re: whats in a name

Subject: re: whats in a name
From: Lawrie Conole <>
Date: 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?  

Hi Andrew

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.



Lawrie Conole
28 Reid St
Northcote, Victoria 3070

0419 588 993
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