[Taxacom] FW: More Latin grammar advice

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Mon Apr 13 09:25:43 CDT 2009

A forward on J. Landolt's Latin question.

From: Patricia Eckel 
Sent: Monday, April 13, 2009 9:23 AM
To: Taxacom
Subject: RE: [Taxacom] More Latin grammar advice

Dear Sir:

Unless I am much mistaken the published epithets are nouns. Neither
epithet is an adjective and their endings should not be changed to -e,
as though they were adjectives such as 'basalis' neuter 'basale.' The
proper spelling seems to me to be '-basis;'

Basis, gen. sg. basis or baseos is a third declension feminine noun in
the singular and so would change syntactically in any Latin prose
sentence just as would the generic name, from which it is grammatically
independent. This is generally known as a 'noun in apposition.'

[ablative singular:] Ab Dictyostyelio firmibasi (or firmibase) differt

[dative singular] Dictyostyelio myxobasi similis ...

Dictyostyelium is a neuter noun of the second declension.
firmibasis and myxobasis are feminine nouns of the third declension.

The Latin spelling of 'basis' is variable and it would help to consult a
Latin dictionary for the other cases, such as accusative (basim or
basem) and so on.

I too am at sea with some of these things, so if you have questions or
learn that what I have suggested is in error - would you please let me

Best wishes

P. M. Eckel

Patricia M. Eckel
Voice: 314-577-0276
Missouri Botanical Garden
PO Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USApatricia.eckel at mobot.org 
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/ 
and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm 
For FedEx and UPS use:
Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of John Landolt
Sent: Monday, April 13, 2009 7:51 AM
To: Taxacom
Subject: [Taxacom] More Latin grammar advice


A few weeks ago I posted a query about the proper Latin specific
epithet to accompany the neuter generic name, Dictyostyelium.  Two
published species names in this genus are D. firmibasis and D.
myxobasis.  Several persons have suggested that these should have  been
named D. firmibase and D. myxobase in order to be grammatically  correct
and I'd like to find additional support and advice on this so  
that I can handle these names in a proper fashion.

I hope some of you will suffer my classical shortcomings once more  with
a sympathetic response off list.

Thanks in advance.


John Landolt
Research Professor of Biology, Emeritus
Shepherd University
Shepherdstown, WV

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