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Re: NEW ZEALAND'S WONDERFUL LITTLE WORLD



Gautam Majumdar wrote:

>Paul Willis <pwillis@ozemail.com.au> wrote
>
>>>[Gondwanaland, one word - Chris]
>>
>>Seeing as "Gondwana" means "Land of the Gonds", "Gondwanaland" would mean
>>"Land of the Gonds Land", which is nonsensicle and should not be used.
>
>Gondwana in one Indian dialect means Forest of the Gonds. During
>British rule it was the name of an administrative district which
>included the geological formation now called the Gondwana series.
>Thus, in English Gondwanaland would mean the land which held the
>Gondwana district or the geological formation of that name.
>
>After all, we are using English for geological description, not the old
>Karnataki dialect, whatever be the original meaning of the word :)

This is another derivation of the name that differs from the one I heard
(stated above). Clearly, "Gondwanaland" would be incorrect by the
derivation I offer but correct by the etymology you offer. Seeing as you
seem to have a better hold on the languages involved than I do (which would
not be hard!), I would gladly give in. However, this does involve undoing a
certain amount of dogma over here (eg, Rich and Rich in _Wildlife of
Gondwana_ offer the 'land of the Gonds' origin of Gondwana (page 16) is the
standard story over here). The volume _Gondwana Geology; papers from the
third Gondwana Symposium, Canberra, Australia 1973_ avoids using the term
"Gondwanaland" preferring "Gondwana" throughout. Does any one else have a
couple of cents on this one?

While on one hand I would have to agree that English is notorious for
taking other languages and buggering them up and, as such, what does it
matter what the etymology of the word "Gondwana" is, I would also add that
there is some attention given to trying to get the context of words correct
from their original etymology, otherwise confusions like this one can
occur.

Cheers, Paul

Dr Paul M.A. Willis
Consulting Vertebrate Palaeontologist
Quinkana Pty Ltd
pwillis@ozemail.com.au