Coates, R. (2006) Properhood. Language, 82 (2). pp. 356-82. ISSN 1535-0665
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Publisher's URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/language/v082/82.2coa...
A submitted theoretical article, accepted without major revision. The novel ideas presented have emerged from the author's historical studies of proper names conducted over many years. It consists firstly of a forcible restatement of J.S. Mill's view of properhood, namely that it is a property of certain nouns or nounlike expressions which amounts to being devoid of sense (i.e. of "connotation", in his terms). Mill's view is then pursued to the novel conclusion that "being proper" is not a structural property of nouns or noun phrases after all, but a mode of reference circumventing the sense of any lexical items involved.