Insertions and Deletions: Evolution in the Assemblage of Vietnamese Food Plants

Nguyen, My Lien Thi
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
An analysis of taxa used and that are salient to Vietnamese in Hawai‘i compared with southern Vietnam reflects an evolution of the assemblage of food plants demonstrated by substitutions, insertions, and deletions of plant taxa. Replications occur as the Vietnamese in Hawai‘i have access to many similar plant taxa as those in Vietnam, possibly due to the location of Hawai‘i as a place where similar food plants can grow and due to a large Asian population. Food plant taxa were elicited from interviews and recorded during participant observations. The current scientific botanical nomenclature and taxonomic groupings, plant life form or part utilized, the southern and many northern Vietnamese vernacular names with diacritical markings, and the English and French translations are provided for over 200 food plants. An introduction to Vietnamese diacritical writing and vernacular botanical nomenclature is included.
ethnobotany, Vietnam, food crops, plant taxonomy, Hawaii, interviews, folk taxonomy, languages, case studies, Ipomoea aquatica, Persicaria odorata, Momordica cochinchinensis, Pandanus amaryllifolius, Colocasia gigantea, foodways
Nguyen MLT. 2006. Insertions and deletions: evolution in the assemblage of Vietnamese food plants. Ethnobotany Research & Applications 4:175-202.
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