[Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?

Fred Schueler bckcdb at istar.ca
Mon Jan 13 12:07:12 CST 2014


On 1/13/2014 12:45 PM, Richard Zander wrote:
> A colleague of mine has suggested the following:
>
> "nanus,-a,-um (adj.A) was a fully acceptable Latin adjective from the mediaeval period to the present day and taxonomists made full use of it in their epithets. It is only taxonomists with classical Latin and Greek backgrounds that resorted to the nouns Nanus and Nana (used as noun-epithets in apposition) perhaps proud of their knowledge that no such adjective existed in the classical period. They knew there never was a 'Nanum' as a noun. It is clear any epithet spelled nanum was an adjective modifying a genus of a neuter gender and could never be used as a noun in apposition except in error."

* certainly no English-speaking Person is in a position to criticize 
another language for occasionally adjectiving a noun.

fred.
=================================================

> ____________________________
> Richard H. Zander
> Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
> Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/ and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
> Evol. Syst.: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/EvSy/Intro.htm
> UPS and FedExpr -  Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis MO 63110 USA
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Francisco Welter-Schultes
> Sent: Monday, January 13, 2014 11:04 AM
> To: Rosenberg,Gary
> Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; Cristian Ruiz Altaba
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?
>
> 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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