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RE: Afrovenator pronunciation



From: Ben Creisler bh480@scn.org

Jobaria. Even though the name derives from the Tuareg word 
Jobar (a kind of mythical animal), the Latin form should 
follow Latin rules. The ?ia ending is a common Latin 
commemorative and should be pronounced in two syllables, 
the letter ?i? being short. The main stress therefore 
shifts to the before-next-to-last (antepenultimate) 
syllable, thus joh-BAHR-ee-uh. Generic names formed by 
adding Latin ?ia to a non-Latin word or name follow this 
pattern even if it shifts the original accent to an 
unusual syllable.  The stressed vowel is usually 
pronounced long in English.  Examples include Euparkeria 
(yoo-pahr-KEER-ee-uh),  Gastonia (gas-TOH-nee-uh), etc.

Original Author?s Pronunciation
As George indicated, I try as much as possible to check 
the author?s own pronunciations for names--but sometimes 
this approach poses problems. There is little doubt that 
Cope pronounced Coelophyis as see-LOF-i-sis, just like the 
word apophysis (older dictionaries give see-LOF-i-sis as 
the pronunciation). The current pronunciation see-lo-FIE-
sis applies a modern (and unclassical) system of putting 
stress purely on word roots, and making some short vowels 
(such as the ?y? in Greek physis) long in English.

Recent problems with authors? pronunciations that I?ve 
mentioned before include Caudipteryx, which Phil Currie 
pronounces KAW-dee-TAYR-iks, with a silent ?p.?  I really 
can?t recommend using Phil?s version. Since everybody 
(including Phil) has no problem with the internal ?pt? 
combination in Velociraptor, English speakers should 
pronounce the internal ?p??the silent initial ?p? in Greek 
words such as psychology, pterodactyl, etc. is simply a 
quirk of modern English. Modern French speakers pronounce 
the initial ?p? in ?pterodactyle,? as do German speakers 
in their version.  I have less problem with shifting the 
accent.  The pronunciation kaw-DIP-te-riks would be 
preferred under strict Latin rules and by analogy with 
Archaeopteryx, but putting the stress on the word ?pteryx? 
as KAW-dip-TAYR-iks would be OK for the same reason 
pronouncing Coelophysis as see-lo-FIE-sis is acceptable.

Another problem item for me is Achelousaurus, which should 
be pronounced ak-e-LOH-uh-SAWR-us, not a-KEE-lo-SAWR-us, 
the pronunciation I have heard Scott Sampson and others 
use. As I recall, Scott pronounced Achelous as ?a-KEE-lus? 
at a presentation I attended. However, the only accepted 
pronunciation I am aware of in English is ak-e-LOH-us, for 
both the river in Greece and for the mythological being. 
The name comes from Greek  Akheloos (pronounced in 4 
syllables a-khe-lo-os, the first ?O? being long)?in Latin 
the final ?os becomes ?us (just as Greek sauros becomes 
saurus in Latin), thus Achelous (pronounced in 4 syllables 
with stress on the ?o? because it is long and forms the 
next-to-last syllable).  In this case, the ?ou? in Latin 
is NOT a diphthong and must be pronounced as separate 
syllables. Since the official Latin spelling of the name 
is Achelousaurus, the ?o? and ?u? should be pronounced 
separately in English too.  Actually, the ?u? should have 
been dropped if classical word-formation rules had been 
strictly followed--the spelling ?Achelosaurus? would have 
been better. 

When names are created by non-English speakers, the 
author?s original pronunciation may not be a good guide 
for English speakers.  For example, the ?h? would be 
silent in Herrera in Spanish, but English speakers 
pronounce the initial ?h? in Herrerasaurus.  Volkheimeria 
is a real conundrum. The name was created by a Spanish 
speaker (should the ?v? be pronounced like a ?b? as in 
Spanish?), in honor of someone whose name is German in 
origin (should the ?v? be pronounced like an ?f? as in 
German?)?given such tricky choices, I would go with volk-
hie-MEER-ee-uh.