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Demuan kinship terms

From:Fabian van-de-l'Isle <lajzar@...>
Date:Sunday, February 18, 2001, 22:55
Demuan kinship terms

Older  oo
Younger ii
Adopted hali

[These items above cannot modify spousal relationships]

.          Generic Male   Female
Parent     No      Rano   Mano
Sibling    Qung    Raqung Maqung
Child      Bin     Rabin  Mabin
Grandchild Fix     Rafix (=rabinrabin) Mafix (=mabinmabin)
Spouse     Pete    Rapete Mapete

[Perhaps the root words may be changed, depending on the root words used for
verb tenses.]

The root words take the prefix de- when they appear by themselves. So for
example, the English word ‘parent’ translates as ‘deno’.

Cousin   noqungbin
Friend/blood brother haliqung

Boyfriend/fiancé haliraqung  Girlfriend/fiancée halimaqung
Adopted son  halirabin  Adopted daughter halimabin
Father-in-law  peterano  Mother-in-law  petemano
Brother-in-law  qungrapete  Sister-in-law  qungmapete
Son-in-law  binrapete  Daughter-in-law binmapete

Great-grandfather nonorano  Great-grandmother nonomano
Grandfather  ralaa   Grandmother  malaa
Uncle   noraqung  Aunt   nomaqung
Nephew  qungrabin  Niece   qungmabin
Grandson  rafix   Granddaughter  mafix

The above relationships are the most common ones used in everyday spoken
Demuan, but some highly convoluted kinship terms can appear in written
Demuan. For example, “My mother’s cousin’s husband’s sister” = “kinde
manonoqungbinrapetemaqung”. These nonce words are more common in documents
dealing with genealogy, especially those written a long time ago. Modern
authors would re-write the above as “kinde mano le noqungbin le rapete le

While the x-in-law relationships imply the gender of at least 2 people, only
the gender of the final person in the sequence is explicitly stated. The
words «rafix» and «mafix» are not exactly equivalent to their English
counterparts, as they imply descent through the same gender. That is to say,
their meaning is a son of a son, and a daughter of a daughter, respectively.
«defix» is the common word used for other grandchildren, and these children
tend to be less favoured by that grandparent.

The ‘hali’ relationships imply quite a strong bond. A ‘halimaqung’ is not
just a mere casual one-night stand, but someone being seriously considered
as a life partner. Similarly, a ‘haliqung’ is a very close friend who will
stand by you when things get rough. The more casual words for these
relationships use entirely different roots, reflecting the fact that they
aren’t really as strong as true familial relationships.

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