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Sälen och Jägaren: De bottniska jägarnas begreppssystem för säl ur ett kognitivt perspektiv
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Comparative Literature and Scandinavian Languages.
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Seal and the Hunter : The Bothnian Seal-Hunters' Conceptual System for Seal from a Cogni­tive Perspective (English)
Abstract [en]

In the North Scandinavian area of investigation, which is in focus in this dissertation, seal-hunting has been an important means of livelihood from prehistoric times up to the present. The Swedish-speaking seal-hunters' conceptual system for seal during the 20th century is analysed here. The analysis is mainly based on oral recorded interviews with hunters from the coastal areas around the Gulf of Bothnia – from Norrbotten and Västerbotten in Sweden, and Österbotten in Finland. A cognitive perspective is applied in the analysis, in which focus is on the hunters' knowledge of the seal with the purpose of investigating the construction of the hunters' conceptual system for seal. The dissertation's theoretical starting-point is taken in cognitive linguistics and cognitive anthropology.

The investigated vocabulary contains 150 different words for seal. The analysis also includes the cultural and ecological context of the hunt. The hunters' conceptual system for seal is characterised by breadth and variation. There is regional variation in the construction of the conceptual system in the investigated area. In addition to that there is also variation with regard to different hunting seasons, something which is apparent both in the vocabulary and in the structure of the conceptual system.

The summer and autumn hunt was not particularly complicated and there was consequently no need for categorising the seal. During this season a limited conceptual system with more general terms was used, which included all seals that were hunted at that time. The late winter and early summer hunt, on the other hand, required an immense amount of knowledge, for example with regard to ecology. In that connection the hunters used an extended conceptual system for seal. The analysis of the conceptual system of the late winter and early summer hunt is based on three different scenarios in which the categories for seal direct the actions of the hunters – in locating the seals in the ice environment, in the hunters' actions during the hunt and in the utilisation of the seal as a resource.

A number of categories for seal which were used during the late winter and early spring hunt are the same in the whole area of investigation and can be said to constitute a cognitive and communicative basic level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2000. , 323 p.
Keyword [en]
Scandinavian languages, Swedish dialects, cognitive semantics, cognitive anthropology, conceptual system, cultural model, knowledge system, categorization of seals, seal hunting
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-25394ISBN: 91-88466-29-9OAI: diva2:231568
Public defence
2000-05-27, Humanisthuset hörsal E, Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-08-19 Created: 2009-08-14 Last updated: 2014-05-15Bibliographically approved

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Edlund, Ann-Catrine
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