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AOU 53rd Supplement now available on line (1 Viewer)

Snapdragyn

Well-known member
Wouldn't the -rhous suffix come from a Greek stem?

Edit: Come to think of it, wouldn't the haemo- prefix be from the Greek as well? I thought Latin for 'blood' would be 'sanguinus' (or something similar).
 
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fugl

Well-known member
I would have put the alternatives as "hem" & "heem" (as per "h(a)emorrhoid" & "h(a)emoglobin") rather than "hay" & "high"
 
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Kirk Roth

Well-known member
Wouldn't the -rhous suffix come from a Greek stem?

Edit: Come to think of it, wouldn't the haemo- prefix be from the Greek as well? I thought Latin for 'blood' would be 'sanguinus' (or something similar).

It's all Greek to me....

Indeed, "Haemo-" is the neo-Latinate form of the Greek "Hemo-"

Likewise, "rhous" is Greek for a sumac and pronounced "roose" as in rhyming with "goose"

Thus, "HEE-mo-roose" for the birds which are bloody (colored) like a sumac (fruit)
 

fugl

Well-known member
Are there actually formal rules about the pronunciation of scientific names or can it vary by the spelling conventions/phoneme vocabulary of the native language of the speaker? The latter is what I've always tended to assume in my unreflective way. Thus (since this is an English language forum) my "hem/heem" suggestion in post #24.
 

Richard Klim

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Are there actually formal rules about the pronunciation of scientific names or can it vary by the spelling conventions/phoneme vocabulary of the native language of the speaker? The latter is what I've always tended to assume in my unreflective way. Thus (since this is an English language forum) my "hem/heem" suggestion in post #24.
I don't think that there are any 'rules'. Northern Continental Latin pronunciation is commonly used for scientific names (by English-speakers anyway), but Ferguson-Lees and Blunt have both recently argued (in British Birds) for the use of classical pronunciation as a standard (except for eponyms, for which the native pronunciation should be used). Personally, I prefer classical, mainly because it's what I learnt (under duress!) at school.

PS. I've mentioned this handy guide on BF before: Latin pronunciation demystified. See Table 1 (p5), and take your pick...
 
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fugl

Well-known member
....except for eponyms, for which the native pronunciation should be used....

But how exactly is the "average" reader who speaks only his native tongue supposed to manage the "native pronunciation" of personal names, just take a running jump at it? If it's just a matter of approximating the native pronunciation--which surely is the most that can be hoped for in many cases--how close must the approximation be to pass muster? Fortunately, none of this has much practical significance, since what really counts is how the names are written, not spoken.

PS. I've mentioned this handy guide on BF before: Latin pronunciation demystified. See Table 1 (p5), and take your pick...

Thanks for the link.
 

Richard Klim

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But how exactly is the "average" reader who speaks only his native tongue supposed to manage the "native pronunciation" of personal names, just take a running jump at it? If it's just a matter of approximating the native pronunciation--which surely is the most that can be hoped for in many cases--how close must the approximation be to pass muster?
It might take a little research - but surely that's half the fun! Otherwise I can't imagine how an average English-speaker would pronounce przewalskii or tschebaiewi, for example.

Fortunately, none of this has much practical significance, since what really counts is how the names are written, not spoken.
Except that scientific names are extremely useful and often the only common point of reference when talking to a non-English-speaking birder. English Method pronunciation (with completely different vowel sounds) certainly doesn't help.
 
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Parulini

Active member
I've mentioned this handy guide on BF before: Latin pronunciation demystified. See Table 1 (p5), and take your pick...

Many thanks for the link. Especially useful for a native speaker of American English who used Church Latin pronunciation for four years in a Western Ukrainian Catholic rite minor seminary (I was an undetected crypto-Lutheran) and then adopted Russian as my second language (out of necessity: if I didn't flunk out of the Defense Language Institute in 1967, I wouldn't be sent to Viet Nam -- the US Army's way of "incentivizing" soldiers). My conflicting phonemic structures could stand a little tidying.
 

fugl

Well-known member
. . .Except that scientific names are extremely useful and often the only common point of reference when talking to a non-English-speaking birder. .....

True enough, but do the details of pronunciation matter all that much? When on the Baltic many many years ago, I remember being asked by someone what "that bird" was. He had very little (spoken) English & I had none of his native language (Swedish, maybe?, but I don't remember). "Great Northern Diver" & "loon" got us nowhere. Then I tried "Gavia immer", pronouncing "Gavia" with the accent on the first syllable in my flat American way. He looked a little puzzled, flipped through his field guide for a few seconds, & then, eureka!, Ga-vee-a, Ga-vee-a (accent on second syllable) & we were both ridiculously happy over this minor feat of communication.
 
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Richard Klim

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True enough, but do the details of pronunciation matter all that much?
You're probably right. I just find it easier to follow a simple pronunciation guide (taking maybe five minutes to learn?), rather than repeatedly trying to guess pronunciations on a case-by-case basis (inevitably heavily driven by one's own native language/dialect).
 
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njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
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I agree with some of the experiences of fugl, many times you communicate in spite of minor differences in pronounciation. Think about the many ways to pronounce English words you will hear at an international conference and the fact that in spite of all of that, communication actually does happen.

Niels
 

Richard Klim

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Many thanks for the link. Especially useful for a native speaker of American English who used Church Latin pronunciation for four years in a Western Ukrainian Catholic rite minor seminary (I was an undetected crypto-Lutheran) and then adopted Russian as my second language (out of necessity: if I didn't flunk out of the Defense Language Institute in 1967, I wouldn't be sent to Viet Nam -- the US Army's way of "incentivizing" soldiers). My conflicting phonemic structures could stand a little tidying.
I served my time as an altar boy in our Roman Catholic church, but the bastardised Latin that we recited every Sunday could have been Martian for all I knew. ;)
 

MJB

Well-known member
I served my time as an altar boy in our Roman Catholic church, but the bastardised Latin that we recited every Sunday could have been Martian for all I knew. ;)

I learnt my Latin in Scotland, but not in a Catholic or Scottish Episcopalian school! The head of the classics department explained on the first day that there were several schools of thought on Latin pronunciation, but we would follow a style that generally would be understandable in Europe, no matter what slight national variations we might encounter (for example, the German 'kveh' pronunciation of Latin 'que'). He had a list of such examples on a blackboard by the door; he also would regularly point out alternative pronunciations that had some merit (for example, the Italianate 'c' as in 'chip'). However, on no account would we be taught the very odd established 'English' prounciations (for example, 'ee-eye' instead of 'ee-ee' for the Latin ending '...ii'.):t:
MJB
PS That odd English pronunciation of '...ii' still causes consternation at international conferences...
 
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chris butterworth

aka The Person Named Above
Haemoglobin? I've always gone with H ae MOGLOBIN, that rather strange, to English speakers, sound half way between a and e. It's all bloody Greek to me, anyway. :t:

However, on no account would we be taught the very odd established 'English' prounciations (for example, 'ee-eye' instead of 'ee-ee' for the Latin ending '...ii'.):t:
...

Blame Old MacDonald for that one ;)

Chris
 
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