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Title: Ethnobiological classification and the environment in Northern Australia
Contributor(s): Baker, Brett (author)
Publication Date: 2007
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Abstract: Among Indigenous Australian folk taxonomic systems, we find two general characteristics. Firstly, the great majority of botanical names refer to species, while genera remain unnamed. I argue that this fact follows from the unique structure of the Australian flora, which is dominated by species from just a few very large genera. The importance of this fact has hitherto not been recognised by ethnobiological systematics. Secondly, taxonomic names are simple, monomorphemic ("monomial") names. Moreover, the binomial names characteristic of folk generics elsewhere are not permitted in most Australian languages. Both these characteristics are difficult to reconcile with the universals of folk taxonomy proposed by Berlin and associates (Berlin, Breedlove & Raven 1973; Berlin 1992).
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Mental States: Language and cognitive structure, v.2, p. 239-265
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
Place of Publication: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
ISBN: 9789027231031
Field of Research (FOR): 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics)
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Studies in Language Companion Series
Series Number : 93
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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