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Re: Heterodontosaurid with protofeathers

Quoting Tim Williams <tijawi@yahoo.com>:

From here:


Shouldn't that be "confucii"? Oh well....

I thought that was strange as well. In a similar vein, we have _Confuciusornis_ rather than _Confuciornis_. I've wondered if when genera or species are erected that incorporate the names of revered historical or religious figures, then a conscious decision is made to keep the entire name intact, as a mark of respect. After all, we also have _Lazarussuchus_, which was named after Lazarus, a biblical (New Testament) character.

Spoken like an English speaker :-)

Seriously, in languages with robust inflectional systems (e.g. Greek, Latin, Slavic languages), names generally get inflected just like any other noun. "Confucius" already consists of "confuci" (an approximation of what in pinyin would be written kong fu zi) plus a Latin case/number suffix -us. You can't stack case/number suffixes. The other case forms would be as follows:

Vocative "Confucius!" Confuci
Genitive "of Confucius" Confucii
(or Confuci)
Dative "to/for Confucius" Confucio
Accusative "Confucius (as object of verb or some prepositions)" Confucium
Ablative "Confucius (as object of some prepositions)" Confucio

I guarantee you these forms are used in the Jesuit sources in which the Latinized name "Confucius" originally appeared.

Nicholas J. Pharris