Kin Against Kin: Internal Co-selection and the Coherence of Kinship Typologies

Biological Theory Vol/Iss. 16 Springer Published In Pages: 176-193
By Passmore, Sam, Barth, Wolfgang, Quinn, Kyla, Greenhill, Simon J. , Evans, Nicholas, Jordan, Fiona M.


The kinship terms for one generation are correlated with those of the generation above and below it.


Eskimo, Sudanese, and Dravidian systems are all pretty good at predicting the system of the generation above (63%, 62%, 56% of values are as expected), but Hawaiian is not (15%). From the other direction, Eskimo and Hawaiian systems are pretty good at predicting terms for the generation below (80% and 83%) but Sudanese and Dravidian systems are not (34% and 44%). While there are significant correlations, they are present only in the global sample and not within the main language families. Overall, while there is a correlation, the kinship terminology for one generation seems to have little predictive value for that of the one above or below it.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Cramer's VModerately SupportedUNKNOWN.395UNKNOWN


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
Kinship TypologyDependent/IndependentKinship Terminology