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Re: T[s]agantegia, Shanxia/Tianzhenosaurus questions

-------- Original-Nachricht --------
Datum: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 18:48:31 -0800 (PST)
Von: "Jaime A. Headden" <qilongia@yahoo.com>

>   As people who know the team members who named the taxon show know,
> the authors included not only Mongolians but also people who have been
> spending something close to a quarter or more of the last DECADE in
> Mongolia.

That just makes it more mysterious.

> Similarly, until recently, Mongolia has had its fair share of a
> nonstandardized typography that included not only Romanized typography,
> but Chinese AND Russian, and only recently has reverted back to a more
> ancient Sanskrit-based writing system

Nooooo, no, no, no, no. While it's true that Mongolian has historically been 
written in 5 or 6 different scripts*, since the 1940s the Cyrillic alphabet 
(the Russian one plus two extra letters) has been official in Mongolia, and 
used almost to the exclusion of all others, under Soviet-style high literacy 
rates. Repeat my experiment, cut and paste the word into Google, and get a 
glimpse how the Mongolians write today. (You will note the abundance of double 
vowel letters.)

The first script used for Mongolian, introduced on the order of Genghis Khan, 
is used (AFAIK exclusively) in Inner Mongolia (though I doubt literacy rates 
are high there). Since the end of communism in Mongolia itself there have been 
nostalgic moves there to return to that script; AFAIK it's now taught in the 
later years of school, but it's not popular... and to return to the subject 
matter, it doesn't contain any long vowels because the orthography hasn't 
changed the least bit since Genghis Khan, making it similarly chaotic as that 
of English. We're just digressing here.

* Chinese not being among them.

>   I do not think, in case anyone raises the specter, that *Tsaagan*
> represents an inadverdent spelling error that must be corrected
> (usually for transcribing personal and place names), according to the
> ICZN, but who knows.

I'm not sure. Chances are it falls under "incorrect transliteration or 
latinization" and is thus protected by the ICZN, but someone should inquire 
about this; if it's a genuine mix-up, it might well fall under the "ninnaei" 

You see, we are lucky that the word "tsaagan" doesn't happen to actually exist 
in Mongolian (according to Google). Nothing prevents it from doing so -- and 
meaning something else.
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