REF: Pronounce Species Correctly
In responding to Anner Whitehead's suggestion, I offer the following:
It may be fruitful to take note of those characteristics unique to English and
that separate us from the usages in other languages relating symbol to sound.
First of all, English has a glissando of sound values in our vowels. The word
"I" is a combination or slide through about three vowel sounds, "ah," "ee,"
with a "schwa" sound in between. That sound is the "u" of "duh!"
This makes it difficult for native speakers of English to sing or say "pure"
vowel sounds.. There are a few words where we do come close.
Here are some examples of relatively pure vowels in their more universal
a as in "father"
e as in the a of "Say"
i as in "machine"
o as on the oa of "moan"-at least the first half of the sound
u as in the oo of "moon'
r as in a sound almost the same as "t" in city, but denfinitely *not* the "r"
with the tongue rolled back half way to the ulvula
l with the tongue bought up flat to the palate, right behind the teeth, not
curled upward and back.
t more lightly done, not quite so heavy as in most English words,
d similar to above but voiced
Then with German and languages picking up their consonants from Germanic
languages (such as in Polish and transliterations of Russian)-
w with the English sound of "v"
v with the English sound of "f"
j with a sound similar to English initial "y" as in "yes"
Accented syllables more strengthened by LENGTH than by hard pronunciation,
increased volume or stress, unlike English, where accented strong vowels are
names with Latin grammatical suffixes attached to Latin, Greek or other
languages-the name as pronounced in the original language, with the Latin
pronunciation of the suffix, as in:
ii-rendered "ee-ee" with a glottal stop between, but I am as likely as most of
the rest of those that have contributed to the thread to say "ee-eye" with
only a very slight glottal stop if any.
us, um - "oo" as in moon, plus the consonant. Most of us reduce this to the
"schwa" of "mud.' Not to do so does sound rather affected or artificial, but
in an international conference with European speakers, I would suspect the
"oo" would be rather desirable.
the diphthong ae-most of us say "eye" or "aye." Chances are, the sound was
intermediate between the a (father) and e (egg). I and most other speakers of
English would find that a very difficult sound to form. What the sound was not
is the glissando from one sound to another, as in "eye," but it is possible
there was an element of that glissando in Latin usage.
Syllablification-in English, many syllables end in consonants. This is
somewhat unusual in languages other than English, where more often syllables
ordinarily would be consonant plus vowel--consonant plus vowel, with
occasional words just the revers.The example of pallida would be long a, short
i, long a, thus placing the strong syllable on the first, not the second
The species name previously referred to-timofejewii-- would thus be rendered
'tih-moh-feh-yay-vee'ee-the two "ee" sounds separated by a light glottal stop
(or ee-eye, in acutal usage by most of us). The accented syllable most natural
to me would be the "yey" syllable, but I have no idea how the rhythms of
Slavic languages properly reside.
Regelia would be rendered "Reh-GAY-lee-ah (or uh, as most of us would say it).
There is no justification for the dzh rendering of a G followed by e-only a
few language which include post-mediaeval western Romance languages and the
later vulgate Latin from which they developed which began to use this letter
in the dzh ("j") manner. The form of the capital "G" was a crossed-C to
express that it was the voiced form of the "K" sound, which in the Latin
alphabet was rendered with the letter "C." Hard evidence of this usage appears
in the rendering of Anglo-Saxon into the Latin alphabet.
kochii would be rendered "KOH-khee'ee," where "kh" would be the light or
"high" glottal fricative of German "ich" or the Greek "chi" in its ancient
form, the same sound. The next best approximation for an English speaker would
be to use a "k" sound to render this, which is the unvoiced glottal stop
followed by the voice in plosive use. This would sound rather odd, but be
understood by a speaker of the original German.
I'm just expressing opinion and preference in all this, as I realize there is
no common standard. "When in Rome." seems to be the only rule that gets one
through this morass and prevents a degree of embarrassment. As Anner has
previously quite aptly expressed, the point of communication is to share
meaning--to communicate. Whatever works--go for it.
Neil Mogensen z 7 western NC mountains
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