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A Primer of Botanical Latin with Vocabulary

$45.99 (P)

  • Date Published: May 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107693753
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About the Authors
  • Latin is one of two acceptable languages for describing new plants, and taxonomists must be able to translate earlier texts in Latin. Providing a simple explanation of Latin grammar along with an in-depth vocabulary, this is an indispensable guide for systematic botanists worldwide. All relevant parts of speech are discussed, with accompanying examples as well as worked exercises for translating diagnoses and descriptions to and from Latin. Guidelines for forming specific epithets are also included. The authors cross-reference their grammar to Stearn's Botanical Latin and to articles in the International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi and Plants. The comprehensive vocabulary is enhanced with terms from recent glossaries for non-flowering plants – lichens, mosses, algae, fungi and ferns – making this an ideal resource for anyone looking to hone their understanding of Latin grammar and to translate botanical texts from the past 300 years.

    • Covers basic Latin grammar only to the level required by botanists, bridging the gap between total lack of knowledge and the complex and theoretical detail of other guides
    • Features worked exercises and examples of translating to and from Latin – ideal for use both in independent study and as part of coursework
    • Includes a comprehensive vocabulary, enhanced with terms for non-flowering plants, making this a unique and practical guide for botanists worldwide
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The classical work Botanical Latin by W. T. Stearn has been a standard reference work for nearly 50 years, but it is not a starting point for those without prior knowledge of Latin. The new book by Emma Short and Alex George is derived from classes given separately by both authors, and the informal style is reflected in the very readable text. As one reads it, one can almost hear the careful explanations being given to the classes. The past experience of the authors – one in working on major taxonomic databases at Kew and the other as a leading figure in Australian botany including being editor of the Flora of Australia – ensures a very high pedigree for the book. It will stand alongside Stearn’s work as an essential tool for many botanists for years to come."
    R. K. Brummitt, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

    "… provides very accessible and concise information for systematic botanists in translating a description or diagnosis into Latin or English."
    Joan Richards, Chicago Botanic Garden

    "An indispensable reference for botanists, this primer offers a simplified approach to understanding plant descriptions. The writing style is simple, clear, and direct. Highly recommended."
    T. Johnson, Choice

    "I strongly commend this book to botanical historians."
    Society for the History of Natural History

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    24th Jul 2013 by Evan

    Thank you Emma, I have just seen your book, it will help me to improve English, and I also say thanks for Julia. Thanks for your suggestions!

    Review was not posted due to profanity


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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107693753
    • length: 304 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 102 tables 21 exercises
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Grammar:
    1. The noun
    2. The adjective and the participle
    3. The adverb
    4. The preposition
    5. The conjunction
    6. The pronoun
    7. The verb
    8. Numerals, measurements
    9. Prefixes and suffixes
    10. Miscellany
    Part II. Exercises in Translation:
    11. Exercises
    12. Answers to the exercises
    Part III. Translating:
    13. Translating into Latin
    14. Translating from Latin into English
    Part IV. Vocabulary: References
    Further reading

  • Authors

    Emma Short
    Emma Short worked for five years at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK, on the Index Kewensis database, before co-editing the Authors of Plant Names database with R. K. Brummitt. She has regularly checked Latin for Australian Systematic Botany and has recently taught courses in Botanical Latin.

    Alex George, Murdoch University, Western Australia
    Alex George is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Murdoch University, Perth. He was a botanist with the Western Australian Herbarium for 21 years, then Editor of the Flora of Australia for 12 years. He studied Latin to Tertiary level and has used it in describing some 400 new taxa, translating for others and editing.

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