Language for taxonomic names, redux

Michael Everson everson at
Wed Feb 22 22:31:10 CET 2017

On 22 Feb 2017, at 19:59, Andy Mabbett <andy at> wrote:
> On 22 February 2017 at 19:56, Andy Mabbett <andy at> wrote:
>>> Splendid, but this does not answer the question. There are surely different pronunciations common for these, differing from country to country and language to language. What prefix or prefixes would you intend this subtag to be used with?
>> I refer you to my earlier question to you - not yet answered - which was: "Which language are taxonomic names "divisions or variations
> Sorry; which was: "Which language are taxonomic names "divisions or variations within"? As I noted all those years ago, they're not Latin, and not English.”

Then you’re not looking for a subtag. That won’t fly.

They are Latin. Adjectives are expected to conform to gender endings for Latin. From the Wikipedia:

> The second part of a binomial may be an adjective. The adjective must agree with the genus name in gender. Latin has three genders, masculine, feminine and neuter, shown by varying endings to nouns and adjectives. The house sparrow has the binomial name Passer domesticus. Here domesticus ("domestic") simply means "associated with the house". The sacred bamboo is Nandina domestica[30] rather than Nandina domesticus, since Nandina is feminine whereas Passer is masculine. The tropical fruit langsat is a product of the plant Lansium parasiticum, since Lansium is neuter. Some common endings for Latin adjectives in the three genders (masculine, feminine, neuter) are -us, -a, -um (as in the previous example of domesticus); -is, -is, -e (e.g. tristis, meaning "sad"); and -or, -or, -us (e.g. minor, meaning "smaller"). 

Michael Everson

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