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Modded By: The kitty who uses this Sandbox as a litter box
Diagonal Kinship Systems
Posted: Posted January 30th
Edited February 4th by chiarizio

We’re assuming a kind of “classificatory” kinship in which a kinsman’s brother is called by the same kinterm as the kinsman, and a kinswoman’s sister is called by the same kinterm as the kinswoman.

We’re also assuming that the kinterm by which EGO addresses and refers to ALTER depends solely on:
  • whether ALTER is or is not from the same clan as EGO;
  • if not, whether EGO is related to ALTER’s clan;
  • if so, how is EGO related to ALTER’s clan;
  • and which generation ALTER is in, with respect to EGO, and with respect to ALTER’s clan.

    Let’s start by assuming a male propositus we’ll call EGO.
    Let’s assume the society is exhaustively divided into mutually exclusive patriclans; everyone belongs to the same patriclan their father belongs to.
    When EGO decides which kin term to call ALTER, the first consideration is how EGO is related to ALTER’s patrician, if at all.
    The remaining consideration is which generation of ALTER’s patriclan does ALTER belong to.

    EGO is related to five patriclans.
    1. The first is EGO’s own patriclan. It consists of EGO, and all of his brothers and fathers and sons, and all of their brothers and fathers and sons, and all of their brothers and fathers and sons, ... and so on. Basically all patrilineal descendants of any patrilineal ancestor of EGO.
    2. Then there’ll be the patriclan EGO’s wife comes from, and her brother (EGO’s WB), and her father (EGO’s WF), and any patrilineal descendant of any patrilineal ancestor of EGO’s wife.
    3. There’ll also be the patriclan EGO’s sister Z marries into; her husband (EGO’s ZH), her son (EGO’s nephew ZS), her brothers-in-law (ZH’s brother’s, EGO’s ZHBs, whom he’ll probably call by the same term as ZH), her husband’s brother’s sons (whom he’ll probably refer to the same way he refers to his ZSs), her father-in-law (EGO’s ZHF, but EGO may not have a separate kinterm for him), and all other patrilineal descendants of patrilineal ancestors of ZH.
    4. And there’ll be the patriclan EGO’s mother came from; and her brothers (EGO’s MB uncles), and her fathers (and their brothers) (all called MF by EGO), and her brothers’ sons (EGO’s MBSs — a kind of cross-cousin), and in general any patrilineal descendants of any patrilineal ancestor of EGO’s mother.
    5. And there’ll be the patriclan EGO’s daughter D marries into; the one her husband, EGO’s son-in-law DH comes from. It will also include DH’s father DHF; and D’s and DH’s sons, EGO’s DSs, and all of DH’s brothers, whom EGO will probably also call DH; and all of their sons, whom EGO will probably also call DS; and in general any patrilineal descendant of any patrilineal ancestor of DH.

    Everyone from any other patriclan than the above five will get lumped together in a category I’m just going to call
    X. miscellaneous and other.

    EGO’s kinterms for ALTER within EGO’s own patriclan will be more detailed than for ALTER in any other patrician.
    EGO will definitely have different terms for ALTER a patriclansman
    1a. in EGO’s own generation (“brother”, including agnate half-brothers, and “fathers’ sons” such as fathers’ brothers’ sons; but we’ll decide later about uterine half-brothers),
    1b. in EGO’s father’s generation, including EGO’s father’s brother’s; all called “father”;
    1c. in EGO’s sons’ generation, including EGO’s brothers’ sons; all called “son”;
    1d. almost surely in EGO’s paternal grandfather’s generation, including EGO’s father’s father’s brothers (FFBs); all called “FF” (“paternal grandfather”);
    1e. almost surely in EGO’s sons’ sons generation, including EGO’s brothers’ sons’ sons (BSSs); all called “son’s son” (a type of “grandson”)
    1f. in my opinion not unlikely in EGO’s FFF’s generation, all called in effect “patrilineal great-grandfather”;
    1g. in my opinion not unlikely in EGO’s SSS’s generation, all called something meaning “great-grandson” or “son’s grandson” or “grandson’s son”
    1h. probably not very useful to single out FFFF’s generation, but maybe;
    1i. probably not very useful to single out SSSS’s generation, but maybe;
    1j. any other generation earlier or older than FFFF’s generation;
    1k. any other generation later or younger than SSSS’s generation.

    In patrician 2, that EGO’s wife W comes from, EGO will surely single out;
    2a. his wife’s patriclansmen from her generation; this will include his brothers-in-law WBs, and he’ll probably call all her patriclansmen of that generation by the term he uses for his wife’s brothers;
    2b. his wife’s patriclansmen from her father’s generation, whom he’ll probably all call WF, “father-in-law”.
    Any of his wife’s patriclansmen from any other generation, he’ll probably just call “wife’s patriclansmen”.

    In patrician 3, that EGO’s sister Z marries into, he will probably have special terms for:
    3a. ZH, (Z’s husband), and any of ZH’s brothers, or any other of ZH’s patriclansmen in ZH’s generation.
    3c. ZS (Z’s son), and any other of ZH’s patriclansmen from ZS’s generation.
    I’m not sure EGO will use any kin term for other generations of ZH’s patriclansmen than just “ZH’s patriclansmen”.

    In patriclan 4, that EGO’s mother M came from, EGO probably has special terms for:
    4a. M’s patriclansmen of her own generation, including her brothers, EGO’s maternal uncles, his MBs; EGO will call all of them MB;
    4b. M’s patriclansmen of her father MF’s generation; EGO will probably call all of them MF, “maternal grandfather”;
    4c. M’s patriclansmen of her nephews’ MBSs’ generation, that is EGO’s own generation, which will include his cross-cousins MBS; EGO will call all of them MBS;
    4j. EGO may have one lump label for “mother’s patriclansmen older than MF maternal grandfather”;
    4K. And EGO may have one lump label for “mother’s patriclansmen younger than MBS, that is, younger than EGO”.

    In Patriclan 5, that EGO’s daughter D marries into;
    5a. EGO will probably have a term for his son-in-law (D’s husband) DH, and DH’s brothers, and all other patriclansmen of DH who are DH’s generation;
    5b. EGO will probably have a term for DHF, his daughter’s father-in-law, and any other patriclansmen of DH who belong to DHF’s generation;
    5c. EGO will probably have a term for his grandsons, his DSs, and any other patriclansmen of DH who are in DS’s generation;
    5j. EGO may have just one “lump” term for any patriclansmen of DH of a generation older or earlier than DHF’s generation;
    5k. EGO may have just on “lump” term for any patriclansmen of DH of any generation younger or later than DS’s generation.

    The term, if any, for anyone in any of the patriclans in category X, will just be “not a relative”.

    ========================

    It’ll probably be obvious to any reader who’s stayed with me so far, that we could do something similar with a society exhaustively divided into mutually exclusive matriclans, where everyone inherits clan-membership from their mother.
    We’d start from a female proposita EGO.
    The kinterm she’d use to address and refer to a given female ALTER, would depend firstly on how EGO was related to ALTER’s matriclan, and secondarily on which generation of that matriclan ALTER belongs to.

    Aside from
    1. her own matriclan, EGO would be related to;
    2. her husband H’s matriclan, consisting of every matrilineal descendant of any matrilineal ancestor of H, including HZ, HM, and so on;
    3. her brothers’ wives’ matriclan (her BWs’ matriclan), every matrilineal descendant of any matrilineal ancestor of BW, including BWM, BWZ, and BD (EGO’s niece);
    4. her father’s matriclan, including his sister her aunt FZ, his mother her grandmother FM, his niece her cross-cousin FZD, and all other matrilineal descendants of any matrilineal ancestors of her F;
    5. her sons’ wives’ matriclan, including her SWs, her SWMs, her SWZs, her SDs, and so on.

    She would lump all other matriclans together into the category of “not related”.




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