GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2004-10 > 1098967468
From: "Richard Smyth at Road Runner" <>
Subject: Re: More on King's Kinsfolk
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 08:47:09 -0400
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <nathanieltaylor-F27A2D.email@example.com> <000801c4bca0$456ee020$020010ac@peirce> <nathanieltaylor-5AEF02.firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > > But 'parentela' means 'kin-group' or 'kindred', not 'relative'; it
> > > refers to a group of people, not to an individual as a relative.
> The inequality is in syntax rather than in basic idea. 'Parentela' is a
> singular word refering to a group of people; 'relative', in the
> singular, refers to an individual.
I really don't want to pursue a purely grammatical point; it is almost
never worth taking the trouble to write or speak with logical exactness.
There are, however, one or two superficial points that bear on your
grammatical observation. First, it is not true that "relative" is being
predicated of some unique and singular object in "Let us agree to discuss a
relative of A." Secondly, not every noun or adjective that is predicated
of a singular object is being predicated of an individual object; it may be
being predicated of a further divisible class of objects. But none of this
goes to any question of genealogical fact or interpretation.
What I was puzzled about was the genealogical significance of identifying
someone as kindred of A, rather than as relative of A. As I understand the
terms, everyone kindred of A is a relative of A. However, if you told me
that, for example, in Scotland in the medieval period "parentela" was
sometimes used to indicate a clan relationship then I would infer that the
relationship is not necessarily genetic. I understand that in the
classical era adoption was common. Was the term ever used then, or later,
to include adopted children?