Re; Latin names

Jim McKenney
Mon, 20 Sep 2010 17:39:58 PDT
Lou wrote: " Thanks linguists for the advice. I would like to use the
adjective form, not the genitive. Jim, Puro as used here is an English
proper name, so I guess it would be treated as undeclined even though it
probably originates from a Latin language (Spanish). I am inclined towards
puroiana, which you say would have been used in the past. You suggested
purona. Can you explain that choice? Best, Lou"


Sorry for the delay in replying, Lou, but I wanted to be able to quote
chapter and verse from the Code. I don’t have a paper copy of the Code, and
I was dreading reading it on-line (which is what I ended up doing). I’m glad
I did, because my recommendation that you use purona was bad advice (and not
simply the typo it might have looked like to some) although close. The form
to use in your case is puroana. 


Here’s the Code: “60C.1.c If the personal name ends with a vowel, adjectival
epithets are formed by adding -an- plus the nominative singular inflection
appropriate to the gender of the generic name (e.g. Cyperus heyne-anus for
Heyne, Vanda lindley-ana for Lindley, Aspidium bertero-anum for Bertero),
except when the personal name ends with -a in which case -n- plus the
appropriate inflection is added (e.g. balansa-nus (m), balansa-na (f), and
balansa-num (n) for Balansa).”


I became aware of this change from the old way of forming such names (-iana)
when the name of what had originally been described as Rosa wichuraiana in
the late nineteenth century began to appear in some publications as Rosa
wichruana. But until you had asked your question, I had never actually
checked the code. So at that point in the game, I realized that names ending
in vowels and which had been given the termination –iana were being
automatically corrected to the modern form, in the case of this rose to
wichurana. The name of the rose is based on the name of Max Wichura.


However, since not all vowels are treated the same way, I wanted to check
the Code before replying again. As I said above, I’m glad I did, because
names ending in –a are treated differently than names ending in other


The name you want to use ends in the vowel o and thus should be formed


Sorry for the initial confusion, and I hope this helps.  



Jim McKenney

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