Kinship terms of the Black Tai people. พิมพ์ อีเมล
เขียนโดย Dorothy Crawford Fippinger   






                         KINSHIP TERMS OF THE BLACK TAI PEOPLE


                                        Dorothy Crawford Fippinger


 0. Introduction.

 1. Ascending generations.

 2. Ego's generation.

 3. Descending generations.

 4. Spouse's kin.

 5. Glossary.




0. Introduction.

The Black Tai people are native to  North  Vietnam  and  Laos1),
but at the time of the 1954 armistice, refugees emigrated to the South
and to Laos.

In  a  previous  study,  the following  was   reported: "From  the
viewpoint of structure manifest in  terminology, the  Black Tai  kinship
system  appears  bilateral. Descent,  however, is patrilineal.. ."2) The
results of this current investigation, while  showing  parallel  patterns
in development of terms, nevertheless show a large degree of contrast
between patrilateral terms and matrilateral ones.

We  will  begin  our  study  at  the  first  ascending generation,
proceed upward, return to Ego's generation, and then proceed down-


1) Frank M. Lebar, Gerald C. Hickey, and John K.  Musgrave, Ethnic  Groups

of Mainland Southeast Asia, New Haven, Human Relations Area Files Press
(1964), pp. 221-222.

2) Ibid. p.222.






66                                  Dorothy Crawford Fippinger


ward. Lastly, we will look at the terms Ego uses for his spouse's


1.  Ascending Generations.

     1.1 First Ascending Generation.

                                                (See Diagram 1)


          Aay3 'father' and em4 'mother' are the base terms for  all  others
in the ascending generations. To these  terms  are  added  others  to
denote relationship. The patrilateral  and  matrilateral  terms  are  the
same for parents' older siblings : aay3 luŋ4 can refer to 'father's elder
brother, mother's  elder  brother,  father's  elder  sister's  husband, or
mother's  elder  sister's  husband'; while  em4 paa3 refers to 'father's
elder  sister, mother's  elder  sister, father's  elder  brother's  wife,  or
mother's  elder  brother's  wife'.4) However, there  is  not this  parallel
development in the terms for their younger siblings, where each has a
distinct term :


3) The research for this paper was done in Nhatrang, South Vietnam, between
    May, 1969, and March, 1970. The principle  Black  Tai  informant was a 72
    year old woman, Bac Thi Pieng, formerly from  Muong  Sai, North  Vietnam,
    now residing in Tung Nghia, South Vietnam. Other help was received from
    1) her husband, Bac Cam Quyen, aged  68,formerly  from Thuan Chau  dis-
    trict, Son La province, North  Vietnam, now  residing  in  Tung Nghia, South
    Vietnam; 2) thei r daughter, Bac  Thi  Hoa, now residing in Nhatrang, South
    Vietnam; 3) her  husband, Cam  Due  Hanh, aged 33, formerly from  Muong
    Muok, North Vietnam, now residing in Nhatrang; and 4) Lo Van Muon, aged
    37,  formerly   from   Muong  Sop   Cop,  North   Vietnam, now  residing   in

          I also wish to acknowledge the hel p of  Marilyn  Bergman   Gregerson
    and Dorothy M. Thomas in the writing of this paper.

    The symbols  used  here  to  represent Black Tai speech are the phonemic
    symbols used by the author and her husband in their "Black Tai Phonemes,
    with  Reference  to  White Tai". (Anthropological  Linguistics, March, 1970)
    These are the voiceless stops /p, t, c, k, kw,?, voiced stops /b, d/, aspirated
    stop  / th /, fricatives  / f, s, x, xw, h /, nasals /m, n, ñ, ŋ, ŋw/, liquids  /v, w,
    y, 1/, simple  vowels  /a, aa, i, e, ɛ, f, ə, u, o, ɔ/, and vowel glides  /iə, ia, ua.
    Since there is no contrast between initial glottal and   zero, the initial  glottal
    has been omitted here for simplification.

4) em4 o6 has also been offered for PaElBrWi (parent's elder  brother's  wife)
    as a geographic variant representing Muong Pieng and Muong Muoy.






                       KINSHIP TERMS OF THE BLACK TAI PEOPLE                         67


younger brother :                       Patri : aay3 aaw1 Matri : aay3 naa9

younger sister's husband :     aaw1 xṫəy1 naa6 xṫəy1

younger sister :                          em4 aa1 em4 naa6

younger brother's wife :            em4 lua4 naa6pəw6

In each of the parental sibling terms, aay3 and em4 may be used
for   both  reference  and  address. Alternate  forms  which  may be  used
for  reference  only  are  pɔ5  'male'  and  me5  'female'  respectively. They,
however, cannot be used as alternates for 'father' and 'mother'.5)

The   terms  for  stepmother  em4 naa6 and  stepfather aay3 naa6
are   identical  with  those  for  mother's  younger   sister   and   mother's
younger    brother    respectively.  However,   the   referential    alternates
may not be used for step-parents.


1.2 Second Ascending Generation.

                                                                              (See Diagram 2)


Here   there  is  more  difference  between  the  patrilateral  and
matrilateral sides as there is no carry-over from father's parent's terms
to mother's parent's terms.6) On each side the  grandparent term  also
refers to the siblings of the same sex. The third  word  in  each  sibling
term is  optional,  denoting  the  specific  relationship. Note  that  these
optional terms are identical with the second word of the  sibling  terms
in the first ascending generation.

The grandmothers each have two terms, use of which is  gover-
ned by geographic dialect. The sister terms  are  shown  in  Diagram 2
with only yaa5 and thaw3,but in the areas where grandmother is called
u3 or naay4,the sisters would also be  called u or  naay4. Both  terms
for paternal grandmother are also used for husband's mother(sec. 4.2);
whereas, only em4 naay4 is used for wife's mother (sec. 4.1).


1.3 Third Ascending Generation.

                                      (See Diagram 3)


 5) pɔ5 aay3 and me5 em4 may be used for 'father' and 'mother' respectively

     only when mourning the  death  of the  parent  and  crying  for  his  return.

 6) In contrast with this, Hickey states "Terminologically, there  is  no  bifurca-

     tion of kin in the third and second ascending generation", but no examples

     are given. Lebar, Hickey, and Musgrave, p. 222.






68                                      Dorothy Crawford Fippinger


This  generation  shows  outstanding  evidence  of  patrilateral
influence.7)  Here   father's   father's   father (FaFaFa) is  given  a  term
very distinct from father's  father  (FaFa)  while  the  other  seven  great-
grandparental terms are formed from  the  grandparental  terms. Each
adds cṫə6 to the grandparent term,matching sex and pattern of ascent.
Thus, father's mother's father  (FaMaFa)  is  aay3 pu2  'paternal  grand-
father'  plus  cṫə6, and   both   father's   father's  mother   (FaFaMo) and
father's   mother's  mother  (FaMoMo)  are  em4  yaa 'paternal  grand-
mother  ' plus   cṫə6.8)   The    two   sets    of    matrilateral   great-grand-
parents have identical terms.


1.4 Fourth Ascending Generation.

                                             (See Diagram 4)



Only the term for father's father's  father's  father  (FaFaFaFa)
was given firmly for this generation. The term for his wife was  given
with hesitation, once with yaa5 (by Hanh) and once without (by Hoa).
To date, no other terms have been  found  on  this  generation  level.

2.0Ego's Generation.

2.1Nuclear Family.

                                               (See Diagram 5)


7) See footnote number 6.

8) Two variants were given for FaFaMo (father's father's mother) : em4 paw3
by Hoa, and em4 yaa5 paw3 by Hanh.




                     KINSHIP TERMS OF THE BLACK TAI PEOPLE                        69


Here we note that Ego divides his siblings first by age in regard
to  himself  and  then  by  sex. In  general  conversation, one  frequently
hears  only  the  first  part,  pi5 'older  sibling'  or  nɔŋ 'younger  sibling'
without the   sex   modifier. The   four   sex/relational  modifiers   are   of
particular interest because they will be used with other base  terms  on
this and descending generations. The definitions here can be  applied
to  all  other  uses:  caay4 'consanquineal  male',  ñiŋ 'consanquineal
female',  xisy1  'affinal  male', and  pəw6 'affinal  female'. The  latter  two
were also used in the first ascending generation.

Both   of   the  older  siblings  have  alternate  terms. The  older
brother may also be called  aay4  or  aay luaŋl, and  the  older  sister i2
or pi5fey3. The  first  of  each  pair  is  used  only  when  addressing  or
calling the person so named. According  to  Hoa, the  second  of  each
pair is used in Muong Pieng and Muong  Muoy  in  place  of  the  terms
shown on Diagram 5.

2.2 Cousins.

                                                  (See Diagram 6)


The children, and their spouses, of Ego's parent's siblings are
all called laan1. To this  base  term  may  be  added  the  four  sex/rela-
tional modifiers described above in section 2.1 : caay4, my4, xieyl and
paw6. Thus, mother's sister's  son  (MoSiSo)  is  laan1  caay*  and  his
wife is laan1 pəw6. These laan1 may also be divided into the  children
of   father's    siblings, laan1  pu or  laan1  yaa5, and  the  children  of
mother's siblings, laan1 taa1 or laan1 naay4.

3.0 Descending Generations.

                                                      (See Diagram 7)



3.1 First Descending Generation.

There are three base terms used for the first descending genera-
tion.  Lu' is   Ego's  child;  laan is  Ego's   sibling's  child; and   len1  is

                              Ego's   parent's   sibling's   child's   child   (that   is, a   child  of  the  laan1






70                                  Dorothy Crawford Fippinger


presented  in  Ego's  generation). All  three  are  used  for  both  consan-
quineal   relatives   and  their  spouses. Each  of  these  terms  may  be
modified   by   one   of   the   four   sex/relational  modifiers :  caay4,  niy4,
1, or pəw6. Ego's daughter is /u?s nin4; bis  nephew  is  laan1  caay4;
his father's brother's daughter's son (FaBrDaSo) is len1 caay*; and his
nephew's wife laan1 paw6.

3.2 Second Descending Generation.

There are again three base terms for  the  second   descending
generation  (see  Diagram 7). Laan is  Ego's  grandchild; len1  is   his
nephew or niece's child; and hn3 is his parent's sibling's child's  child's
child   (PaSibChChCh). The   four   modifying   terms   (section 2.1)  are
again  used  on  this  level  with  at  least  the  laan1.  It   is   possible  to
divide the laan on  this  level  into  two  groups : son's  children,  laan1
pu2 or laan1 yaas, and daughter's children, laan1 taa or  laan1  naay4.

3.3 Third Descending Generation.

On the third descending generation there are only two base
terms : len1 Ego's great-grandchild, and hn3 his nephew or niece's

3.4 Fourth Descending Generation.

For the fourth descending generation we find only one base
term : lcn3 Ego's great, great-grandchild.

3.5 Fifth Descending Generation.

On the fifth descending generation, there is again only one

term : lo?5 (or lo?2) Ego's great, great, greatgrandchild.

3.6 Reoccurring Terms.

Thus we have noticed, three base terms, laan1, len1,and  hn3,
reoccur on three different generation levels. The glosses for the term
laan1 vary from 'grandchild' to 'nephew, niece (including the  child  of
spouse's sibling)', to 'cousin'. Perhaps this could be summarized as
a  child  of  any close relative (with  the  exception  of  Ego's  parents) :
i e., the   child  of  his  child, his  sibling (or  spouse's sibling), or  his
parent's sibling.






                   KINSHIP TERMS OF THE BLACK TAI PEOPLE                           71


The child of anyone called laan1 would  be  called  ten1,  also
occurring on three generations. The child of anyone called len1 (that
is, the grandchild of anyone called laan1) would be lɔn3.

The three levels of laan1 and of len1 can each  be modified  by
pu2 or yaa5 to show that the relationship   is   traced  through  a   male.
Thus,   laan1  pu2  might   be   son's  child, brother's  child, or    father's
sibling's child. Taa1 or naay4 are used to show the relationship traced
through a female; laan1 naay4 would be daughter's child,sister's child,
or mother's sibling's child.


4.0 Spouse's Kin.

Now we will turn from Ego's own relatives to his spouse's
relatives. First we will look at a male ego's terms for his wife and
her family, then at a female ego's terms for her husband and his


4.1 Wife's Family.

                                             (See Diagram 8)


Mia4 'wife'  does  not  occur  as  part  of  any  other  term  in  the
Black   Tai   kinship  system. As  was  mentioned   in  section  1.2  em4
naay4'wife's mother' is  an  alternate  for 'maternal  grandmother'.  Aay3
taa1 is the genera l term  of  reference  and  address  for  'wife's  father'
although  pɔ taa1 is  an  alternate  term  of  reference.  Both   sets   of
wife's grandparents have the  same  terms as  Ego's  maternal  grand-
parents, aay3 thaw3 and em4 thaw3. Wife's siblings' terms are formed
from a combination of Ego's siblings' base  terms pi5  and  nɔŋ plus
mother's   siblings'  modifying  terms. The  children  of  wife's  siblings
have  the  same  terms  as  the children  of  Ego's own siblings : laan1
modified by  the  four  sex/relational  terms  discussed  in  section  2.1.

4.2 Husband's Family.

                                                                             (See Diagram 9)






72                                        Dorothy Crawford Fippinger


Whereas the terms  of  wife's  family  reflect  the  maternal  line,
the terms of a female ego for her husband's family reflect her  paternal
line. Husband's  parents'  terms  are  similar  to  paternal  grandparent
terms. Here, the pɔ5 and  me terms  of  reference  can  substitute  for
aay3 and em4respectively; whereas, they cannot be used of  the grand-
parents. Husband's mother has only  one  of  the  two  terms  available
for paternal grandmother.9)

Like wife's siblings, the husband's siblings' terms are a compo-
site with the  base  terms  being those of Ego's own siblings. However,
the  modifying  terms  here  are  those  of  father's  siblings  as seen in
section 1.1. As the terms for father's  elder  siblings  are  identical  with
those for mother's  elder  siblings, so  the  terms  for  husband's  elder
siblings  are  identical  with  those  for  wife's  elder  siblings. Likewise,
the differences in the parents' younger siblings' terms are  reflected  in
those for the younger siblings of husband and wife.


5.0 Glossary.

aa1      younger sister of father, grandfather, or husband

aaw  younger brother of father, grandfather, or husband

aay3    male of any ascending generation

aay4    older brother (term of address)

caay4  consanquineal male in Ego's or lower generation

cṫə6     great-grandparent excepting FaFaFa

em4     female of any ascending generation

fuə1     husband

i2          older sister (term of address)

ṫəy3      older sister

laan1   cousin, nephew, niece, grandchild
len1      child of laan1
Iɔn3      child of any len1
?5      (or lɔ?2) great, great, great-grandchild
lua4      wife of father's younger brother or of husband's
              younger brother


9) However, there has been geographic variance reported by Hoa saying that
Muong La uses em4 u3 while Muong Pieng and Muong  Muoy  use  em4  yaa5.






                           KINSHIP TERMS OF THE BLACK TAI PEOPLE                        73


lueŋ'   older brother

luŋ4    older brother of parent, grandparent, or spouse
lu?5    child

me5    term of reference for female of first ascending

miə4    wife

naa6    younger sibling of mother, grandmother, or wife

naay4  maternal grandmother, wife's mother

nɔŋ6    younger sibling, spouse's younger sibling

ñiŋ4    consanquineal female in Ego's or lower generation

o6        parent's older brother's wife

paa3   older sister of parent, grandparent, or spouse

paw3   father's father's father, or husband's father's father

pəw6   affinal female

pi5       older sibling

5      term of reference for male of first ascending generation
pu2      paternal grandfather, paternal grandfather's brother,

father's mother's father, husband's father
pan2    FaFaFaFa (father's father's father's father)
taa1     wife's father

thaw3  maternal grandparent, maternal grandparent's sibling,

maternal great-grandparent, wife's grandparent
u3         paternal grandmother, husband's mother
xṫay1    affinal male

yaa5     paternal grandmother, paternal great-grandmother,
paternal grandparent's sister




























































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