A number of new readers have joined since I started the topics on 'reference' more than a year ago. To avoid going over the same ground again, I will link to some earlier posts for background. Of course, this is all work in progress, and anything may change.
For example, Anthony objects that I am attempting "to develop a theory of reference based on fictional stories". Correct, and that is the whole point. As I argued earlier, the semantics of empty proper names do not obviously differ from that of non-empty names, and it seems that the names of historical characters individuate in just the same way as fictional ones. See also this post about the reference of 'God' and 'Allah'.
I have argued further here that there cannot be such a thing as reference failure. To understand a proper name is to understand which person its sentence is about.
This means (I have argued) that reference cannot be relation between a term – a linguistic item - and an item in non-linguistic reality. The verb 'refers to' is therefore logically intransitive. I explain the notion of logical intransitivity here, and its application to reference here. This leads to the "'Frodo'-Frodo" theory of reference.