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Alternative Pasts: Reconstructing Proto-Oceanic Kinship

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Title:Alternative Pasts: Reconstructing Proto-Oceanic Kinship
Authors:Turner, James West
LC Subject Headings:Kinship
Proto-Oceanic language
Date Issued:2007
Publisher:University of Pittsburgh
Citation:Turner, J. W. (2007). Alternative Pasts: Reconstructing Proto-Oceanic Kinship. Ethnology, 46(3), 235–270.
Abstract:Allen has outlined a world-historical theory of kinship in which the earliest kinship systems are assumed to have been tetradic. Such a system is defined by alternate generation, prescriptive, and classificatory equations and is characterized by bilateral cross cousin marriage. Over time these three types of genealogical equations have tended to breakdown in exactly this order. That is, generational equations tend to be the first to breakdown. While supporting some aspects of Allen’s analysis, Hage has argued that the Dravidian systems of Oceania, such as those found in Fiji, challenge the assumption of this directionality in the transformation of kinship systems. Hage’s argument was based on the assumption that Proto-Oceanic kinship reflected a rule of prescriptive asymmetric alliance, an interpretation based on Blust’s linguistic reconstructions. This article examines a Dravidian system from Fiji and questions whether it is derived from an asymmetric ancestral system. It also provides an alternative view of Proto-Oceanic kinship and its regional transformations. (Kinship transformations, Dravidian kinship terminologies, Fiji, comparative Austronesian studies)
Pages/Duration:37 pages
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Appears in Collections: Turner, James West

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