Some thoughts and random knowlege I'd like to add to the discussion with TrollHammer - concentrating more on the "language" topic:
I agree with you that soulnames are established from the very beginning, Jeremy. I remember a discussion (or was it a fanfic) that the soul even exists before the physical body is conceived.
Like: Recogniton - soul is created, joining follows - body is created (very rough shortcut)
But - the Wolfriders do not necessarily know their soulname from the beginning. In former times it was rather commen to go on a soul quest to learn the own soulname (pointed out several times in the prose stories).
Goodtree comes to mind ... and it was stated that there was a case in even younger times.
Another fact pointed out in the BotC novels:
The Wolfriders soulnames are mutilateded compared to the "inner name" of the purebloods. When wolfblooded children are born to purebloods the mother griefs that part of the name is missing. Rahnee's children could be examples (not quite sure about it again :nuhuh, but here are different names/soulnames mentioned:
Mar - Mara
Kreanne - Kree
In this case any Wolfrider soulname would be only part of a the real name, only part of the meaning ... in case it is translatable at all.
This and several discussions about soulnames and the lack of them made me use different terms:
- soulname for the secret names of the Wolfriders
- truename for the elfin (sound names) of the other tribes
In my opinion both have basically the same source (Leet-ah got her name because she IS the healing light), but meaning and function have changed. Purebloods wear htheir name openly - no matter whether they are able to send or not.
Wolfriders have to hide it - the hostile use can hurt them. Probably because of their "split" soul the soulname opens a door to a part of them that should not be seen by anyone. It's their weakness - and their strenght.
Another thought in this context - from the very beginning Go-Back names occured to me very similar to Wolfrider soulnames. Maybe they are ... shown openly because the lack of wolfblood and loss of sending made it needless to hide them?