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Thread: Naming characters

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  1. #23
    ....... Harlequin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    The land from whence the shadows fall
    lol, that's a long dark rabbithole! we associate certain sounds with certain genders, and also with certain characteristics (consider how Tolkien devised Elvish to sound, as opposed to the language of mordor). if you end up doing your own conlang at some point, there's reams of stuff about our associations and biases towards certain sounds.

    the same for names, I guess. We tend to think of some sounds as more masculine or feminine; you're unlikely to see a male knight called Alayanna (invented on the spot here) in a fantasy novel, but the female characters always seem to have an abundance of As in their names, and it wouldn't be out of place >.>

    smarter people than me can explain it better; a somewhat limited paper in relation to real names but has links to others in it (including I think studies on made up names, though they mean stuff like online avatars).

    from part of the discussion section;

    The results of this analysis of category norms showed that the greater the proportion of round-sounding consonants in a name, the more likely that name was to be female. In contrast, the proportion of sharp-sounding consonants was not predictive of name gender. This is consistent with previous findings that female names are more likely than male names to end in a sonorant consonant [24]. Additionally, although sharp-sounding consonants were not predictive of name gender here, previous findings have demonstrated that male names are more likely than female names to end in a stop consonant [34].
    Thus, there is some evidence that phonemes are not only associated with shape, but also with the more abstract concept of gender, at least in the case of phonemic roundness and femaleness.
    Last edited by Harlequin; 03-15-2018 at 12:01 PM.
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