This paper reports the outcome of a study aimed at discovering linguistic and socio-cultural similarities and differences between kinship terms in English and Ukwuani languages. It shows how anthropology and sociology impact on the taxonomy of kinship terms for meaning interpretation; ‘descent’, being gradually and strongly integrative of social affinity, and revealing how speakers use their language to organize the world around them. The research methodology employed questionnaires, oral interview and anthropological data, designed to generate authentic responses from mature native speakers and regular users of Ukwuani and English living speeches. The findings reveal among other facts, that both languages do not have kinship terms which express all possible kinship, both languages do not have exact translation equivalent and English has more lexicalized terms while Ukwuani has some lexicalized marriage kinship, not lexicalized in English, and additional markings indicating seniority. The study also confirms universals in human kinship which remain functionally stable with linguistic principles of classificatory terms.
|Keywords:||Semantic Structure, Kinship Systems, Universal Features, Semantic Features, Semantic Components, Relational Components, Taxonomy, Meaning Shift, Matrilineal Descent, Patrilineal Descent, Unilineal Descent, Blood Relations, Nephew/Niece, Aunt/Uncle, Nwanne, Nwannadi, Nwokei/Nwa-ada|
Professor of English Language, Department of English and Literary Studies, Faculty of Arts, Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State, Nigeria
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