The Paleobiolinguistics of Maize (Zea mays L.)

Cecil H. Brown, Charles R. Clement, Patience Epps, Eike Luedeling, Søren Wichmann

Abstract


Paleobiolinguistics is used to determine when and where maize (Zea mays) developed significance for different prehistoric groups of Native America. Dates and locations of proto-languages for which maize terms reconstruct generally accord with crop-origin and dispersal information from plant genetics and archaeobotany. Paleobiolinguistic and other lines of evidence indicate that human interest in maize was extensive millennia before the widespread development of a village‐farming way of life in the New World.

Keywords


Archaeobotany; crop origins; historical linguistics; Native American Indians; paleobiolinguistics; plant domestication; plant genetics

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14237/ebl.5.2014.130

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