Lecture 3

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University of Toronto St. George
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
James Eckenwalder

EEB330H1 S Systematic Botany - James Eckenwalder Lecture 3 January 22, 2013 *today's lecture and thursday's lecture are switched • Folk Taxonomy/Ancients (to 1st Century AD until Present) • Apothecaries (2nd to 15th) • Herbalists (16th) Scientific Taxonomy (17th) • • Encyclopedists (18th) • Natural Systems (19th) • Evolutionary Systems (20th) • Phylogenetic Systems (21st) • Every language incorporates a type of classification system. We also have views on grouping things. • • Brent Berlin was exploring individual folk taxonomy based on different languages. He worked with Mayan people of Chiapas, specifically Tzetal speakers. • Ethnobotany is the study of people and plants, specifically traditional societies in relation to plants. • One is more emic and one is more etic. • Etic ethnobotany is more economic botany. Emic ethnobotany is more linguistic botany. Linguistic ethnobotanists were interested in how people think and how people look at the world. These people would look more closely at the names that people gave to plants. People are more aware to things that are more salient, or important to them. • Folk biological classification systems were hierarchical, more or less inclusive groups that were nested within each other. There was a fairly standardized pattern. Most were founded on single word names (generic). These names were unanalyzable primary lexemes (a single word that can't be broken down). These folk generics had primacy and were the first elements of classification historically. • For organisms that had some cultural significance, they might be subdivided into folk specifics. Folk specifics took on secondary lexemes (ex. An adjective that modified the primary lexeme). • For really important plants (cultivated plants), there were folk varietals and were known as tertiary lexemes. Life forms are umbrella words that categorize morphological groups of animals. Most cultures • have similar basic life forms. Almost all the time, those life forms represented a folk generic name that was elevated to the life form level. • An example would be tree, coming from the root drys which means oak tree. • If one is asked whether there are groups branching from tree, they will give intermediate forms which are also primary lexemes. There are labelled and unlabeled (trees that we know belong in on
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