The merlin is a small species of falcon from the Northern Hemisphere, with numerous subspecies throughout North America and Eurasia. A bird of prey once known colloquially as a pigeon hawk in North America, the merlin breeds in the northern Holarctic. Males have wingspans of 53–58 centimetres, with females being larger, they are swift fliers and skilled hunters who specialize in preying on small birds in the size range of sparrows to quail. The merlin has for centuries been well regarded as a falconry bird. In recent decades merlin populations in North America have been increasing, with some merlins becoming so well adapted to city life that they forgo migration; the merlin was described and illustrated by the English naturalist Mark Catesby in his Natural history of Carolina and the Bahama Islands published in 1729–1732. Based on this description, in 1758 Carl Linnaeus included the species in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae and introduced the present binomial name Falco columbarius with the type locality as "America".
The genus name is Late Latin. The species name columbarius is Latin for "of doves" from "columba", "dove". Thirteen years after Linnaeus's description Marmaduke Tunstall recognized the Eurasian birds as a distinct taxon Falco aesalon in his Ornithologica Britannica. If two species of merlins are recognized, the Old World birds would thus bear the scientific name F. aesalon. The name "merlin" is derived from Old French esmerillon via Anglo-Norman meriliun. There are related Germanic words derived through older forms such as Middle Dutch smeerle, Old High German smerle and Old Icelandic smyrill. Wycliffe's Bible, around 1382, mentions a merlyon; the species was once known as'pigeon hawk' in North America. The relationships of the merlin are not resolved to satisfaction. In size and coloration, it is distinct among living falcons; the red-necked falcon is sometimes considered more related to the merlin than other falcons, but this seems to be a coincidence due to similar hunting habits. Indeed, the merlin seems to represent a lineage distinct from other living falcons since at least the Early Pliocene, some 5 Ma.
As suggested by biogeography and DNA sequence data, it might be part of an ancient non-monophyletic radiation of Falcos from Europe to North America, alongside the ancestors of forms such as the American kestrel, the aplomado falcon and its relatives. A relationship with the red-necked falcon was once proposed based on their phenetic similarity, but this is not considered today. In that regard, a fossil falcon from the Early Blancan Rexroad Formation of Kansas. Known from an complete right coracoid and some tarsometatarsus and humerus pieces, this prehistoric falcon was smaller than a merlin and a bit more stout-footed, but otherwise quite similar, it was part of the Fox Canyon and Rexroad Local Faunas, may have been the ancestor of the living merlins or its close relative. With its age quite pre-dating the split between the Eurasian and North American merlins, it agrees with the idea of the merlin lineage originating in North America, or rather the colonization thereof. After adapting to its ecological niche, ancient merlins would have spread to Eurasia again, with gene flow being interrupted as the Beringia and Greenland regions became icebound in the Quaternary glaciation.
That the merlin has a long-standing presence on both sides of the Atlantic is evidenced by the degree of genetic distinctness between Eurasian and North American populations. Arguably, they might be considered distinct species, with gene flow having ceased at least a million years ago, but more. By and large, color variation in either group independently follows Gloger's Rule; the Pacific temperate rain forest subspecies suckleyi's males are uniformly black on the upperside and have heavy black blotches on the belly, whereas those of the lightest subspecies, have little non-dilute melanin altogether, with grey upperside and reddish underside pattern. American group Falco columbarius columbarius – taiga merlin, tundra merlinCanada and northernmost United States east of Rocky Mountains, except Great Plains. Migratory, winters in S North America, Central America, the Caribbean, N South America from the Guyanas to the northern Andes foothills. Winters in the northern USA. Falco columbarius richardsonii – prairie merlinGreat Plains from Alberta to Wyoming.
Resident. Falco columbarius suckleyi – coastal forest merlin, black merlinPacific coast of North America, from S Alaska to N Washington state. Resident. Eurasian group Falco columbarius/aesalon aesalon Northern Eurasia from British Isles through Scandinavia to central Siberia. Population of northern Britain shows evidence of gene flow from subaesalon. British Isles population resident, rest migratory. Falco columbarius/aesalon subaesalon – smyril, smyrill Iceland and Faroe Islands. Latter population has some gene flow with aesalon. Resident. Falco columbarius/aesalon pallidus Asian steppes between Aral Altay Mountains. Migratory, winters in S Central Asia and N South Asia. Falco columbarius/aesalon i
Tlacolula Valley Zapotec or Valley Zapotec known by the varietal name Guelavia Zapotec is a Zapotec language of Oaxaca, Mexico. Tlacolula Valley Zapotec is a cluster of Zapotec languages spoken in the western Tlacolula Valley, which show varying degrees of mutual intelligibility. All varieties of Valley Zapotec are endangered; the languages in this group include: Santa Ana del Valle Zapotec Teotitlán del Valle Zapotec San Lucas Quiaviní Zapotec Tlacolula de Matamoros Zapotec San Juan Guelavía Zapotec San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya ZapotecTeotitlán del Valle dialect is divergent, 59% intelligible to San Juan Guelavía proper. In April 2014, linguist Brook Danielle Lillehaugen, along with students from Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, visited Tlacolula de Matamoros to present an online Tlacolula Valley Zapotec talking dictionary to local leaders, it was estimated. Tlacolula Valley Zapotec is a VSO language. Most stops may fluctuate as well. Rhotic consonants are voiceless. Most consonants may be geminated.
Approximant consonants are phonetically realized as and. Voiceless stops have a slight aspiration; some sounds are only found in loanwords. The following is represented in the San Juan Guelavía dialect: Tlacolula Valley Zapotec vowels are classified as modal, checked, or breathy. Vowels may occur as pharyngealized /vˤ/ or glottalized /vˀ/. Vowels may be differentiated by tone. Tlacolula Valley Zapotec has four tones: level high, level low and falling. Vowels differing in phonation occur together in the same syllable as diphthongs. While a given vowel complex will always have the same tone, there are no tone contrasts for the same vowel complex; the chart the level high, level low, rising, or falling the tone makes that the syllables make in the vowels of the word. Speakers take notice of the vowel complex, in the chart. Colonial Valley Zapotec, a historical form of Valley Zapotec preserved in archival documents written during the Mexican colonial period. We provide data showing that positional verbs in CVZ have unique morphological properties and participate in a defined set of syntactic constructions, showing that positional verbs formed a formal class of verbs in Valley Zapotec as early as the mid-1500s.
This work contributes to the typological literature on positional verbs, demonstrating the type of morphosyntactic work that can be done with a corpus of CVZ texts, contributes to our understanding of the structure and development of the modern Zapotec positional verb system with implications for the larger Zapotec locative system. Though the most basic order has the verb at the beginning of the sentence, all Zapotec languages have a number of preverbal positions for topical, negative, and/or interrogative elements; the following example from Quiegolani Zapotec shows a focused element and an adverb before the verb Laad - foc ʂ-unaa-poss-woman Dolf-Rodolfo d͡ʒe - z-u - prog-stand nga - there = Roldofo's wife was standing there. Zapotec languages show the phenomenon known as pied-piping with inversion, which may change the head-initial order of phrases such as NP, PP, QP. A few varieties of Zapotec have passive morphology, shown by a prefix on the verb. Compare Texmelucan Zapotec root /o/'eat' and its passive stem /dug-o/'be eaten', with the prefix /dug-/.
In many other cases, the transitive-intransitive verb pairs are appropriately described as causative vs. noncausative verb pairs and not as transitive-passive pairs. Most if not all varieties of Zapotec languages have intransitive-transitive verb pairs which may be analyzed as noncausative vs. causative. The derivation may be obvious or not depending on the kinds of sounds. In the simplest cases, causative is transparently seen to be a prefix, cognate with /s-/ or with /k-/, but it may require the use of a thematic vowel /u/, as in the following examples from Mitla Zapotec:Setting aside possible abstract analyses of these facts, we can illustrate the kinds of non-causative vs. causative pairs with the following examples. The presence of the theme vowel /u-/ should be noted in the causative verbs, in some cases is the only difference between the two verbs. One example of a double causative is included here. Tlacolula Valley Zapotec differs from other Zapotec language varieties in its use of pronominal clitics in regards to formality and hierarchy.
Zapotec words contain three important syllabic positions: pre-key syllable, key syllable, clitic. Some key syllables exhibit changes. There is no true morphology in the Zapotec noun. There is no case marking. Plurality is indicated in the noun phrase, either by a number or a general quantifier that may be translated as "plural". Possessors are indicated in the noun phrase either by a nominal or a pronominal element; the only clear morphology in most varieties