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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The structure and functions of Ghanaian personal names
Author:Egblewogbe, E.Y.
Geographic term:Ghana
Subject:personal names
Abstract:This description of the systems of personal names in Ghana and how they function within the sociocultural contexts of the people concerned indicates that Ghanaians have very elaborate systems of naming. Most of these systems are general, while a few are peculiar to certain ethnic groups. The linguistic areas covered in this survey include the Ewe, Ga, Dangme, Akan, Nzema, Gonja, Dagbani, Waale/Dagaare and Kasem. In most cases, a child is given a name at birth according to the day on which he or she is born. In addition, the child is given names which may derive from a variety of circumstances, such as the clan of the parents, the order of birth in the family, problems during the pregnancy, physical characteristics at birth, or exceptional circumstances. One system which is central to Ghanaian naming is that of allusive names, deriving from circumstances which have no direct bearing on the children themselves and portraying rather the parents' ideas about man in society. Other personal names taken and used in Ghana include nicknames, praise names, and names in the form of proverbs. Ref.