Folk taxonomy

Fernando Silveira BEEMAN at UKANVM.BITNET
Tue Mar 28 09:28:49 CST 1995

The discussion on folk taxonomy reminded me of a story that is told in
       A foreigner was doing some field work in the Amazon forest and
needed someone to help him identify trees in his plot. He was introduced
to a local person known for his deep knowledge of plants. So there went
the researcher. followed by his new field guide. They would stop by each
adult tree and the botanist would record the name given by his guide to
the plant.
       After some time he started to suspect that his guide did not know
as much about trees as he was told.  The researcher noticed that too many
quite different trees were receiving the same name: 'pau atoa'.
       Back in town he complained about it to his peers. What he found
out was that 'pau atoa' in portuguese means "useless wood".
       I thought you might enjoy this one.
ÿÿ    Folk taxonomy                                                          FDO

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