Irreducable: new word or typo?

While looking up “taboo” out of idle curiosity, I run into a perplexing ‘irreducable’ ("… have reconstructed an irreducable Proto-Polynesian… ").
Though a non-native speaker, in the course of a long life I’ve been exposed to countless English terms, many of them belonging to highly restricted professional lingos, pidgins and jargons and as such rather alien to the layman. Which taught me extreme caution before crying ‘typo, typo!’.
Also because ‘irreducible’ wouldn’t fit very well in the sentence - unless in that context it means that it would be pointless to dig any deeper - and ‘irrefutable’ would entail two typos rather than just one.

I’m perplexed…

On a different note: while Etymonline proposes “taboo” only as an adjective, I think I’ve seen it being used also as a noun (“the local taboos”, “a cultural taboo” etc.).

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Sometimes reducable it is cited along with one of these:
Enumerable, Collectable, Reducable, Countable.

Yes, I stumbled upon elixirforum too, but it didn’t cast much light on the possible meaning of “reducable” : there it looks rather like one of those fancy terms (such as e.g. “big endian”, “keylogger”, “BIOS” or “hotfix”) coined by software people to show some superiority over us mere mortals :wink:

Any hint about what “irreducable” may mean in a ProtoPolynesian context?

Hey Chiron,

It’s pretty clear that irreducable is a typo and should be irreducible. This word just means that something can’t be broken down any further. A synonym would be indivisible, but irreducible probably has a more lingual connotation. In the context of the taboo entry, the word is just saying that the root *tapu is the smallest division that still carries meaning.

As far as taboo parts of speech, both verb and noun usage are included in the entry:

The noun (“prohibitory restraining injunction”) and verb (“to put under taboo”) are English innovations first recorded in Cook’s account [OED, 2nd ed., 1989].

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Thanks Scott, both for confirming that irreducable is a typo and for your interpretation of it, actually close enough to my tentative “not worth digging any further”.

As for the use of taboo as other than an adjective, I must confess that I had just overlooked that part - definitely my fault :flushed:

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