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

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


Total number of name changes in an individual's lifetime will be negatively associated with societal complexity and size (86).


Most significant (p < 0.01) associations occurred with the variables sex-typed names (Tau = -0.24), name uniqueness (Tau = 0.24), father picks name (Tau = -0.45), number of name taboos ((Tau = 0.21), and matrilineal descent (Tau = 0.28). At p < 0.05 significance, the variables address by kin term, reference by kin term, name taboo (in-laws), name taboo (deceased), and belief in spirits with limited control are positively associated, while naming signifies parenthood and population are negatively associated.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Kendall's TauSupportedp < 0.05UNKNOWNUNKNOWN