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Beipiaosaurus and Caudipteryx pronunciation



To: dinosaur@usc.edu
From: Ben Creisler (bh480@scn.org)
Subject: Beipiaosaurus and Caudipteryx pronunciation


In reply to Ralph W. Miller III's 5-26-99 query,  Beipiaosaurus
is pronounced bay-pyow-SAWR-us. In the pinyin transcription,
Chinese bei is pronounced like "bay" and piao rhymes
with "meow."

The city is also spelled Pehpiao, Peipiao and Peip'iao--
all pronounced like bay-pyow--contrary to the Merriam-Webster
Geographical Dictionary, which has things screwed up,
indicating the second "p" is supposedly like a "b." Check
the Columbia-Lippincott Gazetteer on this one.

On the subject of pronunciations,  I was a bit startled to hear
Phil Currie pronounce Caudipteryx kaw-dee-TAYR-iks,
with a silent internal "p," during a recent lecture here in Seattle.
Since he pronounced Sinosauropteryx sigh-no-saw-ROP-te-riks
with the Latin-style stress on the third syllable from the end
and the internal "p" intact, I am wondering why there should be a difference.
I've been pronouncing Caudipteryx kaw-DIP-te-riks as the Latin
rules require, but kaw-dip-TAYR-iks would be acceptable as
well, stressing the word roots a la Coelophysis, etc. according
to the more modern approach to New Latin names. Since
English speakers have no problem with the combination "pt"
within words (cryptic, scepter, helicopter), I can't see the reason
for dropping the "p" in Caudipteryx. Nonetheless, it's his name
so I will have to add that pronunciation as an alternative in
my name guide on Jeff Poling's Dinosauria On-line.

Generic names are considered Latin words regardless of the language
of the word roots. While English speakers don't pronounce the
initial "p" in pterodactyl or psychology, the French and Germans do
in the equivalent words in their languages. Fully English terms such as
pre-Ptolemaic (with a silent p) aren't the guide to follow for scientific names
such as Archaeopteryx and Caudipteryx, which are New Latin, not English
words.

Might as well get one more pronunciation problem off my chest--
Achelousaurus.  This one has to be pronounced ak-e-LOH-uh-SAWR-us,
NOT a-KEE-lo-SAWR-us, as I recall hearing.

The name  derives from Greek Akheloos (the two o's being
pronounced separately), which Latin rules turn into Achelous
(divided as a-che-lo-us, short e, long o and short u), again pronounced
in four syllables with the accent on the next-to-last, that is the one
with the long o.
All sources I have checked indicate that ak-e-LOH-us
is the accepted English pronunciation of the Latin name.
Since the scientific name Achelousaurus was formed
by arbitrarily combining Achelous and saurus instead of using the
stem-form Achelo-, the "u" needs to pronounced. Anyway,
ak-e-LOH-uh-SAWR-us sounds fine to me.