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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Serbian kinship system and its terminology Radojicic, Dragutin


So far as is known the Serbian kinship system has not hitherto been fully explored. This thesis is an attempt to explain the intricacies and implications of the kinship terms. It is also an attempt to present the Serbian kinship system historically as well as contemporarily with the emphasis on the causes and consequences of social change. The kinship terminology is examined linguistically; the kinship system is examined anthropologically. In this respect the author finds an ideal meeting ground of the two disciplines. Throughout the thesis both disciplines are intermingled, being an integral part of each other. The terminology and system are examined from as many points of view as possible. The picture is given in toto without a value judgment. Besides presenting the kinship system as reflected in folk literature, the author also presents it in a less favourable light: the curses pertinent to the kin-terms are also mentioned. Consanguineal, affinal and ceremonial kin are given equal attention in this thesis, because they cannot be separated socio-culturally. Consanguineal kin-terms are the same regardless of the sex of the ego; affinal relatives have different terms depending on the sex of ego. Serbian kinship terminology is highly developed and indeed one of the most elaborate in existence. All Serbian kin-terms tend to be denotative. The kinship terms are developed equally for the ones that are not graphically represented as well as for those that are. There are 219 terms for 119 various kinship categories. For the relatives close to ego the number of synonyms is high, reaching a maximum of ten synonyms for the father. Because of the great number of synonyms the author has to introduce some new nomenclature: in this thesis, the STANDARD term is most conservative; the other terms are NON-STANDARD,

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