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Achiyitqan Naming Customs
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The choosing of proper names for places & people
This public article was written by severy, and last updated on 24 Jul 2018, 19:12.

[comments] Menu 1. Place names 2. Personal names 3. How to build names
This article is a work in progress! Check back later in case any changes have occurred.

This article will highlight the process of choosing proper names in Achiyitqan culture, as well as giving a brief instructional overview of how to form them in the language. The linguistic naming process is similar for places, people, and other proper nouns, although the types of meanings and cultural practices around them differ greatly. Examples will also be given.

[top]Place names

Since they endure over time, many modern place names may not be easy to see the meaning of: they have undergone phonological changes over time. Nevertheless, when they were created, almost all place names are simple, understandable descriptions of the place, typically relating to notable features in the environment (e.g. cliffs, mountains, rivers), local wildlife (plants and animals in unusual abundance), or the purpose and activities associated with the place (e.g. hunting, religious activities, farming, arts and crafts).

Places are rarely if ever named after people, even incredibly famous ones or a city's founder. If a place is ever named after a person, it is usually with an epithet (e.g. "the home of the warrior", "the land of the conqueror," "the mountain of the great priest") as opposed to their actual name. Cities and towns are especially unlikely to be named after a person, while it is a bit more common for smaller locations like villages, historic or religious sites, and buildings.

[[examples time]]

[top]Personal names

Achiyitqan society has no formal social gender divisions (at best, it recognizes "mothers" (those who have given birth) and "everyone else"), and in keeping with this, there is no consideration of gender when it comes to giving names.

The Achiyitqan name is usually only one part, the personal name, both socially and for most people legally. Since 1963 the Achiyitqan government has begun to encourage people to select a surname that will not change throughout the life (or, can be added to, but preferably not replaced entirely). Surnames are usually merely occupational or demonstrate origins, and sometimes function more like titles than names; in everyday use they are ignored, in legal settings they come after the first name, and in formal settings they may precede it. However, the majority of Achiyitqans still have only one name.

Achiyitqan names are not selected from a list or given in honour of ancestors or heroes; instead each name is crafted anew, and has obvious meaning in the language. Babies are typically simply known as child of [Parent] until they are old enough to be given a name based on their personality or aspirations. When they get older still, they are free to choose their own names.

Typically choosing one's own name for the first time is considered a right of passage and marker of adolescence, and involves a ceremony for family and friends (or the whole village, if small enough). This usually occurs between ages 9 and 15. Individuals are free to change their name however many times they wish, however, and on average most Achiyitqans have four names throughout their lives (child, youth, adult, senior) but many stick with the first name they choose while others change their name seemingly twice a decade.

Since the rise of globalism and the Internet, Achiyitqans have begun occasionally giving themselves foreign names instead of inventing their own. This is mostly considered an odd trend among the youths.

[top]How to build names

- do not innately contain case but inflect as S-class nouns (AN for people, IN for places)
- (ADJ)N
- V(ADV)(PN)
- relative clauses
- common elements
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