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South African bird names

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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 12:39   #1
Peter Kovalik
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South African bird names

Adrian Koopman & Eckhart Buchmann (2020) Taha taha taha: South African bird names across time, language and usage, Ostrich, DOI: 10.2989/00306525.2019.1679905

Abstract:

Humans find birds important as food, symbols, competitors, and objects for amusement or study, and give names to different groups or species of bird. However, a single bird may have many names, likely related to different contexts. This article proposes that each bird name can be placed on the intersection of three contextual axes: 1) diachronic, with the name changing over time; 2) taxonomic, reflecting its place in a scientific or folk classification system; and 3) stylistic, according to the formality of the name, with its subaxis of compliance with regional versus global English naming norms. In South Africa, these axes float in a multilingual soup of indigenous, imported and modified languages, providing a fascinating diversity in bird naming. For instance, Austin Roberts in 1940 used the name Golden Bishop Bird Taha taha taha for the southern African race of the stunning bee-like Yellow-crowned Bishop, ‘taha’ taken from the Tswana word for finch and rendered in scientific Latin. This splendid formal name no longer exists, having succumbed to scientific progress and the necessity for global conformity in English bird naming. Using these intersecting onomastic axes provides a framework for additional study of bird names in South Africa and elsewhere.




Maybe a somewhat marginal but interesting article.
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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 13:04   #2
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Originally Posted by Peter Kovalik View Post
Adrian Koopman & Eckhart Buchmann (2020) Taha taha taha: South African bird names across time, language and usage, Ostrich, DOI: 10.2989/00306525.2019.1679905

Abstract:

Humans find birds important as food, symbols, competitors, and objects for amusement or study, and give names to different groups or species of bird. However, a single bird may have many names, likely related to different contexts. This article proposes that each bird name can be placed on the intersection of three contextual axes: 1) diachronic, with the name changing over time; 2) taxonomic, reflecting its place in a scientific or folk classification system; and 3) stylistic, according to the formality of the name, with its subaxis of compliance with regional versus global English naming norms. In South Africa, these axes float in a multilingual soup of indigenous, imported and modified languages, providing a fascinating diversity in bird naming. For instance, Austin Roberts in 1940 used the name Golden Bishop Bird Taha taha taha for the southern African race of the stunning bee-like Yellow-crowned Bishop, ‘taha’ taken from the Tswana word for finch and rendered in scientific Latin. This splendid formal name no longer exists, having succumbed to scientific progress and the necessity for global conformity in English bird naming. Using these intersecting onomastic axes provides a framework for additional study of bird names in South Africa and elsewhere.

Maybe a somewhat marginal but interesting article.
This does seem to suggest that purely on a practical basis, English words rather than indiginous languages or dialects should be used in naming a species.

The naming of a couple of species in a local language 'Chilappan' and 'Sholakili', which was discussed in another thread here, seems to illustrate the abandonment of an accepted protocol / principal by some authors?
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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 14:08   #3
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Does it?

Again a large chunk of birds have names derived from other languages. Unless you are suggesting we also get rid of names like Jacana, Guillemot, etc.
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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 16:02   #4
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Does it?

Again a large chunk of birds have names derived from other languages. Unless you are suggesting we also get rid of names like Jacana, Guillemot, etc.
I highlighted a principle which is stated in the OP and which clearly is no longer being applied.

Re Jacana, the common name we used when I was a boy, was 'Lilly-trotter' and in light of the adoption od descriptive names such as 'Shade-dweller, maybe there's justification for dropping Jacana?
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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 22:21   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Kovalik View Post
[...] Austin Roberts in 1940 used the name Golden Bishop Bird Taha taha taha for the southern African race of the stunning bee-like Yellow-crowned Bishop, ‘taha’ taken from the Tswana word for finch and rendered in scientific Latin. This splendid formal name no longer exists, having succumbed to scientific progress and the necessity for global conformity in English bird naming. [...]
This does seem to suggest that purely on a practical basis, English words rather than indiginous languages or dialects should be used in naming a species.
I'm not sure how you derive this suggestion from the original ?

- Austin Roberts' 'Golden Bishop Bird' is now 'Yellow-crowned Bishop' -- two names made of purely English words, the latter being the one that 'won the race' in the current process of global standardization of English names (= 'necessity for global conformity').
- His 'Taha taha taha' is a scientific trinomen, and as such has no reasons to be English. This name gave way to Euplectes afer taha, because (= 'scientific progress') Euplectes taha Smith 1836 is now regarded as conspecific with Loxia afra Gmelin 1789, and as congeneric with Loxia orix Linnaeus 1758 (the type of Euplectes Swainson 1829; which has priority over Taha Reichenbach 1863). This is in principle entirely unrelated to the linguistic/dialectal origin of the words that make up these names.
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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 22:55   #6
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...maybe there's justification for dropping Jacana?
Please don't drop me, I'm delicate

Lily-trotter is ugly and clumsy. Jacana is beautiful and elegant (even if the majority of us mispronounce it).
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 08:13   #7
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Who would drop a Jassana (jaçana)... ?


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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 08:40   #8
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Who would drop a Jassána (jaçana)... ?

It's found Worldwide in various guises so no need to be loyal to a Spanish name?
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 08:43   #9
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I'm not sure how you derive this suggestion from the original ?

- Austin Roberts' 'Golden Bishop Bird' is now 'Yellow-crowned Bishop' -- two names made of purely English words, the latter being the one that 'won the race' in the current process of global standardization of English names (= 'necessity for global conformity').
- His 'Taha taha taha' is a scientific trinomen, and as such has no reasons to be English. This name gave way to Euplectes afer taha, because (= 'scientific progress') Euplectes taha Smith 1836 is now regarded as conspecific with Loxia afra Gmelin 1789, and as congeneric with Loxia orix Linnaeus 1758 (the type of Euplectes Swainson 1829; which has priority over Taha Reichenbach 1863). This is in principle entirely unrelated to the linguistic/dialectal origin of the words that make up these names.
Perhaps I misunderstood what happened there, I'm no scientist, I thought he was usuing a local name which got replaced by an English one but it's just a name change in English is it?

By the way, I'm very upset that I haven't been called a racist xenophobe yet, what's happening here, perhaps they're just inoring me now, that's OK.
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 09:27   #10
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It's found Worldwide in various guises so no need to be loyal to a Spanish name?
What's "guises" ... ?
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 09:35   #11
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It's found Worldwide in various guises so no need to be loyal to a Spanish name?
And, the English name Jacana doesn't originate in Spanish, but in the Portuguese jaçanã, which (in its turn) origins in the local, indigenous jasaná (Tupi).

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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 09:46   #12
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What's "guises" ... ?
guise
/ɡʌɪz/
noun
noun: guise; plural noun: guises

an external form, appearance, or manner of presentation,


Perhaps not the best word I chose, I meant that there is more than one species, eight in fact.
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 09:46   #13
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What's "guises" ... ?
He means that 6 of the 8 species are not found in the Americas, so why should we use a Spanish [sic] name.
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 09:53   #14
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He means that 6 of the 8 species are not found in the Americas, so why should we use a Spanish [sic] name.
I think Calalp didn't know the term 'guise'...?
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 10:25   #15
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I was only commenting on the "correct" pronunciation of the English name Jacana (just like Will did, in #6), nothing else, thus not of how it´s written/typed/spelled, neither on how it ought to (or even could) be written.

I see no reason what-so-ever in trying to alter such an established and widely used name (in Print).

Over and out!

/B

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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 10:29   #16
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I was only commenting on the "correct" pronunciation of the English name Jacana (just like Will did, in #6), nothing else, thus not of how it´s written/typed/spelled, neither on how it ought to (or even could) be written.

I see no reason what-so-ever in trying to alter such an established and widely used name (in Print).

Over and out!

/B
I was asked if I would change the name of Jacana and gave my comments. It was not a genuine suggestion, rather pointing out that the genus does have an alternative though redundant name in English which could, potentially be employed and with some justification if it were ever decided to remove non English names which of course it won't.

You did also ask in post 10 'What's "guises" ... ?'.

Over and out to you too!!
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 10:44   #17
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...
You did also ask in post 10 'What's "guises" ... ?'.
...
Yes I did, and I still don't get it (not in full), but that's me, simply being Swedish ... English is not my mother tongue/native language. However, I think we can leave it. Of no major concern.

/B

PS. Though I still claim Jacana is of Portuguese/Tupi origin, not "Spanish [sic]"
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 10:51   #18
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Yes I did, and I still don't get it (not in full), but that's me, simply being Swedish ... English is not my mother tongue/native language. However, I think we can leave it. Of no major concern.

/B

PS. Though I still claim Jacana is of Portuguese/Tupi origin, not "Spanish [sic]"
--


And where have I argued that it's not, I wrote Spanish in ignorance only.

Something can be said to 'come in various guises', simply means they can look different, obviously rooted in 'disguise'.
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 11:39   #19
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Yes I did, and I still don't get it (not in full), but that's me, simply being Swedish ...
'Guise' is of Germanic origin, but entered English via Old French. The suffix '-wise' is basically the same word which did not do the detour through French. The original meaning of the word is 'manner', 'fashion'.
'Vis' in Swedish ?
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 12:08   #20
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And, the English name Jacana doesn't originate in Spanish, but in the Portuguese jaçanã, which (in its turn) origins in the local, indigenous jasaná (Tupi).

--
Indeed, but unfortunately I've been seen more and more frequently the Portuguese word being ignored in Portugal and the derived word Jacana used instead (very different sounding: Jaçanã being read "Jass-a-nan", with a stress on the "nan", sounding very differently from the harder "Ja-ka-nah"). A case of introgression Still widely used in Brazil, of course.
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 12:55   #21
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'Guise' is of Germanic origin, but entered English via Old French. The suffix '-wise' is basically the same word which did not do the detour through French. The original meaning of the word is 'manner', 'fashion'.
'Vis' in Swedish ?
På så vis!

(Or in English: Aha, thus/such is the case).


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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 21:44   #22
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'Guise' is of Germanic origin, but entered English via Old French. The suffix '-wise' is basically the same word which did not do the detour through French. The original meaning of the word is 'manner', 'fashion'.
'Vis' in Swedish ?
As an aside, a digression. Every year here in the UK around the end of October we see complaints about the Americanisation of Halloween by “trick or treating”. However, this is just an American version of the Scots tradition of “guising”.

When “guising” Scots children traditionally put on costumes and pretended that they were malicious spirits as they went ‘guising’ around the local streets. The belief was that, in disguising themselves, they would not be recognised by any wandering spirits and stay safe from harm. Once they had performed their tricks or songs, the guisers were given gifts to help ward off evil.

Nothing to do with birds, but maybe of some interest to someone.

David
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 22:16   #23
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As an aside, a digression. Every year here in the UK around the end of October we see complaints about the Americanisation of Halloween by “trick or treating”. However, this is just an American version of the Scots tradition of “guising”.

When “guising” Scots children traditionally put on costumes and pretended that they were malicious spirits as they went ‘guising’ around the local streets. The belief was that, in disguising themselves, they would not be recognised by any wandering spirits and stay safe from harm. Once they had performed their tricks or songs, the guisers were given gifts to help ward off evil.

Nothing to do with birds, but maybe of some interest to someone.

David
Interesting. Going on my experience of observing children trick or treating when our visit to Machu Picchu coincided with halloween, I can only conclude that Elsa from Frozen and Spiderman are of Inca origin
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 22:21   #24
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Indeed, but unfortunately I've been seen more and more frequently the Portuguese word being ignored in Portugal and the derived word Jacana used instead (very different sounding: Jaçanã being read "Jass-a-nan", with a stress on the "nan", sounding very differently from the harder "Ja-ka-nah").
Is this perhaps due to people in Portugal taking their cue from birding information written in English? You'll rarely find people writing in English and using diacritically marked letters like "ç", and the species is called "Jacana" in all of the major field guides.
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Old Yesterday, 08:46   #25
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Is this perhaps due to people in Portugal taking their cue from birding information written in English? You'll rarely find people writing in English and using diacritically marked letters like "ç", and the species is called "Jacana" in all of the major field guides.
I made exactly this point in another thread and if they were used, I doubt anyway that many would know what they denote. We don't have an 'acute', umlaut or cedilla. In some Slavic languages, there is also a similar mark that turns a C in to a 'ch' sound so where does it end?

Maybe there is an argument for a phonetic spelling in cases where there isn't a true, alphabetic representation when using a non English word with such an indication as to pronunciation, hence 'Jasana'?
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