?: types

That looks as if it should mean ?BIRD, but really it means dabchick, or grebe. In Japanese the dabchick is the species from which the entire order of grebes, ?????? (kaitsuburika), takes its name. This is odd, because it’s not a typical grebe. It’s tiny. I suppose there isn’t a typical grebe, though.

If you’re a speaker of English from the British Isles you probably have type species in mind for the crows, the herons and the thrushes (that last possibly ambiguous but probably the song thrust). In Japanese we have ???? (karasuzoku) “the crows”, ??? (sagika) “the herons”, and ???? (tsugumika) “the thrushes”. However, there doesn’t seem to be bird that’s just called a sagi, just as there isn’t a bird that’s just called a grebe in English.

As for duck typing, I think the story for ?? (kamo) is the same as the story for “duck” in English.

Bonus: Japanese thrush archetype.

To do: investigate whether the ? in Haruki Murakami’s “Dabchick” really is a dabchick.

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