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A Study of Name and Naming Mentalities in the
name,naming,the medieval Chinese culture,history of mentalities,
|Publication Year :||2019|
Human names as a social-cultural product are always the reflection of individual or collective mentalities. The changes of milieu could be investigated upon the various representation of naming in the long turn. The dissertation takes the human names and naming mentalities in medieval China as the theme, and scrutinize the naming characteristics and usage scenario of that time in order to extend the understanding of the history of medieval culture.
By taking human names of medieval China as research materials, two fundamental questions are arose. One is the amount is huge, but some groups are so scarce of records that difficult for researchers to probe into. The other is that the social identities and cultural background of the name-owners are diverse. The usage scenario of every kind of “name” needs to be historically handled to establish valid classification and interpretation, and the dynamic scene could thereafter been exhibited.
As to the above questions, the samples are not only gathered from official histories, but also explored in various materials. The goal is to achieve fine-grained understanding for medieval naming culture. This dissertation claims an analytic structure of four types: religion and thoughts, custom, Hu and Han, as well as male and female. As to the mentalities of naming, four classification models are identified: holy name, fierce name, elite name, and opprobrious name.
The holy name and fierce name are both the foreign options derived from Buddhism, whereas unavailable in previous dynasties. The purpose is to plead for the blessings and protection, or commitment of religious ideal. These two models is ubiquitous in every class of Hu and Han, as well as male and female. Especially it acts as the surrogate of Hu names. In Tang Dynasty, the fierce name diminished rapidly for its frightful images, and holy name was toward in the pattern of nickname or religious name and inherited in succeeding dynasties.
The elite name is characterized for quoting the classics and are especially favored by Sui-Tang aristocratic families and the literati. The origin of quotation is majorly from Huaxia classics and ancient histories centering in Confucianism. It admires antique and demonstrates the values for governing and benefiting the world, as well as cultivation the mind. The elite name could be seen as the invocation of Confucius Classics. Elegant and precise expression is attested, with the odor of literary encyclopedias. This model has so sturdy aristocracy character that other ones were gradually peripheralized or toward underclass in the naming arena. It became the common phenomenon for the intellectuals after Tang Dynasty.
The opprobrious name belongs to the custom of informal name and origins from the ancient belief of the name-soul unity with the primitive function of “courtesy name”. This model had never been assimilated in etiquette but prevalent in ordinary life. It was common in Hu and Han, male and female, as well as every social class in medieval China. Furthermore, it may be adopted as formal name in some circumstances. The dissertation summarizes the opprobrious name in medieval China, tries to propound definition and explanation.
This dissertation also elaborates how Taoism in early medieval China had impact on naming culture, and sheds light on the naming characteristics within Hu and feminine groups. In summary, “stratification” is the most crucial distinction in terms of utilization of human names in medieval China. The culture of elite name continuously extended after the medieval period with the increasing community of Confucianist identity. Except that options of fierce name or from obviously foreign language were weed out, other naming models were still chronically prevailing. These naming mentalities and cultures were not altered until the modern China radically changed.
|Appears in Collections:||中國文學系|
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