There are many ways of choosing or creating a name, the ways of which vary from culture to culture, and from language to language. Chinese onyms are usually constructed of one or more elements, being mostly lexical items (morphemes or words), and retaining in most cases their own lexical meaning in a name, therefore they are usually semantically transparent. However, the “true” significance of some names is sometimes very difficult to discover, and the conclusion is often based upon guesswork. What is evident, Chinese onyms are not random combinations; they usually have a certain underlying significance, reflecting the reason or reasons why particular lexical items are used in the naming process. Chinese researchers usually do not mention “the meaning” of names as a criterion for their semantic divisions. Their classifications are mainly based upon the variously termed “reasons”, “methods”, “motivations”, or “sources of naming”. Therefore, this paper deals with some selected, typical and untypical, “methods” of creating Chinese names, especially given names and place names.
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