Author Topic: genealogy- a semantic/logic question  (Read 2850 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Guest
genealogy- a semantic/logic question
« on: February 12, 2011, 12:22:41 PM »
 In thinking about past Russian Imperial Family members, I was struck by this question or concept. How many[ i]paternal[/i]great grandmothers does one have ? I have one paternal (on my father's side) grandmother , but would I have two paternal great-grandmothers? I guess that's possible but it sounds funny.

Put another way,and making it more tricky, is my father's []maternal[u grandmother   my paternal  great-grandmother? That is, paternal simply because it's through my father's family line?
This was triggered by a Romanov family reference, but it applies to any genealogy, and I wondered what the right word or expression wold be.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 12:28:48 PM by Rodney_G. »

Offline Forum Admin

  • Administrator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 4665
    • View Profile
    • Alexander Palace Time Machine
Re: genealogy- a semantic/logic question
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2011, 04:14:34 PM »
It sounds weird, but when you diagram out a family tree, you actually have two Paternal Great Grandmothers.  Your Paternal Grandfather (your Father's Father) had a mother,  Paternal Grandmother One, AND his wife (your Paternal Grandmother) also had a mother, your second Paternal Great Grandmother. Took me a moment to reason this out for you.

« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 04:35:42 PM by Forum Admin »


  • Guest
Re: genealogy- a semantic/logic question
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2011, 12:33:13 PM »
 Yes, I'm confident of it by the genetics and logic but it's just the wording of it in English. "My paternal great-grandmother" refers to a particular individual,  of course, but that formulation doesn't preclude there being another one, which obviously there was. I guess there's a natural linguistic or semantic analogy to what's going on when we say, for instance, "my mother", of whom there is definitely only one.