lingvocultural features of the language. That’s why it is important to teach proper nouns in language teaching. While teaching proper nouns there appear the following difficulties to which teaching methodology should pay attention:
- Reading and pronunciation difficulties of proper nouns.
- Translating them into Uzbek.
- Understanding the contextual and pragmatic meanings of proper nouns.
Reading and pronunciation difficulties are caused by mostly exceptional reading of names differing from ordinary established rules of the language. For instance “Worthington” should be pronounced as [wo:tingten] instead accepted rules [wo: ðington]
Delaware ['deləwe(ə)r] in this pronunciation it means name of the tribe, while in
Delaware ['deləwɛə] pronunciation it expresses the state name.
the same way exceptional pronunciationscan be found in the following words too:
Southwark Cathedral ['sʌðəkkə,θidrəl]
Henry Bolingbroke ['bôling bro͝ok; 'bōling brōk]
Analyzing the given examples we concluded that most of these proper nouns belong to borrowings. They transform not only the word but also pronunciation too. So there appeared some misunderstandings in reading. But during the teaching English such kind of difficulties can’t be taught systematically. The only way of reducing these problems is establishing skills for working with dictionaries. By the help of dictionaries learners can know the right pronunciation.
Another difficulty arising with proper nouns is their translation to Uzbek. Usually there is used two way of translating proper nouns into Uzbek:
Transcription is the most frequent way of translating proper names. It means to transform only pronunciation of nouns from one language to another. Here these nouns are reformed by the speech sounds of other language. For instance “Mathewson” is translated into Uzbek as “Matyuson” by the pronunciation ['maT͟Hyo͞osən].
While transcribing proper nouns they are completely adopted to linguistic features of translating languages. This phenomenon can be strictly seen in the sound which are not identical or existing in other languages. For instance “th” letter combination is not perculiar to Uzbek so they are transcribed by purely sound “t”. e.g.
Thimble Shoal Channel- Timbesoul kanali,
Theodorbook — Teodorbruk.
Another difficulty occur with proper nouns is borrowed words. They usually keep their pronunciation, so may cause some misunderstanding in reading and translating. Most of these words belong to Latin or historical data. E.g.
Geraldine ['ʤerəldin] — Jeraldin
Géricault [zherē'kō] — Jerekou
But unlike to traditional nouns, there can be found some exception in pronunciation of proper nouns as follow.
Gernsback, Hugo — Gernsbek instead of “Jernsbek”
Cellini [chə'lēnē] — Chelini instead of general rule “Selini”
Celtington — Keltinton instead of “Seltington”
The other way of transforming proper nouns from one language to another is transliteration. Unlike transcription in usually transform only letter of formal features of the nouns. Transliteration is used less frequent then other methods of noun transforming. It’s sphere of usage is also reduced and mainly covers proper nouns expressing names of companies, firms and others.
General Motors — jeneral motors
Sarmont enterprise- Samont interpraiz.
Its quite difficult to point out strict difference between transcription and transliteration. For instance in proper nouns as: “Madison Square — Medison skver”, “Archibald — Archibald”
While researching proper nouns in English we observed that they can also express some other semantic and pragmatic meanings which are belong to their etymology and transforming their meanings to common noun. That kind of usage of proper nouns are usually bear figurative notions and structurally occur in literary stile.
...after having made a few constrained and unnatural demonstrations of friendliness, they left him alone. It was almost, Anthony found, like being sent to Coventry. (A. Huxley, ‘Eyeless in Gaza’, ch. VI. P. 74).
They are ready to defend themselves against Uncle Sam's imperialist policies...(G.Green. The Power and The Glory. Chapter VII, p-16)
He was most famous man in Madison Square.(Dreiser. Ernestine.p-104)
In these examples proper nouns as “Coventry, Uncle Sam, Madison Square” are used in figurative sense so express other stylistic-pragmatic meanings. In their turn “to sent to Coventry” must be translated as “yuz o‘girmoq”, “Uncle Sam” as “AQSH hukumati” and “Madison Square” as “reklama olami”. The same phenomena are also peculiar even to Uzbek. Proper nouns can also refer to other meanings. For instance: “Onasini Uchqo’rg’onda ko’rmoq, Ali akani itiday sakkillamoq” and so on.
Besides that in fiction we have such compound proper nouns that are created by authors’ in purpose to clarify characters some features. Although these kinds of nouns can hardly be occur in every day usage, they are frequently used as common nouns in transformed pragmatic or stylistic meaning. For instance Dickens’s most known character “Pickwick” was composed of two independent words “pick — the best part, selected” and “wick — town, native place”, so pragmatically means “sample or model of nation”. In the content of the book the name completely coincides it in character. Such kind of usage of proper nouns causes another difficulty in translating the proper nouns that cover all their additional meanings. Usually proper nouns are translated by transliteration or transcription, but these methods may cause their additional meanings. That’s why we must either change the noun to relevant form in translating language or describe them by addition.
These kinds of stylistic and pragmatic meanings can not find in Uzbek literature, but pragmatic or figurative expression can be found. For example “Aldarko’sa, Nasriddin afandi, Shum bola” etc. These kind of pragmatic meanings can not be given by equalents in other language. Even understanding and rendering such proper nouns can cause difficulties. Because direct transcription or transliteration may cause lose of emotional or pragmatic meanings.
- Anderson, John M. (2003): «On the Structure of Names». Folia Linguistica 37: 347–398.
- Anderson, John M. (2007). The Grammar of Proper Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Carroll, John M. (1983): «Toward a Functional Theory of Names and Naming». Linguistics 21: 341–71.
- Sloat, Clarence (1969): «Proper Nouns in English». Language 45: 26–30.