LINGUIST List 6.1113

Thu Aug 17 1995

Disc: Kinship terms, re: 1104, 1108, 1110

Editor for this issue: T. Daniel Seely <dseelyemunix.emich.edu>


Directory

  1. Richard M. Alderson III, Re: 6.1108 & 6.1110
  2. Peter Daniels, Re: 6.1110, Disc: Kinship Terms, Re: 1100, 1108
  3. Rebecca Larche Moreton, Re: 6.1108, Disc: Kinship Terms, Re: 1100, 1104
  4. Alexis Manaster Ramer, Re: 6.1108, Disc: Kinship Terms, Re: 1100, 1104

Message 1: Re: 6.1108 & 6.1110

Date: Wed, 16 Aug 1995 18:33:54 Re: 6.1108 & 6.1110
From: Richard M. Alderson III <aldersonnetcom.com>
Subject: Re: 6.1108 & 6.1110

The question of kinship vocatives needs to take into account regional dialect
as well as sociolect. Allan Wechsler, for example, comments on the apparent
absence of vocatives for "brother", noting "bub" and "bud" as historical (by
which I assume he means no longer current). In the dialect area in which I was
born, "Bubba" is alive and well, along with "Sissy" (sometimes spelled "Cissy"
when used as a nickname).

Richard Hudson reports a statement by Stavros Macrakis, that "son" is only used
as a vocative by fathers. Y'all need to come to a family gathering of the
Aldersons and their kin; mothers as well as fathers have no hesitation with the
use of "son" as a vocative.

Later, David Silva commented on the use of "boy" among European Portuguese
elder males. My grandfather is still known to his nieces and nephews, and
their offspring, as "Uncle Boy"--as the only son, neither his parents nor his
four sisters found it necessary to call him by name.

Mr. Silva also asked whether "bro" originated within Black English. To the
best of my knowledge, it did; it seems to have moved into other dialects with a
certain political viewpoint attached, one which it did not lose until its use
on television programmes such as _Beverly Hills 90210_ as a generic term of
affection between male friends.

Just muddying the waters further.

Rich Alderson
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Re: 6.1110, Disc: Kinship Terms, Re: 1100, 1108

Date: Thu, 17 Aug 1995 00:24:46 Re: 6.1110, Disc: Kinship Terms, Re: 1100, 1108
From: Peter Daniels <pdanielspress-gopher.uchicago.edu>
Subject: Re: 6.1110, Disc: Kinship Terms, Re: 1100, 1108

If BVE is to be included in the discussion of vocatives, then how about
"girl" or "girlfriend"? The latter seems to be used between women of
comparable age (Black women calling a White talk radio host woman can
use it, and she can even return it, though sounding a bit uncomfortable);
"girl" seems to be quite like "son", used from elder to younger. Does this
seem (a) observationally adequate and (b) relevant?
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 3: Re: 6.1108, Disc: Kinship Terms, Re: 1100, 1104

Date: Wed, 16 Aug 1995 15:04:15 Re: 6.1108, Disc: Kinship Terms, Re: 1100, 1104
From: Rebecca Larche Moreton <MLRLMVM.CC.OLEMISS.EDU>
Subject: Re: 6.1108, Disc: Kinship Terms, Re: 1100, 1104

In Southern American Englishes, the nuclear-family vocative set goes:

 (1) Mamma
 (2) Daddy
 (3) Sis/Titta
 (4) Buddy/Bubba

Evidently some of the full forms didn't make it North of the grits-line.
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 4: Re: 6.1108, Disc: Kinship Terms, Re: 1100, 1104

Date: Wed, 16 Aug 1995 16:00:25 Re: 6.1108, Disc: Kinship Terms, Re: 1100, 1104
From: Alexis Manaster Ramer <amrCS.Wayne.EDU>
Subject: Re: 6.1108, Disc: Kinship Terms, Re: 1100, 1104

There are clearly two different classes of expressions, used
in different though overlapping sets of contexts. The best
diagnostic may well whether you can use a given kin term
with a note of exasperation (I am no good on describing
intonation, but one phonetic feature ofthis is the lengthening
of the last vowel of the word).
This class includes mother, mom, father, dad, but excludes
son, bro. All first names are in the first class. While
the fact about son and bro being used for bonding unlike
daughter may mean something about our culture, it is still
the case, as I pointed out to begin with, that son does NOT
belong to the same class of expressions as the terms for
senior relatives.
D
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue