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Language Hotspots and Biodoversity

Order Description

Question 1:
What does Harrison (2007, Chapter 2) consider to be some important differences between scientific classification of animals and plants, and folk classification, as reflected in languages?

Question 2:
The Kayapó of Brazil distinguish 56 folk species of bees, divided into 15 folk families (see Harrison, 2007, Chapter 2). Genetic taxonomy now divides these into 66 species. But in what ways might the Kayapó folk classification be richer?

Question 3:
English grammar appears to care a lot about tense, definiteness, and plurality. In trying to discover traditional ecological knowledge, researchers must learn indigenous languages that place more importance on different grammatical concepts (see Evans, 2009, Ch.4; McWhorter, 2013, Ch.4). Briefly describe the following linguistic ideas: (i) evidentiality; (ii) volitionality.

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