Ferraria/Spelling rules

Tim Harvey
Wed, 10 Dec 2008 18:14:55 PST
Are you sure botanical latin is distinct from classical latin (pronunciation excepted)?
Can you provide any examples?
 T> Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 18:01:02 -0800> From:> To:> Subject: Re: [pbs] Ferraria/Spelling rules> > Jim,> > I think you mean "densepunctulata", not "densepunctatula".> > One important aspect that many people do not realize in these cases is> that botanical Latin is really a language unto itself and is distinct> from, though obviously derived from, classical Latin. Thus confusion> can arise even for those with a background in classical Latin. The> rules of botanical Latin conform to the specialized needs of botany.> This applies to the formation of names as well as Latin diagnoses or> formal descriptions in Latin.> > Dylan> > > On 10/12/2008, Jim McKenney <> wrote:> > Here is my take on the names Mary Sue mentioned.> >> > Densepunctatula is an example of the problem caused by old time botanists> > who did not always make careful distinctions between parts of speech. In the> > past authors of names often simply strung out two or more nouns (typically> > one of the genitive) or other parts of speech to make a compound word. In> > this particular case, the intention was probably to combine the Latin word> > (an adverb) "dense" with punctatula to indicate thickly speckled or> > something like that (assuming that a speckle is a little spot). Had the word> > been published as dense-punctatula, I think it would have met the> > requirements of the code. Some of you perhaps know or grow the fern> > Thelypteris decursive-pinnata. The name is sometimes incorrectly written> > decursivepinnata, without the hyphen. If you want to write it without the> > hyphen, it should be decursivipinnata.> >> > Modern attempts to standardize nomenclature have rejected most if not all of> > these compound words formed by the "string them together" method and> > converted them into compound words formed with the typical connective vowel> > i for compounds of Latin words (and if you follow the text-book Latin> > pronunciations as I do, keep in mind that this i is a short i). In Greek> > words the connective vowel is a short o. In both Latin and Greek these> > connective vowels are so-called weak vowels and thus frequently change into> > a different vowel if they end up next to a strong vowel. The practical> > consequence of this is that you will see words which are obviously compound> > words, and in which you can recognize the component parts, but nevertheless> > the connective vowel is not short i or short o.> >> > Another practice which began to be common about forty years ago is to base> > family names on the oblique stem of words and not the nominative stem. Thus> > the genus Melastoma in older works is placed in the family Melastomaceae,> > but in modern works the name of the family is built from the oblique stem> > and is spelled Melastomatacese. The iris family provides another example:> > the genitive of iris is iridis, and the family name is built on that as> > Iridaceae.> >> > Once you understand this, you might notice other seeming anomalies – and> > perhaps be able to figure them out for yourself. For instance, Aloe is> > properly a three syllable word and some of us still write it as Aloë. The> > letter combination oe in Latin is a diphthong, so without the dieresis you> > would expect the family name to be spelled Alaceae. But the stem is alo- and> > the family name is thus Aloaceae.> >> >> > The spelling variations in Dutch names reflect the surprising fact that> > Dutch, as I understand it, underwent a big spelling standardization as> > recently as the 1940s. This reform resulted in such old spellings as –ij> > being written in modern Dutch as y. In the case cited by Mary Sue, the> > author of the name in question used the old-time spelling and someone> > attempted to correct it to the modern Dutch spelling. I don't know what the> > code says about that, but it should be easy to find out.> >> > Similar problems arise when names are transliterated from the Cyrillic> > alphabet to the Roman alphabet. I suspect that is why generations of western> > gardeners wrote Allium christophii when they should have been writing A.> > cristophii.> >> > A related problem occurs with names from those languages which do not voice> > final consonants. For instance, many Russian names end in the patronymic –ov> > (as in, for instance, Corydalis popovii). When such names are spoken in> > Russian, the final v is pronounced as an f. For me, this poses a bit of a> > conundrum with respect to the pronunciation of these names as botanical> > names: in the botanical specific epithet popovii that v is not in word-final> > position. Should it be pronounced as a v or as an f? I can't wait to try> > this out on a native speaker of Russian.> >> > Hannon's comments on the way a final r is treated reflect the peculiar> > nature of the sounds represented in different languages by the symbol r.> > Some of those sounds are true consonantal sounds (and thus get the ii> > ending) and some are not (and thus get the i ending). It's been a while> > since I've seen the code (and I have yet to see the current one) and I don't> > know if this is spelled out in the code. When I have some free time I'll try> > to check it out.> >> > With respect to the Tropaeolum name, a quick look at ipni suggests that> > Tropaeolum tricolorum is not a validly published name and Tropaeolum> > tricolor is. I can't help but wonder if someone "corrected" tricolor to> > tricolorum to match the ending of the genus. Note that the word tricolor is> > an adjective whose nominative singular forms are the same for all three> > genders. (I think I might have described it as a noun in an earlier post on> > this topic – sorry if I did).> >> > Less skilled editors often "correct" certain names: Sedum cauticola (which> > is correct) to Sedum cauticolum (which is not), Platycodon grandiflorus> > (which is correct) to Platycodon grandiflorum (which is not).> >> > There are a lot of ways things can go wrong; I've tried most of them myself!> >> >> > I spent the day out in the garden planting bulbs – I've still got more to> > go. It was a perfect day for garden work – mild, temps in the 50s F,> > overcast and misty, a few rain drops. To those of you to whom I have> > promised bulbs and seeds, don't give up! Once I get my grubby, muddy garden> > clothes on, I don't leave the garden (indeed, I'm barely allowed into the> > house in that state). The big freeze up, which old time gardeners in this> > area placed at December 5, has not yet occurred this year. So I'm on> > borrowed time, and pushing hard to beat that deadline.> >> > For me, there are few pleasures in gardening as sublime as the sense of> > expectation which sets in and replaces the anxiety surrounding the annual> > autumnal planting. I'm almost there.> >> >> > Sorry to go on so much: it helps to unwind after a very busy, tiring day.> >> > Jim McKenney> >> > Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone> > 7, where Iris unguicularis is blooming freely now: what a treat!> > My Virtual Maryland Garden> > BLOG!> >> > Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS> > Editor PVC Bulletin> >> > Webmaster Potomac Lily Society> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> > _______________________________________________> > pbs mailing list> >> >> >> >> _______________________________________________> pbs mailing list>>>

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