06 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Language is All About Classification

Man is a classifying animal: in one sense it may be said that the whole process of speaking is nothing but distributing phenomena, of which no two are alike in every respect, into different classes on the strength of perceived similarities and dissimilarities. In the name-giving process we witness the same ineradicable and very useful tendency to see likenesses and to express similarity in the phenomena through similarity in name.
  1  notes

It follows that the more words a person learns, the more refined their ability to classify phenomena and objects.

30 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Taxonomy is About Connecting and Explaining Life

Taxonomy (the science of classification) is often undervalued as a glorified form of filing—with each species in its folder, like a stamp in its prescribed place in an album; but taxonomy is a fundamental and dynamic science, dedicated to exploring the causes of relationships and similarities among organisms. Classifications are theories about the basis of natural order, not dull catalogues compiled only to avoid chaos.
Folksonomies: evolution taxonomy
Folksonomies: evolution taxonomy
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Not just categorizing it.

18 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 The Laws of Anthropology

Anthropology has reached that point of development where the careful investigation of facts shakes our firm belief in the far-reaching theories that have been built up. The complexity of each phenomenon dawns on our minds, and makes us desirous of proceeding more cautiously. Heretofore we have seen the features common to all human thought. Now we begin to see their differences. We recognize that these are no less important than their similarities, and the value of detailed studies becomes app...
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Anthropologists need a firm and accurate grasp of history before they can begin to induct laws from it.

23 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 Insights from Comparative Linguistics

Nowadays, comparative linguists analyse the minute details of similarities and differences. They can often trace words back through many types of change such as the dropping of syllables and shifts in pronunciation. Thus, the evolutionary history of various languages can be accurately traced. Family trees based on differences in DNA. Also, the migratory histories of whole peoples can be deduced from the languages that remain today. In Africa, for example, the 1500 or more surviving languages ...
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Comparative linguistics is an excellent method for tracing memetic influences between cultures and cultural genealogy.