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RE: Afrovenator pronunciation



Message text written by INTERNET:bh480@scn.org
>Paul Sereno was on Science Friday on NPR last week 
(11/12/99) and pronounced Nigersaurus nee-zhayr-SAWR-us, 
using the French pronunciation nee-ZHAYR for Niger rather 
than the anglicized NIE-juhr. In this case, I?ll use 
Paul?s version when I do a posting in the dinosaur-name 
pronunciation guide for Dinosauria On-line?many English 
speakers use the French version, which reflects the local 
pronunciation in the country itself (a former French 
territory). But NIE-juhr-SAWR-us would be OK as well.<

        What, if any, are the exact rules governing the pronunciation of
these names?  Should not the manner in which the person who actually named
it be the "official" pronunciation (or, at least, as close as one can come
to the language and accent of the name and the namer)?   For example, John
Ostrom pronounces is "dy-NON-ik-us," not "DY-no-NY-kus;" I can't buy that
the latter is acceptable when we've got Ostrom on tape pronouncing it the
way it was intended.  ...I had a similar argument with a former geology
professor over the pronunciation of the Pierre Shale formation of the
western U.S.:  he insisted that it was named for the town of Pierre, North
Dakota, and the natives there pronounce it "Peer."  This, of course, grated
against all the years of French I was taught (in which it would be
pronounced "Pee-ehr"), but I've since heard from many other geologists that
yes, it is "Peer."  Formation names are not, AFAIK, held to quite as strict
a nomenclatural code as organisms are, but it makes one think.

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                     Jerry D. Harris
                 Fossil Preparation Lab
          New Mexico Museum of Natural History
                   1801 Mountain Rd NW
               Albuquerque  NM  87104-1375
                 Phone:  (505) 841-2809
                  Fax: ; (505) 841-2808
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