Antonomasia – a Figure of Cultural Memory

Ana Grgić, Davor Nikolić; Filozofski fakultet Zagreb
This paper analyses the function of antonomasia as a figure of cultural memory. Classical rhetoric defined this trope as the substitution of proper name by appelative, epithet or periphrasis, whereas in the contemporary rhetoric it is also seen as a reverse figure called Vossian antonomasia. Figurative and lexicalized antonomasias (eponyms) for either fictional or true characters of historical governors, soldiers and artists are passed on and persevered by cultural memory. In opposition to so-called big "names", the cultural memory of a smaller community (region, village or a clan) fortifies its collective memory by applying particular nicknames (de facto antonomasias). Typical examples are patronyms and matronyms, as well as names addressed to women either after their husband's name, maiden name or their birthplace.
Key words
antonomasia; anthroponyms; cultural memory; onomastics; rhetoric; trope
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