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Title:Revisiting the judicially changed personal names in Ethiopia: a study from a sociolinguistic perspective (1960-1995 E.C.)
Author:Aregga Hailemichael
Periodical:Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review (ISSN 1027-1775)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Ethiopia
Northeast Africa
Subjects:personal names
social change
Names, Personal
Names, Amharic
Abstract:This paper compares judicially-changed personal names in Ethiopia during three periods, namely 1963-1965, 1973-1975, 1993-1995 (E.C.). It examines the differences between the personal proper names before and after change, using empirical data, consisting of actual occurrences of personal proper names collected from the public notices that appeared during the three periods in two Amharic newspapers: the daily 'Addis Zämän' and the weekly 'Yäzareyitu Ityopya', and personal interviews with notable personalities such as religious leaders. Among the changes in the personal names, the majority were changes in one's own name. Furthermore, there were changes in father's or grandfather's names and changes in all three. Finally, when these names were analysed, it was found that the changes were often from Muslim or chosen family names to Christian names, but sometimes also from a personal name designating a certain ethnic group to a different one. It is argued here that these changes can be largely explained by the political, economic and sociocultural changes that have occurred in Ethiopian society. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]