Global Kinship Bibliography
Welcome to the Global Kinship Bibliography page!
It contains bibliographies of kinship data and studies for most of the known language families. A bibliography of Indo-European kinship, which holds a strong focus on the phonetics and morphology of kin terms, occupies a separate page. If a bibliographical item is marked as “have,” it means I have a PDF-copy of the actual article or book excerpt in my digital archives. You can easily request them from me by e-mail.
Bibliographical citations are grouped according to topic and language family. I used ETHNOLOGUE language classification, with Papuan languages subdivided according to a model espoused by Matthew Dryer. Citations are briefly annotated.
Presently the bibliographies are in PDF format, but in the future I will make them interactive. The formatting and itemization of many of the files are still imperfect. The bibliographies grew out of my global project of screening world languages for their kinship vocabularies and applying anthropological methods to understand their evolution. Consequently, there is a “linguistic” bias to all of them regardless of the fact that dictionaries, as a general rule, were not included. Progressively I hope to make the bibliographies fully represent the diversity of ways human kinship has been studied, but for now “kin terminologies” provide a solid backbone for the project. It already has enough “meat” on it, for the user can find references coming from authors with anthropological, linguistic, legal, psychological, psychoanalytic, sociological and historical interests in human kinship.
The so-called â€œnew kinship studiesâ€ and gender studies do not occupy a special place in the bibliography. They are integrated with the studies of age from which they are usually artificially divorced.
A special file contains an index of themes represented in the areal parts of the bibliography. The index still needs work. There is no index of authors. Such files as Encyclopedia, Textbooks, Readers, Collections, Introductions/Conclusions/Forewords/Afterwords, Bibliographies, Conference Reports, Personalia, and Reviews contain prefatory and supplementary materials to the bibliography.
Each geographical region has its own bibliographical specificity. In some areas like Africa and Mesoamerica, kinship terminologies have never been constituted a privileged focus of anthropological research. In other areas, like South America and Australia, kinship studies can hardly be separated from cosmology, mythology, and economy. In the Indo-European area, the linguistics of kin terms has received inflated attention, and anthropologyâ€™s place is taken by jurisprudence. These differences in the biblioscape create problems for a bibliographer (and for a researcher), for the shape of the field becomes rugged and is hard to circumscribe. I was hunting after literature in all European languages. A preliminary kinship bibliography in the Russian language was published in one of the issues of Kinship Algebra (edited by Vladimir A. Popov). Since then it has been substantially expanded, but the data has not yet been processed. My command of Hungarian, Finnish and Albanian is zero, hence these languages are also poorly represented. I did not make an effort to collect kinship references in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and other Asian languages, but there are many of them out there.
Thanks are due to Nick Allen, Robert Parkin, Tom Trautmann, Harumi Befu, Robert Blust, Michael Peletz, Harold Scheffler, Warren Shapiro, and Alan Barnard who sent me lists of their kinship publications. Alan Barnard pointed to me a web source of references on Khoisan ethnology. Jeff Marck kindly shared with me his Polynesian and Bantu bibliographies, which were very rich and helpful.
No bibliography is complete, and I welcome any further contributions. The greatest challenge to the bibliographer are reviews. They are especially hard to track down.
The files are updated on a regular basis. Last update: January 29, 2012.
Nicholas Evans’s bibliography on reciprocals
The International Council of Onomastic Sciences (ICOS)’s onomastic bibliography