Language and Cognition Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
 by Simeon Floyd

Melanesian Kinship and Culture

Kin terminology structure and other social and cultural traits cluster in particular ways on a global level, such that “disharmonic” features can be interpreted as retentions of earlier systems, resulting from shifts in key aspects (such as a change from descent reckoning in the male line to the female line). We want to get at ancient patterns of social organisation and culture buried deep under a thick layer of Austronesian influence of much more recent origin. This can be done because in culture, as in language, features typically bundle in particular ways, and a mixed bouquet has a tale to tell. This task is designed to pick out any deviating features in particular societies to try and wrest from them their separate story of the distant past.

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https://doi.org/10.17617/2.1552190

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Citation
Lindström, E. (2004). Melanesian kinship and culture. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 9 (pp. 70-73). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.1552190.