The word ‘gibbon’ originated in an Orang Asli language, researcher discovers


An illustration in the French archives of the live male gibbon from Kedah that was taken to Europe in 1755, along with the word ‘gibbon’. — Public domain

A researcher's curiosity about Orang Asli Batek words for animals 10 years ago led him to prove that the English word “gibbon” originated from the tribe’s word kebon.

Dr Teckwyn Lim, an adjunct lecturer in biodiversity at the University of Nottingham Malaysia, recently had his research paper “An Aslian origin for the word gibbon”, published in Volume 15 of Lexis, a linguistics journal based in France.

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gibbons , environment , language , conservation

   

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