TomHChappell wrote:... but on-topic for complications of kinship:
Speaking of complexity; another simplifying principle is that no-one's father can be anyone's mother, and no-one's mother can be anyone's father. Has anyone given any thought to kinship systems in a culture in which the same person can be both a father and a mother?
Ursula LeGuin's The Left Hand of Darkness
comes to mind.
Yes, I remember that if I am someone's father I call that someone "my son", and if I am someone's mother I call that someone "my daughter". For instance the P.o.V. character (first-person) meets an innkeeper that he thinks of as female; he asks whether the host has any children, and the host replies that (he?she?it?they?) has four sons but no daughters; meaning he(?) has been a father four times but has never been a mother.
But the novel doesn't cover everything.
For instance, there might be a difference between two full-siblings who had the same mother and the same father, and two full-siblings of whom the father of each was the mother of the other.
Since the terms "brother" and "sister" don't translate well when everyone is hermaphroditic, perhaps, in parallel to what she did with "son" and "daughter", LeGuin could have said "brother" is a (full-or-)half-sibling with the same father as you, and "sister" is a (full-or-)half-sibling with the same mother as you?
Then there's spouses (no husbands or wives).
And secondary relatives get even more complicated. Uncles? aunts? nephews? nieces?
Sano: Do you count the Qatama as non-human? Or are they in the taxonomic "Family" Hominidae, or even in the "Genus" Homo?
I have not given that much thought to the con-biology of my world but, if forced to compare the Qatam to humans, I would say they are 'human-like' but definately not human.
If life evolved on their world independently of its evolution here, perhaps they aren't even the same kingdom as any on earth.
But if there was communication between the two planets or worlds, they could be the same Order (Primates) or not; the same Class (Mammalia) or not; the same Phylum (Chordata) or not; and they'd almost surely be the same Kingdom (Animalia).
Judging from your sociological description of their culture, they sound like they have bones and internal skeletons and joints, so they probably have spines and spinal chords, and count as Vertebrata, a sub-phylum of Chordata.
Whatever organisms traveled from Earth to Qatam-world and/or vice-versa may have done so before mammals evolved; if so they wouldn't have "mammals" there, strictly speaking.
You didn't say they breast-feed, but it sounds like they probably do something equivalent to that, so they'd probably be their world's equivalent to Mammalia. You didn't say whether they lay eggs like Monotremes (who are mammals), or carry their young in pouches like Marsupials (who are also mammals); but I think you make it sound as if they bear young at about the same level of maturity as Placental mammals.
They seem to have the same level of behavioral flexibility that is pretty much the trademark of Order Primates *here*. So even if they aren't Hominids they might be Primates; or at least their world's equivalent. It would depend on whether there was any migration from either world to the other after the Primates evolved.
Strictly speaking, "Hominid" means "belonging to the Family Hominidae
"; and you are saying your Qatam are "humanoid" rather than "Hominid". But they might still be Hominids, technically, if your con-history allows some travel from one world to the other after that Family evolved. You'd need to decide whether they are even more non-human than great apes.
Other members of our genus, Homo
, count as "human", even if they aren't members of our species. So your Qatam are, I take it, definitely more different from us than the Neandertals or Homo Erectus or Homo Habilis etc.