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.


Kinship typologies can be created by modeling similarities between kinship terminologies across different languages.


Syncretism between single-generation kinship terms was assessed for each language using Optimal String Alignment, and the results of these tests were put into a string. These strings were compared to the strings created for other languages using hierarchical density-based spatial clustering of applications with noise (HBDSCAN) and uniform manifold approximation and projection (UMAP). Nine clusters were identified from 306 languages, with 51 outliers.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
Kinship TerminologyDependentKinship Terminology