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Re: pronunciation of Camarasaurus (last one, I promise!)
Quoting "Kent A. Stevens" <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
Going back to the on-line Greek resources, such as looking up the
root word "vault" at
Ack, you're right. It is originally Greek. I stand corrected.
and finding the second word "kamara", then looking up the Greek
pronunciation at, e.g.,
it seems indeed to be kahm-ARE-a
The first and second "a" (Greek alpha) are pronounced the same,
As one would expect in a well-designed spelling system, since they're
written with the same symbol :-)
as "ah" as in the letter "a" in father,
Probably just a bit farther front in the mouth than that, but that's a
very minor phonetic detail.
but with the stress on the second alpha. Note further that the
second alpha is stressed in the Greek root word, not the first,
hence kahm-ARE-a rather than KAHM-are-a.
Yes; this is because Greek stress placement is sensitive to the length
of the vowel in the *last* syllable (long, in this case, which pulls
the stress onto the second-to-last syllable: ka-MA-ra:).
Latin stress placement cares about the length of the vowel in the
*second-to-last* (or penultimate) syllable (in this instance, to
simplify slightly, the vowel in the second-to-last syllable is short,
so the stress goes on the third-to-last syllable: KA-ma-ra).
Note that the often heard kahm-MARE-a (with MARE as in female horse)
is not consistent with the Greek pronunciation of this root.
Or any other language's, since the English reading of <a> as IPA /e/ or
/eI/ is pretty darn near unique.
Kentrosaurus (KENT-tro-sau-roose, or KENT-tro-sore-us, but definitely
In Greek, it actually would be ken-TRO-sau-ros. In Latin, ken-tro-SAU-rus.
Which reminds me, how about Parasaurolophus, which is often heard
pronounced para-sore-ALL-OF-fus :)
In terms of stress placement, the stress would go on the third-to-last
syllable in both Greek and Latin: pa-ra-sau-RO-lo-phos. I use
PEAR-uh-SORE-uh-LOAF-us, though I can offer no justification for it :-)
Department of Linguistics
University of Michigan
"Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity."
--Edwin H. Land