Volume 37, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
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Studies in linguistics and anthropology have demonstrated that kinship systems and cultural practices change upon contact with other languages and cultures; however, creole kinship systems are generally overlooked. This paper examines the kinship terminology used by the Portuguese Settlement community in Malacca, Malaysia. The mapping of this kinship terminology is based on the division into terms of address and terms of reference, using three theoretical frameworks (‘identity alignment’, ‘language as an act of identity’, and ‘partial reciprocal diffusion’), while also taking into account Malacca Creole Portuguese, the standard variety of Malay, Baba Malay, Chetti Malay, Dutch, and English. The findings point to the existence of parallel kinship systems within the same language and indicate lexical connections to the other creole communities in Malacca (namely, Chettis and Baba-Nyonya). Accordingly, the terminology is divided into two segments: one oriented to the Portuguese superstrate and one toward the substrates and adstrates.


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Keyword(s): anthropology; creolistics; kinship; linguistics; Malacca Creole Portuguese
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