The physiological differences of men and women and philosophical differences in the attitude to the both sexes have brought about great differences in their productive activities, social roles, and other aspects. Chinese women have held an inferior status in society for more than 3000 years of the history of China, and their social position has had great influence on female personal names. As the Chinese naming practice does not restrict the list of possible given names (a name is formed individually), and they are considered lexical items rather than onomastic ones, female names seem to be well suited for a study of some stereotyped opinions and cultural expectations concerning women.The paper presents patterns of female names in the historical and contemporary China, and describes in some more detail the given names constructed of morphemes/words written in characters with a 'woman' radical or a graphical element, as an evident indicator of female names in their written form. The investigation is based upon the research material consisting of 1552 female given names of 1595 women, chosen from 'Huaxia funü mingren cidian' (Dictionary of Famous Chinese Women), published in 1988 in Beijing, China, and of given names of 896 female students performing their studies in Beijing Language and Culture University and Beijing Foreign Languages University in 2003/2004.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.