Kazakh Consanguine Kinship Terms of Address

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A. A. Muldagaliyeva, U. B. Adilbayeva, Sh. B. Gumarova, M. Zh. Myrzakhmet, Z. A. Tleugabylova


Investigation of Kazakh consanguine kinship terms of address employed by the younger generation enabled to demonstrate the links between language use, social relations and cultural values. The analysis of data obtained through on-line survey, observation and tete-a-tete interviews yielded valuable information on the usage of address terms within a nuclear family and close consanguine relatives. The Kazakh society, being traditional in nature, strictly regulates the behavior of its members in many spheres of life, including family communication. The usage of kinship address terms to refer to relatives as well as nonrelatives indicates the uniqueness of the Kazakh culture. The whole society can be related by a kinship address. Kinship address terms are powerful means of creating and maintaining solidarity among not only members of a kin community but the whole society. The tradition of extending kinship throughout the whole nation comes from time immemorial, being transmitted from ancestors to descendants since it proved “crucial to the existence and perpetuation of harmonious and enduring social relationships” In the Kazakh language, there is a plethora of address terms young people use to refer to the members of their family and сlose relatives. Within a kin community kinship relations are built on a special hierarchy: junior and senior. The very use of kinship term to address a person is the means of showing respect towards the addressee and a way of exhibiting politeness. The present research revealed a strong family orientation of today’s Kazakh young people. A peculiarity of Kazakh address terms is a wide use of ‘Russianized’ and Russian kinship terms by the modern Kazakh youth due to two factors – intercultural communication and the bilingual situation in Kazakhstan.

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