LINGUIST List 6.1128

Sun Aug 20 1995

Disc: Kinship, Re: 1100, 1108, 1113

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


Directory

  1. Alexis Manaster Ramer, Re: 6.1119, Disc: Kinship terms, Re: 1113
  2. , re: Kinship terms
  3. Nicholas Ostler, Re: 6.1110, Disc: Kinship Terms, Re: 1100, 1108

Message 1: Re: 6.1119, Disc: Kinship terms, Re: 1113

Date: Fri, 18 Aug 1995 11:44:24 Re: 6.1119, Disc: Kinship terms, Re: 1113
From: Alexis Manaster Ramer <amrCS.Wayne.EDU>
Subject: Re: 6.1119, Disc: Kinship terms, Re: 1113

Re Steven Straight's comments, the brevity of son cannot be the sole
factor involved, since dad and mom pattern with father and mother,
while son is different (it is not used as a true vocative but is
used as the usually-postposed "bonding" form), and brother is different
still, since it is not used in either way. Moreover, the contrast
between the -er terms and the -er-less son directly reflects the
Proto-Indo-European *pte:r, *ma:te:r, *bhra:te:r, etc., but *su:nus
( = schwa).

Alexis Manaster Ramer
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Message 2: re: Kinship terms

Date: Fri, 18 Aug 1995 14:21:00 re: Kinship terms
From: <Mike_Maxwellsil.org>
Subject: re: Kinship terms

FWIW, I believe I've heard "bro" in Hawai'ian Pidgin in the early '70s. I
would assume it has an independent origin there. It seemed like to be
primarily used to refer to those of one's own racial/ ethnic group (not
necessarily kin), but could be extended to include even haoles (like me).
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Message 3: Re: 6.1110, Disc: Kinship Terms, Re: 1100, 1108

Date: Sat, 19 Aug 1995 16:15:29 Re: 6.1110, Disc: Kinship Terms, Re: 1100, 1108
From: Nicholas Ostler <nostlerchibcha.demon.co.uk>
Subject: Re: 6.1110, Disc: Kinship Terms, Re: 1100, 1108

David Silva writes:

>In writing about the lack of a single syllable vocative for "brother" (a la
>mom, dad, and sis), Allan C Wechsler notes that perhaps the BVE term "bro" is
>something to consider.

Well beyond the domain of Black Vernacular English, "bro" was certainly
current, in fact required, for addressing a brother, either elder or
younger (I have both) when I was at 'prep' and 'public' schools (i.e.
private schools) in S.E. England in the 1960s. It could also be used
attributively, e.g. "My bro says..." It felt equivalent to the practice,
in respect of all the other boys, of addressing them by their surnames, (a
practice which was also standard at these schools until puberty). So it was
definitely a form of address acquired outside the family. I haven't heard
it, or used it, since.

I've never used "sis" to or of my sister; "sissie" (cissie?) was always
been a term used to insult a boy who seemed insufficiently tough: e.g. "Oh
you cissie!" Apparently my granduncles called my grandmother
affectionately "Sis(sie)" in the 1900s. (Here, though, the situation was
complicated by the fact that her given name was Christine, which they
seemed to think shortened to Cis.)

Marginal uses, only, it seems.

Nicholas Ostler
Linguacubun Ltd
17 Oakley Road
London N1 3LL
+44-171-704-1481 nostlerchibcha.demon.co.uk
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