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Re: Response II and Roman emperors



On Mon, 4 Jun 2001, Tim Williams wrote:

> What this boils down to is whether pronunciations of scientific names should
> follow the conventions of the native language from which they are derived.
> IMHO, it should be for the person who names the taxon to decide how it is
> pronounced.

I think it's impossible to prescribe pronunciation standards with an
international audience in mind. Certain sounds and phonetic combinations
are awkward or even impossible under various languages. In the end, people
speaking different languages are going to say things somewhat differently,
and that's that. Let English speakers say /stEg@sor.@s/, Spanish speakers
say /estegosarus/, and Japanese speakers say /su<vls>tegoso:rusu<vls>/ --
as long as they all spell it the same way.

Of course, WITHIN a language you can have effective prescriptions. I
suspect English speakers will say something like /p<h>@r.&liIt<h>aI*@n/
while Italian speakers say something more like /paralititan/. (Does
Italian have aspirated consonants?)

(Specifications for Kirshenbaum's International Phonetic Alphabet, ASCII
version, can be found at
<http://www.hpl.hp.com/personal/Evan_Kirshenbaum/IPA/faq.html>.)

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