Lawrie Conole <>,
re: whats in a name
Nikolas Haass <>
Thu, 29 Nov 2007 21:59:35 -0800 (PST)
Just FYI the German name for Comb-crested Jacana is Kammblatthühnchen (Kamm =
Comb; Blatt = Leaf; Hühnchen = Little Chicken)
Therefore it is a little chicken with a comb (on its head) that walks around on
----- Original Message ----
From: Lawrie Conole <>
Cc: Birding Aus <>
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2007 1:39:00 PM
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] re: whats in a name
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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