Leucojum JCA 630.480

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@starpower.net
Wed, 31 Mar 2004 12:02:13 PST
At 11:45 AM 3/31/2004 -0500, Kevin Preuss wrote:
>If it is a feminine irregular noun of the third declension, which arx/acris
>(meaning citadel) is, the adjectective would compliment it in fem. gender,
>but with different declension.

Now I think we're getting closer to the truth.

The Latin word Acis can be either masculine or feminine. The meaning
changes with the gender change. In the masculine sense, it refers to Acis
of Acis and Galatea fame. In the feminine sense, it is the name of one of
the Greek islands. 

Incidentally, if you visit the Greek islands (the Cyclades) today, you will
hear the Greeks pronouncing the C as a K, as they have done for thousands
of years. I point this out to give succor to those few of you who like me
try to use the historically appropriate pronunciations, and to admonish
those of you who think these pronunciation schemes are something someone
dreamed up recently.  Try it with Cyclamen!

Salisbury's Acis was based on A. autumnalis. Guess what? The Latin word
autumnalis can be either masculine or feminine. 

Thus, one cannot determine the gender of the combination Acis autumnalis by
mere autopsy. 

So we are left wondering:  which gender did Salisbury have in mind?

Perhaps someone with access to Salisbury's account can tell us if he
indicated his intentions. An IPNI search suggests that most workers have
taken the name to be feminine, although there is an entry for Acis roseus
Sweet & Loud. 

If Salisbury made reference to the Acis and Galatea legend, then the word
Acis should be masculine when used for these plants. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, zone 7, where I'm beginning to wonder if
the role of Acis is a trouser role. 

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