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Re: Kinship terms?

From:Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>
Date:Thursday, March 6, 2003, 8:40
Elyse Grasso wrote:
> The Shayanans who are the original speakers of Jouevyaix Cherani are > 'marsupial' seasonal breeders, who practice pouch-fosterage and don't > pair-bond for reproductive purposes. They have very complicated > families: situations where 2 people have all 3 parents (pouch-parent > and both seed-parents) the same are rare enough that they are hard to > talk about. The two words for sibling assume a common pouch-parent or > one common seed-parent.
Interesting. This pouch-fosterage is compulsory? The Kassi are marsupial with a breeding season, too, altho with somewhat of a twist which I'm still working out, but essentially a child can have more than one father. However, paternity is not an important concept for them; indeed, it has no social or legal recognition whatsoever. At any rate, a pouchling can, in theory, at least, be transferred from one pouch to another. In classical times, this was only done when the mother died or was otherwise unable to continue to nourish the pouchling, and was a risky endeavor which frequently resulted in the death of the pouchling, especially if said pouchling was at an early stage of development. In higher-tech times, I suspect that pouchling transfer would be easier, and maybe even common, at least among the upper classes. Their species does not form pair-bonds (in the "love" sense, that is; friendship does, of course, exists, and is often even stronger than with humans) at all. I'm guessing from your "for reproductive purposes" that your people do form pair-bonds, just not for reproductive reasons. Among the Kassi of Classical times - and this is a common motif in their species - children are raised in small communal settings, which I call in English Houses. They're large communal dwelling-places that consist of several adult women (generally around 6 or 7) and their children. Sons move out of the House and village upon reaching adulthood, while daughters remain and help to raise the next generation. Many of these Houses are centuries old, originally founded by close friends, or sometimes sisters, and the daughters of the same. In Imperial times, the Houses became less permanent, and daughters frequently moved out upon reaching adulthood, founding their own Houses, which likewise lasted only their lifetimes. Multi-generational Houses never completely died out, but did become rather rare during the Imperial period, waxing and waning in popularity over the centuries. Now, midlings (which is the term I use for the young at the stage where they've taken their first excursions outside of the pouch, but have not yet completely abandoned it), will sometimes move between pouches, nursing off one or another of the mother's House-sisters. There are no terms for "father", other than the technical "nlannani", which is literally "co-mother". "Tinani", which is translated as "mother", applies not only to the actual mother (tinani uaklaanuka "mother in body"), but also to the mother's House-sisters. Likewise, tlikan/nlikan (daughter/son) applies not only to one's own children (tlikan/nlikan uaklaanuka "daughter/son in body"), but also to one's House-sisters' children. However, the suffix -kan "son/daughter of" is only used with the flesh-mother's name.
> Nitodthi is Nitodthi dlia Hasri: the late Hasri was his pouch-parent, > but not a seed-parent. His seed-father is Ketofi acharya Hasri (the > late Hasri was both seed- and pouch- parent to Ketofi)
So, it's not obligatory for a pouchling to be fostered to another?
> During the Counter-Occupation, one of the Imperial colonists who joined > the Shayanan side of the struggle famously referred to himself as 'dlia > Shayana'
What's this Counter-Occupation? Are the "Imperial colonists" human? Are there any other sentient species besides humans and Shayanans? How did this contact occur? -- "There's no such thing as 'cool'. Everyone's just a big dork or nerd, you just have to find people who are dorky the same way you are." - overheard ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTaylor42


Elyse Grasso <emgrasso@...>Shayanan background and biology; was Re: Kinship terms?