Friday, 19 October 2012

Familial terms, part 1

Today I'll talk about some familial terms, words used to refer to different members of the family. This entry in particular will deal with the terms used for the offsprings. In Kareyku we have two different terms for this, on the one hand we have ile, which means literally "son", its feminine counterpart is ali, "daughter". But there is a more common term that's used, inwa, which is pretty neutral and means "child, offspring".

As of usage, the first term is mostly used in a formal context or a neutral context. The second term, inwa, is the more idiomatic and also it's highly employed as a vocative and term of endearment for both genders. As a result, one may speak of one's son and daughter, but address them as "child". A derived term from this is for example alile, which means "son and daughter".

ikanu alile yori seya, "my son and daughter are very young"

Also of note is that in Kareyku one does not say "I have X children", but rather "I live with X children", so for instance a person with a son and a daughter would say:

alileni lopalkas, "I have a son and a daughter"
literally: "I live with a son and a daughter"

And of course the famous phrase of respect for your in-laws:

ikanu waka odanu ali, shinu toru odanu ile
"my wife is your daughter, her husband is your son"

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