Message 2001-12-0005: Re: languages in PhyloCode

Fri, 16 Nov 2001 15:38:49 +0100

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Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 15:38:49 +0100
From: Mieczyslaw Wolsan <>
Subject: Re: languages in PhyloCode

Personally I am for leaving English alone. So no Latin, no French, no 
Swahili, etc. The meaning of a defined name depends on the wording used. 
The more languages allowed in definitions the more ambiguities involved 
resulting from misunderstanding of the language used. English has widely 
been recognized as an international tool of communication in (at least) 
biology and it works perfectly in phylogenetic definitions. I think that an 
unambiguous wording (in English) for each kind of phylogenetic definition, 
just one for each kind, should be proposed in the Code to be followed by 
workers when defining clade name.

Mieczyslaw Wolsan
Professor and Chair
Department of Vertebrate Paleontology
Institute of Paleobiology
Polish Academy of Sciences
Twarda 51/55
00-818 Warszawa, Poland
Phone: +48-22-697-8793
Fax: +48-22-620-6225

At 08:19 16-11-2001 -0500, you wrote:

>I wrote:
>>   > but we have provided an alternative for those few
>>   > who, for whatever reason, prefer that English not be the only choice.
>David Marjanovic wrote:
>>Just Latin, which zoologists can't read anymore, is not enough, I think.
>I can't speak for anyone else on the advisory committee, but I would
>have no problem with adding French as a third alternative.  Including
>French would be consistent with the fact that the ICZN is written in
>English and French.  Retaining Latin as a third choice would be
>consistent with the botanical code, which mandates Latin for the
>descriptions associated with new taxon names of non-fossil plants.
>Philip D. Cantino
>Professor and Chair
>Department of Environmental and Plant Biology
>Ohio University
>Athens, OH 45701-2979
>Phone: (740) 593-1128; 593-1126
>Fax: (740) 593-1130


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