Fish Names of the Mariana Islands, Micronesia


Download Fish Names of the Mariana Islands, Micronesia


Preview text

Fish Names of the Mariana Islands, Micronesia
Compiled by
Alexander M Kerr
Marine Laboratory University of Guam
University of Guam Marine Laboratory Technical Report 139 February 2012

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I thank first Señot Jesus (Kådi) Manibusan and his family for teaching me many things about fishing, fish names and Chamorro hospitality. Many other fishermen also generously contributed names and translations. Dr. Rosa Palomo of the UOG Micronesiean Area Research Center (MARC) patiently corrected my many goofy misrenderings of Chamorro words; I have several other Chamorrolanguage teachers: Señot Frank S. Quenga (U.S. Civil Service, retired), Señora Jovita E. Quenga, M.Sc. (Guam Public School System, retired) and Juan Malamanga (Pacific Daily News). Finally, Dr. John Peterson and Ms. Rlene Santos Steffy (both of MARC) provided the means and impetus to update this compilation and I am grateful.
Hu gof ågradesi i fabot-miyu, todu hamyo. Dångkolo na Saina Ma'åse!
i

ii

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report provides the most extensive compilation of Chamorro fish names to date. The names are rendered in the modern orthography adopted in 1983 by the Guam Kumision I Fino' Chamorro. The fish names are provided in three formats to facilitate quick look up: Chamorro-English-Latin, English-LatinChamorro and Latin-Chamorro-English. An apparent cognate with other Austronesian languages is discussed. Pronunciation of ancient names is considered.
iii

iv

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgements

i

Executive Summary

iii

Table of Contents

v

Introduction

1

Geographic and historical setting

12

Language affinities

12

Orthography

13

Previous compilations

13

Methods

15

Results

16

Discussion

16

Literature Cited

18

Appendix 1: Chamorro-English-Latin

12

Appendix 2: Latin-Chamorro-English

24

Appendix 2: English-Chamorro-Latin

36

v

vi

INTRODUCTION
Technical vocabularies, such as those devoted to particular economic or religious functions, are likely to be known or spoken by only a small subset of native speakers. Examples of technical words and phrases in English include "laproscopic Nissen fundoplication," a surgical procedure, while from mathematics, "Gödel number," a composite number encoding a logical statement within the exponents of its prime factors. Other workers have considered technical vocabularies as “semantic domains” (Benveniste 1973) or “terminologies” (Pawley and Ross 1994), in reference to a set of words with “semantic coherence” (Blust 2002) and a primary appellative function.
Historically, technical terms in most languages have been subject to considerable change, as when the practises and objects they concern change in concert with, or are supplanted through, rapid technological alteration or Western economisation. That is, the kind and rate of linguistic change experienced by a technical vocabulary can be distinct from that of the rest of the language, even if the latter retains wide currency. This may stem, at least partly, from the specialised words' relative infrequency of use. Infrequenty used words change more quickly than do commonly used words (Leiberman et al. 2007; Pagel et al. 2007). Finally, the extent and composition of technical vocabularies probably also reflect other aspects of the particular history of change experienced by a language as a whole and the society in which it is spoken. In sum then, technical vocabularies may provide a valuable and unique record of the history of its speakers.
To test these ideas, I will examine a technical vocabulary, indigenous fish names of the Mariana Archipelago, Micronesia. Specifically, differences in the extent of borrowing and the origin of borrow words will be compared between two ecologically distinct groups of fishes, shallow-water, inshore species and deep-water or pelagic forms. Because vastly different fishing methods are used to acquire these types of fishes, I reason that differential changes in these fishing practices will lead to corresponding differences in borrowing between the two nomenclatures. An inferential statistical approach will be applied to distinguish between changes expected from chance and to those more likely
1

due to the aforementioned hypothesis. The results of this analysis will be presented elsewhere. However, as the first critical step in this analysis, I compile and present here an updated, extended and corrected list from that of Kerr (1990).
A second, arguably more fundamental reason for the following compilation exists. Work on producing comprehensive Chamorro dictionaries and grammars are in progress and specialised vocabularies will need to be compiled for natural objects and phenomena (e.g., plants, animals, stars, waves), as well as material culture and technology (e.g., parts of canoes and houses, fishing methods, weaving). To this end, the appendices herein provide, as far as I know, the most comprehensive list of fish names from the Mariana Islands so far assembled.
Geographic and historical setting
The Mariana Islands are small (10 to 540 km2) volcanic or tectonically uplifted limestone islands in the western tropical Pacific Ocean (13°to 20°N, 142°to 144°W), approximately 2400 km east of the Philippines. Of the 14 "main", i.e. largest, islands, only seven are currently inhabited, some quite sparsely. Still, most other islands show evidence of previous occupation (e.g., Fritz 1902). Chamorros arrived in the Marianas about 4000 BCE. European colonisation of the archipelago began in the mid-17th century by Spain, who conceded the southernmost island of Guam to the US as a territory in 1898. From this time, the northern islands lay briefly in German, then Japanese hands until 1945, when they also came under US administration, eventually as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Language affinities
Chamorro is a member of the Western Malayo-Polynesian subfamily of the Austronesian family of languages. The language is characterised by the use of focal markers, reduplication and extensive affixation ("aglutination"). A significant minority of words are Spanish loans, though their meanings may have changed considerably. The language is
2

Preparing to load PDF file. please wait...

0 of 0
100%
Fish Names of the Mariana Islands, Micronesia