Naming as a universal linguistic culture: examples from english and fulfulde

Umaru Kiro Kalgo and Balkisu Abubakar Kigo

The human society is naturally endowed with the ability to utter, not just sounds, but words with distinctive meanings. This communicative tool called language serves for communication, for keeping history and reference such as naming and identification. In the languages within our reach, and especially English and Fulfulde, naming is an important linguistic habit. It is in this line of thought that this paper sets to investigate the traditional names of the above mentioned societies. The aim of this paper is to determine whether English and Fulfulde have traditional names and whether these names are products of circumstances surrounding a child’s birth or a mere linguistic habit, attribution or accomplishment. For the method of investigation, traditional names have been collected from each language and then they have been classified according to categories such as circumstantial and professional names. Efforts have also been made to find their meanings in relation to the circumstances and reason for their attribution, and we came to realize that the two linguistic communities even though distant form one another, share the system of naming.

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