Related to a question at ELU, I am interested in doing a comparative analysis of kinship terms in various languages. What would help me with this is an inventory of terms for individual languages.

There are online explanations of different systems, but I haven't been able to find a list for many common languages (the main IE/Semitic/East Asian languages). Historical ones like Old English/Latin/PIE would be good, too.

Is there a reference that tabulates the terms for each language? If not that, at least one that lists comprehensively the kinship terms with their definition in English?

  • If you look for historical ones the there is a reverse word index here: palaeolexicon.com/ReverseIndex That means that you first find the common word in English and then you get the correspondences in different ancient languages. The list is ginormous but i am not sure it is what you are looking for.
    – Midas
    Dec 21, 2018 at 19:44

2 Answers 2


Have you already seen this? http://www.austkin.net/

An excellent database

Also, have a look at https://ids.clld.org/chapters/2 (see Chapter 2, Kinship)

  • No, I hadn't seen that before, but yes, those are exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for.
    – Mitch
    Dec 14, 2011 at 22:32
  • @Mitch Here's a database for Australian languages Dec 17, 2011 at 10:50
  • Both those links are now unavailable. Do you have new links for them, and can you summarize in your answer what is there?
    – Mitch
    Dec 17, 2018 at 13:53
  • 1
    @AlexB. Nice link! (for a whole bunch of stuff)
    – Mitch
    Dec 21, 2018 at 16:35
  • 1
    I notice the AustKin link is broken as well, here's the new one Dec 21, 2018 at 22:56

If you are interested in including kin terms of signed languages in your analysis, there is one such dissertation which examines kinship terms in ~40 signed languages. The author of this dissertation is Erin Wilkinson and the full citation is given below:

Wilkinson, E. L. (2009). Typology of signed languages: Differentiation through kinship terminology. PhD thesis, University of New Mexico; Albuquerque, NM.

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