[Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?

Francisco Welter-Schultes fwelter at gwdg.de
Mon Jan 13 11:04:11 CST 2014


It is possible that the entry in
http://wwwuser.gwdg.de/~fwelter/changeable.htm
that nanus, -a, -um is a declinable adjective, is incorrect. If so, I
could change it, or at least add a comment.

However: if nanus means "male dwarf" and nana "female dwarf", what would
then be the meaning of nanum? A dwarf is a person, and in Latin grammar a
person can only be male or female. Is this an artificial word that
appeared only in modern times?
Sherborn recorded a dozen names "nanum", so it seems that it had a
meaning. I see mainly insects and molluscs. Considering that neuter gender
comprises only 4 % of the generic names, a dozen hits is quite much.

Francisco

> Late Latin is not part of Latin according to the glossary of the Code.
> Only ancient Latin and mediaeval Latin are defined as Latin. Late Latin
> words that did not exist in ancient or mediaeval Latin must be regarded as
> latinized. Authors are free to create latin adjectives when they name
> species, for example the Spanish adjective "hermosa" latinized as
> "hermosus, -a -um". If an author intended the word to be an adjective, but
> didn't give the derivation, conflicts can arise with existing Latin words
> (and suffixes), as happened with "nanus".
>
> Best wishes,
> Gary
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Alex Borisenko
> Sent: Sunday, January 12, 2014 9:56 PM
> To: Cristian Ruiz Altaba
> Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?
>
> Christian, I have little regard for the majority rule; however, I can
> derive two conclusions from the discussion:
> 1. 'Nanus' is a noun and there is no conclusive evidence that it was
> grammatically correct to treat it as an adjective (based on all the Latin
> dictionaries referred).
> 2. There is no explicit indication that Peters used it as an adjective and
> not as a noun in apposition when he described Vespertilio nanus.
> The fact that 'nanus' may have been treated as an adjective by other
> people (including taxonomists) in other contexts is an interesting
> curiosity but that alone would be insufficient to refute #1-2 above.
> Perhaps there is another authoritative grammar source that we have all
> missed?
> Thanks,
> Alex
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
>
> From: "Cristian Ruiz Altaba" <cruizaltaba at dgcc.caib.es>
> To: "Alex Borisenko" <aborisen at uoguelph.ca>
> Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Sent: Sunday, January 12, 2014 5:17:18 PM
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?
>
>
> Maybe it's a majority vote, but I still don't see the reasons behind
> Neoromicia nanus. The listing by Francisco surely doesn't come out of the
> blue. And I believe nanus was used as an adjective in 18th century Latin.
> It surely was an adjective in late vulgar Latin, as it went so into
> Romance languages.
> Best,
> Cristian
>
>
>
> -----taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu escribió: -----
>
> Para: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> De: Alex Borisenko
> Enviado por: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Fecha: 12/01/2014 22:50
> Asunto: Re: [Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?
>
>
> Thanks a lot to Doug, Gary and others for weighing in and for the helpful
> resources.
> It looks from all this evidence that we should keep using "Neoromicia
> nanus" and should retain the species epithet as unchangeable if the
> species changes genus yet again.
> Best wishes,
> Alex
>
> ----- Original Message -----
>
> From: "Doug Yanega" <dyanega at ucr.edu>
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2014 1:55:35 PM
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?
>
> On 1/11/14 10:42 AM, Doug Yanega wrote:
>> On 1/11/14 7:15 AM, David Campbell wrote:
>>> As specific epithets are often repeatedly used, a compilation of them
>>> with grammatical remarks could be a useful resource.
>> A resource I have found useful, despite a very small number of cases (2
>> or 3) where I have found solid contrary evidence, is this one:
>>
>> http://wwwuser.gwdg.de/~fwelter/changeable.htm
> I forgot to note that "nanus" is one of those 2 or 3 cases I found where
> the evidence indicates contrary to what is on this page; he treats it as
> adjectival, and I have yet to see evidence that it is.
>
> Peace,
>
> --
> Doug Yanega Dept. of Entomology Entomology Research Museum
> Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314 skype: dyanega
> phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
> http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
> "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
> is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
>
>
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Francisco Welter-Schultes
Zoologisches Institut, Berliner Str. 28, D-37073 Goettingen
Phone +49 551 395536
http://www.animalbase.org





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