Patron saint of Lapeirousia

Jim McKenney
Sat, 04 Feb 2012 07:01:40 PST
Andrew wrote:"In this case, the matter was cleared up a long time ago. On page 284, para.
(d) of Botanical Latin (fourth edition, 1992) by William T. Stearn, we read
"Lapeirousia and Peyrousea , both after P. Picot de La Peyrouse."

Andrew, I think you have jumped to the wrong conclusion about what that paragraph means. The paragraph begins "Names may be accompanied by a prefix or a suffix or be modified by anagram or abbreviation. In those cases they count as different words from the original name." Stearn then cites as examples both Lapeirousia and Peyrousea. Stearn's example is ambivalent because he cites examples with three variables (the ei/ey issue, the ia/ea issue and the use or non use of the 'La'. Strictly speaking, paragraph (d) addresses only the use or non use of the 'La'.
And have you noticed something else peculiar? There is a contradiction between what is written in paragraph (a) and the spelling Lapeirousia Stearn uses in paragraph (d). Look at paragraph (a) on the same page of Stearn: if the name is LaPeirouse or LaPeyrouse, shouldn't the genus have been spelled Lapeirousea or Lapeyrousea (cf. the Peyrousea also cited by Stearn)?
The author of the genus was Francophone; I'll bet to his ears the name Lapeirouse ended in a consonant sound (the 's' sound) because the final 'e' is silent. His sense of euphony required that the name  be formed as if it were written with a final consonant, and thus he dropped the final silent 'e' and gave it the standard -ia ending used for names ending in a consonant sound. 
I think the ICBN has this one wrong. Take the example cited by Stearn, a genus based on the name Sloane. Because this name is written with a final (silent) 'e', the rules suggest that a genus based on this name be spelled Sloanea.  But if the name Sloane rhymes with loan, then like LaPeyrouse it ends in a consonantal sound, in this case the 'n' sound. Euphony suggests that the genus name be spelled Sloania. In the English speaking world there seems to be a tendency to regard only the written form of the word and to disregard the spoken form. But this makes no sense if ultimately the basic rules derive from principles of euphony (as they do). 
Jim McKenney

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