Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Akin to the whirlwind

So, I'm trying to get a handle on Shiyeyi kinship terms today. I've read Thomas Larson's "The Bayeyi of Ngamiland" (naturally) and his section on kinship terms, about 2 pages long. The challenge is that it's all in prose, making it difficult for me to visualize how everyone connects. For example, he writes:
"The wife of one's father's brother is moshemoze wakaza mokorana. A father's brother's child is a tate yo xene, while the father's sister's child is called moyokoranga. One's wife's brother's child is mono mokarako zanga. Father's sister's husband is moramo moqhana tate. The mother's brother's wife is called wamokaza moora ima…" (Larson 1992, p9)
Now, that's all very well and good for him to rattle it off in prose but it sure makes it difficult for me to pick up reference patterns from a paragraph. It's even harder to try to use this as a reference for studying how to refer to someone.

Then, I found a handy free app – SILKin – for creating kinship charts. I've spent all this afternoon so far creating the charts and entering kinship terms in:

And I'm not finished yet. But my head is spinning and my chart is getting larger and larger and larger…

1 comment:

Missionary Nerd said...

A friend showed me your blog. I am thrilled that SILKin looks useful to you. It has been a long struggle to publish version 1.0. Updates should be coming more quickly.
If you want to send me your email,I'll alert you to updates. My email is on the SILKin project site.

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