Kinship Terms in Palestinian Arabic and Standard English: A Contrastive Study

Abstract

This paper diagrams, classifies, and discusses the usage of kinship terms in Palestinian Arabic. Firstof all, kinship terms are genealogically diagrammed from the Ego’s perspective on the bases of sex, generation, affinity and consanguinity. Secondly, kinship terms in PA are classified from structural, functional, and situational perspectives. Thirdly, the PA kinship system is shown to be descriptive, assigning a different term to each distinct relative. After that, P A and English are compared and contrasted, pointing out that whereas PA labels each member of the family with a distinct term, Eng1ish lacks such a distinction. This, in the case of PA, may be due to the importance of the family unit in the life of Arab societies; however, in the case of English it may be due to the lack of concern for the family as an extended unit. This point of view is consistent with the theory which advocates that peoples needs determine the lexicon.

Keywords: English, Kinship Terms, Palestinian Kinship Terms


Article Review Status: Published

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