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well, the traditional chinese naming scheme involves three syllables, the 1st syllable being the family name and the 2nd and 3rd syllables being a two-syllable sequence often considered to be a “given name” (not exactly a given name in the western sense). this two-syllable sequence is most commonly comprised of:

* a predetermined “generational name”, i.e. the syllable in the name that is shared among members of the same gender within a single generation of the family,
* and an actual given name that is chosen at birth, often with specific sound-preferences in mind (the entire name must “sound good” in its tones and/or convey a good meaning, etc.)

however, nowadays, people in that part of the world aren’t as traditional as before. i don’t know whether there are any misreportings/inaccuracies on the map here, but two-syllable full names (1 syllable for surname and just 1 syllable for “given name”) are actually not uncommon in mainland china, particularly among men. and as a matter of fact, my father, who was born in southern china back in 1949, has a full name that is only two-syllables long, and his given name is precisely the cantonese equivalent of mandarin chinese *wěi* (偉/伟).

it doesn’t seem implausible to me that a monosyllabic given name is the most common one in china, especially considering that, in principle, the likelihood for two-syllable names to match in both syllables should be far lower than the likelihood for one-syllable names to match in their single syllable—so the longer the name, the lower the probability of a fully identical match. i’m surprised that for taiwan, there’s actually a two-syllable given name that rose to the top in terms of frequency. but i suppose two-syllable naming (1-syllable surname + 1-syllable given name) is not a common practice there.

or perhaps what is on the map for china and taiwan is the result of two different interpretations of “given name” (taiwan: generational syllable + syllable assigned at birth; mainland china: just the syllable given at birth without the generational component)…?

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