The Old English Complex Plant Names: A Linguistic Survey and a Catalogue

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This investigation is a qualitative analysis of the etymological, the morphological and the semantic history of the Old English complex plant names as a lexical field, and an in-depth study of the plant names as individual entities. Their particular interest results from the fact that they encode a wealth of information on the plants and their perception by the people, as well as on the psychological processes and the linguistic strategies that were used in the naming processes. Their analysis requires the interplay of various disciplines - morphology and word-formation, structural and cognitive semantics, and contact linguistics. As plant names enjoy a special status as natural kind terms, this study also touches upon questions of scientific and folk taxonomic structures, of botany, and of socio-cultural history.