Proper Names in Education: Global Tendencies and Local Traditions
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Within the higher education field proper names can be confusing as identifying them and tracing their occurences is quite a difficult task. Not only is their history quite unclear. They occur and function in our conceptual lives in different ways (Reyes, M. et al. 1993). They update dynamically due to all the changes that evolve in society (Crystal 1986; 1987). Thus their variability inevitably leads to ambiguity and hinders their use in understanding the cultural and social contexts of other languages. This paper presents the results of the research of historical, cultural, communicative, semantic and structural aspects of various types of English proper names in higher education which are considered as constituents of lexical and semantic fields. The author analyzes their structural, semantic, and cultural features, and stresses the complexity of their nature. Peculiarities at the structural and semantic levels, including the number, meaning and the character of the relationships of their generic and specific (topographical, anthropological, social and cultural, etc.) components are described. Stressed are the peculiarities revealed in the connotative component of their meanings, conventional and emotional attitudes. They are viewed as a reflection of global and local social, cultural and linguistic tendencies as well as natural association of language and local identity (Steedly 1996) of the names of higher educational institutions. In this respect, suggestions are made regarding the comparative and cross-cultural study of proper names in higher education.