Plant names: a cognitive approach Ioan MILICĂ The Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi Romania Research project: POSDRU/89/1.5/S/49944. - презентация
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Plant names: a cognitive approach Ioan MILICĂ The Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi Romania Research project: POSDRU/89/1.5/S/49944
Contents I. Whats in a name? II. Features of the expert model III. Features of the naïve model IV. Sources of naming V. Further research
Whats in a name? Helianthus annuus, 1753, Carolus Linnaeus ( ) Engl. sunflower, Germ. die Sonnenblume, Rom. floarea-soarelui Fr. tournesol, Sp. girasol, mirasol, It. girasole, Port. girassol
Whats in a name? most common names of the plant in the Western Romance languages reflect that the flower - the most prominent part of the plant - inspired the name; they point out that the flower turns towards the sun; the scientific name of this property is heliotropism; the common names outline two frames: 1. [turn] + [sun] – a narrative frame which consists of verb/ descriptor of verbal origin + noun; 2. [sun] + [flower] or [flower] + [sun] – a descriptive frame which consists of noun + noun; additional linguistic data reflects that the two semantic frames can also be traced in the languages of various indigenous Mexican groups (cf. Lentz et al. 2008: 6235): 1. Seri, Otome and Zoque groups: watches the sun/ looks at the sun (god) ; a similar frame is evidenced by the Spanish mirasol < Sp. mirar ('to look at something ) + Sp. sol ('sun) and 2. Tepehuan and Popoluca groups: (big) sun; Nahua group: shield flower; Raramuri group: ' seed flower; the descriptive frame is also evidenced by the scientific name of plant; one can infer that this is the dominant denominative model.
Whats in a name? The current scientific botanical taxonomy usually includes seven taxonomic ranks (levels): 1. kingdom (regnum), 2. division or phylum (divisio, phylum), 3. class (classis), 4. order (ordo), 5. family (familia), 6. genus (genus), and 7. species (species). The secondary ranks of taxa are tribe (tribus) between family and genus, section (sectio) and series (series) between genus and species, and variety (varietas) and form (forma) below species. (cf. International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, Vienna, 2005) Regnum (Kingdom) Phylum (Division) Class Order Family Genus Species
Whats in a name? SUPERREGNUM: Eukaryota Gr. eu- (proper') + Gr. karyon ('nut') REGNUM: Plantae DIVISIO: Magnoliophyta Magnolio < Pierre Magnol ( ), a French botanist who introduced the concept of family in the scientific classification of plants. Gr. phyta (plants') CLASSIS: Magnoliopsida Gr. – (o)psida – suffix for plants ORDO: Asterales Ger. aster (star') FAMILIA: Asteraceae SUBFAMILIA: Asteroideae TRIBUS: Heliantheae Gr. helios (sun') + gr. anthos (flower') (Subtribus: Unassigned) GENUS: Helianthus SPECIES: Helianthus annuus Lat. annuus (annual) Plantae Magnoliophyta Magnoliopsida Asterales Asteraceae Helianthus annuus
Whats in a name ? According to Berlin (1973) et al., folk biological taxonomies usually consists of five taxonomic categories: 1. unique beginner; 2. life form; 3. generic; 4. specific; 5. varietal; The generic level generally corresponds to the genus rank of the scientific taxonomy. Generic taxa are the basic building blocks of all folk taxonomies. They represent the most commonly referred to groupings of organisms in the natural environment, are the most salient psychologically and are likely to be among the first taxa learned by the child (Berlin et al., 1973: 216) unique Beginner plant life form tree, grass, etc. generic oak, violet etc. specific various types of violets varietal various breeds of dogs
Features of the expert model SYSTEMATICITY - naming is done according to a naming scheme (binary nomenclature) and to a classifying scheme (taxonomy). The scientific names reflect the relationships between plants. ARBITRARINESS - scientific plant names represent stipulative definitions, i.e. deliberate and arbitrary choices of the denominations given to certain realities. NOMENCLATURAL SPECIFICITY - each domain of scientific research has specific denominative needs Scientific botanical names are binary structures: Leontopodium alpinum Lat. Leontopodium < Gr. leontopodion 'lions foot' + Lat. alpinus, -a, -um 'which grows in the Alps or the in alpine area of some mountains ' alpine lions foot linguistic calque: Fr. pied-de-lion, patte-de-lion
Features of the expert model DENOMINATIVE PRECISION - the scientific name will suggest, as clearly as possible, the properties of the concept or of the thing it stands for. In scientific botanical taxonomy certain affixes are assigned certain denominative ranks. TERMINOLOGICAL STABILITY - once formed, a scientific term cannot be changed either in form or in content. ECONOMY – scientific names should not be excessively long. EUPHONY – scientific names should not sound unpleasant. TRANSPARENCY – scientific names can be deciphered.
Features of the naïve model EMPIRICISM – folk plant names are assigned on the basis of direct observation. TRADITIONALISM – ethnobotanical names are not deliberately and consciously chosen. They exist in a certain linguistic community due to the compelling force of tradition. A common name is enforced by collectivity, not by individuals. DENOMINATIVE VARIABILITY – In the same language, the same plant has names that differ from one region to another, from one period to another, from one group to another. DENOMINATIVE IMPRECISION - one and the same name is used to make reference to different plants or that the same plant bears more than one folk name.
Features of the naïve model DENOMINATIVE SPECIALISATION – certain linguistic units, like lexical affixes, act as markers to enforce differences: Rom. albăstrică (Aster tripolium) – Rom. albăstrioară (Consolida regalis) – Rom. albăstriţă (Centaurea cyanus). VAGUE DENOMINATION - points out the relatively limited knowledge offered by the senses in the process of making essential differences among botanical realities in all given situations. Primary lexemes (Berlin, 1973: 126) like tree, grass, weed, flower are used to make up secondary lexemes. the model [qualifier + primary lexeme] is very productive: black grass, white grass, sweet grass, spike grass etc. CULTURAL SPECIFICITY - plant names reflect practices, beliefs and human behaviors specific to a certain culture. Ex: pasqueflower, devils grass, St. Johns wort etc. OPAQUENESS – folk (common) plant names cannot be so easily deciphered.
Sources of naming – the naïve model body parts > anthropomorphism or zoomorphism (gestalts): hand-leaved violet (Viola palmata); quick- in-the-hand (Impatiens capensis) perception: taste: bitternut (Carya cordiformis); colour: animals: wolfs-milk (Euphorbia helioscopia); birds: three birds (Triphora trianthophora) insects: butterfly-flower/weed (Asclepias tuberosa) plants: poison-oak (Toxicodendron/Rhus quercifolium) clothing: monks hood (Aconitum napellus) jewelry: lady's ear drops (Fuchsia magellanica) objects: devils spoons (Alisma plantago-aquatica)
Sources of naming – the naïve model the sacred: St. Georges herb (Valeriana officinalis) fabulous beings: mandrake (Mandragora autumnalis) – folk etymology money: moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia) human relationships: five sisters (Lysimachia quadrifolia) imagology: Indian chief/shooting star (Dodecatheon meadia) time: holidays: pasqueflower (Anemone pulsatilla), seasons: summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum), months: mayflower (for several plants) space: places: star of Bethleem (Ornithogalum umbellatum); habitats: swamp cottonwood (Populus heterophylla) cosmos: sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
Sources of naming – the expert model In addition to all the sources of the naïve model, the scientific model has several specific domains: ancient mythology: Asclepias tuberosa name of the legendary discoverer: Gentiana asclepiadea name of the scientist who discovered the plant(s): Plumeria jamaicensis folk names from various indigenous languages: Goupia guatemalensis
Further research To use conceptual integration theory (the blending theory – Fauconnier and Turner) in order to develop applications in the field of lexicography (analysis and description of the compound lexical units) A distinction could be drawn between single layered compounds (lexical builders from one language), double layered compounds (lexical builders from two languages) and multiple layered compounds (lexical builders from three or more languages). Most frequent compounds seem to be single layered and double layered compounds
A prospective model Helianthus annuus Mental space helios/sun: Space builders: colour, shape Mental space anthos/flower Space builders: flower structure, shape Mental space annuus/annual Space builders: time, non-perennial plant HELIANTHUS ANNUUS helios (sun) annuus (annual) anthos (flower)
References (selective) Alcock, Randal Hilbert, Botanical Names for English Readers, L. Reeve & Co., London, 1876 Berlin, Brent at al.,General Principles of Classification and Nomenclature in Folk Biology, American Anthropologist, nr. 75, 1973, p Borza, Al. (coord.), Dicţionar etnobotanic, Editura Academiei, Bucharest, 1968 Britten, James and Robert Holland, A Dictionary of English Plant Names, Trubner & Co, London, 1886 Clements, Frederic, Greek and Latin in Biological nomenclature, University Studies, no.1, vol. III, December 1902, Lincoln, Nebraska Clute, Willard N., A Dictionary of American Plant Names, Joliet Illinois, 1923 Greene, Edward Lee, Evermann, Barton Warren, Carolus Linnaeus, Christopher Sower Company, Philadelphia, 1912 Gledhill, David, The Names of Plants, Cambridge University Press, 2008 Harris, James G and Melinda Woolf Harris, Plant Identification Terminology, Spring Lake Publishing, 1995 Kernbach, Victor, Dicţionar de mitologie generală, Editura Ştiinţifică şi Enciclopedică, Bucharest, 1989 Körting, Gustav, Lateinisch-Romanisches Wörterbuch, Druck und Verlag von Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn, 1901 Lentz, David et al., Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) as a pre-Columbian domesticate in Mexico, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 105, no. 17, Lyons, A. B., Plant Names, Scientific and Popular, Nelson, Baker & Co., Publishers, Detroit, 1900 Lindsay, T.S., Plant Names, The Sheldon Press, London, 1923 Miller, Walter, Scientific names of Greek and Latin Derivation, San Francisco, 1897 Nybakken, Oscar E., Greek and Latin in Scientific Terminology, The Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa, 1959 Paxton, Joseph, Sir, Paxtons Botanical Dictionary, Bradbury, Evans & Co, London, 1868 Stearn, William, Botanical Latin, David & Charles, Newton Abbot, London, North Pomfret, 1985 Ungerer, Friedrich, Schmid, Hans-Jörg, An Introduction to Cognitive Linguistics, Longman, London, New York, 1996 Váczy, Kálmán, Aurel Ardelean, Bartók Katalin, 1999, Carl Linné ( ). Viaţă, operă, destăinuiri, Editura Risoprint, Cluj-Napoca