Abstract

The paper describes a computer program, called KINSHIP, which performs componential analysis of kinship terminologies. Some theoretical insights gained from implementing the program are discussed. Three styles of componential definitions are discerned, according to the presence/absence of redundant components in kinterm definitions, and special attention is given to the problem of multiplicity of componential models. Two constraints are suggested, reducing the immense number of solutions to unique analyses. The program, called KINSHIP, with its capabilities to produce all alternative componential analyses, including the guaranteed-simplest ones, is shown to be usable as a practical tool in the study of kinship vocabularies. Componential analyses of Bulgarian and American English are presented.

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