In Lapp reindeer terminology, meaningful units are either words themselves (as in the case of vocabulary referring to coats) or semantic features on a lower level (as with vocabulary referring to antlers). This paper tries to interpret the structures which result from the interplay of these units. Are we dealing with cultural realities which are a matter for ethnolinguistic description alone, or with a body of data showing that actual correlations among hereditary features have been identified? The accuracy of native zoological terminology should be evaluated with the autonomy of the Lapp herders’ language weighed against their use of it as a practical tool.
Lapps, Reindeer, Ethnolinguistics.