Message 2003-10-0010: Fwd: Article 11 (and 13, and 17, and 18)

Fri, 17 Oct 2003 17:30:04 -0400

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Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2003 17:30:04 -0400
From: Philip Cantino <>
Subject: Fwd: Article 11 (and 13, and 17, and 18)

I am grateful to David Marjanovic for his careful reading of the
latest draft of the PhyloCode.  He caught several typos, which have
now been corrected.

In addition, he raised a number of questions that I would like to
comment on, having discussed them with Kevin today:

>Article 11.1 reads: "Specifiers are species, specimens, or apomorphies [...]
>If subordinate clades are cited in a phylogenetic definition of a more
>inclusive clade, their specifiers must also be explicitly cited within the
>definition of the more inclusive clade." The former makes the latter

The subordinate clades referred to in the last sentence are not
specifiers.  Some authors like to cite a clade in addition to a
specifier to clarify their intent.  This is helpful to readers who
may not recognize the name of a specifier species but will recognize
the name of a well known clade that includes them.  The second
sentence is intended to clarify that, if such clades are cited in a
definition, they are not a substitute for specifiers.

>Recommendation 11.5A is currently pointless. It talks about how to name
>species, but this version of the PhyloCode will not allow naming species,
>and the preexisting codes won't care.

Until phylogenetic nomenclature for species is codified, many users
of the PhyloCode for clade names will continue to follow the rank-based
codes if they name species.  It is for these people that this
recommendation is intended.

>Article 11.8 has "should" in the first sentence. This sounds as if it were a
>Recommendation, and contradicts the second sentence, which uses "must".

The "should" refers to a desirable outcome (i.e., the sentence that
contains "should" states the justification for the rule but is not
itself part of the rule).  In contrast, "must" is used in the rule
that will ensure attainment of the desirable outcome.  Therefore, I
don't think there is an inconsistency in the wording.

>Article 11.9 Example 1 has the typo "*Oatriidae*". Also, it should include a
>link to Recommendation 9E, because "flipper" is a very ambiguous expression.

The typo has been corrected.

I agree with the comment about flippers.
I suggest that a parenthetical sentence be added at the end of Art.
11.9, Example 1: "(However, the apomorphy "flippers" should be
illustrated or described because it is a potentially ambiguous term
(Rec. 9E).)"

Strictly speaking, Rec. 9E does not currently apply to this situation
because "flippers" in Example 1 is part of a qualifying clause, not
an apomorphy-based definition.  I recommend that Rec. 9E be broadened
to cover this situation by rephrasing it: "If an apomorphy-based
definition is used, or if an apomorphy is cited in a qualifying
clause, the apomorphy should be described or illustrated in
sufficient detail that users of the definition will understand the
author's intent."

>Example 1 of Recommendation 11A has "*Megalosaurus bucklandi* von
>Meyer1832". This should be "*Megalosaurus bucklandii* von Meyer 1832".
>"Beneden" should be "van Beneden" (AFAIK).

Kevin will check on this.

>Recommendation 11C implies that ichnotaxa ( = taxa based on fossilized foot-
>or other prints) are covered by the ICZN. They are not, instead they have
>their own parataxonomy, like ootaxa.

Ichnotaxa are covered by the most recent edition of the ICZN.

>Recommendation 11D has "unless doing so would be contrary to recommendation
>[sic] 11B". Perhaps "and/or Recommendation 11A" should be added. (Otherwise
>we could get, following some old hypotheses, pterosaurs as the basalmost
>dinosaurs -- which one author has done, although only in a popular book.)

Kevin and I agree with this suggestion.

>Note 17.1.1: Why not treat all diacritics like diaereses?

I don't think they are comparable.  Diaereses are purely a pronunciation
guide, whereas some (many?) diacritics are considered to
change the letter they are associated with into a different letter
(e.g., in Spanish, n versus n with a tilde).

>Articles 17.2 and 18.7 are probably meant to conserve what a (Latin) word
>is. But I think we don't need this. Long ago I've brought the example of
>*Chuanjiesaurus a'naensis* in which the apostrophe indicated that the
>Chinese syllables a and na, and not an and a, were involved. (Because of the
>ICZN the apostrophe was automatically deleted.)

Kevin and I agree that it would make sense to treat apostrophes that
are being used as a pronunciation guide like diaereses.  We propose
that apostrophes be included with diaereses in Note 17.1.1 rather than
including them with hyphens in Art. 17.2 (their current position).
Specifically, we propose that a new sentence be added at the end of
Note 17.1.1 reading "Similarly, an apostrophe is not part of the
orthography of the name, though it may be included in an established
name as an optional pronunciation guide."  This would permit
apostrophes to be used in the way David suggested with his a'naensis
example, but one may also omit the apostrophe if one prefers.

However, Art. 18.7 should remain as is because an apostrophe is not
part of the orthography of the name.

>Recommendation 17A contains the phrase "unless they are contained within the
>name of a person, place, or other entity after which a taxon is named". This
>makes the rest of the Recommendation almost completely pointless.

I disagree.  This recommendation will make it difficult for opponents
of phylogenetic nomenclature or other people with a twisted sense of
humor to purposely create unpronounceable names--whether to sabotage
our system or simply because they think it is funny.

>Article 18.2 could contradict Recommendation 17.4A.

Rec. 17.4A concerns conversion of preexisting names, whereas 18.2 is
about subsequent use of the name after conversion.  There is no


Philip D. Cantino
Professor and Associate 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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