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Marking theory and kinship analysis : Cross-cultural and historical applications

Contenu

Type de document

article de périodique

Titre

Marking theory and kinship analysis : Cross-cultural and historical applications

Revue/Ouvrage

Anthropological Theory

Volume-no

Vol.1, n°2

Auteurs/Editeurs scientifiques

Hage, Per

Nombre de pages

15

Date de publication

2001

Pagination

197-211

Langue

ang

ISBN/ISSN

1463-4996

Résumé

The concept of marking was discovered in phonology by Trubetzkoy and generalized to morphology and grammar by Jakobson. In a fundamental application to anthropology, Greenberg integrated a generalized concept of marking into a cognitivelinguistic theory of kinship universals. Greenberg's theory is important for three reasons: (1) it leads to the discovery and explanation of cross-cultural universals in kinship classification; (2) it predicts the order in which kin terms evolve and establishes, thereby, criteria for evaluating alternative, competing reconstructions of kinship systems; (3) it provides a means for inferring features of prehistoric social organization. This paper illustrates these applications and points out the typological and cognitive implications of marking effects in kinship systems. The analysis demonstrates that a formal deductive approach to kinship can yield results not obtainable by more usual informal and inductive methods.