Three snippets from recent research:

  • My library’s copy of Berlin’s Ethnobiological Classification has been used to kill at least one specimen, judging by the gunk on the cover.
  • In a display of nominative determinism, the other ethnobotany book I’m reading is written by CM Cotton.
  • In a set of 16 Fly River (PNG) vocabularies from Anthropos XV there was an ominous note that “the last vocabulary [of Oriomo] is not complete due to the death of Riley’s informant.” Not only is this a bit of a pain (because it’s one of the languages I’m after – it’s another name for Bine, a language related to Meryam, the Eastern Torres Strait language, and I’m working with Barry Alpher on the relationship between Western Torres Strait within Pama-Nyungan, but there’s a heap of loans) <breath> it’s one of those notes where you know there’s probably an unfortunate story behind it which would make great fodder for a certain upcoming field methods book. The note is all the note poignant because the vocabularies themselves were published after the death of their collector.

4 responses to “Snippets

  1. David Marjanović


    Tsss! That’s called “collect”. Or “sacrifice” or “euthanise”.


  2. David Marjanović

    Oh. Above the smiley I wanted to put <breath>. That got mistaken as HTML and disappeared.

  3. Hi Claire

    I’m interested in learning more about this project with Barry Alpher on Western Torres Strait. How can I contact Barry Alpher?

    Please reply to my email:

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