Kinship Terms

Most kinship terms are conjugated with basic pronouns to express my, your, and his/her.  When addressing a relative, the “my” conjugation is used.  When talking to someone about your relative, the “my” conjugation is used with the option of also using “mįtawe”.  For example:

My mother is sick. – Hina wahire ke/ki.

My mother is sick. – Hina mįtawe wahire ke/ki.


my – hį-

your – ri-

his/her – i-

our (dual) – hį_____ hįntawe (kinship term goes in the blank)

our (plural) – hį_____ hįntewi (kinship term goes in the blank)



my uncle – hįnjega

your uncle – rijega

his/her uncle – ijega

our (dual) uncle – hįnjega hįntawe

our (plural) uncle – hįnjega hįntewi


my grandfather – hįntugą

your grandfather – ritugą

his/her grandfather – itugą

our (dual) grandfather – hįntugą hįntawe

our (plural) grandfather – hįntugą hįntewi


Some kinship terms only partially follow this pattern.  These are:

my father – hįnka

your father – nąnje

his/her father – ąnje

our (dual) father – hįnka hįntawe

our (plural) father – hįnka hįntewi


my mother – hina

your mother – rihų

his/her mother – ihų

our (dual) mother – hina hįntawe

our (plural) mother – hina hįntewi


Other kinship terms that do not use these conjugations, such as wąntohą (son-in-law), use possessive terms such as mįtawe (my), ritawe (your), and etawe (his/her).  For example:

my son-in-law – wąntohą mįtawe

your son-in-law – wąntohą ritawe

his/her son-in-law – wąntohą etawe

our (dual) son-in-law – wąntohą hįntawe

our (plural) son-in-law – wąntohą hįntewi


To express a relationship such as a half-brother or half-sister, the term ukithre (half) is used.  For example:

half-sister – wahisje ukithre


To express a step-relationship such as step-mother or step-father, the term uyąnje (borrowed) is used.  Note that the kinship term is still conjugated accordingly.  For example:

my step-mother – hina uyąnje

my step-father – hįnka uyąnje

your step-mother – rihų uyąnje

your step-father – nąnje uyąnje


See the dictionary for more kinship terms.