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Re: pronunciation of Camarasaurus

Quoting "T. Michael Keesey" <keesey@gmail.com>:

It seems to me that the "correct" (i.e., Greek) pronunciation would be
"*KA*-ma-ra-SOW-roose" (not that I know Greek that well, so CMIIW).

Well, it's a little hard to say, since the first half of the word is Latin and the second half is Greek. However, if you're really interested, the third syllable from the end would receive the stress (something like ka-ma-RA-sau-ros), since the vowel of the last syllable is short. Note that this is different from Latin, in which the stress would be on the second-to-last syllable.

But I usually say "kuh-*MAR*-uh-SOR-us", myself.

Is that *MAR* as in the English word *mar*?

I guess I usually say something like "kuh-MARE-uh-*SORE*-us" (ASCII IPA /k@,mer.@'sor.@s/, with the primary stress on the fourth syllable and a secondary stress on the second.

Honestly, I think the idea of "correct" pronunciation is kind of
bogus, since everyone makes adjustments to fit their native phonology
(i.e., few if any people pronounce the "p" in "pterosaur" even though
that would be "correct" in Greek). I say as long as people understand
what you mean, you're fine.

I agree. Many linguists in the past (Chomsky himself included) have tried to come up with hard-and-fast rules for deriving the stress and segmental content of Latinate vocabulary in English. These linguists obviously haven't been to many paleo conferences.

Nick Pharris
Department of Linguistics
University of Michigan

"Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity."
    --Edwin H. Land