Kinshipterms and Systems in African Languages

Seminar, SWS: 2, lecture number: 40223


Donnerstag, 10-12; U.24 S92, GW I


Dymitr Ibriszimow

Kinship terms have a specific place within the framework of comparative linguistics. They belong to the everyday lexicon of general usage; thus, they may be analysed on a par with other parts of the lexicon of a given language. At the same time, kinship terms belong to traditional taxonomies and reproduce kinship systems viewed as social phenomena. In cross-cultural contact situations, we may differentiate between changes of kinship systems (due to internal evolution or outside influences) reflected in kinship terms on the one hand, and, on the other, semantic and/or pragmatic changes in kinship terms, reflecting contact influences on surface (language) level only. As a starting point, we shall introduce the formal basis which has been developed by Ibriszimow and Porkhomovsky since 2002 and the results of our research on the comparative study of Afroasiatic kinship terms and systems. Further languages will be included in the analyses depending on the expertise of the participants.