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KinOath Kinship Archiver: A new tool for recording and exploring kinship relations.


Withers,  Peter
The Language Archive, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Withers, P. (2013). KinOath Kinship Archiver: A new tool for recording and exploring kinship relations. Talk presented at the 3rd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC), “Sharing Worlds of Knowledge". Honolulu, Hawaii. 2013-02-28 - 2013-03-03.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-745F-0
KinOath Kinship Archiver is an application for collecting and analysing kinship data which can be linked with archive data. It is designed to be flexible and culturally nonspecific, so that it does not impose extraneous concepts onto the data being recorded. Graphical representation of the data is a key feature, it produces publishable quality diagrams that can be exported to SVG, PDF and JPG formats. Data can be imported from GEDCOM, CSV and TIP files. Data can be exported into CSV format, with additional formats becoming available in the next version. The most common format, GEDCOM (Family History Department, 1999), exhibits cultural specificities. GEDCOM has a predetermined set of kinship types, genders and initiation ceremonies. We know that there is a wider array of kinship types (e.g. suckling relations (Altorki, 1980)) and genders (e.g. the Māhū of Hawaiʻi (Matzner, 2001)). There are also initiation ceremonies beyond the Christian and Jewish ceremonies that are predefined in GEDCOM. The cultural nonspecificity in KinOath is achieved by providing very flexible data fields, customisable relation types, customisable symbols and customisable kintypes. This means, for example, that any number of genders and kinship relations can be defined and represented on a diagram. There are two types of diagram: freeform, which is like a quick sketch; and project based diagrams, which share data across diagrams. Project based diagrams allow kintype string queries, allowing individuals to be found based on their relations to others. Individuals in a project diagram can be duplicated and merged, which can be useful, for example, in correcting data, or merging multiple data sets on kin groups that overlap. Kin terms can be defined with kintype strings and shown on the diagram, organised in groups, imported and exported. Statistical Analysis can be performed on the data exported from KinOath with the use of R or SPSS. This combined with queries based on kintypes and other search parameters, provides great potential in the analysis of both the kin data and the archive data that has been recorded. The intended users of Kinoath are any researchers that collect data in a context of social relations. Kinship data is often not systematically included in the metadata of archives, however these kin relations provide a context that enriches that archived data. The stable version of the application is available and the development version is being actively worked on with a number of new features. One of the new features is a plugin layer so that third parties can add functionality specific to their needs. Other new features include additional exporters/ importers and tighter R integration. The various versions and the manual are available at: http:// tla.mpi.nl/tools/tla-tools/kinoath/