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Re: chicken in America: from Asia? (cont.)

GKeyes6988 (gkeyes6988@aol.com) wrote:

: 2. The sources pertaining to presence of the Asiatic type of Chicken are
: all late, hundreds of years after contact,

Incorrect, Greg. Or only partially correct. Details can be found in the
reply to Jeffrey I just posted.

: and as Carter himself admits,
: these Asian chicks could have arrived on Spanish or Portuguese ships any
: time during this vast period.

: Carters other central arguments are:

: A.The early presence of the chicken and (in his opinion) the unlikelyhood
: of such a quick transmission of the bird in the New World given its slow
: spread in the Old World and

: B. Linguistic evidence.

: As for A, there is good evidence for a different dynamic  in the Age of
: Exploration and the Colonial period than in earlier times.  Along with my
: previous examples (the chicken and melon in NA) consider also the chili
: (CAPSICUM vr.) which spread with lightning speed across Asia, the Middle
: East, and Africa

Do you mean chili peppers were unknown in the Old World? I strongly doubt

: -- even though in pre-contact times it had not spread
: even throughout the Americas (it wasn't found in NA except in the
: southwest).       


: 1. Nordenskiold was convinced that the native words for chicken were
: post-Columbian inventions.

Carter is aware of this.


: 3.  The distribution of terms is not based on contact-period lexicons, but
: upon lexicons collected much later -- mostly in the late nineteenth
: centuries.  It is in no way certain that the distribution of terms
: reflects any contact-period distribution, but may instead reflect the
: spread of terms during the colonial era (this may account for the apparent
: homogeneity -- languages spoken by the smaller groups vanishing or being
: heavily influenced by languages like Quechua with more currency -- though
: of course this was happening during the period of empire. But there is a
: higher rate of language extinction in colonial times, period. 

These are valid points. Obviously you're on familiar ground in this

: As to why
: they did not borrow the Castillian term -- some languages and societies
: simply resist this -- Navajo and German, for instance (Chidi instead of
: "automobile" fursprecher instead of "telephone").


:  >     Among the curiosa of this collection of names is the discovery
:  >     that among the Tarahumar the name for chickens is _totori_,
:  >     which duplicates the Japanese name. (p. 207)
: This one is interesting.  The Tarahumara is indeed TOTORI (for hen) but I
: can find no evidence that there is or ever was any Japanese term
: "identical" to this (as Carter claims) in Japanese.  I checked MERRIAM
: ENGLISH-JAPANESE DICTIONARY.  All gave NIWATORI (literally, "Yard Bird")
: for Chicken, fowl, hen, etc.  From the Japanese side I looked up "Totori"
: "Tutori" "Tuturi" in both Hiragana and romanized versions and found no
: such word, period.

: I checked two historical sources, discovering Old Japanese *Tori for
: "bird" (JAPANESE/ AUSTRO-TAI, by Paul Benedict) and *NIFATORI for
: "Chicken" (still "yard bird")  There is one postulated form for
: Martin Samuel) in which *TU is a gramatical particle that does not occur
: at the beginning of words.  In this same source (which has an etymological
: glossary, a massive one) I looked to see if there was a *TOTORI or *TUTORI
: and found no such word.

: (I was wrong, by the way, in my guess that *TORI would lose it's shape in
: Old Japanese)

Obviously you've done some solid research here. Thanks for the effort.

: Then, since Carter provided no ready reference (except perhaps the vague
: "personal communication" quoted for a different fact but in the same
: paragraph, I plugged through the entire bibliography of MAN ACROSS THE SEA
: in search of his Japanese language reference.  I didn't find one.  Perhaps
: I missed it.

: I suppose one could argue from this that *NIFATUTORI was shortened somehow
: by non-Japanese speakers (the Tarahumara), but the certainly I can find no
: Japanese term which the Tarahumara "duplicates".

He may have stretched a point here. Too bad he did not give his sources.

: Note that, for the diehard diffusionist, my research here does not
: dissolve the hypothesised Tarahumara/Japanese link -- while NIFATUTORI
: does not "duplicate" TOTORI , it at least contains the shape of the word. 
: For lots of reasons I think that this is strained, indicating either a
: chance resemblance or, as Miguel suggested, onomatopoea, but here you have
: what I found and make of it what you will.   

Probably more can be found out about this. Can somebody ask Carter? 
<grin> Or some Japanese specialist? 

: >(I would like to indicate here that I'm not basing any claims ONLY
: >on this seeming similarity in names. Such claims, as I found in
: >these discussions, tend to please greatly those who already incline
: >to accepting diffusion, while leaving the opponents cold.)
: Right.  I understand this about you, Yuri -- and I think your are wise to
: qualify your argument in this way. 

Gee, thanks.

: Carter, however, seems to give this
: argument considerable weight, especially when he links his "dark" chickens
: with the Hindi (I think it was Hindi) word for dark chicken .


: >This is very important. The evidence of diffusion from the Old World
: >indicates strongly that tribes and peoples tend to _borrow_ existing
: >names when they acquire some new cultural item from other peoples,
: >and not to invent new names. 

: Also not true.  Choctaws (Choctaw is the one Native language I can
: actually manage in) call horses  ISSUBA"Like-a-Deer", they call monkeys
: SHAWI HATTAK "raccoon-men", Pigs SHUKHA (same word as for Opossum)  and,
: for that matter, chickens AKANK.  Ask a Choctaw to crow like a rooster,
: and he or she will say "AKANKOLA".  It is onomatopoeic (if you don't
: believe me, you can find all of this, including the "vocalization" of the
: Chicken, in A DICTIONARY OF THE CHOCTAW LANGUAGE by Cyrus Byington, John
: Swanton, and Henry Halbert.  It is Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin,
: #46.  Or you can drive to Philadelphia Mississippi and ask the first
: Choctaw you see).

Well, I will not argue against a specialist here...

: I can keep going.  "Irish" potato (unknown up here in precolumbian times)
: is AHI, the name of a local tuber (Saggitarius).  TALI (stone) is the root
: of all terms for metal -- silver = TALIHATTA, gold = TALI HOLISSO LAKNA. 
: Etc.  Here in the wasteland of British colonization, innovative words for
: introduced things are alive and well.


: For fun, a quick survey of some NA chicken terms:  Choctaw AKANKA, Navajo
: Biloxi MAXI (from MA, Turkey) Atakapa -- western dialect, NOHA'MC eastern
: dialect TSI'KILIK.

Wow. This is something to ponder...

: This is a random survey of dictionaries on my shelves.  Two terms of
: eleven -- Cherokee and Eastern Atakapa -- are from English Chicken.  The
: rest are innovative.

I thank you for the work you've done to investigate these linguistic
matters, Greg. Perhaps the Old World/New World linguistic links are
insufficient for chickens alone. But when we pair this with the
linguistinc links for the sweet potato (Ipomoea), and for some other
things, the case will look much stronger, I think. 

All the best,


            =O=    Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto    =O=
  --- a webpage like any other...  http://www.io.org/~yuku ---

Our discussion of the westward flow of techniques and inventions in
SCIENCE AND CIVILIZATION IN CHINA (v. 1, pp. 240 ff.) is very
relevant. We listed a whole alphabet of Chinese contributions, but
could find only four going in the opposite direction, and one of
those (clockwork) we had to withdraw in the light of our own later
historical discoveries.                         Joseph Needham