Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Kin term diversity is the result of multilevel, historical processes

Fiona M. Jordana1 and Michael Dunna1

a1 Evolutionary Processes in Language and Culture, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, PB310, 6500AH Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Explanations in the domain of kinship can be sought on several different levels: Jones addresses online processing, as well as issues of origins and innateness. We argue that his framework can more usefully be applied at the levels of developmental and historical change, the latter especially. A phylogenetic approach to the diversity of kinship terminologies is most urgently required.