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Antw: [Annelida] Diacritical marks in species names

Dieter Fiege via annelida%40net.bio.net (by Dieter.Fiege from senckenberg.de)
Thu May 15 05:18:09 EST 2014

Hi Geoff and all, 

I would assume that Article 32.5.2 of the Code came into being because
Latin - to the best of my knowledge from the time spent at highschool
(long ago!) - doesn't know any diacritic marks. As a European ;-) I
greatly appreciate this rule because it makes life easier for the
taxonomist. Anyway, some diacritic marks may simply have been added to a
name in earlier times in order to guide correct pronunciation as in the
example 'Harmothoë'. Or smply to prevent people from changing it to
'Harmthö' (oh my!) while umlauts were still allowed. 

But with regards to German umlauts (ä, ö, ü) - even after 1985 - I
would simply use the transliteration 'ae, oe, ue' when establishing a
name. This is not excluded by the code and for example if one were
naming a species in honor of someone named 'Müller' the transliterated
name 'muelleri' would be spelled and understood correctly while
'mulleri' would be completely misleading, even more so when pronounced
in English. Not an appropriate way to honor someone by naming a species
after him. 



>>> Geoff Read <Geoffrey.Read from niwa.co.nz> 15 Mai, 2014 >>>
Hi all,

A very quick reminder that diacritic marks (distinguishing glyphs on
characters such as é ü ö etc, etc) must not be used in species names in
your papers. This is the code rule since 1961, but I've noticed
diacritic marks in binomens in quite a few recent polychaeta papers.  So
I thought it worth a mention.

Europeans may rather resent this rule and find it unnatural, and one
wonders how it came to be, but it's been around a while.  I guess the
thinking was to internationalise the Latin alphabet in a neutral way. If
the original name you're quoting used 'Harmothoë', then you now use
Harmothoe, regardless of the possibly ancient date of the original. 
It's taken for granted the two names are the same and you don't have to
point out the change [unless you really, really, really want to].

A condensed summary of the transliteration rules: "Diacritic marks must
be removed, ligatures must be separated, all characters must be reduced
to their basic 26 Latin letters (Art. 32.5.2). Diacritic marks are
always simply removed regardless of the rules applied in local
languages, except that ä ö ü in names derived from German are converted
to ae, oe und ue (not Swedish or Turkish, and after 1985 also German is
converted to a o u). Danish å is converted to a, not to aa. Ligatures
are separated (æ to ae, oe to oe, ß to ss)." Also Upper case in epithets
becomes lower case and hypens are removed.  [Quoted from: 'Guidelines
for the management of digital zoological names information' by
Welter-Shultes, online at GBIF].

Hartman's main catalogue has a lot of names with character glyphs, but
that's fine because the rule didn't arrive until 1961. In the 1965
supplement Harmothoë becomes Harmothoe without comment.


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