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Re: The Gift of Names: Tuditanus, Ennatosaurus, Bottosaurus, and more

Ben Creisler

In reply,

>Could Aublys- be a misspelling of Amblys?

Greek *amblys* "blunt"

The spelling Aublysodon was used consistently by Leidy, Cope, and
Marsh, and is undoubtedly Leidy's intended spelling.

On the other hand, the name Ambystoma Tschudi, 1838 for a genus of
salamander is plausibly (but not absolutely for certain) a misspelling
of "Amblystoma" [blunt mouth]--the emended spelling that was used by
Cope and most other herpetologists in the 19th century. Note then that
Cope used the spelling Aublysodon consistently but also changed
Ambystoma to "Amblystoma" consistently.

Louis Agassiz, who edited Tschudi's work, noted the apparent
uncorrected errors in Latin and spelling in the work. However, the
spelling Ambystoma is used multiple times.


The original description by Barton (1804) cited by Tschudi included
the description "the nose is very blunt" for the salamander.



>How about the rules of Latinization? Darwinius, genitive darwinii... There's 
>no "W" in Latin, it should be Darvinius, shouldn't it?

>Joao S. Lopes

This goes to the distinction between classical Latin and the Neo-Latin
used in medicine and science, including zoological nomenclature.
Neo-Latin is essentially a tool for naming things that is shaped by
the people who use it. Using the letters k (from Greek or otherwise)
and w, or assigning different sounds to Latin letters to match other
languages is totally acceptable.

The letter w has different sounds in different languages: semivowel in
English, fricative consonant in Germanic and some Slavic languages,
full vowel in Welsh, etc.

When used in Neo-Latin names, the original sound in principle would be
used or approximated. Speakers of particular languages might use the
sound they find natural, however.

The practice would be to spell a person's name or a place name in
Latin letters that match some accepted system of transcription and

On Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 5:51 AM, Joao S. Lopes <josimo70@yahoo.com.br> wrote:
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