With apologies to Janko;
How many boardmembers have developed kinterms in your conlangs?
For primary kin I take the following fifteen. (I realize not all of them might exist in every conculture (e.g. "godfather" and "blood-brother"); and in some concultures some of them I've called "primary" might be secondary and vice versa (e.g. "father" and "mother's brother"). Also, not all of these will have different words (e.g. "older brother" and "younger brother") in every conculture.)
--- genetic kin ---
--- fictive kin ---
In some cultures "Firestick Father" might be used instead of "Godfather".
In others, "Name Father" might be used instead of "Godfather".
Some cultures might use "Oath-Brother" instead of "Blood-Brother".
And so on.
The 18th-century English author, Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), used the term "Father-In-Law" to refer to an adoptive father or fictive father, even moreso than for "spouse's father"; and used the term "Son-In-Law" for an adoptive son or fictive son, even moreso than for "daughter's husband".
A secondary kinsman is the primary kinsman of a primary kinsman. Your conlang probably has or will need words for many (if not most) kinds of secondary kinsmen, too. There may not be quite 225 of them, since you may leave out husbands of males and wives of females and blood-brothers of females. In some concultures perhaps these would be needed.
In modern American English a term is arising, "baby-daddy", meaning "my baby's daddy" i.e. "child's father", which is not necessarily the same as "husband". This ("baby-daddy") is a secondary kinterm, rather than a fictive primary kinterm.
In some cultures a man helps raise his sisters' children rather than his wives' children; and his heir is his oldest sister's oldest son, not his wife's oldest son (who may or may not be his own oldest son). In such cultures "sister's son" could possibly be considered primary while "son" would be considered secondary; actually "son" wouldn't exist as such, instead it would be "wife's son". In such cultures "father" wouldn't be primary -- it might be replaced by "mother's husband" -- while "mother's oldest brother" would be primary.
In some cultures a father's brother is a father and a mother's sister is a mother. In these cultures a father's wife is a mother and a mother's husband is a father, so a brother, a half-brother (whether father's son or mother's son), and a step-brother (whether father's wife's son or mother's husband's son), are all just "brother".
In yet other cultures a careful distinction is made, not only between full-brothers and half-brothers, but also between the two kinds of half-brother; same father but different mother, or same mother but different father.
I'd like to hear as much as you feel about telling us about terms for secondary kin in your conlang, if you have any. You ought to be able to eventually put together a list (yeah, I know, I ought to as well, but I haven't yet); if there are fewer than 100 terms on it, I'd like to see it. You might not feel like posting the whole thing here (but if there are less than 25 terms I hope you will); maybe you'd rather post a URL where we can find it.
In English, a godparent's child or a parent's godchild was a "godsib", from which we get "gossip".
In Spanish, a godchild's father or a child's godfather is a "compadre".
While most natlangs have terms for some tertiary kin (primary kin of secondary kin, or secondary kin of primary kin); and many have a few terms for quaternary kin (secondary kin of secondary kin); probably most don't have a complete list for tertiary kin, and most don't have any simple terms for kin more distant than quaternary kin.
But Turkish, for instance, has a term for "son's wife's father" or "daughter's husband's father".
And English "abuses" the term "brother-in-law" to include "sibling's spouse's brother" and "spouse's sister's husband", which are tertiary kin, even though technically "brother-in-law" applies only to secondary kin (spouse's brother and sister's husband).
If your conlang has any special terms for any tertiary kin, I'd like to hear them. Chances are a complete list of terms for all tertiary relationships would be too bulky to post here; but you might post a URL that would direct us to the entire list, if you have one and want to.
Tom H.C. in MI
Last edited by TomHChappell on Mon Oct 30, 2006 12:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.