Latin Kin Terms

Latin kinship terminology follows a Sudanese pattern. Each possible relationship receives a separate kin term.

Latin/Ancient Roman Kinship Terms
Latin kinship terms

Latin provides an example of one of the fullest Sudanese systems in that it uses an actual term rather than a descriptive compound for every relationship including cousins, i.e. amitinus rather than amita's son or father's sister's son.

Kin TermKin Type
PaterF
FraterB
FiliusS
PatruusFB
AvunculusMB
PatruelisFBS
AmitinusFZS
ConsobrinusMBS
MatruelisMZS
FratuelisBS
SobrinusZS

Latin has also provided anthropologists with a basis for formulating a highly descriptive general terminology for crosscultural use. You should note the Latin roots in such terms as matrilineal and patrilineal, avunculocality (residing with a mother's brother) and amitalocality (residing with a father's sister) and fraternal polyandry or sororal polygamy. Other Latin roots, such as uxor (wife), viri (husband), and levir (husband's brother) also appear in anthropological terminology.

Return to Kin Terms
© Brian Schwimmer
University of Manitoba
Created: August 2003