- 人間環境学研究 (ISSN:13485253)
- vol.20, no.2, pp.129-133, 2022 (Released:2022-12-25)
People in general frequently discuss the uniqueness of kirakira names and the pros and cons of kirakira names on the assumption that the rates of kirakira names have increased over time in Japan. However, empirical evidence that shows an increase in kirakira names was not directly provided, leaving it unclear whether the rates of kirakira names really increased. Therefore, this article discusses whether kirakira names indeed increased based on empirical evidence. Specifically, by taking account of previous research that clarifies the definitions of kirakira names and the components of these definitions, this article assesses whether names with each of the components have increased. Consequently, under the broad definition “low-frequency names,” kirakira names have increased, based on prior research indicating an increase in unique names in Japan. In contrast, under the narrow definitions that have three additional components ("names that deviate from traditions," "names that are difficult to read," and "names that are used in positive or neutral contexts") within the category of "low-frequency names," there is no evidence that examines historical changes in the rates of kirakira names, leaving it impossible, at least at present, to insist that kirakira names have increased. Moreover, this article shows that it is impossible to claim that kirakira names that follow the definitions provided in representative dictionaries and encyclopedias have increased. This article discusses whether kirakira names have really increased based on empirical evidence, contributing to an accurate understanding of society, culture, human, and language, and leading to the advancement of practices and applications in the correct direction.