Bramwell, Ellen Sage
Naming in society: a cross-cultural study of five communities in Scotland.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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Personal names are a human universal, but systems of naming vary across cultures. While a person’s name identifies them immediately with a particular cultural background, this aspect of identity is rarely researched in a systematic way. This thesis examines naming patterns as a product of the society in which they are used. Personal names have been studied within separate disciplines, but to date there has been little intersection between them. This study marries approaches from anthropology and linguistic research to provide a more comprehensive approach to name-study.
Specifically, this is a cross-cultural study of the naming practices of several diverse communities in Scotland, United Kingdom. The purpose of the project is to compare and contrast the personal naming systems of a range of indigenous and immigrant communities whose social and linguistic contexts vary extensively. In doing so, it investigates links between personal names, social change, cultural contact and linguistic systems, and hopes to contribute towards examining universal features of naming systems and developing a theory of names.
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