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On Sat, Mar 29, 2003 at 10:28:50AM +1100, Tristan wrote:
> t'Fri, 28 Mar 2003 17:40:08 -0500
> "H. S. Teoh" <[log in to unmask]> bsaidsiem:
>
> > - uncles and aunts who are cousins of your parents (as opposed to
> >   siblings) are called by different terms as well.
>
> Since when have they counted as aunts and uncles? Aren't they cousins?
[snip]

OK, bilingual slip-up here. In Chinese terminology, family members are
grouped by generation first. "Generation" as in, person X's and person Y's
common ancestors are both N generations before them, where N>=1. E.g.,
your parent's brother's children would be your "cousins" in this
reckoning, and so would your grandparents' grandchildren.

If person X's and person Y's common ancestors are a different number of
generations before (e.g., X's grandparent is Y's parent), then they belong
to different generations. So your grandparents' children would be your
"uncles & aunts"; they are counted with your parents' generation. Your
great-grandparents' grandchildren would be counted in the same category.
(Fortunately the counting stops at N=3. Descendents of your
great-grandparents' siblings are reckoned as unrelated to you, so there is
no special terminology for them. Chinese tradition also permits marriage
between relatives where N>=3.)

In the same manner, your grandparents' siblings are "grand-uncles" and
"grand-aunts" to you; their children are "uncles and aunts"; their
grandchildren are "cousins"; and their great-grandchildren are nephews
and nieces (albeit distant ones at that).


T

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