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Comparative analysis of markedness of gender kinship terms in Russian and Chinese vocabulary

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2018. Vol. 7. No. 1. Pp. 45-52.
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Qu Youyang
Saint Petersburg University
13B Universitetskaya Embankment, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russia


The author of the article analyzes the markedness of gender vocabulary in Russian and Chinese in relation to its form, semantics, and distribution. As one of the main groups of the gender word, kinship terms play an important role in expressing gender opposition. In both Russian and Chinese, there are groups of words that serve to denote the kindred relations between people. These are the so-called terms of kinship. Most units of the words denoting the terms of kinship form semantic pairs: husband-wife, father-mother, grandfather-grandmother in Russian, 姑姑 (Gu Gu - aunt) -姑父 (Gu Fu - uncle), 舅舅 (Tszyu Tszyu -uncle ) - 舅妈 (Tszyu M - auntie), 祖父 (Zu Fu - grandfather) - 祖母 (Zu Mu - grandmother) in Chinese. From the article, it is obvious that the Russian and Chinese terms of kinship have common properties and a few differences. On the part of the form, the terms of blood relationship along the direct and lateral lines are marked with the help of the prefix. In Russian: pra-, prapra-, in Chinese: - 堂 (Tan), 表 (Biao), 外 (Wei). On the part of the distribution, the terms of kinship in Russian and Chinese denoting the male gender can be phrases, and the terms denoting the female gender usually do not have this ability. Distributive marking is still expressed in the fact that the words denoting the male gender, when used in word combinations, are placed in front of words denoting the female gender. The formal marking of the terms of the properties in the Russian language is expressed by suffixes. In Chinese, such terms are expressed not by suffix, but with the help of the element 女 (Nuy).


  • • kinship terms
  • • gender vocabulary
  • • markedness
  • • Russian
  • • Chinese


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