Patterns in grog terminology in Australian languages
The paper surveys alcohol terminology in Australian languages, following previous
continent-wide studies of particular loan concepts ('horse', 'musket', 'police').
The paper collates the evidence that there is no indigenous term for a fermented beverage
which is not also that of the plant from which it was derived, and no indigenous
term for a fermented beverage has been extended to cover any introduced alcoholic
drinks. A number of terms have been borrowed from English (rum, grog). Common semantic
extentions are from indigenous terms for 'sweet', 'salty', 'sea water', 'water',
'froth', and others; unusual ones are also discussed.
The polysemies show areal patterns, explainable partly historically, partly geographically.
The evidence supports in part the "culture areas" of Peterson 1976.
Peterson, Nicolas. 1976. The natural and cultural areas of Aboriginal
Australia: a preliminary analysis of population groupings with
adaptive significance, Chapter 3, pp.50-71 in Tribes and
Boundaries, ed. by Nicolas Peterson. (Social Anthropology
Series No. 10) Canberra: AIAS / Atlantic Highlands: Humanities Press.
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