Naming and identity: a cross-cultural study of personal naming practices

HRAF Press New Haven Published In Pages: ??
By Alford, Richard


Naming institutions which confer social legitimacy will be positively associated with societal size, complexity, and use of unilineal descent (32).


Most significant correlations occurred with complexity of military organization (Tau = 0.44, p < 0.01) and presence of totemism (Tau = 0.48, p < 0.01). At p < 0.05 level, the variables elaborate birth ceremonies, naming signifies parenthood, name taboo (spouse), judicial authority, cannibalism, religious organization, and population are positively associated, while belief in spirits with limited control and bilateral descent are negatively associated.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Kendall's TauSupportedp < 0.05UNKNOWNUNKNOWN