re: whats in a name
Lawrie Conole <>
Fri, 30 Nov 2007 13:39:00 +1100
Andrew Taylor wrote:
Markgraf was a German employed on a Dutch expedition to an area of NE
Brazil then under Dutch control. Markgraf might have been given the
names by Portugese speakers - the area was formerly under Portugese
control - but as a naturalist he presumably spent a great deal of time
with indigenous people so isn't the simplest explanation that he
heard the names directly?
The Portuguese colonised the NE of Brazil soon after they first found
the place in 1500, and had about 120-130 years open go before the Dutch
invaded part of the NE coast and ruled over it from the 1630s until
they were turfed out in about 1644. The process of incorporation of
Tupi-Guarani vocabulary into Portuguese was pretty well in full swing
by then (and the Tupi-Guarani themselves much reduced in numbers and
influence) by the 1620s.
The form of jaçanã (apparently from Tupi jaçanam = 'one
who cries out' & in Portuguese pronounced much like jaçanã)
is unmistakably Portuguese, and would have been rendered quite
differently by a Dutch or German person - quite probably beginning it
with 'dj' as they did with various Malay words.
So I think Markgraf's informants were most likely Portuguese speaking
Brazilians - possibly including both Europeans and Indians.
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