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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 >> with >> 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 > and > 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! > Chinese > 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 [] Life is complex: it consists of real and imaginary parts.


nicole dobrowolski <fuzzybluemonkeys@...>