On Sunday 05 December 2004 14:47, Sally Caves wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Sylvia Sotomayor" <[log in to unmask]>
> > On Sunday 05 December 2004 13:40, Stephen Mulraney wrote:
> >> Mark J. Reed wrote:
> >>
> >> I understood John's statement to mean that there exist kinship systems
> >> where all kinship terms are reciprocal, rather then "there exist kinship
> >> systems where there exist terms that are reciprocal". I'm intruiged now
> >> as
> >> to whether that's what he meant. It wouldn't seem to fit into the
> >> Sudanese-Hawaiian- Eskimo-Iroquois-Omaha-Crow (SHEIOC? SHECIO? HESICO?
> >> SEHICO?) classification, but maybe it's more a feature of discourse,
> >> rather
> >> than  of the underlying kinship system.
> >
> > I would like to see a kinship system in which all the terms are
> > reciprocal.
> > I've kinda wanted that for Kelen, but I'm not sure how it would work,
> > exactly. I can imagine a Keleñi person saying:
> > selneñ anpára for 'we (paucal, exclusive (hence, dual)) are
> > mo-dau-relation'
> > But then, I think they also use animate nouns, like:
> > mapára for 'mother, mother's-sister'.
> > maláca for 'daughter, girl, young woman'.
> I think John meant the latter: that there exist kinship systems where
> kinship terms are reciprocal but according to the nature of the
> relationship.  Maybe I don't understand Stephen's distinctions.  What I
> thought of immediately, as I began to imagine a Teonaht version of it, was
> that husband and wife would call each other "spouse," or some such term
> that had no gender distinction; that brother and sister would call each
> other "sibling" with no distinction in gender either; and even more
> delightfully weird, father and son, father and daughter, mother and son,
> mother and daughter, parents and children would call each other by a word
> that meant "parental-filial kinship relation."  Let's call it bazzyt,
> /ba'zit/. "Vazzyt!" says the child to his parent. What is it, vazzyt? says
> the parent to the child.  Of course if one wanted to address his father,
> one might say Vazzyt Hmyhhkal! (using the parent's first name).  Same with
> any of the children.  Same with aunt/uncle/niece/nephew, etc.
> How cool is that? :)
> And none of these terms could be applied to anybody else's family (in
> Teonaht).  You would never say "how is your vazzyt?"  That would be
> unconscionably rude, as Vazzyt is a name used very intimately.  It would be
> like saying "how is your Fred?" when Fred refers to your father.  You would
> use the outside word, Pantor.
> I don't know the Sudanese-Hawaiian-Eskimo-Iriquois-Omaha-Crow
> classification at all.  But it's also possible to have everyone call each
> other
> "family-member," whether brother, sister, cousin, stepmother,
> father-in-law, nephew, etc.  Was that what you had in mind, Stephen?  And
> Sylvia, how would it not work in Kelen?  Curious, and still trying to
> figure Kelen out...
Hi, Sally. It's not that it would not work in Kelen, it's that I am not
entirely happy with Kelen kinship terms. I would like them to be reciprocal.
But late at night when I'm half asleep and the characters in my head are
talking to each other, they tend to use plain old boring English-style
kinship terms and addresses even when i don't want them to. :-)

I guess I just have to get used to the idea of reciprocity in kinship.

Of course, I also want adoption or acquired kinship to be easy and
commonplace, and I don't want to have to use inalienable possession with
kinship terms, which is of course a very common usage in languages that have
inalienable vs alienable possessives.

Also, it's quite possible I missed something, as I'm not really reading this
thread (or any of them right now), I'm just skimming, and when something
fascinating comes up, I jump in and say something, even if it is a little out
of context. Sorry.

I like the idea of something vazzyt-like. I'll have to contemplate that for a
while, too.


Sylvia Sotomayor
[log in to unmask]
[log in to unmask]

Kélen language info can be found at:

This post may contain the following:
á (a-acute)  é (e-acute)  í (i-acute)
ó (o-acute)  ú (u-acute)  ñ (n-tilde)

áe ñarra anmárienne cí áe reharra anmárienne lá;