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Precedent Names and their Functions in Umberto Eco's Novel "The Name of the Rose"

Tsygankova Alisa Andreevna

Postgraduate student, Department of Romance Linguistics, Lomonosov Moscow State University

119991, Russia, g. Moskva, g. Moscow, Leninskie gory, 51s1

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Abstract: The subject of this study is the precedent names in Umberto Eco's novel "The Name of the Rose". The author relies on the theoretical provisions developed in relation to the precedent names of E. A. Nakhimova. With the help of computational methods of analysis and subsequent manual verification of the results, a list of all precedent names present in the novel was obtained. The names invented by Eco itself were also analyzed, precedent components were found in them, which were also analyzed. As a result, a list of 544 names was obtained, which the author classified into several groups. Next, the functions were defined in which the existing precedent names are used. The scientific novelty of this study is due to two factors. On the one hand, the author contributes to the development of the concept of "precedent name", which entered science quite recently (in the 2000s). On the other hand, the novelty is determined by the very material on which the research is carried out, since the texts of Umberto Eco until today are more often the subject of literary research, while their linguistic aspects remain out of the field of view of specialists. The author discovers the predominance of pragmatic and modeling functions of precedent names in the text of the novel. There are also examples of the use of case names in the human function and the evaluation function. At the same time, due to the theoretical provisions of postmodernism, in accordance with which the novel was developed, it can be said that the password function is concomitant with everything else. In addition, we can say that the massive use of precedent names in the text of the novel is used as a technique. Although science has not yet developed a single term for this technique, following the Danish researcher Jon Kyust, the author suggests using the term "neimdropping" for this.


postmodernism, precedent names, Name-dropping, idiostyle, Italian studies, stylistics, intertextuality, precedent phenomena, methods of computer analysis, precedent

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

IntroductionThe phenomenon of precedent refers, simultaneously, to two spheres linguistics and culture it is in this way that it appears as the subject of study of modern humanities, for example, in the dissertation of V.Y. Arbuzova [1], the study of E. N. Podtelezhnikova and S. S. Pavlova [2], E. S. Stepanov [3].

Therefore, its study in the context of postmodern literature functioning in a certain cultural context seems more than appropriate.Precedent is the basis of the idiosyncrasy of any postmodernist author, since postmodernism in literature is experiments with the perception of the text, playing with the reader, attempts to mislead him.

According to the concept of J.F. Lyotard, outlined in the work The State of Postmodernity, the interaction of the author and the reader occurs at the level of interaction of their individual linguistic and cultural systems [4]. Understanding a text is the result of superimposing one system on another. Thus, since each reader has his own individual system of cultural information embodied in the signs of the language, no text can be understood by several people in the same way. The combination of the factors described above results in the so-called double coding". Double coding is a way of creating a text in which it is written simultaneously for several types of readers, for example, elite and mass, each of whom will enjoy the text, but will read it at a different level [5].Studying the idiostyle of Umberto Eco, we must necessarily take into account the fact that Umberto Eco is an outstanding postmodernist theorist who embodied his principles in practice in his works, therefore, when studying his texts, especially their stylistic component, we should always keep in mind their reference and try to discover their pragmatic component an extralinguistic situation to which they are sending.

It is obvious that the postmodern "locks" and "traps" placed by Umberto Eco everywhere in his textual heritage should be opened with the keys of the same system, therefore, the approach to studying the linguistic component of Eco's heritage should take into account not only the text itself, but also the context.Encryption of text as a kind of code in postmodernism is achieved using certain techniques.

Among them are hidden and direct quoting, homages, parodies, the use of stamps. One of the frequently used techniques is also the "flooding" of the text with precedent names.Subject of research

The subject of this study is the precedent names in Umberto Eco's novel "The Name of the Rose" and their functions.

According to I. V. Zakharenko, a precedent name is "an individual name associated either with a widely known text (for example, Pechorin, Terkin), or with a precedent situation (for example, Ivan Susanin, Stakhanov).

This is a kind of complex sign, when used in communication, an appeal is made not to the actual denotation (in other terminology, the referent), but to a set of differential signs of this precedent name" [6]. The structure of the precedent name consists of the core, which contains the differential features, and the periphery, which carries its attributes. The purpose of using the precedent name in the text is to update the connotations contained in it for the reader [7]As for the functions of precedent names, scientists present different classifications.

Thus, V. L. Latysheva identifies the emotive function, the function of a marker of cultural identity, the function of activating the collective unconscious, the function of socialization, the function of appealing to culturally significant phenomena, the function of recognition, the function of fixing [8]. E. V. Puchkova identifies the function of the response to the addressee, evaluation, password and language game [9]In this study, we rely on the classification proposed by E.A. Nakhimova.

In the study Precedent names in mass communication it highlights the following repertoire of functions of precedent names:evaluation function (precedent name is used as a means of emotional evaluation);

  1. modeling function (the precedent name sets a certain model of perception of the described situation);

  2. pragmatic function (the precedent name forms a certain value system valid within this text);

  3. password function (a case name is used to detect a common cultural base between the author and the reader);

  4. aesthetic function (the precedent name is used for aesthetic evaluation);

  5. human function (the precedent name is used for a language game, in this case the precedent name can be given in encrypted form);

  6. euphemistic function (a precedent name softens the description, replaces a sharper expression) [10]

  7. Scientific novelty

The scientific novelty of this study is determined by two parameters.

Firstly, the very concept of a precedent name entered science not so long ago (in the early noughties) and, as a result, needs active development and research on expanded material. Secondly, Umberto Eco's textual heritage has not been fully studied. Among the scientific works devoted to the texts of Umberto Eco, literary studies of his work predominate, but the linguistic aspects of the texts of Umberto Eco have not been the subject of special analysis until now.Research methods

To search for a complete list of precedent names, a program was written using regular expressions in the Python programming language.

A file with the full text of the novel is submitted to the program for input. Using the built-in library for working with regular expressions, the program finds all words and phrases similar to proper names, namely all words starting with a capital letter, not standing after the dot. Duplicates are deleted among the found words, and the resulting list of words is saved in a separate file. Next, we verify the results manually, correct errors, supplement the names with surnames, ordinal numbers, nicknames, titles, and so on.Then we proceed to contextual analysis.

We find each of the words of the list anew in the text and analyze the context in which it is used in order to unambiguously determine its precedent. Here are the criteria of precedent, which were deduced by E.A. Nakhimova:graphic;

  1. morphological;

  2. derivational;

  3. punctuation;

  4. synonymous;

  5. attributive;

  6. temporal;

  7. references to sources of precedent [11].

  8. After carrying out all the above procedures, we received a list of 544 names.

Analysis of research results

For ease of orientation in the array of data obtained, we classified the material into several categories. Below we present the resulting classification with the quantities of ohms and examples.Precedent names of people

  1. Real

    1. Saints (42): San Bartolomeo, San Silvestro, San Mauro

      1. Religious figures (90): Cardinale Orsini, Francesco di Assisi, Benedetto XI

      2. Historical figures (31): Caifa, Carlo il Calvo, Ludovico di Savoia

      3. Figures of science and culture (59): Dante, Prudenzio, Ugo Novocastro

      4. Fictional

    2. Biblical Heroes (55): Caino, Lia, Lucifero

      1. Characters of European culture (64): Guido Putagio

      2. Heroes, Fictional Eco

      3. Characters of ancient Greek myths (10): Achille, Agamennone, Priamo

      4. Use cases names of geographical objects

  2. Real

    1. Cities and regions (135): Bagdad, Castiglia, Firenze

      1. Abbeys and Castles (10): Melk, Cluny, Conques

      2. Natural objects (11): Alpi, Mercurio, Golgota

      3. Fictional (10): Isole Fortune, Sodoma, Epigmaride

    2. The conducted contextual analysis shows that in the vast majority of cases, at the intra-textual level, precedent names are used in the text in pragmatic and modeling functions.

On the one hand, they are designed to set a certain frame of what is happening, on the other, to show the reader a system of values relevant to the characters of the text. This can be seen already at the level of numbers: the vast majority of precedent names are somehow connected with the sphere of religion, which immediately shows the value systems and the picture of the world in which the characters of the novel are located.There are also cases when a precedent name occurs in the evaluation function, for example: "Ma tra la folla fuori del palazzo ne udii molti che dicevano che egli era come Cristo tra i farisei" [12], however, such cases are less frequent.

At the supra-textual level, we find several examples of the use of a precedent name in a logical function.

Of special interest in our classification are the names of the characters that the author invented, since many of them are made up of components that themselves have precedent, Here are some examples:Jorge da Burgos.

  • This name beats two precedent names: Jorge Borges and the Spanish city of Burgos, which should evoke in the reader the memory of the homeland of the main character of the main Spanish epic Sid, on the one hand, and the idea of a stronghold of supporters of the Spanish Reconquista, on the other;Adelmo da Otranto brings to mind the precedent name "Otranto martyrs", i.e. residents of the city of Otranto who refused to convert to Islam and accepted martyrdom;

  • Malachia de Hildesheim.

  • The name consists of two precedent components: on the one hand, it refers to the prophet Malachi, who denounced the people and priests, on the other, the famous German monastery Hildesheim;Nicola da Morimondo updates the name of the Cistercian monastery of Morim in Lombardy, promoting medieval cuisine;

  • Remigio da Varagine refers to the name of Yakov Voraginsky, author of the collection "Golden Legend";

  • Rabano da Toledo at the first level of decryption, we recall the German theologian Rabanus the Moor, and we get the "Moor" component and, comparing it with Toledo, we return to the Reconquista again.

  • In the course of the study, we also managed to find several "pseudonymous names".

These names are set in context, which implies that these heroes are well-known and extremely popular in the Middle Ages, but in fact modern Eco researchers are encrypted in them. We found at least two such names:Under the name Algirdas da Cluny, Doctor Quadratus hides A. J. Greimas, a Lithuanian scientist of Russian origin, who created the semiotic square.

  • There is no doubt that the semiotic Eco was well aware of this concept [13].Under the name Paolo da Rimini, Abbas Agraphicus hides Paolo Fabbri, a teaching colleague and a well-known specialist in semiotics, one of the founders of the Semiotics Center in Urbino, as well as the head of the magazine Mezzavoce [14],[15].

  • Thus, we see that in the above cases, precedent names are used in the human function.

They appear to us as a kind of cipher that we, as qualified readers, must unravel.In addition, there are errors (or intentional distortions) in the text of the correlation of the name and the fact attributed to it, for example, there is the following statement in the text: "Per san Brunone l'acquamarina concentra la scienza teologica nella virtu dei suoi purissimi bagliori" [12].

We have not been able to find any evidence of a connection between Bruno of Cologne and aquamarine.It is also important to note that despite the correlation of each of the names with a certain situation or cultural phenomenon, the text contains both massively identifiable heroes (Herod, Tristan and Isolde, Saint Benedict), so, for example, the names of Arab scientists known only to narrow specialists.

Thus, Umberto Eco works with precedent names in all parts of the recognition spectrum.Conclusions

It is obvious that the use of precedent names in the text to such an extent is used by the author precisely as an artistic device.

A certain term has not yet taken root in science to denote this technique, but we would like to follow the Danish specialist Jon Kust, who transferred the concept of name-dropping from popular culture to scientific usage, and use this term [16].We have considered the main functions in which precedent names are used in the text of the novel, however, taking into account the general postmodern context of the creation of the novel, it seems necessary to say that the password is accompanying all these functions.

We believe that the precedents of the names mentioned in the text are a kind of filter by which the author filters out his reader.

1. Arbuzova, V. Yu. (2007). Scientific communication in the aspect of precedent. Bulletin of TSU, 4. Retrieved from https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/nauchnaya-kommunikatsiya-v-aspekte-pretsedentnosti
2. Podtelezhnikova, E. N., & Pavlova, S. S. (2022). Features of the functioning of the precedent name Venus. Topical issues of modern philology and journalism, 3(46). Retrieved from https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/osobennosti-funktsionirovaniya-pretsedentnogo-imeni-venera
3. Stepanov, E. S. (2016). Signs of a precedent name (on the example of the name "Berliner Mauer"). Science of man: humanitarian studies, 2(24). Retrieved from https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/priznaki-pretsedentnogo-imeni-na-primere-imeni-berliner-mauer
4. Liotar, J.-F. (1998). The state of postmodernity. In N. A. Shmatko (Trans. from fr.). Moscow: Institute of Experimental Sociology; St. Petersburg: Aleteya.
5. Jenks, Ch. (1985). The language of architecture of postmodernism. In A. V. Ryabushin & M. V. Uvarova (Trans. from eng.). Moscow: Stroyizdat.
6. Zakharenko, I. V., Krasnykh, V. V., & Gudkov, D. B. (2004). Russian cultural space: Linguoculturological dictionary (1 vol.). Moscow.
7. Nakhimova, E. A. (2007). Precedent names in mass communication. Yekaterinburg: GOU VPO "Ural. gos. ped. un-t"; Institute of Social Education.
8. Latysheva, V. L. (2011). Signs and functions of precedent phenomena. Bulletin of IrSTU, 1(48). Retrieved from https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/priznaki-i-funktsii-pretsedentnyh-fenomenov
9. Puchkova, E. V. (2013). Functioning of precedent phenomena in newspaper headlines. Scientific notes of TOGU, 4(4), 2106-2112.
10. Nakhimova, E. A. (2004). On criteria for highlighting precedent phenomena in political texts. In Linguistics: Bulletin of the Ural Linguistic Society (pp. 166-174). Yekaterinburg.
11. Nakhimova, E. A. (2011). Criteria for the precedent of a proper name. Bulletin of LSU named after A.S. Pushkin, 1. Retrieved from https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/kriterii-pretsedentnosti-imeni-sobstvennogo
12. Eco, U. (2004). Il nome della rosa [The name of the rose]. Bompiani. Retrieved from http://effec89.altervista.org/documentation/Libri/Romanzi/Umberto%20Eco%20-%20Il%20Nome%20Della%20Rosa.pdf
13. Greimas, A. J., & Kurtes, J. (1993). Semiotics, a grounded dictionary of language theory. Paris: Achette.
14. Bartezzaghi, S. (1999). Paolo Fabbri semiologo il dirimpettaio di Eco [Paolo Fabbri semiologist the opposite of Eco]. La Stampa. Retrieved from https://www.paolofabbri.it/recensioni-e-commenti/dirimpettaio_eco
15. Fabbri, P. (2017). Lefficacia semiotica. Risposte e repliche [Semiotic efficacy. Answers and replies]. Mimesis Edizioni, Milano.
16. Kyust, J. (2004). Name-dropping: about one poetic-rhetorical device in the work of Joseph Brodsky. New Literary Review, 67, 224-232

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The article submitted for consideration "Precedent names and their functions in Umberto Eco's novel "The Name of the Rose", proposed for publication in the journal "Litera", is undoubtedly relevant, due to the consideration of the implementation of the phenomenon of precedent in a literary work. The relevance of the research is due to the interest of researchers in studying transcendental phenomena in the context of postmodern literature functioning in a certain cultural context. In the work, the author comprehends the functioning of the phenomenon of transcendence in the novel under study, as well as the peculiarities of the writer's idiosyncrasy. The subject of this study is the precedent names in Umberto Eco's novel "The Name of the Rose" and their functions. The scientific novelty of the work is that the author refers to the linguistic aspects of Umberto Eco's texts, which have not been the subject of special analysis until now. The article is groundbreaking, one of the first in Russian linguistics devoted to the study of such topics in the 21st century. The article presents a research methodology, the choice of which is quite adequate to the goals and objectives of the work. The author turns, among other things, to various methods to confirm the hypothesis put forward. Thus, the methodological basis of the study was descriptive-comparative, contextual and situational-interpretative research methods, as well as the method of quantitative analysis to obtain reliable data. To search for a complete list of case names, a program was written using regular expressions in the Python programming language. This work was done professionally, in compliance with the basic canons of scientific research. The research was carried out in line with modern scientific approaches, the work consists of an introduction containing the formulation of the problem, the main part, traditionally beginning with a review of theoretical sources and scientific directions, a research and a final one, which presents the conclusions obtained by the author. The author describes in detail the course of the study. It should be noted that the introductory part does not contain historical information on the study of this issue, both in general and in particular. There are no references to the work of the predecessors. The bibliography of the article contains 16 sources, including theoretical works in both Russian and foreign languages. Unfortunately, the article does not contain references to fundamental works such as monographs, PhD and doctoral dissertations. Unfortunately, the author did not mention the works of the Russian linguist I. V. Arnold and the poststructuralism theorist Yu. Kristeva. In some cases, the requirements of GOST for the design of the list of references have been violated, in terms of non-compliance with the generally accepted alphabetical arrangement of cited works. Thus, works in Russian are mixed with foreign-language works, traditionally located at the end of the list, the alphabetical principle of bibliography is not observed. In general, we note that the work is written in a simple, understandable language for the reader. Typos, spelling and syntactic errors, inaccuracies in the text of the work were not found. The comments made are not significant and do not affect the overall positive impression of the reviewed work. The practical significance of the research lies in the possibility of using its results in the process of teaching university courses on the practice of language and literary theory. The article will undoubtedly be useful to a wide range of people, philologists, undergraduates and graduate students of specialized universities. The article "Precedent names and their functions in Umberto Eco's novel "The Name of the Rose" can be recommended for publication in a scientific journal.
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