UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

A Phylogenetic Comparative Study of Bantu Kinship Terminology Finds Limited Support for Its Co-Evolution with Social Organisation

Guillon, M; Mace, R; (2016) A Phylogenetic Comparative Study of Bantu Kinship Terminology Finds Limited Support for Its Co-Evolution with Social Organisation. PLOS One , 11 (3) , Article e0147920. 10.1371/journal.pone.0147920. Green open access

[thumbnail of Mace_journal.pone.0147920.PDF]
Preview
Text
Mace_journal.pone.0147920.PDF

Download (571kB) | Preview

Abstract

The classification of kin into structured groups is a diverse phenomenon which is ubiquitous in human culture. For populations which are organized into large agropastoral groupings of sedentary residence but not governed within the context of a centralised state, such as our study sample of 83 historical Bantu-speaking groups of sub-Saharan Africa, cultural kinship norms guide all aspects of everyday life and social organization. Such rules operate in part through the use of differing terminological referential systems of familial organization. Although the cross-cultural study of kinship terminology was foundational in Anthropology, few modern studies have made use of statistical advances to further our sparse understanding of the structuring and diversification of terminological systems of kinship over time. In this study we use Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods of phylogenetic comparison to investigate the evolution of Bantu kinship terminology and reconstruct the ancestral state and diversification of cousin terminology in this family of sub-Saharan ethnolinguistic groups. Using a phylogenetic tree of Bantu languages, we then test the prominent hypothesis that structured variation in systems of cousin terminology has co-evolved alongside adaptive change in patterns of descent organization, as well as rules of residence. We find limited support for this hypothesis, and argue that the shaping of systems of kinship terminology is a multifactorial process, concluding with possible avenues of future research.

Type: Article
Title: A Phylogenetic Comparative Study of Bantu Kinship Terminology Finds Limited Support for Its Co-Evolution with Social Organisation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147920
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0147920
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 Guillon, Mace. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1477055
Downloads since deposit
143Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item