Kinship terminology in general may be used to refer to the various systems used in languages to refer to the persons to whom an individual is related through kinship. As Robert Parkin states, a kin term or kinship term or relationship term designates a particular category of kin or relative regarded as a single semantic unit. It can be conceptualised as containing one or more kin types, though empirically it will be applied to a number of different individuals occupying different genealogical positions. The whole ensemble of kinship terms is referred to as kinship terminology or relationship terminology.
The kin term product was first discussed by D.Read (1984) and is defined as follows: Let K and L be kin terms in a given kinship terminology, T. Let ego, alter1 and alter2 refer to three arbitrary persons each of whose cultural repertoire includes the kinship terminology, T. The kin term product of K and L, denoted K or L, is a kin term, M, if any, that ego may (properly) use to refer to alter2 when ego (properly) uses the kin term L to refer to alter1 and alter1 (properly) uses the kin term K to refer to alter2.
Kinship terminologies have discernable patterns, but these vary from society to society and are not always internally consistent in the logical sense; for example some languages distinguish between affinal and consanguine uncles, whereas others have only one word to refer to both a father and his brothers. Also, kinship terminologies include the terms of address used in different languages or communities for different relatives and the terms of reference used to identify the relationship of these relatives to ego or to each other. As Parkins notes, the terminology of direct address often differs in detail from the terminology of reference used in the same society. The reference terminology represents what might be described as the ‘true’ classification, the definitions one might expect in dictionaries. For example, in English cousins
References: * Fox, Robin; 1967; Kinship and Marriage: an anthropological perspective, Hammondsworth, Penguin Books. * Parkin, Robert; 1997-98; Kinship: an introduction to basic concepts, Blackwell, Oxford, U.K. * Radcliffe-Brown A R and Daryll Forde (ed); 1950; African systems of Kinship and Marriage, London OUP * Brian Schwimmer; 1996; Systematic Kinship Terminologies; University of Manitoba. * Kinship and Kinship Terminologies; Wikipedia-the free Encyclopaedia * Shikhar Kr. Sarma, Utpal Saikia and Mayashree Mahanta; Kinship Terms in Assamese Language; Department of Computer Science, Gauhati University. * Fred Eggan; 1968; Kinship; International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. * Trautmann, Thomas R; India and the Study of Kinship Terminologies; L’HOMME 154-155 * Read, D W; Formal analysis of kinship terminologies and its relationship to what constitutes kinship; Sage Publications; Vol. 1(2): 239–267