Re: Tuber vs. Corm and how about pronunciation?
In a message dated 1/12/99 8:17:10 PM Eastern Standard Time, Jmh98law@aol.com
<< Yes, I would like to see this discussion again, especially with respect to
Arisaema, from my garden's point of view. The PhD botanist from whom I get
Chinese and Japanese Arisaema (name withheld for obvious reasons) calls what
he sends me "bulbs". [For that matter, he pronounces Arisaema "Air
iss(accent) i ma" When I studied Latin in another life and a long time ago,
the "ae" was pronouced as "ee" [as in seek], which would make it "Air i
see(accent) ma". Any opinions out there on the proper pronunciation?>>
Pronunciations, especially regarding syllabic emphasis, are not a given.
Several schools of thought exist - NONE NECESSARILY MORE CORRECT! I was taught
that in classical Latin, no vowel takes its own long sound - so if you are a
Latin purist, you have some guidance. But dipthongs such as "ae', "oe" and
others create a nest of worms! and then you have those who insist on
Anglicized or Americanized pronunciations! None are "more" correct. It is more
important that your own usage is consistent and not a pastiche of intermingled
"schools". As to the decision as to which syllable gets the emphasis, again
there are only guidelines since not every "school" breaks the syllables by the
same rules. Usually for words with three syllables or fewer - the emphasis is
on the penultimate syllable (the next to last). If there are more than three
syllables, the emphasis is usually on the antepenultimate syllable (the one
before the "next to last"). Thus I personally favor "Ary-SEE'-muh" but I think
a strong case could be made for "Air-E'-see-muh".
I don't want to tackle sorting out tubers versus corms - but I think no
authority could defend Arisaema being "bulbs".