|dc.description.abstract||This study investigated the semantic and pragmatic meaning of selected Namwanga personal names. Specifically, the study sought to investigate the patterns of selected Namwanga personal names: determine the semantic and pragmatic meaning of selected Namwanga personal names: and to establish the social and cultural significance of the meanings expressed in selected Namwanga personal names. The study was conducted in Isoka district of Muchinga province, 100 personal names were collected from 16 informants, among these were; five males, five females, five village headmen and one chief from five different villages who were not less than 50 years old and have resided in the area for more than 45 years. The research is qualitative: purposive and snowballing sampling were used in selecting the key informants. The interviews were guided by semi-structured interview questions which the researcher prepared. The data analysis was informed by Austin’s (1962) Speech Act Theory. The primary data obtained from the semi-structured interview questions reveal the following results: Namwanga personal names are categorized into different patterns which include, names expressing religious beliefs, unity, hatred, displeasure, gossiping, clan, surnames, special names and many others. Namwanga names have semantic and pragmatic meaning that can only be known by the name-giver or the context in which they are given and through naming one is able to perform certain functions or acts such as warn, remind, caution, and apology. In addition, Namwanga personal names have social and cultural significance in that, in certain cases, the circumstances concerning the life of the mother or father inform the idea expressed in the name. Hence, in several instances the name indicates that prior to the birth of the child, the parents did not live in harmony and with this name the hope is expressed that the birth of the child might end that unpleasant situation and reconcile the family in one way or another. Lastly, the study is not exhaustive as far as anthroponyms are concerned; other aspects may deserve further research such as nicknames in Namwanga and their function, as well as proverbial anthroponyms of Namwanga. Thus, this study makes a positive contribution to the body of knowledge in an area that is by and large unexploited.
Key words: Semantics, Pragmatics, Speech Act, Personal Names, Anthroponyms||en