Proposal: Creating instructions for using nominative case for titles (RDA 6.2) and names (RDA 8.5)

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5 Responses to Proposal: Creating instructions for using nominative case for titles (RDA 6.2) and names (RDA 8.5)

  1. Peter Rolla says:

    Regarding the paper CC:DA will be discussing about the use of nominative case: I think it needs clarification regarding those languages where inflection changes when the case marker is not carried by all the words in a phrase. For example, in the German title “Der blaue Reiter”, all three words in the phrase are in the nominative, but the marker for the nominative case is carried only by the article and the noun, not by the adjective. Alternatively, the title could be given without an article as “Blauer Reiter.” Both expressions are correct, and in both “blue” is in the nominative case. The sticky issue is not about case–it’s about whether a transcription which chooses to omit initial articles should be true to its source–“Blaue Reiter”–or corrected to represent a different grammatical construction, one without the article–“Blauer Reiter.”

    Ideally an article could be included as a non-sorting term in such titles. If it were, the transcription would be “[Der] blaue Reiter”, which would index under “blaue”, which argues for preferring accurate transcription over adding a “corrected” case ending.

    For a name example, Konrad Adenauer was known as “Der Alte” (implying “Der alte Mann”). If this were to be used as a name access point omitting the initial article, should it be “Alte” following usage, or “Alter” adding the nominative inflection explicitly, but departing from the common usage? Both are nominative case.

    I’d argue that RDA should prescribe a sequence of operations: first, determine that a name or title expression is in the nominative; then, remove (or screen from indexing) any initial article. Removing the article first and then trying to impose a “correct” case ending is the wrong approach.– Stephen Hearn via email (posted by Rolla)

  2. Peter Rolla says:

    I have another comment to make, this on CC:DA/JSC Rep/KPG/2014/6 (“Creating instructions for using nominative case for titles (RDA 6.2) and names (RDA
    8.5)”) and CC:DA/JSC Rep/KPG/2014/4 (“Using the mark of omission in preferred titles (RDA 6.2)”). The paragraph under RDA 6.2.1.3 is repeated several times in Chapter 6, with slight variations: 6.14.1.3; 6.19.1.3; 6.23.1.3; and 6.26.1.3. I didn’t see these instructions mentioned in the proposals’ text, but any revision to 6.2.1.3 may need to be mirrored in these other locations too. — Mark Ehlert via email (posted by Rolla)

  3. Robert Rendall says:

    The issues related the consequences of omitting an initial article raised by Stephen Hearn in the comment above (posted by Peter) are different from the one addressed by this proposal on grammatical case. Maybe our current practices related to names and titles like Der Blaue Reiter and Der Alte should be better explained, or changed, but the way to do that would involve changes to 6.2.1.7, 11.2.2.8, and elsewhere. I think that could be discussed separately from this proposal, which simply adds language telling us to convert a non-nominative form to a nominative one and then proceed as usual.

  4. Kathy Glennan says:

    It’s also important to remember that the U.S. practice to drop the initial article is now an *Alternative* in RDA 6.2.1.7 (recording titles of works), in RDA 11.2.2.8 (recording names of corporate bodies), and in RDA 16.2.2.4 (recording the name of places). Over time, the JSC expects that the examples throughout RDA will change to illustrate the main instruction to record the initial article, rather than showing the alternative. Some examples have already been modified.

  5. robertlmaxwell says:

    We should let the Germans weigh in on this, who are obviously the experts on how their own language behaves. The basic point is, however, in languages that have case nominative forms are chosen for access points. Perhaps a tweak is needed for languages such as German where the nominative form is different depending on whether the noun is accompanied by an article or not. Though I would think, since RDA has the option of either keeping or dropping the article, in either case the base rule (principle?) would be the same—record the nominative case. If your agency is recording names/titles with the article, then the nominative form with the article is the form that should be recorded; if your agency is following the option to drop the article from names/titles, then the nominative form without the article would be recorded.

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