[Lingtyp] Kinship systems that distinguish age but not gender

Dryer, Matthew dryer at buffalo.edu
Wed Jul 19 17:06:00 UTC 2017

While Murdock (1968) discusses the interaction of gender of ego with sibling of same sex vs. sibling of opposite sex, he does not discuss the interaction of these with older vs. younger sibling. There are eight possible relationships by these three parameters.

All three of these parameters are relevant in Walman (a Papuan language in the Torricelli family), but relative age is neutralized for siblings of opposite sex.

Matthew Dryer

From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of Guillaume Segerer <guillaume.segerer at cnrs.fr>
Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 9:41 AM
To: "lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org" <lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Kinship systems that distinguish age but not gender

Hi all

What Hedwig is looking for is common in West Africa. I can think of Manjaku, Balanta and Bijogo, but RefLex (www.reflex.cnrs.fr<http://www.reflex.cnrs.fr>) also gives interesting results for some Bantu languages, among others. Many languages (like Joola, Baynunk) have a contrast between "same sex sibling" vs "opposite sex sibling", regardless of age. I have no example in mind of languages having a 4-term contrast combinig the two above features.

Guillaume Segerer

Le 19/07/2017 à 10:31, Hedvig Skirgård a écrit :

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

PhD Candidate
The Wellsprings of Linguistic Diversity

ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language

School of Culture, History and Language
College of Asia and the Pacific

Rm 4203, H.C. Coombs Building (#9)
The Australian National University

Acton ACT 2601


Co-chair of Public Relations

Board of the International Olympiad of Linguistics


Blogger at Humans Who Read Grammars


Lingtyp mailing list

Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lingtyp/attachments/20170719/75aff94d/attachment.htm>

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list