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date: 18 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Cognitive reality of landscape transformation in Amazonia refers to the traditional knowledge local people share in a common culture concerning past and sometimes lasting human impacts on substrates and biotic compositions of specific areas. A method for determining cognitive reality of any semantic domain is freelisting. Freelists of terms for flora and landscapes in the indigenous languages of Greater Amazonia indicate extensive shared vocabularies and accurate knowledge of large inventories of biota and their respective habitats. In these languages, and the small-scale societies associated with them, effects of anthropogenic activities in the landscape over time can be inferred from contemporary freelists. In this chapter, we apply a cluster measure to semantic categories in freelist data concerning cultural (or anthropogenic) forests, some of which was previously published and some not, collected among the Ka’apor people of the eastern Amazon of Brazil.

Keywords: Amazonia, freelisting, semantic domain, Ka’apor people, cognitive reality

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