John C. MacGregor
Mon, 26 Jul 2010 22:02:22 PDT
On Jul 26, 2010, at 9:07 PM, Adam Fikso wrote:

> Well, wouldn't gatesii then be gah-tess'-ee-eye.  The letter e in  
> Latin is not pronounced ee, but eh, with a breve diacritical mark  
> over the e--it is a short  "e"  I DO remember my 6th, 7th and 8th  
> grade Latin.


The "Gates" part of the name is not Latin.  It's English.  You  
pronounce the original name in the original language and then add the  
latinized ending!  Pronouncing the whole botanical name as in Latin  
would entirely loose the name of the man, which negates the purpose  
of naming the plant in honor of the man to preserve his memory.

One point that seems to be lost here is that Botanical Latin is a  
separate, somewhat artificially created language composed mainly of  
Latin and Greek with snatches of many other languages.  The syntax is  
mainly dictated by classical Latin, but the vocabulary has been built  
gradually over almost three centuries since Linnaeus and codified by  
nomenclatural committees of the International Botanical Congresses.   
It is not classical Latin.  Even if you choose to pronounce most of  
it according to the Revised Academic Pronunciation (which is what we  
were taught in U.S. high schools and colleges), there are words in  
Botanical Latin that are not of Latin origin and thus are pronounced  
as in their original languages.  Botanical Latin is also quite a  
different artificial language from and follows different rules than  
those of the Scientific Latin nomenclature used by zoologists.

John C. MacGregor
South Pasadena, CA 91030
USDA zone 9   Sunset zones 21/23

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