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

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


More extensive naming ceremonies will be positively associated with societal complexity, population, use of patrilineal descent, and presence of high gods (47).


Most significant correlations occur with complexity of military organization (Tau = 0.42, p < 0.01), presence of high god(s) (Tau = 0.40, p < 0.01), belief in reincarnation (Tau = 0.29), picking of name by parents (Tau = -0.41, p < 0.01), signification by name of social legitimacy (Tau = -.37) and taboo on names of the dead (Tau = -0.31, p < 0.01). At p < 0.05 level, the variables naming signifies parenthood, name taboo (spouse), societal complexity, technological complexity, extralocal jurisdictional levels, specialists in communal activities, totemism, population, and patrilineal descent are positively associated, and 'given name' as exclusive naming component is negatively associated.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Kendall's TauSupportedp < 0.05UNKNOWNUNKNOWN