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Re: Mongolian Transcription (Bataar vs. Baatar)

David Marjanovic (david.marjanovic@gmx.at) wrote:

<All these are certainly ICZN-correct -- as is *T. bataar*, which is
spelled this way in that book. All other books and papers I've seen write
all these  the same way as I quoted them.>

  These are indeed taxonomically correct. An extensive search applied that
use of baatar is wrong in the sense that it was not the original usage of
the stem given.

  As it turned out, there are other variant spellings depending on how
they sound, including batar.

<Is it stress? And/or length? To me it looks like an analogy to e. g.
Finnish where double vowels indicate length... then there are monosyllabic
words like khaan* where stress is inapplicable.>

  Having heard a little Mongolian spoken, it sounds like stress. Hard
versus soft pronounciation, or stressing, makes me wonder where Maleyev
got the idea, but that may be irrelevant anyway.

<Definitely not. Ö [try to make a beautiful vowel of "er"] and u [as in 
"butcher", "bush"...] are different sounds, and different letters in 
Cyrillic! Double ö and ü exist, too.>

  Just as in English where oh, uh, oo, and stressed oo (in "book") [where
the last two are interchangeable in some dialects, as in creek versus
"crick", so forth; "book" or "look" never seem to sound like "roof",
though]. Different sounds, different or similar letters. Finnish and
convention in Finnish or other Scandinavian/Germanic tongues does not
derive from a source similar to Mongolian, and this should be a warning.
In Cyrillic there may be different letters, but once again, without an
established Mongolian only (not what it sounds like in Russian) alphabet,
this is impractical to enforce one languages rules on another system. For
instance, Russian characterizes "shuvuu" as written in Cyrillic as "bird",
and the pronounciation of *Shuvuuia* follows suit in stressing the second
vowel versus the first, rather than a Latin rule.

  Anyways, I will agree that "baatar" is an establish usage for "hero" in
taxonomy versus one occurance each of "bataar" and "bator" in dinosaurian
taxonomy. It is also used to spell the names of some mongolian scientists.
I guess it will depend on the worker, though, and usually those who name
the taxa have spent some time in Mongolia. That the name and spelling of
*Achillobator* derived from a Mongolian publication suggests that there
(still) is no convention on standardized spelling of the word "hero". A
similar problem I found was the difference between "ula" and "uul"
(mountain) in place names, and this is just as strange; Altan Uul/Ula is a
Nemegt Valley locality, probably Djadokhta Formation equivalent, and it
means "gold mountain." As I said before, often Mongolians themselves do
not spell their names the same way twice, and resort to nicknames or their
shorter "patronymics" in reference. Peculiar language.


Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

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