taboo against 3 people in picture: clarificartion

Edith A Moravcsik edith at UWM.EDU
Wed Feb 22 15:44:03 UTC 2012

Could the taboo against pictures showing three persons have to do with a dispreference in community-centered societies for a person "standing out" in a small group? Although, by necessity, there will be one person standing out in any odd-numbered group, being the distinguished person of a larger group may be felt to be less demeaning to the others. 

Edith Moravcsik 

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Gil" <gil at EVA.MPG.DE> 
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 9:14:58 AM 
Subject: taboo against 3 people in picture: clarificartion 

While the various other taboos (not involving pictures) that have come 
up are all interesting, what I am looking for is rather more specific: 

• A taboo involving exactly three as opposed to fewer or more than three 
— not a taboo involving three or more as opposed to two 

• A taboo involving cardinal three as opposed to other cardinal numerals 
— not a taboo involving the ordinal third as opposed to other ordinal 

David Gil 

Department of Linguistics 
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology 
Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany 

Telephone: 49-341-3550321 Fax: 49-341-3550119 
Email: gil at 

Edith A. Moravcsik 
Professor Emerita of Linguistics 
Department of Linguistics 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413 
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