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Example research essay topic: Name Paper. - 726 words

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Name Paper. The practice of giving a name goes back into prehistoric times. There was always a need to call people, while you address them, probably with the evolution of speech, appeared the need for giving people proper names. Names are used in all the parts of the world, in all the cultures and religions. Some cultures have more difficult ways of naming, like the traditions in China and Arabic countries. In Indonesia the names were very simple, just one single name.

Names have many purposes, as it has been already mentioned, the main one is to decipher us from one another. Some names carry information about our roots, such as family or clan names. They are generally inherited. Names can serve other purposes as well, such as the Chinese generation name, which identifies the generation of the bearer, or the names used by some African cultures, which describe the order in which siblings were born. (1) Many cultures give name some supernatural meaning. Besides animistic commonplaces such as naming a child after a lucky person or a wily animal, there are widespread taboo practices, such as not naming a child after a living relative or changing the name on the death of a namesake or avoiding the name of a family totem. In some cultures the name given the child at birth is temporary and is replaced with another at puberty, or whenever the individual attains a new age grade. (3).

Usually the name groups are mostly similar in countries with the same religious practices. In most countries where Christianity is practiced, the set of names that are given are quite similar, with only slight differences in pronunciation and spelling. Most names in these countries are taken from Latin, Hebrew, Greek or one of the early Celtic, Germanic or Slavic languages. In these countries the church played a major part in the process of giving names. There was, and still widely exists the practice of giving names after the saints. In the counties of the Christian world there was a also a common practice of giving names after the mythological gods and other traditional folklore.

The naming practice of the Muslim world differed form the one of the Christian, but not greatly. Most names are taken from the Arabic language. There was also a common practice of adopting names from other languages, such as Persian and Turkish. The names mostly are taken from dictionary, meaning all the names have some meaning. Due to the religion that is practiced in these countries the other major sources of names are Islam and Koran, as a book of Islam. In India, the practice of giving names has old traditions.

Most names in this country are taken from the old language of Sanskrit, another valuable source of names are the holy text of the religion of this country Hinduism. That is why the children are usually given names of different goddesses, which is a lot like the practice of Christians. Africa is home to several language families and hundreds of languages. The people can be divided into over a thousand different ethnic groups. Some practice various tribal religions, others Islam or Christianity. This complex background makes summing up African naming traditions in a few paragraphs very difficult. Traditional African names often reflect the circumstances at the time of birth.

. (2) In China the tradition of giving names is very difficult. Chinese given names usually consist of two syllables (though it is increasingly common to only use one). Those syllables can be any of the thousands of Chinese characters so the combinations are almost limitless. In practice some characters are chosen more often than others, such as Mei "beautiful" for girls and Wu "martial" for boys. Sometimes the first character of the given name is shared by all members of a generation in a family (siblings, cousins, etc). A full Chinese name is presented in this order: surname, given name.

When transcribed into western writing, the characters of the given name are often written separately. Thus Mao Zedong is often given as Mao Ze Dong. (1) The practice of giving names in Japan and Korea is similar to the one of China, because they share the same roots. Bibliography Alford Richard. D., Naming and Identity (1988); www.questia.com Encyclopedia, History of Name www.questia.com Wilkipedia, the free internet encyclopedia, Name www.wilkipedia.com.

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