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South African bird names (1 Viewer)

Peter Kovalik

Well-known member
Slovakia
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.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
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?
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
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.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
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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l_raty

laurent raty
[...] 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.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
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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Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
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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Björn Bergenholtz

... earlier a k a "Calalp"
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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Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
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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Björn Bergenholtz

... earlier a k a "Calalp"
...
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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Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
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'.
 

l_raty

laurent raty
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 ?
 

RafaelMatias

Unknown member
Portugal
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 :eat: Still widely used in Brazil, of course.
 

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