On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 15:36:04 -0000, caeruleancentaur
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Perhaps others in the list would share with us some of their animal
>names, how they derived them and how they distinguish when the name
>is epicene.

Epicene words- Xinktlan has a whole mass of these!  I think every single
domestic animal except the guinea pig has words for at least the generic
animal, male and female thereof, and its young, and a few of the wild
animals are the same way, despite the fact that the noun class system (such
as is) distinguishes the classes of inanimate, animate and honorific rather
than masculine/feminine.

Here we go:

English          Animal      Male       Female    Young

Water Buffalo    _tab_       _tses_     _nim_     _bmla_ (newborn)
     (other words  _gdes_ a castrated bull
                   _tuan_ a 3 month old calf
                   _llbar_ a yearling calf
                   _kec_ a male calf
                   _mna_ a female calf
                   _dzu_ an unmated adult cow
                   _men_ a nursing cow)
Goat-Sheep[1]    _lqat_     _boc_      _pel_     _bra_ (3-month)
     (other words  _nu boc_ a castrated ram
                   _tus_ a newborn lamb
                   _nok_ a 6-month old lamb
                   _hoi_ a yearling lamb
                   _tsun_ a female lamb
                   _son_ a male lamb
                   _lutl_ a nursing ewe)
Peccary[2]       _nma_      _tsrak_   _qpa_    _unas_ (newborn)
     (other words  _qbul_ a boar over 5 years old)
Horse            _xatn_     _mral_    _noi_    _tlla_ (newborn)
     (other words  _nu_ gelding
                   _bec_ male foal
                   _pel_ female foal
                   _nu_ yearling foal)
Dog              _ztla_     _zam_      _xein_    _tlei_
     (other words  _gec_ newborn puppy)
Genet[3]         _zei_       _lra_     _hna_    _clin_
     (other words  _cta_ newborn kitten)
Guinea Pig       _llixtla_  _dzan_[4]  _tmi_[5] _ti_
Fowl[6]          _pu_        _lok_      _rpa_    _xxi_
Goose            _nar_      _mtin_    _nor_    _kus_
Duck             _paz_       _qul_      _nnu_    _nlxen_
     (other words  _llaq_ egg)
Spotted Deer     _kuzi_     _nku_     _lla_    _tlu_
Mountain Elk     _nihxen_   _nku_     _lla_    _tlu_
Waterbuck        _llapta_   _nku_     _lla_    _tlu_
Elephant         _beir_     _berecr_  -_imlu_   _pod_
Hippopotamus     _lud_       _berecr_  -_imlu_   _pod_
Wolf             _arn_      _ulk_     _gra_    _ebr_
Bear             _mtu_      _dzan_     _tmi_    _xep_[7]

The concept of multiple livestick words depending on how old an animal is
and whether it's male or female, I lifted from Kazakh.  It seemed
appropriate to the bronze-age culture I was dealing with.

[1]Goat-Sheep:   Halfway between the two.  The word can be used to
translate both animals; they don't distinguish.
[2]Peccary:      As true pigs are unknown, this word also translates that
[3]Genet:        The land of the Xinktlan has no cats; their niche is
taken by a group of large mongoose- or civet-like creatures which have a
surface resemblance to cats.  The domestic genet is equivalent to the
domestic cat.
[4]_dzan_:       A word for the male of any animal
[5]_tmi_:       A word for the female of any animal
[6]Fowl:         Resembles a cross between guinea fowl and partridge.
[7]-_xep_:        A word for the young of a predatory animal, eg bear,
jaguar-genet, weasel etc.