Noms et citations d'auteurs (Re: Infrasp. auth. cit., etc.)

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Fri Jan 12 10:21:15 CST 1996

I had decided to stop posting on this issue, but Jacques Melot's comments
were interesting enough that I hauled out my French dictionary. (You can
judge for yourself whether it did any good :-)

At 10:13 AM 1/12/96 +0000, Jacques Melot wrote:
>Et la citation d'auteur ?
>La CITATION D'AUTEUR n'appartient pas au nom! MAIS l'Art. 46.1 precise que
>pour que l'INDICATION du nom (pas le nom lui-meme !) soit exacte et
>complete il est NECESSAIRE de citer le publicateur (autonymie mise a part).

This tells us what is *necessary* for the indication of the name, but does
not seem to preclude other additions (again, I don't have the Tokyo code at
hand to check this).  It is not unusual to see such things as _Quercus ilex_
L. HOLM OAK in floras, and the Code does not prohibit use of common names.
Certainly the common name in this case is a suffix, and the author of the
species in a trinomial is an infix, but otherwise they are both *additions
to* the indication of the name.

[arguments about isonyms]

I see the point, and have to admit that I never looked at it this way before.

>1. -- L'usage de DESIGNATIONS METANOMENCLATURALES sur le modele de
>"Berlinus A. rarus X." a la place du NOM Berlinus rarus X. (ou plus
>exactement du nom Berlinus rarus precise par la citation d'auteur X.) est
>INUTILE, car s'il existe des homonymes valides Berlinus B., Berlinus C.,
>Berlinus D., etc., seul l'un d'entre eux peut etre le NOM CORRECT pour un
>genre, en l'occurrence Berlinus A., d'ou la seule citation possible
>Berlinus rarus X. (toutes les citations Berlinus [B.] rarus X., Berlinus
>[C.] rarus X., etc. seront a rectifier en Berlinus [A.] rarus X. par
>application de l'Art. 33.3).

Nomenclaturally, yes, I guess I would agree, but see below.

>2. -- Les discussions de ces jours derniers ont clairement demontre que
>l'emploi de designations non strictement conformes au Code sont inutiles
>(cf. 1, ci-dessus) et generatrices de CONFUSION.

But it could also be said that following the binomial with the common name
generates confusion.  In my beginning flora class, I have to teach the
students where the author of the binomial stops and the common name begins.

>1. -- En somme, tout reside dans l'equation Berlinus rarus = Berlinus rarus !

I think this is the crux of the matter.  What if Berlinus A. and Berlinus B.
are *not* closely related?  Let's say that Berlinus A. is a Chlorophyte,
Berlinus B. is a grass, and I've just named my new grass in Berlinus B.  If
I follow the arguments correctly (and there is no assurance that I can
always do that even in English! :-), the code states that the name would be
corrected to refer to Berlinus A.  But *taxonomically* this is useless, and
engenders confusion, since taxonomically, Berlinus rarus .not.eq. Berlinus
rarus: the species is not a Chlorophyte.  I now have a worthless name
(taxonomically) which must be transfered to some grass genus or another
before it will be taxonomicaly useful.
>On peut aussi en conclure qu'il faut lire le Code avec des yeux de logicien
>ou de mathematicien.

Or a lawyer! :-)

>3. -- La designation metanomenclaturale "Saxifraga aizoon var. aizoon
>subvar. brevifolia f. multicaulis subf. surculosa Engl. & Irmsch." (cf.
>Art. 24, Ex. 1) n'est pas inutile (au contraire de celle qui consiste a
>introduire les noms des auteurs a chaque rang) puisque, comme il est
>rappele dans le Code, elle est destinee a preciser la CLASSIFICATION du
>taxon designe par le NOM Saxifraga aizoon subf. surculosa Engl. & Irmsch.
>dans l'espece Saxifraga aizoon. Cependant on constate qu'elle est parfois
>liee a (ou engendre) une difficulte de comprehension de questions en
>rapport avec la notion d'autonyme. Puisqu'elle peut etre source de
>confusion, mieux vaut eviter de l'employer.

And yet the Code does not explicitly call for this, either.

My conclusions:

1. The Code is specific about what goes into a name, and the indication of a
name (is there a better English word for this?).  We all knew this.

2. The Code does not seem to say what can't *accompany* a name: common name
suffixes are allowed, infixes of infraspecific hierarchy are allowed
(Melot's point 3 above), prefixes of family are allowed.  (Or at least all
of these are part of accepted practice, and have not yet been challenged here.)

3. Inclusion of the species author in a trinomial has been a common practice
in at least some journals for a number of years.  (I talked to a few
colleagues not on Taxacom who were aghast at the thought of the species
author *not* being included.)

4. THEREFORE, inclusion of the species author is an editorial decision, not
a nomenclatural one, if it is taken to *accompany* the indication of a name,
rather than be a part of it.

For my own part, I've been swayed by the arguments that it is unnecessary
(in most cases), and I will change my practice, but I think in the final
analysis both nomenclature and bibliography *must* be the servants of
taxonomy, and not the other way around.

Curtis Clark
Biological Sciences Department                     Voice: (909) 869-4062
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona    FAX:   (909) 869-4396
Pomona CA 91768-4032                               jcclark at

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