kinship terms (was Re: The pitfall of Chinese/Mandarin_
|From:||Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, December 11, 2001, 22:43|
On Tuesday, December 11, 2001, at 02:23 , Adam Walker wrote:
>> From: "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh@...>
>> Date: Sun, 9 Dec 2001 16:27:01 -0500
>> And if you think this is bad... just wait till I tell you about
>> translating "aunt" and "uncle"... *snicker* there are distinct words for
>> your father's siblings (and distinctions between younger/older,
>> male/female), your mother's siblings (and distinctions between
>> younger/older and male/female), AND your in-laws, plus separate terms
>> the same distinctions for each uncle/aunt on your in-laws' side, etc.,
>> etc., ad infinitum. And this only covers relatives of the same
>> generation... it gets a LOT worse with grandparents, nephews, nieces, ..
> Aiya! I get so confused trying to remember ayi's and gugu's and waigu's
> shenshen's and buomu's and yimu's and then all the numbering with dagu and
> ergu and sangu. AIYA!! It's enough to drive a sane person crazy!
> family trees are terrifying!
>Heh...I think Korean's only *half* as bad, because it has all those things
for the *father's* side of the family, but a lot of missing distinctions
on the *mother's* side of the family. I dunno, it always seemed slightly
easier than trying to remember terms like "cousin second-removed" or
whatever. No doubt it's due to familiarity with one system and not the
other on my part. As I'm in a Korean extended family, I've heard the
*Korean* terms far more often. <laugh>
I once got in a shouting match with one of my cousins over whether a
particular aunt (my mom's/her dad's sister) was "imo" or "gomo." We were
*both* right. ("Imo" for an aunt on the mother's side, "gomo" for an aunt
on the father's side.)
ObConlang: Are there particular (a)symmetries in y'all's conlangs' kinship
terms? I haven't actually *devised* them, but I suspect that Czevraqis
has more for the mother's side of the family as the speakers generally
reckon descent matrilineally.
Yoon Ha Lee [email@example.com]
Life is complex: it consists of real and imaginary parts.