Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências
Print version ISSN 0001-3765
SANTOS-FITA, Dídac; COSTA-NETO, Eraldo M and SCHIAVETTI, Alexandre. Constitution of ethnozoological semantic domains: meaning and inclusiveness of the lexeme "insect" for the inhabitants of the county of Pedra Branca, Bahia State, Brazil. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2011, vol.83, n.2, pp. 589-598. ISSN 0001-3765. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0001-37652011000200018.
This article deals with the sociocultural construction of the 'insect' and 'animal' domains by the inhabitants of the county of Pedra Branca (municipality of Santa Terezinha, Bahia State, Brazil). The fieldwork was performed from September 2006 to July 2007. The data was obtained by means of open-ended interviews of 74 individuals of both genders whose ages ranged from 4 to 89 years old. The results show that the interviewees were unable to say in an accurate and secure way a specific definition for each domain. Depending on how a given animal is culturally interpreted, it could belong to the semantic domain 'animal' or 'insect', being representative of one or another group. However, in practice, such a distinction between these two semantic domains appears as something tenuous and ambiguous. Researchers who carry out biodiversity inventories should pay attention to the ethnocategory 'insect' during their studies, especially if these involve the participation of traditional community representatives
Keywords : cognition; ethnotaxonomy; ethnozoology; semantics.