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Tethyshadros name issues



Tethyshadros name issues
dinosaur@usc.edu
From: Ben Creisler
bh480@scn.org

The name Tethyshadros looks OK to me--it can be considered 
a "syntactic compound" composed of whole words rather than 
a compound formed from word stems. In both Greek and 
Latin, some combinations of words were treated as a single 
word even though the elements retained their grammatical 
identity. In the more ususal type of compounds in Greek 
and Latin, words were stripped of their grammatical 
inflections. The resulting word stems were combined using 
connecting vowels such as "o" or "i," and only the final 
element of the compound had a grammatical inflection, 
sometimes added as an ending that also changed the 
grammatical gender of the entire compound. 
 
As a syntactic compound, a case can be made for 
pronouncing Tethyshadros as tee-thiss-HAD-ros in American 
English (British pronunciation would probably make the "e" 
short as teth-iss-HAD-ros). I assume it would be 
pronounced like tay-tee-SAH-dros in Italian, using English 
phonetic approximations.

Syntactic Compounds:
Greek kynosoura (kynos, genitive of kyon "dog" + 
oura "tail" (nominative case)) "dog's tail"

Using syntactic compounds can be a bit tricky because of 
the gender problem. A notable example is the name 
Caenagnathus.

In Greek, gnathos "jaw" by itself is feminine in gender. 
However, when it is used in compounds, the entire compound 
can be treated as masculine because an -os masculine 
adjective ending has been added to the stem gnath-. 

In forming the name Caenagnathus, Sternberg used the fully 
inflected feminine form of the Greek adjective kainos, 
kaine, kainon "new" instead of the stem kain- + o. The 
Greek kaine would become caena in Latin transcription.  In 
principle, this spelling means that gnathus should be 
treated as a full noun with feminine gender in 
Caenagnathus. However, under the rules of zoological 
nomenclature, compounds that end in -gnathus or -dactylus, 
are treated as masculine (formed with an -os (Latin -us) 
ending) even though gnathos by itself is feminine and 
daktylos by itself is neuter.

Stem Compounds:
Greek: kynocephalos "dog-headed" = baboon (kyn- (stem of 
kyon) + o + kephal- (stem of kephale)) + -os (singular 
masculine adjective ending: Note that kephale by itself is 
feminine in gender, but the compound in -os is masculine). 
Cynocephalus is the Latin form of the word. Adjectives can 
be used like nouns as substantives in both Greek and Latin.

Latin: ossifragus "bone breaker" = type of eagle (oss- 
(stem of os "bone") + i + frag- (stem of verb 
frango "break") + -us masculine ending)

In addition, some compounds were formed by arbitrary 
contractions or other modifications for ease of 
pronunciation. 
Monychus was the name of a giant with horse hoofs for 
feet, from Greek mononykhos (mono- "one" + onkh- (stem of 
onyx  "claw") + -os)

There are plenty of names in modern zoological 
nomenclature that are shortened or modified as arbitrary 
compounds:
Archelon (from Greek arkhos "ruler" + khelonos "sea 
turtle")