Monday 5 November 2012

Glis glis

An unusual rodent pest found in a part of Hertfordshire is the edible or fat dormouse. Its scientific name is Glis glis. It is the only living member of the genus Glis. This is perhaps why, unusually for biological nomenclature, it has a specific name identical with its generic name. The only other such cases I can think of offhand are the red fox, Vulpes vulpes, and the Eurasian wren, Troglodytes troglodytes.

The usual stress pattern for two-word names is double stressing (main stress on the second word), as in ˌHenry ˈSmith, ˌMerton ˈPark, ˌLyme ˈRegis. This also applies to the Latin names of plants and animals: ˌQuercus ˈrobur, Diˌcentra specˈtabilis, ˌEquus ˈzebra, ˌPasser doˈmesticus.

But in cases such as Vulpes vulpes, Troglodytes troglodytes and Glis glis this usual pattern collides with the deep-seated Germanic principle of deaccenting repeated material. So do we keep double stressing, or do we deaccent the specific and shift the main stress onto the generic?

In the case of the edible dormouse, discussants on a recent television programme went for the single stressing, pronouncing it furthermore as if it were a single word, a common noun, a ˈɡlɪsɡlɪs. Furthermore they treated this word as invariant for number, like sheep (see screenshot above). —Well, you’d hardly expect them to know that the Latin plural of glīs is glīrēs. That’s strictly for us classicist showoffs.

What do we do when referring to people whose forename is identical with their surname? What stress pattern do we use for someone called Morris Morris or Graham Graham? Do we find such names awkward? No, I think we cope and give them the usual double stressing. Same with New York, New York. So why is Glis glis different?

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May I remind would-be commentators that I no longer allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Please sign with your true name. Unsigned comments will be deleted.

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In a few days I shall be leaving for a visit to Japan and China. So this blog will be suspended now for the rest of November. Next posting: 3 Dec.


  1. The greylag goose is "Anser anser".

    I'm not sure why, but for me, the double-stress pattern (despite the repeated material) seems natural for the likes of "Anser anser" and "Glis glis" - presumably for similar reasons as the "Morris Morris" or the "New York, New York" you mentioned.

    1. (And the Western Greylag goose subspecies is "Anser anser anser"!)

  2. Here's a list of tautonyms, as they are called. Tautonyms are used in zoology but not in botany; the two subjects have independent, though historically related, rules of nomenclature.

    There is also the not-quite-tautonymic name Gekko gecko, the Tokay gecko (named after its call). It has two subspecies, one of which is Gekko gecko gecko.

  3. There seem to be quite a lot of these doubled names, as it turns out. The relevant authority for botanical names disallows identical repetition, but zoologists don't mind.

    Alces alces - Eurasian elk/moose
    Anableps anableps - Largescale four-eyed fish
    Anguilla anguilla - European eel
    Apus apus - common swift
    Bison bison - American bison (plains subspecies: B. b. bison)
    Bubo bubo - Eurasian eagle-owl
    Bufo bufo - common toad
    Caracal caracal - caracal
    Chloris chloris - European greenfinch
    Conger conger - European conger eel
    Constrictor constrictor - boa constrictor
    Coturnix coturnix - common quail
    Crex crex - corncrake or landrail
    Crocuta crocuta - spotted hyena
    Cygnus cygnus - whooper swan
    Dama dama - fallow deer
    Dugong dugon - dugong
    Gorilla gorilla - Western gorilla (lowland subspecies: G. g. gorilla)
    Grus grus - common crane
    Lemmus lemmus - Norway lemming
    Limosa limosa - black-tailed godwit (great name)
    Lutra lutra - European otter
    Lynx lynx - Eurasian lynx
    Meles meles - European badger
    Mephitis mephitis - striped skunk
    Naja naja - Indian cobra
    Natrix natrix - grass snake
    Perdix perdix - grey partridge
    Pica pica - Eurasian magpie
    Puffinus puffinus - Manx shearwater
    Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax - red-billed chough
    Rattus rattus - black rat
    Spinachia spinachia - sea stickleback
    Tinca tinca - tench
    Ziziphus zizyphus - jujube

    One disputed case: the snow leopard, Uncia uncia. It was originally classified as part of the genus Panthera before being split off as a separate genus, and now molecular studies suggest it's part of the genus Panthera after all and a close relative of the tiger, P. tigris. There is a subspecies U. u. uncia native to central Asia.

    1. Okay, one more: Gulo gulo, the wolverine.

  4. One interesting case may be the full name of the English (Scottish?) philosopher (forgotten nowadays) John MacTaggart Ellis MacTaggart. Usually referred to (but ever more rarely referred-to at all) as John MacTaggart, luckily.

    In Polish, if someone should have the bad fortune of being called, say, Wojciech (given name) Wojciech (surname), both names would be stressed (on the first) but the stress on the surname would be marginally stronger. Unless the logical emphasis were on the given name (Wojciech Wojciech, not his brother Jakub Wojciech). This is because we have not the Germanic tendency as above. We would stress 'glis glis' or 'gulo gulo' like you stress 'New York, New York' i.e. stressing both components, with equal force. How would the ancient Romans do it? Given that some of their modern posterity are given to 'bunga bunga'...

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    1. Is it even possible to have a Wojciech Wojciech in Poland? I may be wrong but Slavic names, as I imagine, have a pattern to it (wicz, ski/ska, czyk, etc.), though not necessarily always. Łukasz Łukaszewicz is allowable, but Łukasz Łukasz just sounds so artificial, much more so than a Lucas Lucas from England.

    2. Polish surnames have often the suffixes you mention but there are, too, all kinds of Slavic and non-Slavic words, including given names, serving as surnames in Polish. I have known many of them. There is no Procrustean bed. '-wicz' is originally Ukrainian/Byelorussian, btw. I can't remember ever having known anyone called X X (not even in the anglophone world), it is true, but a priori the matter is not impossible (if this answers your question).

      In the '70 they sold a very cheap winein Polish (by then communist) grocery stores, which was called simply 'wino' (wine -- generic wine, if you will). We called it 'wino marki wino' or 'wino wino' for short. It was stressed evenly, WIno WIno.

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  5. To John's question: why is 'glis glis' different (in that, unlike 'Morris Morris',it is stressed on the first component only)?

    My impression: this could have something to do with both components' being one-syllable. Rare are in English, methinks, words of one syllable in a row carrying full stress both of them. Am I wrong? Thomas Winwood, how do you stress 'lynx lynx', or 'grus grus', or 'crex crex'? Any different from 'glis glis'?

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  6. I think I do find names like Morris Morris and Graham Graham a little awkward. My usual solution is to give full stress to both names.

    This creates a conflict with the Catch 22 character Major Major. My first instinct is to fully stress the two words. But If I allow the idea that Major is a rank to assume prominence, then I begin to think of him with secondary stress on the first Major.

  7. reminds me a bit of 'the train to Too stops from two to two to two two' (1:52 to 2:02) which can only be resolved by means of accent (word-stress or wordstress).

    Have you ever heard of yon 'deep-ingrain'd Germanic tendency to deaccent repeated material' John is invoking above? Off the top of my head I can't call up much in this connection.

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    1. When unstressed, which is most of the time, to is not homophonous with two and too. So not really any worse, it seems to me, than "from one to one to one one" would be.

      And two to two would be 1:58. :)

    2. yeah, that's tue.... eh, sorry, true.

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  8. Has anyone watched the Children's BBC programme 'The Secret Show'? There are characters called 'Professor Professor' and 'Doctor Doctor' (wikipedia: - secondary stress on the first word, main stress on the second word. I think that's also how I would handle Graham Graham.

  9. I'd guess the single-word pronunciation results from an assumption that we're dealing with a reduplicative word gris-gris, like dikdik or aye-aye, which also refer to furry animals (or indeed ylang-ylang or Mau Mau, which don't).

    In other words, it's perceived as an "exotic" word rather than a classical word. The very Latinate-sounding Vulpes vulpes or the even more Graeco-Latinate-sounding Troglodytes troglodytes should be immune to this type of reanalysis.

    piː mæk ənɛnə

  10. quite convincing... indeed... yet, what perturbs me, is this:

    1. 'glis glis' is not spelt 'glisglis' nor 'glis-glis';

    2. if encountered in a context (most of the time?) the context should indicate that it's a Latin 'scientific' name, rather than something furrily-funnily-cutely-exotic.

    Well, how would you, piː mæk ənɛnə, stress 'grus grus' or 'crex crex' from Thomas W.'s list above?

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    1. I'd double-stress Grus grus or Crex crex - that is, stress them just like Homo sapiens or black swan.

      But if I decided that grus-grus was a reduplicated word, say a loanword from Indonesian rather than Latin, I'd stress the first syllable - that is, just like dik-dik or out-house.

    2. Just realised I haven't fully responded to your "perturbations"...

      1. Yes, but I think you'd need to be fairly language-savvy to pick up on all those hints from hyphenation and capitalisation (which may not be 100% reliable anyway) and then be confident enough in your logic to apply the resulting pronunciation in the face of all your colleagues who're pronouncing it differently.

      You'd probably also need to be a bit of a language geek (and here we are) to care about such things, or perhaps even to notice the difference in the first place.

      2. It seems to me that the common name of the animal is just glis glis (or if you prefer, that it has no common name in English, just a scientific name that's made to serve the same purpose). So the name will appear in both contexts (scientific and common): "Here we have a specimen of the species Glis glis" and "Aww, what a cute glis-glis".

      Interestingly (without wanting to spawn another tangential discussion on scientific names), if my suggestion in point 2 is correct, this constitutes a counterexample to Stephen Fry's claim on QI recently that the only animal whose scientific name is identical to its common English name is the boa constrictor, Boa constrictor. It wouldn't bethe first time.

    3. Thank ou, Pete, you've put me truly at ease.

      well, being all of us language geeks here, we _are_ watchful for hyphens etc., and sort of presuppose the same in other human beings...

      The common English name seems to be 'dormouse', does it not? Plural: dormice, though this may be Volksetymologie, I\d rather suppose the 'dorm-' part is Latin 'dormire', sleep, the German name of the beast is 'Siebenschlaefer', 'seven-sleeper', as it is believed to sleep for seven months.

      OK, so we've got it finally.

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    4. The common name is apparently edible dormouse, more specifically.

      I think that in addition to it being only one syllable, "glis" doesn't sound Latin. And even if we know factually that "glis glis" is a scientific name, that doesn't mean the language center of our brain knows it.

    5. do you chaps really call it EDIBLE dormouse? Like 'there is an edible dormouse in my attic' or some such? Is that not, much rather, a semi-scientific name, like 'domestic pig'? We know it's called 'domestic pig', but we call it just 'pig'.

      As far as I remember, the critter occurs several times in the novel Salammbo by Flaubert, where, however, it also is actually eaten.

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    6. I am still 'benieuw'd', as the Dutchman says (curious as a result of having been taken aback by something 'nieuw') about the 'edible' part of the English common name of the animal referred-to by Prof. Wells.

      However, this etymological entry:

      seems to prove me right as regards the 'sleepy' (dormir(e)) part of the critter's name and the probable 'volksetymologisch'ness of the '-mouse' part. Seems to be a very hypothetical area, anyway, as the word seems to be poorly attested. Anyone knowledgeable about the etymology of 'glis, gliris, 3rd decl., masc.'?

      As T.S. Eliot once put it: 'The hippopotamus's day is passed in sleep'. Not only hippopotamus's, clearly. (I almost wrote 'hippopotamouse's).

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    7. If in the UK you refer to a dormouse, with no qualifying adjective, it will be assumed you mean Muscardinus avellanarius. So yes, we do call the species under discussion "edible dormouse" or "gligsglis".

    8. Thank you, John. So let me guess: in the UK, in 'real life' situations, you have not very often an opportunity to speak of (specimens of) the species? In other words, British attics and cellars do not exactly abound in edible dormice or glisglis? Wrong? (If they did, in the long run, I'd suppose, 'glisglis'---plural 'glisglis'---would supplant (displace) 'edible dormouse'. Maybe it's on its way to so doing, the first symptom of which being the unusual stress-pattern of 'glis glis' and its thoroughly Anglo-Saxon plural form?).

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    9. No - the edible dormouse is (i) not native to Britain and (ii) very rare here -- in fact, as I said in my original posting, it is found (only) in a part of Hertfordshire, where specimens escaped from a private collection a century ago, established themselves, and became a pest.

    10. Ah, I see. Well, I must have assumed it was endemic to Hertfordshire (it being the only place in England where it has not been extirpated or 'eaten up'). The linguistic point I was trying to make was that the frequency of use would have eliminated the 'edible' part of its name (perhaps in favour of 'glisglis', paroxytone, plural 'glisglis')---just as no-one normally says 'domestic pig' but just 'pig', even though the animal IS domestic ('stiestic') and ... well... rather seriously edible.

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  11. The Welsh are inordinately fond of names like these, where the first name is identical to the last name, or almost identical to it except for the -s on the end of the last name. Wikipedia has articles on several men named "Thomas Thomas" (a distant Welsh ancestor of mine had that name too), "Evan Evans", "Owen Owen", "David Davi(e)s", "William Williams", "Richard Richards", "Robert Roberts", and so on, of whom disproportionately many are Welsh.

    For what it's worth, I pronounce reduplicated taxonomic names like ''Glis glis'' with the same stress pattern as any other taxonomic names.

  12. There was a 16th century Korean scholar Yi I (이이) whose surname (Yi) is identical in pronunciation to the given name (I) in today's Standard Korean. The romanizations are different only because 'Yi' is the conventional standard spelling (as in the Yi Dynasty) for the surname which is often given as 'Lee' or even 'Rhee' in the case of Syngman Rhee. For the dwindling number of older speakers who preserve distinctive length, the surname is /iː/. For North Koreans and Koreans in China, the surname is spelled 'Ri' 리 and would be pronounced /ɾi~ni/. But for the vast majority of South Koreans, both the surname and the given name are pronounced /i/.

    Korean doesn't have distinctive stress, but phonetically the stress tends to fall on the first syllable (or perhaps the second syllable if it is heavy and the first is light). In the case of Yi I, the pronunciation that seems natural to me stresses the surname, i.e. [ˈi i].

    Trying to think of similar examples in other languages, I only got near reduplicatives like Chinese warlord and king Cao Cao (the tones are different), Kenyan politician Oginga Odinga, and Italian scientist Galileo Galilei before discovering an extensive list on Wikipedia.

    Jongseong Park

  13. Gentlemen! All of that is very good but so far only Pete (piː mæk ənɛnə) and myself have attempted to answer Prof. Wells' question why 'glis glis' is _different_ from 'Thomas Thomas' or such. What you've been saying (and I have added to it some examples from Polish) renders this not-quite-explained fact all the more surprising.

    I would regard the matter as settled by Pete's explanation had it not been for the points I mentioned above.

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  14. "Furthermore they treated this word as invariant for number, like sheep. —Well, you’d hardly expect them to know that the Latin plural of glīs is glīrēs."

    I know this is probably a bit too late for this, but no one seems to have touched on the topic of plurals for biological names. I get John's (Wells, too many Johns about) point about the plural of glis, but honestly these aren't Latin names but biological names which incidentally derive from Latin or are made to look Latin (by a historical convention, and not from, say, Old Norse or Sanskrit or Ottoman Turkish or something else). Would biologists pluralize Ophiophagus as Ophiophagi (as in Oesophagus/Esophagus)? Do we have a few Caroli Linnæi?

  15. I'm not sure whether I'd give duplicated names special treatment. To those who definitely would: would you extend the same treatment to names where the two parts are homophones, or would you somehow contrast Morris Morris and Maurice Morris?

    1. Good question, Alan. Though I obviously can't answer it for the English speaking, I imagine that under analogous conditions in Polish I'd (sometimes) try to make hear the difference. For instance, there are in PL a few persons call'd 'Chubert' ([x-]) by the surname. If any of them be called 'Hubert' bei the given name, I think I'd try to mark the oft-neglected difference between the voiced counterpart of [x], spelt 'h' and [x], spelt 'h'. H(voiced)ubert Ch(voiceless)ubert.

      Again, in all languages which I speak more or less I would stress now the first component now the second, depending on where the logical emphasis is on. TOM Tom (as distinct from his father Dick Tom) or Tom TOM (as distinct from his namesake Tom Jenkins). Might not work in languages with no word-stress (wordstress) at all.

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  16. On encountering a reduplicated name I always pronounce it with a double stress, for example 'Gris 'gris or 'Humbert 'Humbert. If it's clearly exotic or hyphenated, it will be 'tuk-tuk.

    Then again, if I was a political correspondent, I think I would soon get used to the novelty of the chap I now call 'David 'Davis and start calling him ,David 'Davis, as normal.

    1. Not sure what you mean by calling ,David 'Davis "normal". In my system, or JWL's, or O'C&A, this, with a nuclear tone on David followed by an accent on Davis, is just not a possible sequence within one intonation phrase. "Normal" for two-word names and phrases is for the second item to bear the stronger stress (= nuclear tone). Putting the nuclear tone on David here, as you notation seems to imply, would put David in focus and take Davis out of focus, and would be appropriate e.g. if you meant \/DAVID Davis, not \PETER Davis; but not otherwise.

      Anyhow, "David Davis" is not a tautonymous name, so it's irrelevant to the discussion.

      Alex, your posting is at risk of being deleted. You know why.

  17. One more reflection on Prof. Wells' puzzling question whether we find names like 'Graham Graham' awkward.

    It seems to me that there are some extra-linguistic factors at play. In English (at least in the anglophone cultures superficially known to me) there seems to be a rather rigid rule to the effect that you should, while addressing someone by his or her surname, prefix the surname with a 'Mr.' or 'Mrs.' or 'Ms.' or 'Major' or 'Professor' or 'Reverend' or 'Citizen' or some such, and addressing him/her by his/her given name you must not. Even introducing oneself, a Mr. Graham will say 'I am Mr. Graham'. Therefore, the ambiguity as to whether 'Graham' is a given name or the surname is somewhat lessened, if not quite removed (if you overhear someone saying 'Mr. Graham' you know immediately 'Graham' is the person's surname.) In (linguistic) cultures in which no such (rigid) rule obtains, for instance the polonophone culture, an analogous prefix won't help much, as it can be put before a given name, too. This is why anglophones may find 'Graham Graham' (still somewhat awkward but) not so terribly awkward, while 'Wojciech Wojciech', though linguistically not impossible, would be rather very very awkward and unpractical in Poland.

    Talking of INTRAlinguistic factors, on the other hand---languages with some, all the more so rich, nominal flexion and affixation means, various hypocoristic etc. suffixes, easily form variants of given names, which can be subsequently used as surnames. The Polish surname 'Nycz' goes back, ultimately, to 'Nikolaos', and there are men called 'Mikołaj Nycz', which is a far cry from 'Nicholas Nicholas'. Italian -i, like in 'Galilei', some say the Latin genitive ending of the o-declension originally, is another example. In English, there is -s (genitive ending, too?), but that is about it (sorry, dear anglophones). That is why in a language like Polish, 'Wojciech Wojciech', rather than 'Wojciech Wojtach', 'Wojciech Wojtyła', 'Wojciech Wojcieszek' etc. etc. would stand out much more than 'Graham Graham' or 'Thomas Thomas' do in English, and seem all the more awkward and cumbersome.

    Ah, by the way: you know that most Continentals, even with good command of English, say 'Grarharm'?

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    1. Wojciech

      Even introducing oneself, a Mr. Graham will say 'I am Mr. Graham'.

      Rather unusual, Wojciech. For the most it's one of these three:

      1 I'm Graham Graham.

      2 My name's Graham.

      3 My name's Graham Graham.

      Of course, [2] is ambiguous as it stands. However, we have pretty clear instincts whether fist name terms are appropriate with any particular speaker, so we would usually be correct in our interpretation of Graham as first name or surname.

      Yes it's true that one would nowadays address the chap as Mr Graham. When I was a boy, that wasn't necessarily so. Boys in school were invariably addressed by surname alone, and the practice was still fairly common among adult males — although dwindling and soon to be swept away in the Sixties.

      • SURNAME was often the chose appellation for addressing an acquaintance.

      • FIRST NAME was still reserved by more conservative speakers for close friends only.

      • MR SURNAME was the most formal. Whenever there was a power imbalance, the less powerful would say MR SURNAME while the more powerful would say SURNAME.

    2. Thank you, (Mr.) Crosbie. I have much more experience with Americans (who tend to be more conservative in linguistic matters) than with Britons. One freshly-baked American PhD once introduced himself to me with the words 'I am Doctor Such-and-Such'. I thought at first he was not in his right mind (in Poland that would be the implication) but after several months in the States I realised that was an (certainly not 'the') received way.

      OK, so you Britons not always say 'Mr./Mrs./Major etc Such-and-Such'. But you NEVER say so if 'Graham' is someone's FIRST name. In my country, by contrast, we often prefix with such titles given names too (there are stylistic nuances to't, of course) so if someone is addressed or referred to as 'Dr Wojciech' there might be no telling if 'Wojciech' be his first or family name. This is why 'Wojciech Wojciech' is rather avoided---there are several hundred individuals called 'Wojciech' by their surname in Poland, but I seriously doubt if any of them has 'Wojciech' for his first name, too.

      Any intuitions as to the proper stressing of John MacTaggart Ellis MacTaggart or Ford Maddox Ford? In the first case, the ONLY given name was 'John MacTaggart' (a single name made of the full name of his uncle), so leaving out the first surname he would be called 'John MacTaggart MacTaggart'.

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    3. Wojciech

      OK, so you Britons not always say 'Mr./Mrs./Major etc Such-and-Such'. But you NEVER say so if 'Graham' is someone's FIRST name.

      Another casualty of our acute class consciousness. It was in the past quite common to speak of and/or address Mr David, Mr Wojciech etc. However, this was reserved for somebody much higher in the hierarchy than the spacer, but not quite as high as Mr SURNAME.

      If you read jane Austen, you find a hierarchical distinction between Miss SURNAME the eldest unmarried daughter and Miss FIRST NAME for any younger unmarried daughter.

      The last context in which Mr FIRST NAME lingered on as a norm was between servants and the children of the employer's family. Although it's pretty rare now, I bet it's still used in offices where people work for two brothers.

    4. David, thank you for this really surprising (me) information, which truly widens my linguistic and social-lore-related horizons. I should have (another) go at Miss Jane's novels and older English literature in general and be more alert to various social nuances in them. That I could have been so ignorant amazes me---I start feeling like a(n) (edible) dormouse.

      I of course knew about 'Sir Bertrand (Russell)' or 'Sir Karl (Popper)', though. Is Prof. Wells not a 'sir John' too? I think it's high time he should become it.

      In Poland, 'Mr Wojciech' (when 'W' is someoone's first name) used to be a form of address to young, not-yet-quite-adult persons, but since a decade or so has been gaining ground among peddlars and sellers of all sorts (insurance polices e.g.) who using it create an 'intimacy' between them and their prospective or actual customers. I find this irksome because that intimacy is so clearly false.

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    5. I can live with I am Dr. Jones, though I think it pompous even in a medical doctor, and doubly so in any other kind. But I get all prescriptive about My name is Dr. Jones — nobody's name is Doctor anything (though there are people with the given names Earl, Duke, and King, but hardly Doctor). On the other hand, my mother introduced herself as My name is Mrs. Cowan, though perhaps that doesn't count, as she was a native German-speaker despite her near-native command of English (except in her phonology).

    6. I feel with you; I think this should really be limited to a schoolmistress introducing herself to little children.
      Technically, I'm not sure it's necessarily useful to say the Dr. part can't be considered part of the name, though.
      And finally, the name of Doktor isn't very common, but it does exist (Lithuanian-Jewish?).

    7. David Crosbie wrote : "Although it's pretty rare now, I bet it's still used in offices where people work for two brothers.". It most certainly still was used in the 1970s, when two brothers, one of whom was named Desmond, ran the company known as Molin's. "Mr Desmond" was the standard form of address on the shop floor. As regards Wojciech's "'Mr Wojciech' (when 'W' is someoone's first name) used to be a form of address to young, not-yet-quite-adult persons", I understood from a Polish former girlfriend that (e.g.,) "Pani Ela" was the polite form of address normally adopted when one was not sufficiently close to address her as Ela (or as Elżbieta) but still close enough not to need to address her as "Pani Kuczyńska".

      Philip Taylor

  18. There are Italian names descended from patronymics that are nearly reduplicative: Galileo Galilei is a well-known example, and also Michelangelo's younger brother, Buonarroto Buonarroti.

    1. I'd suggest a similar solution for our creature: let's rename it 'Glis Gliris'. That would be in line with the above Italian nomenclature, as the -i is (widely?) believed to be a remnant of the Latin genitive singular desinence.

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    2. English has the two adjectives gliriform and glirine, so Glis gliriformis or Glis glirinus would be possible alternatives!

    3. To make the beast appear more Italian than it deserves: Glire Glirini. I already see---in my mind's eyes---questions flowing to pundits like John Wells or Alex Rotatori as to how the initial 'gl' ought to be pronounced.

      'Glire Glirini Comestibile' could be a good pseudonym---alas, our host does not any longer tolerate such.

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