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The Marking of Sex Distinctions in Polynesian Kinship Terminologies

The Marking of Sex Distinctions in Polynesian Kinship Terminologies Squib Terminologies1 Per Hage university of utah Jeff Marck In Greenberg's cognitive-linguistic theory of kinship universals, it appears that sex, unlike generational distance and genealogical closeness, may not be marked on a consistent basis. This paper presents some systematic evidence on the subject. In Polynesian kinship terminologies, the male point of view predominates. The widespread unmarked status of terms for male child in particular may re³ect an emphasis on patrilineal succession in Polynesian societies. 1. INTRODUCTION. In Greenberg's (1966) cognitive-linguistic theory of kinship universals, it appears that sex, unlike generational distance and genealogical closeness, is not marked on a consistent basis.2 "In a number of instances the male term has zero expression where the corresponding female term has an additional morpheme, but the data on neutralizations give con³icting evidence. Further, Lounsbury (1968) in a pioneering contribution on the subject, describes the feminine as unmarked in Iroquois in consonance with purely linguistic facts" (Greenberg 1966:105). In the only cross-cultural study bearing on the problem, Nerlove and Romney (1967) found no conclusive evidence for male or female as the universally marked category in sibling terminologies. In a reanalysis of Nerlove and Romney's data, Kronenfeld (1996) suggested that the marking of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oceanic Linguistics University of Hawai'I Press

The Marking of Sex Distinctions in Polynesian Kinship Terminologies

Oceanic Linguistics , Volume 40 (1) – Jan 6, 2001

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University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright © 2001 University of Hawai'i Press.
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1527-9421
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Abstract

Squib Terminologies1 Per Hage university of utah Jeff Marck In Greenberg's cognitive-linguistic theory of kinship universals, it appears that sex, unlike generational distance and genealogical closeness, may not be marked on a consistent basis. This paper presents some systematic evidence on the subject. In Polynesian kinship terminologies, the male point of view predominates. The widespread unmarked status of terms for male child in particular may re³ect an emphasis on patrilineal succession in Polynesian societies. 1. INTRODUCTION. In Greenberg's (1966) cognitive-linguistic theory of kinship universals, it appears that sex, unlike generational distance and genealogical closeness, is not marked on a consistent basis.2 "In a number of instances the male term has zero expression where the corresponding female term has an additional morpheme, but the data on neutralizations give con³icting evidence. Further, Lounsbury (1968) in a pioneering contribution on the subject, describes the feminine as unmarked in Iroquois in consonance with purely linguistic facts" (Greenberg 1966:105). In the only cross-cultural study bearing on the problem, Nerlove and Romney (1967) found no conclusive evidence for male or female as the universally marked category in sibling terminologies. In a reanalysis of Nerlove and Romney's data, Kronenfeld (1996) suggested that the marking of

Journal

Oceanic LinguisticsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jan 6, 2001

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