Society for Linguistic Anthropology
Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
Proper names constitute a universal linguistic category present in all human languages. Although they are governed by distinct norms in individual languages, their grammatical status is always different from that of other nominal words, along various linguistic criteria. Defined as “nouns that denote unique entities,” proper names play an important role in a language and in the culture of its speakers. In addition to two prototypical classes of proper names, anthroponyms, or personal names, and toponyms, or place names, various other entities (from astronomical objects to animals), events, organizations, and brand products carry nonprototypical names attached to them through the process of naming where a culturally acceptable and semantically appropriate form is chosen, determined by the values and attitudes of the naming speech community.
Names in popular culture reflect the practices and beliefs omnipresent in the contemporary world, as well as collective and individual identities. Different genres of popular music are perhaps the most ubiquitous categories of popular culture, with each of them targeting a different section of society. The present contribution explore the names in one of the most clearly defined forms of rock music – Heavy Metal – that is, in 2019, celebrating its 50th anniversary while being present in more then 170 countries in the world. The goal of our analysis is to investigate what names of bands and their albums reveal about the subculture of this particular branch of music and about the interests, attitudes and beliefs of its fan base.