Back to ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’: Overcoming the Eurocentrism of Kinship Studies through Eight Lexical Universals

@article{Wierzbicka2016BackT,
  title={Back to ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’: Overcoming the Eurocentrism of Kinship Studies through Eight Lexical Universals},
  author={Anna Maria Wierzbicka},
  journal={Current Anthropology},
  year={2016},
  volume={57},
  pages={408 - 429}
}
  • A. Wierzbicka
  • Published 21 July 2016
  • Linguistics
  • Current Anthropology
This paper addresses one of the most controversial issues in cultural anthropology: the conceptual foundations of kinship and the apparent inevitability of ethnocentrism in kinship studies. The field of kinship studies has been in turmoil over the past few decades, repeatedly pronounced dead and then again rising from the ashes and being declared central to human affairs. As this paper argues, the conceptual confusion surrounding ‘kinship’ is to a large extent due to the lack of a clear and… 

KINSHIP TERMS AS INDICATORS OF IDENTITY AND SOCIAL REALITY: A CASE STUDY OF SYRIAN ARABIC AND HINDI

By displaying a certain fragment of reality in the linguistic consciousness of a person, socio-cognitive categories convey important information about the social structure of society, the

Kinship Semantics: Culture in the Lexicon

This chapter considers how cultural categories might be reflected in the lexicon. In particular, it argues that cultural norms can provide crucial evidence in discerning the internal semantic

Kinship Terminologies: Cognitive Truth or Hocus-Pocus? A Reply to Kronenfeld

Kronenfeld (2017, in this issue) distinguishes definitions of kin terms that offer the best portrayal of how native speakers think (“cognitive mapping”) from definitions that provide “the cleanest

What Is ‘Kariera’? Detecting Systems and Overlap in Australian Kinship Using the AustKin Database

Radcliffe-Brown introduced the concept of a ‘Kariera’ type of kinship system in proposing his highly influential typology of Australian social organization, building on his earlier reports of

Kinship Terminologies: A Comment on Wierzbicka 2016

This note is a brief reaction to Wierzbicka’s (2016) characterizations of aspects of my work on kinship. I am happy to see my work noticed and am (as I have said in several places) not badly disposed

Kinmaking, progeneration, and ethnography.

“There is no Sex in the Soviet Union”: From Sex to Seks

In Russian, the loan word seks is linked for many speakers with a famous episode from the pre-perestrojka period when in the course of one of the first Soviet–American tele-bridges a Russian

Arabic Forms Of Address: Sociolinguistic Overview

Representing an important interface that reflects the relationship between language and society, forms of address provide significant sociolinguistic information about the interlocutors’

CULTURAL VALUES AND NORMS OF COMMUNICATION: A VIEW FROM THE MIDDLE EAST

Cultural knowledge is an important component of intercultural communicative competence which is fundamental for the second language acquisition. It is essential for the development of sociocultural,

Cognitive Semantics, Linguistic Typology and Grammatical Polysemy: “Possession” and the English Genitive

This paper explores the cognitive semantics of the typological category “possession” using the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (nsm) approach. At the macro level, we argue that “possession” is not a

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 80 REFERENCES

What Kinship Is-And Is Not

In this pithy two-part essay, Marshall Sahlins reinvigorates the debates on what constitutes kinship, building on some of the best scholarship in the field to produce an original outlook on the

Indigenous Modes of Representing Social Relationships: A Short Critique of the 'Genealogical Concept'

The first part of the article discusses briefly the notions of genealogy and kinship within the Euro-American epistemological context and advocates the necessity for a sharp distinction between these

Australian kin classification

This study aims to resolve the century-old debate about the nature of Australian aboriginal societies and the comparability of their structures with the structures of other tribal and kinship-based

Kinship, Language, and Prehistory: Per Hage and the Renaissance in Kinship Studies

A chronicle of the renaissance in kinship studies, these seventeen articles pay tribute to Per Hage, one of the founding fathers of the movement and long-time faculty member of the Department of

The acquisition of social deixis: children's usages of 'kin' terms in Maharashtra, India.

  • A. Carter
  • Psychology
    Journal of child language
  • 1984
ABSTRACT In relatively unstructured interviews, Maratha and Brahmin children in Maharashtra, India, are asked to identify and to speak about household members, relatives, friends, and neighbours. It

The 'Global' versus the 'Local': Cognitive Processes of Kin Determination in Aboriginal Australia

Morgan and his informants' interpretation of Australian social categories as 'marriage classes' has survived in Dumont's (and Viveiros de Castro's) distinction of a 'local' (Dravidian systems) and a

Crow-Omaha: New Light on a Classic Problem of Kinship Analysis

The Crow-Omaha problem has perplexed anthropologists since it was first described by Lewis Henry Morgan in 1871. During his worldwide survey of kinship systems, Morgan learned with astonishment that

Human kinship, from conceptual structure to grammar

  • Doug Jones
  • Linguistics
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • 2010
It is argued that universals and variation in kin terminology result from the interaction of an innate conceptual structure of kinship, homologous with conceptual structure in other domains, and principles of optimal, “grammatical” communication active in language in general.

What human kinship is primarily about: toward a critique of the new kinship studies

The claims of the so-called ‘constructionist’ position in kinship studies are examined with reference to a recent article by Susan McKinnon. McKinnon's analysis is shown to be deeply flawed,

Language in the Constitution of Kinship

Kinship has been an “essentially contested concept” in social and cultural anthropology. Nevertheless, linguistic and anthropological linguistic studies of kinship terminologies, grammar, and
...