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Re: Species concepts and Linguistics



Quoting "T. Michael Keesey" <mightyodinn@yahoo.com>:

> The problem here is: suppose A can breed with B, and B can breed with C, but
> A cannot breed with C. Is B in the same species as A or C?

Interestingly, if you replace "can breed with" with "is mutually intelligible
with" and you get the classic linguistic problem of how to define different
languages (as opposed to dialects of the same language).  The situation you
refer to is called a "dialect chain".

Nick Pharris
Department of Linguistics
University of Michigan