Original Articles

The sociolinguistics of personal names: two South African case studies

DOI: 10.1080/02572117.1995.10587052
Author(s): R.K. HerbertDepartment of African Languages, Republic of South Africa


The relationship between personal naming and sociocultural processes is explored in this article. The approach is broadly comparative, giving attention to differences in the act of naming from one linguistic group in South Africa to another and to the question of change within the naming systems. The central issues raised concern the relationship between name types and namegivers, and between ethnic identity and language. Illustrative data are taken from Northern Sotho and Tswana naming in the urban area and from a Tsonga community in the Eastern Transvaal.

Get new issue alerts for South African Journal of African Languages