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Vol. 48, no. 1 (Spring 2006)


Matrilineal Clans and Kin Terms on Rossel Island Stephen C. Levinson 1

The Halkomelem Middle: A Complex Network of Constructions Donna B. Gerdts and Thomas E. Hukari 44

Book Reviews

Now I Know Only So Far: Essays in Ethnopoetics (Dell Hymes) Regna Darnell 82
Rolling in Ditches with Shamans: Jaime de Angulo and the Professionalization of American Anthropology (Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz) Catherine A. Callaghan 84
Introduction to Classical Nahuatl and Workbook for Introduction to Classical Nahuatl (J. Richard Andrews) Kenneth C. Hill 88
Karatinsko-russkij slovar' (P. T. Magomedova and R. Sh. Xalidova) Johanna Nichols 95
The Mongolic Languages (Juha Janhunen, editor) György Kara 99
Space in Language and Cognition: Explorations in Cognitive Diversity (Stephen C. Levinson) Ingjerd Hoëm 107


Matrilineal Clans and Kin Terms on Rossel Island

Stephen C. Levinson
Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Abstract. Yélî Dnye, the language of Rossel Island, Louisiade archipelago, Papua New Guinea, is a non-Austronesian isolate of considerable interest for the prehistory of the area. The kin term, clan, and kinship systems have some superficial similarities with surrounding Austronesian ones, but many underlying differences. The terminology, here properly described for the first time, is highly complex, and seems adapted to a dual descent system, with Crow-type skewing reflecting matrilineal descent, but a system of reciprocals also reflecting the "unity of the patriline." It may be analyzed in three mutually consistent ways: as a system of classificatory reciprocals, as a clan-based sociocentric system, and as collapses and skewings across a genealogical net. It makes an interesting contrast to the Trobriand system, and suggests that the alternative types of account offered by Edmund Leach and Floyd Lounsbury for the Trobriand system both have application to the Rossel system. The Rossel system has features (e.g., patrilineal biases, dual descent, collective [dyadic] kin terms, terms for alternating generations) that may be indicative of pre-Austronesian social systems of the area.

The Halkomelem Middle: A Complex Network of Constructions

Donna B. Gerdts
Simon Fraser University

Thomas E. Hukari
University of Victoria

Abstract. The middle voice suffix in Halkomelem is ubiquitous, both in frequency of use and in its range of constructions. As in other languages of the world with middle morphology, the Halkomelem middle suffix occurs on a variety of intransitive verbs, including verbs expressing motion, change in body posture, grooming, speech acts, and natural reciprocals. In addition, the middle suffix occurs in several constructions that are syntactically intransitive but semantically transitive, including personal and logophoric reflexives, passives, and antipassives. We argue that, as has been proposed for other languages, "reflexive" is the central category of the Halkomelem middle. Other uses radiate out from this source, creating a complex network of constructions.

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