CHAT Almost well-formed southern ape (wasRe: Teknonyms)
|From:||R A Brown <ray@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, October 22, 2005, 11:32|
Wesley Parish wrote:
> On Thu, 20 Oct 2005 08:24, Jim Henry wrote:
>>seems to be one of those Greek/Latin hybrids
> Or like Australopithecus Africanus, which raised more than a few eyebrows when
> it was first coined.
Indeed - yet there is only one letter in Australopithecus that makes it
'ill-formed' - sigh!
Latin readily borrowed from Greek, and the ending -us as well as the
spelling with |c| suggests a Latinized _pithecus_ rather than Greek
_pithe:kos_. What is more _pithecus_ is actually attested in late
Classical Latin; it is found in a 3rd CE collection of abbreviations
ascribed to Cicero's freedman, Tiro, who was a great user of shorthand.
_australis_ "southern" is a perfectly good Latin adjective. But if this
were a properly formed Latin compound, it would be 'Australipithecus'
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