"Aunt"

May. 31st, 2016 03:29 pm
So I use both the English (American) term "aunt" and the Shanghainese/Mandarin Chinese term "ayi" or "aiyee" for not only a parent's sister, but basically any woman of my parents' generation who is either a blood or marriage relative, or a close family friend. For example, my mother's cousin is my aunt, I don't actually know how Aunt Lee is related to me, and Y*** Aiee is my childhood best friend's mother.

I'm curious how widespread this is. At first I thought it was just a Chinese thing, but then I remembered Aunt Lee (from my father's side). Do other people use Aunt and Uncle this way, or is it just my family?
Last night T$ and I were watching a cartoon series by Tartakovsky last night, and I assumed he was Polish while T$ told me he was Russian. There ensued a conversation about how Poland had been part of Russia at times in the past, and vice versa, so it makes sense they'd have similar names. Which prompted me to wonder if there is a language that is partway between Russian and Polish, or if there's a pidgin combination of the two (or whatever the appropriate word is instead of "pidgin").

Does this really happen, are there "intermediate" languages when there isn't geographical separation between two regions with different languages? I'm thinking of a comparison between how languages separate and how species evolve, that it'll start with two subspecies that become more and more distinct, and sometimes there'll be a third subspecies that can interbreed with both even when the two extremes can't interbreed with each other. Is it like that?

I am hopeful [livejournal.com profile] q10 will reply to this with his expertise, but if anyone has info it'd be interesting.
asterroc: (Gabriel - Goofy)
Commenting on another post, today I said "Silly bird! Object permanence is for people." I'm such a dweeb. :-P

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