To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: non-avian "reptiles"
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2000 02:40:27 EDT
In a message dated 8/2/00 9:22:34 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> Ending -ea is identical to -ia, one is Greek, the
> other a Latinization of the Greek (Latin is -es). I
> believe the ICZN forbids the coinage in any sense
> ("into Latin" and all that).
Well, not exactly. -ia is both good Greek and good Latin (the two are
reasonably closely related, and many of their endings are similar). In
languages, the ending consists of the adjective formant -i- plus the neuter
plural ending -a. Thus, "X-ia" means "things that have to do with X" or
"things related to X".
-es is also found in both Greek and Latin (though the e is short in Greek
long in Latin). Ciconiiformes is a Latin example (the plural of
"ciconiiformis"), Ornithothoraces a Greek one (the plural of
-ea shows up occasionally as the result of adding the neuter plural -a to a
Greek stem ending in -e-. The suffix "oidea", for instance, is actually
composed of a connecting vowel -o- plus the stem eide- "looking like" plus
the neuter plural -a; therefore tyrannosauroeidea (contracted, as usual, to
tyrannosauroidea) are, literally, "tyrant lizard-like looking" things.
Anyway, -ea has no place in a word like "Mammalea". "mammal-" is a Latin
third declension adjective stem, which requires first an -i- and then a
gender/number ending, in this instance, -a.
> The root of "Aves" is "avis", bird, and the
> pluralized taxon means "all the birds;" "Avea" is not
> just redundant, it would corrupt the root: a proper
> coinage would, I believe, be "Avesea" or "Avisea".
Oh my, no. "Avesea" or "Avisea" would be adding endings to endings, which
a cardinal sin :-). I'm afraid there is no good way to get an -ea ending
onto the "avi-" stem, since the stem a) is Latin and b) does not end in
Different names have different endings because they are formed in different
ways, from different parts.
Once again, I must implore Honorable Person Kinman to do one of two things:
either create entirely new names which are proper analogues of the names he
wishes to emulate (if standardization is truly what he desires), or stop
muddying the waters with all these mal-formed (and expressly synonymous)
Thank you for your patience.