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

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


Address by kin term will be positively associated with kin-centered societies in which personal names lack surnames, patronym, or clan/lineage names (100).


Most significant (p < 0.01) associations occurred with the variables father picks name (Tau = -0.42), number of name taboos (Tau = 0.69), name taboo (parents) (Tau = 0.43), name taboo (spouse) (Tau = 0.39), and name taboo (in-laws) (Tau = 0.43). At p < 0.05 significance, name uniqueness, naming occurs later, name changes during lifetime, name taboo (deceased), cannibalism, headhunting, and animism are positively associated, while parents pick name, technological complexity, extralocal jurisdictional levels, specialists in communal activities, and population are negatively associated.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Kendall's TauSupportedp < 0.05UNKNOWNUNKNOWN