Document Type : Original Article


University of Cape Coast, Ghana


Names as markers of identity are a source of a wide variety of information. This paper explores the names of characters to show the sociocultural factors which influence the choice of names and the effects that the names of these characters have on the roles they play. Using a variety of personal names from Ayi Kwei Armah’s Fragments, Buchi Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood, and Nawal El Sadaawi’s Woman at Point Zero, the study revealed that, the choice of names in Akan, Igbo, and Arab societies are influenced by the day of birth, the family one belongs to, circumstances surrounding one’s birth, titles, and religion. Furthermore, writers chose these specific names to reinforce the roles characters play in the literary work. These findings have implications for onomastics, characterization, and further research.