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COMMENT ON “ON THE STRUCTURE OF DRAVIDIAN RELATIONSHIP SYSTEMS” BY MAURO WILLIAM BARBOSA DE ALMEIDA

  • Author(s): Read, Dwight W
  • et al.
Abstract

The analysis provided in this paper is not that of any particular Dravidian terminology, let alone a proto-Dravidian terminology. Rather, it the analysis of an abstracted Dravidian terminology formed by dropping one of the four "principles of opposition" that Louis Dumont (and Trautmann) considered to be essential to Dravidian terminologies, namely that of relative age, as if relative age is not an integral part of Dravidian terminologies. De Almeida merely notes (after quoting Dumont (1953)): "we ignore distinctions concerning relative age" (p. 2). One may want to simplify in order to keep tractable the algebraic argument regarding products of kin types, but this means we are dealing with a formal analysis constructed at an unstated remove from the ethnographic reality of any Dravidian terminology.

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