Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Kinship, Idiomatic: Iran
(915 words)

Kin terms vary considerably by language and local dialect, all within a bilateral structure with patrilineal emphasis. Terms for the father's relatives carry more authority, respect, and distance than for the mother's, which more likely carry familiarity. Women are said to be more attuned to correct use and subtle meanings of kin terms than are men. These meanings can be manipulated by the speaker: endearing maman may change to formal mādar (mother), conveying insistence or urging attention. The suffix jān (life, soul) emphasizes endearment; the prefix khān in connection with “mo…

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Friedl, Erika Loeffler, “Kinship, Idiomatic: Iran”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 11 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0101b>
First published online: 2009

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