Competing Through Categorization: Product- and Audience-Centric Strategies in an Evolving Categorical Structure


Organization Studies


Departments: Languages & Cultures

Keywords: category-level status, competitive dynamics, status within categories, strategic categorization

We investigate how and why competing organizations position their similar products in categories of varying status. We studied the paired longitudinal case of the highly publicized contest between ESSEC and HEC, two French business schools, as they sought to position their core Grande Ecole program in the evolving international business education categorical structure. We conceptualize categorization as a competitive, relational process involving multiple actors and producing various meanings and perceptions. Our study (a) highlights the role of anticipated category status spillovers versus anticipated relative status within a category in producers’ entry decisions; (b) contrasts product- and audience-centric categorization strategies; and (c) shows the role of intermediaries in adjudicating categorization contests

A Sense of the Magical: Names in Lord Dunsany’s The King of Elfland’s Daughter


Names: A Journal of Onomastics

December 2015, vol. 63, n°4, pp.189-199

Departments: Languages & Cultures

Keywords: Lord Dunsany, The King of Elfland's Daughter, Literary onomastics, Fantasy, Magic in literature

Contributing to the enchantment of the author’s celebrated prose, the names in Lord Dunsany’s best-known novel evoke a world of fairytale, myth, and song; ring true to the characters and places they designate; and fashion themselves into a constellation of correspondences in sound, form, and sense.

L'économie allemande lors du deuxième mandat d'Angela Merkel 2009 - 2013


Allemagne d'Aujourd'hui

October-December 2013, n°206, pp.22-32

Departments: Languages & Cultures

Phonetic Metaphor and the Limits of Sound Symbolism


Names: A Journal of Onomastics

December 2013, vol. 61, n°4, pp.189-199

Departments: Languages & Cultures

Keywords: Fónagy, Ivan: La Métaphore en phonétique and La Vive voix, Genette, Gérard: Mimologiques: Voyage en Cratylie, Gender in names and acts of nomination, Literary onomastics, Le Guin, Ursula K.: A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan, Phonetic metaphor, Names in fantasy literature, Sound symbolism

Evocative as it is elusive, the sound-symbolism of names tends to be a highly subjective affair, more the stuff of poetic fancy than objective critical analysis. Literary criticism, however, demands a rigorous and more objective approach, which is precisely what the ideas of Gérard Genette and Ivan Fónagy can provide. Where the former explores the limits of sound symbolism, the latter gives a cogent explanation for how, within those limits, this linguistic phenomenon actually works thanks to what he calls phonetic metaphor. In addition to elaborating a concrete framework in which to study the relations between sound and sense in literary onomastics, Fónagy’s ideas open up new vistas for exploring the relationships between names, gender, affect and the body. Names in the fantasy novels of Ursula K. Le Guin illustrate the explanatory power of phonetic metaphor as a critical concept in onomastics

What Makes the Names of Middle-earth So Fitting? Elements of Style in the Namecraft of J. R. R. Tolkien

Christopher ROBINSON

Names: A Journal of Onomastics

June 2013, vol. 61, n°2, pp.65-74

Departments: Languages & Cultures

Keywords: J. R. R. Tolkien, Literary onomaturgy, Literary onomastics, Names in fantasy literature

What makes a name ‘fitting’? Or, in closely related formulations, what makes a name ‘sound right’ or ‘ring true’? From the Cratylus to present-day studies in literary onomastics, the usual answer is that a name is fitting, right, or true for the person, place, or thing that bears it. The names in J. R. R. Tolkien’s fiction are fitting in this sense, reflecting by way of their source words, sound symbolism, or etymology some characteristic of their designees. At the same time, however, Tolkien insists that a name fit not only its designee, but also the phonological and morphological style of the nomenclature to which it belongs, as well as the linguistic scheme of his invented world. These elements of style are determined at the level of the nomenclature as a whole, independently from concerns with the motivation of individual names. The personal and place names of Middle-earth are thus fitting in more than the usual sense

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