Botanical Latin
Fri, 12 Dec 2008 09:06:30 PST
On 11 Dec 2008, at 9:42, J.E. Shields wrote:

> Corydalis turczaninowii

Corydalis turchaninovii

> Corydalis kusnetzovi

Corydalis kusnetsovi

> Fritillaria walujewii 

Fritillari valuyevii

> Iris winogradowii

Iris vinogradovii

> Arum korolkowii

Arum korolkovii

> Galanthus krasnovii

Galanthus krasnovii (krasnoffii, perhaps)
> Does the code say anything about which spelling might be preferred?  I 
> assume that the pronunciation of the final botanical name would be the 
> same, whether spelled with v or with w, but   I also wonder along with Jim McK.:
>  like "v" or like "f" ?

There is no fixed pronunciation of Latin, classical, medieval, or botanical. 
Those of us who had good Latin teachers in high school know that one 
school of thought is veenee, veedee, veechee, another is weenee, weedee, 

Most of the names you offer are Latinisations of German transliterations of 
Russian names. I've given approximate pronunciations, mainly affecting the w-
v names, if you accept that the purpose is to memorialize the Russian name 
and hence the pronunciation should refer back to that, through the lens of 
German spelling.

It's precisely the same issue as in Tchaikovsky and Chaikovskii in the world 
of music.

Whether a termination -wii is best pronounced -vii or -ffii is probably merely a 
matter of taste.

On the whole, it's probably easier to just use the rules for pronouncing 
classical Latin and don't worry about offending anyone's linguistic 
sensibilities. And you are allowed to stumble around anyway, there's no law 
against having private rules for pronouncing the stuff.

PS: botanical Latin is a descendant of medieval scholars' Latin; it's a grand-
daughter (or further removed) of classical Latin. It has a vastly simplified 
grammar; in fact most isn't even written in sentences as the custom has 
grown up of writing plant descriptions in (iirc) the ablative case. It's a very 
specialized language used only for a single, very narrow purpose. You 
couldn't write your memoirs in botanical Latin.
Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate
on beautiful Vancouver Island…

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