[Lingtyp] Kinship systems that distinguish age but not gender
dbeck at ualberta.ca
Wed Jul 19 12:39:19 UTC 2017
In Totonac, kinship terms are inherently possessed and sibling terms distinuish gender only for older siblings: -púškṵ ‘older brother’, -pí:pḭ ‘older sister’, -stánkṵ ‘younger sibling’. I think it is probably significant that the older sibling terms refer to position of social seniority when used in non-possessed form: púšku’ ‘chief, boss’ and pí:pḭ ’socially senior woman’. I wonder if this is common in languages that show this pattern?
> On Jul 19, 2017, at 5:28 AM, Joshua Birchall <jtbirchall at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello Hedvig!
> Tupian languages, especially from the Tupi-Guarani branch, often have sibling terms would best be translated as 'same sex younger sibling', 'same sex older sibling' and 'opposite sex sibling'. Kin terms tend to have different male and female speech forms, but it is somewhat common for the elder same sex sibling term to be same in both male and female speech (Araweté) or very similar (Kamayurá, Tupinambá).
> There is also something similar going on in Cariban languages, but since my database is still small (but growing!) I can't say much yet. The one thing that comes to mind is that Tiriyó has a sibling system like the TG languages, just the the younger same sex sibling term is the one shared across male and female speech.
> On Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 7:51 AM, Nick Enfield <nick.enfield at sydney.edu.au <mailto:nick.enfield at sydney.edu.au>> wrote:
> Lao has qaaj4 older brother, qùaj4 older sister and nòòng4 younger sibling.
> This system has a neat affordance. When talking to a child whose mother is pregnant, one often wants to refer to the unborn child, the soon-to-arrive younger sibling. The word nòòng4 allows you to leave the sex unspecified, and avoid a disjunction (brother or sister) as is needed in English. This issue does not arise when talking to children about their older siblings because of course the sex is known. This could contribute to a bias towards the typological prediction.
> Sent from phone
> On 19 Jul 2017, at 20:02, Rik DB <rdbusser at gmail.com <mailto:rdbusser at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> Dear Hedvig,
>> In case you need another one: Bunun (Austronesian) has tuqas 'older sibling' and nauba 'younger sibling'.
>> Am I wrong to assume that this is quite common in Western Austronesian?
>> Rik De Busser, Assistant Professor
>> Graduate Institute of Linguistics
>> National Chengchi University
>> ORCID: 0000-0003-2750-3364
>> www.rdbusser.com <http://www.rdbusser.com/>
>> On 19/07/2017 16:31, Hedvig Skirgård wrote:
>>> Dear LINGTYP,
>>> Does anyone know of a language that has a distinction in the kinship system for age of referent (younger/older) without also having a distinction for gender of referent? For example, a language that marks siblings as being younger or older to ego without reference to being sister or brother.
>>> The hypothesis is that this doesn't happen/is very rare. We'd like to know if you've come across any examples of this.
>>> I'm asking for my friend Alex (cc:ed) who is not on the list. Please direct any responses or comments to her.
>>> Tōfā soifua,
>>> Hedvig Skirgård
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