1932

Abstract

Language has long been at the center of kinship studies, where there has been a tendency to see the role of language in terms of nomenclature for labeling preexisting relations. Linguistic anthropologists have turned to the constitutive role of language in the formation of kin relations. People enact kin relations through behaviors that include, but are not limited to, the linguistic. Rather than static grids of terminology, linguistic anthropology finds its empirical object in the reflexive practices of speakers as they construct, reformulate, transform, and sometimes undercut cultural norms for being kin. Taking kinship behaviors that include language to be in dialectical relation to kinship structures, I review recent work that exemplifies linguistic anthropology's pragmatic approach to kinship, from the richness and diversity of kin relations to the possibility of the lack of kin relations as such.

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2018-10-21
2024-06-21
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