[Zoobank-list] Protonym, aponym, chresonym

Alain DUBOIS sapo421 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 5 15:28:45 GMT 2008

Dear all,

I am the editor in charge of the subsection "Nomenclature" in the section
"Theory" of the journal "Zootaxa". As such, I just received a copy of the
messages by David Eales and Richard Pyle on the Zoobank-list regarding the
terms protonyms, datanyms and related terms and concepts. The discussions in
these messages are interesting, but they miss the existence of a whole body
of literature on these questions. I suggest it could be useful to look at
these papers. Links to most of them as pdfs are available in my publication


Particularly relevant to this discussion are the following references in
this list:

In English: 224 in Dumerilia, 274 & 281 in Biosystema, 278 in BZN.
In French: 266-269 in Zoosystema.

In all these papers, I use the technical term"nomen" for a scientific name
as recognized in the Code. A "holplonym" is an available nomen, an
"anoplonym" an unavailable nomen ("nomen nudum" + other cases), an
"exoplonym" is an invalidated nomen.

Any hoplonym is created under a given form, its "protonym" (term created in
my paper 224 in Dumerilia, 2000). Any change in the spelling, onymoph or
rank of this nomen is an "aponym".

As for subsequent usages (or citations) of nomina, I use the term
"chresonym" (derived from Smith & Smith's term "chresonymy"). This nomen may
be used either for the same taxon as that for which the nomen was created:
it is then an "orthochresonym". If used for another taxon
(mididentification), it is an "heterochresonym".

Many other terms were created in the publications listed above and others to
be found in my publication list. I think these terms cover many of the
situations discussed by David, Richard and others, and I see no reason to
create new terms for the same concepts. I suggest "priority" should also
work to choose the vaid term among several designating the same concept.

I do not discuss these questions at more length here, until you have had the
opportunity to look at my papers.

Let me just mention another problem, that of the formation of the term
"datanym", which is barbarian, being half Latin and half Greek in origin.
All other terms in "onym" (synonym, homonym, protonym, etc.) derive from the
Greek "onymos" (name) combined with another Greek term or several.

I was unable to acess the links given by David in his contribution of 2
March 2008 (for the details about the term "datanym") as well as that given
by Richard in his message of 6 March 2007 regarding Bungartz's discussion of
"protonym". These sites appear to be (temporarily?) disabled. It might be
useful to post copies of these texts to all users of the Zoobank-list. I had
no time yet to check this detail, but it seems to me that David's "datanym"
is just identical with my "heterochresonym".

Berst regards,


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