Kartvelian Sibling Terms

In The Genius of Kinship, 278-279, I described a type 8 sibling set among the Svan, the most divergent language of the Kartvelian family. At the time of the writing of the book, I was not aware of Klimov’s Etymological Dictionary of the Kartvelian Languages (Berlin, 1998). Regarding Svan udil ‘woman’s sister’, Klimov (p. 36) confirms that it must be the earliest meaning simplified in other branches of Kartvelian to mean ‘sister’.

This supports the global trend toward simplification by the deletion of semantic distinctions, as widely observed in sibling sets.

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