This article discusses the nature of numerals and the plausibility of their special semantic and epistemological status as proper names of numbers. Evidence is presented that minimizes the difference between numerals and other devices of direct reference. The availability of intensional contexts within formalised metamathematics is exploited to shed light on the relation between formal numerals and numerals.
David Auerbach. "Saying It with Numerals." Notre Dame J. Formal Logic 35 (1) 130 - 146, Winter 1994. https://doi.org/10.1305/ndjfl/1040609300