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Illustrations of the IPA: Shipibo

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Abstract

The Shipibo system of ethnobiological classification is found to be generally in accordance with the cross-cultural generalizations of Brent Berlin and Cecil H. Brown, among others, specifically with regard to the development and organization of major categories, such as life-forms. Nevertheless, the Shipibo system also presents certain special problems for the cross-cultural study of ethnobiological taxonomies, displaying unexpected intermediate zoological ranks. Finally, details of Shipibo categorization of plants and animals, including the naming of categories, suggest that human intervention in taxonomic systems needs to be considered beyond the mere perception of apparent characteristics of the items classified.
Knowledge of Panoan languages and linguistics has increased significantly over the last several decades. The present paper draws upon this new information to produce a current internal classification of all the extant and extinct languages in the Panoan family based on lexical, phonological, and grammatical comparisons. This classification pays special attention to distinguishing dialects from independent languages and to mismatches that exist between linguistically defined languages and socially defined ethnic groups. An evaluation of previously proposed genetic relations to other language families is followed by a discussion of lexical borrowing and possible areal diffusion of grammatical features from and into neighboring non-Panoan languages and Kechua. The history of Panoan linguistics is chronicled from the first Jesuit and Franciscan vocabularies to the most recent contributions, and priorities for future research are suggested. A typological overview of Panoan phonology, morphology, and syntax is provided along with descriptions of some of the extraordinary linguistic features found in the family. Name taboos, postmortem word taboos, in-law avoidance languages, trade languages, ceremonial languages, and other ethnolinguistic phenomena found in the Panoan family are also discussed.
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