Names with particles

Zotero currently has (up to) two boxes for names in an entry - first name and surname. However, the Society of Biblical Literature Handbook of Style (SBLHS) has special handling for names such as Johannes de Moor.

The rule is to capitalize according to normal usage, then alphabetize by the first capitalized letter. As "de" is not capitalized, the correct way is:

Biblio: Moor, Johannes C. de, "The Elusive Prophet," ...
Footnote: de Moor, "The Elusive Prophet," ...

So if you put the "de" in the "first name" box, you get:

Biblio: Moor, Johannes C. de, "The Elusive Prophet," ...
Footnote: Moor, "The Elusive Prophet," ...

but if you put the "de" in the "surname" box, you get:

Biblio: de Moor, Johannes C. de, "The Elusive Prophet," ...
Footnote: de Moor, "The Elusive Prophet," ...

both of which are wrong! This issue also can arise for van, ben, ibn and other similar words. How does one deal with this?

  • Worth nothing that this issue is not so straightforward. Sometimes these fragments are formally non-sorting articulars, and other times they are effectively part of the family name. So I'm not sure, for example, you can reliably automate it.
  • bdarcus: There are several ways you could do this. The first is to have an option for three parts of the address - firstname, surname, and bits which are surname parts that you don't use for sorting. It would be one more option in the toggle between one field and two fields.

    The second is to try and do something intelligent by looking at the capitalization, but this would require the rules being the same across all styles.

    The last thing is moving the intelligence to the CSL by enhancing it with operators for string search etc.
    <if variable="surname" contains="de van ibn" match="any">

  • I don't think the last option is viable, and I'm not convinced the second is either. I could imagine that there may be cases where a "van der Whatever" or a "de Something" might get sorted on the 'v' or 'd''. In fact, I know someone for whom this is the case: Eric van der Vlist. He sorts on 'van' and considers that entire string his family name (I forget the story; I think his name is from Denmark or something, but he's French?).

    Whatever solution is the right one needs to consider the wider contexts of names (discussed previously) where different cultures have different sort rules. It's a complicated PITA.
  • So does the first option cover all the bases? There are three boxes, say they are called "First Name", "Surname", and "Surname Prefix", whereby they work as follows.

    Standard order: Firstname Surname_Prefix Surname
    "Surname only": Surname_Prefix Surname
    Reversed style: Surname, Firstname Surname_Prefix

    So Eric van der Vlist would not use the Surname_Prefix box, and be:
    Eric van der Vlist
    van der Vlist
    van der Vlist, Eric

    but Johannes de Moor would use it, and be:

    Johannes de Moor
    de Moor
    Moor, Johannes de

Sign In or Register to comment.