Voronof's snowdrop

penstemon penstemon@Q.com
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:14:48 PDT

>A language designed to be written and not spoken is not literally a language, 

Arbitrary definition of "language". Plenty of language exists not designed to be spoken; example, poetry which depends on its communicative force by the placement of words on the page. It's still language. 

>Who's to say what is or is not Latin? 

That's an easy one. It's any language which is not Latin. What people call “botanical Latin” is definitely not Latin. It was in Linnaeus’s time, but not any more. It is possible that Latin had a W, and aphthongs, etc., but until that undiscovered ancient text appears showing these features, it can be stated with confidence that the more-or-less recent addition of these features makes the language used not Latin at all. 
For one thing to be described as participating in another, the first thing has to have some elements in common with the other. For example, I can't just say that Echinocereus coccineus is a bulb, without someone asking what it bulbous about E. coccineus.  
What is Latin about Cercocarpus rzedowskii? 

>Every time I hear the specific epithet wilsonii pronounced as it usually is by English speaking persons (will-son-ee-eye) I want to ask the speaker who this famous Italian botanist is, this Signor Guilsoni. >And I also want to know why, of the two letters "i" at the end of the word, one is pronounced as Italian "i" and the other is pronounced as English "i" (the "eye" sound).

Because, in Latin, the second "I" is long, and in English it's pronounced long. (Appeals to pronounce the ending as “ee-ee” are rejected.)

>And as for the attitude that New Latin arose de novo or ex nihilo and therefore does not have to conform with what is known about Latin: one of us is in deep denial. 

Nothing arises de novo. Botanical nomenclature is the child of New Latin. With the addition of new letters, aphthongs, letter combinations not designed to be pronounced as Latin (rzedowskii), it is no longer Latin.
The two languages which are of no value in learning to pronounce botanical nomenclature are Latin and Greek.

Bob Nold

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