On Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 07:30:50AM -0500, Richard Owlett wrote:
>   1. the immediate one being whatever shell MATE terminal uses.

Unless it's completely diverging from Unix standards, it should launch
your user account's shell as defined either by the $SHELL environment
variable, or by your entry in the passwd database.

>      Sub-question: When in an arbitrary terminal of an arbitrary 
> Desktop Environment,
>         how would I determine which shell is in use?

In my experience, the simplest way to see what shell you are in is to
run this command:

ps -p $$

This command "works" (for varying definitions) in Bourne-family shells,
csh-family shells, BSD systems, and System V systems.

But you'd also be well-served to check out the $SHELL variable, and
your own entry in /etc/passwd or whichever passwd database you happen
to be using, and to understand what it means.

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