A New Approach to Forming a Typology of Kinship Terminology Systems: From Morgan and Murdock to the Present

Structure and Dynamics 6(1)

27 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2015

See all articles by Dwight Read

Dwight Read

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Anthropology

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

This paper addresses typological relationships among kinship terminologies determined from structural differences in the way kin terms are organized as systems of concepts. Viewing a terminology as a system of concepts makes evident the generative logic of a terminology that starts with properties shared across several terminologies and eventually includes properties specific to a single terminology. These structural properties lead to a typology in which structural differences between terminologies form the branch points. The typology highlights two primary dimensions along which terminologies may be distinguished: (1) structural differences between terminologies and (2) variation in the morphology of the lexemic form of kin terms. Variation in the former relates to change constrained in the cultural domain and change in the latter relates to change constrained in the linguistic domain.

Keywords: terminologies, typology, generative logic

Suggested Citation

Read, Dwight, A New Approach to Forming a Typology of Kinship Terminology Systems: From Morgan and Murdock to the Present (2013). Structure and Dynamics 6(1). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2624169

Dwight Read (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Anthropology ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1553
United States

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