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

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


Name uniqueness will be negatively associated with societal size, complexity, and stratification (70).


Most significant correlations occurred with name changes during an individual's life (Tau = 0.24, p < 0.01), total number of name taboos (Tau = 0.33, p < 0.01), and taboos on using names of the dead (Tau = 0.42, p < 0.01). At p < 0.05 significance, the variables naming occurs later, address by kin term, reference by kin term, taboo on parent's name, kin as ultimate sovereign unit, belief in spirits with limited control, cannibalism, animism, and matrilineal descent are positively associated, while naming as signifier of parenthood, nicknames common, societal complexity, technological complexity, literacy, presence of social classes, belief in high gods, and population are negatively associated.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Kendall's TauSupportedp < 0.05UNKNOWNUNKNOWN