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A Grammatical Dictionary of Botanical Latin

Congener: (four words).

NOTE: the Latin words are associated with the verb congenero,-avi,-atum, 1., to beget or produce at the same time; of the same litter; to unite by affinity, connect (Lewis & Short).

1. Noun: Congener, also cogener (Eng. nouns): “another plant of the same genus” (Jackson); (in fungi) “another plant of the same genus” (S&D); “one that bears relationship to another, as a member of the same genus as another plant or animal” (WIII) [> L. com- + gener-, > genus,-eris (s.n.II) birth, kind, race (WIII); however, WIII indicates ‘congener’ derives, not from a Latin noun, but one of the Latin adjectives: ‘of the same race or kind;’ cf. affinis,-is (s.m.III), q.v., ‘a taxonomic ally;’

NOTE: Glare does not list this word in the Latin dictionary: Lewis and Short list it as ‘congener,-eri (s.m.irreg.) ‘a joint son-in-law,’ > L. con- + gener, an irregular noun; see gener,-eri (s.m.irreg.).

NOTE: in all the botanical examples given below, congener is treated as a third declension noun. Classically, the word ‘gener,’ son-in-law, was a second declension noun. Stearn also indicated ‘congener,-i (s.m.II) was a second declension noun as well. However, in the classical period, the dative plural was also irregular: congeneribus, as if it were a third declension noun, not congeneris, with a Decl. II ending. Perhaps during the period of Linnaeus the entire declension was ‘normalized’ or ‘stabilized’ by making the entire paradigm that of a noun of the third declension: Congener,-eris (s.m/f III), abl.sg. congenere; congener, member of the same

genus; member of the same kind, class or group.
       singular     plural 
  Nom. congener    congeneres    congener,-eris (s.m/f III), congener, member of the   
                                 same genus. 
  Gen. congeneris  congenerum  
  Dat. congeneri   congeneribus 
  Acc. congenerem  congeneres  
  Abl. congenere   congeneribus
NOTE: the ablative ending in –e, and the gen.pl. ending in –um indicates that this word is a noun. Were it an adjective, the abl.sg. would end in –i, and the gen. pl. would end in –ium. The nom. and acc. pl. do not end in –ia, as would be the case if it were an adj. modifying a neuter noun.

- antherae iis congeneris minores (F.Mueller], the anthers are smaller than those [i.e. anthers] of its congener [fellow genus-member].

- folia quam in congenere tenuius coriácea et supra magis nitentia. (F. Mueller),

- florum glabritie a congeneribus facile distinguenda (F. Mueller), easily to be distinguished from its congeners [i.e. members of the same genus] by the hairlessness of the flowers.

- alae obtusae addito brevi ungui 2-3"' longae, interdum magis orbiculares, non quam in cunctis congeneribus ovatae (F. Mueller), the alae [i.e. wings] obtuse, with the short claw added, 2-3 [lines] long, sometimes more orbicular, not than in its congeners as a whole, ovate.

- corolla uncia paulo brevior, minus túrgida quam plurium congenerum (F. Muell.), the corolla somewhat shorter than an inch, less swollen than [the corolla] of many of its congeners.

- [Phascum; moss] folia Ph. crispi et rostellati Weisiae generis congeneribus ex habitu, forma et structura adeo similia (C. Muell.) the leaves of Phascum crispum and P. rostellatum are similar to such an extent to congeners of the genus Weisia in habit, shape and structure.

- [mosses] congeneres inter sese affinissimi e foliis atque thecis hic et illic Timmias referentes (C. Mueller), the congeners [i.e. members of the same genus] are very closely related to one another, resembling in this and that the Timmias, from the leaves to the thecae.

- [Acaulon; a nearly stemless moss] nomen ob humilitatem congenerum magnam impositum (C. Mull.), the [generic] name applied because of the great shortness of the congeners [i.e. members (species) of the genus].

- Goethea semperflorens, a nobis non visa, differt inflorescentia; an revera congener? (B&H), Goethea semperflorens, by us not seen, differs in the inflorescence; or perhaps it is really a congener [i.e. member of the same genus].

- dentes congenerum, the teeth of its congeners (gen. pl.).

- PLAGIORHEGMA, species Mantchuriensis, ex habitu et fructu certe Jeffersoniae diphyllae congener videtur (B&H), Plagiorhegma, a species of Mantchuria, from the habit and fruit certainly seems to be a congener of Jeffersonia diphylla.

- Phoenicaulis, certe est congener C. pygmaei, et cotyledones accumbentes exhibet (B&H), Phoenicaulis certainly is a congener of Cheiranthus pygmaeus, and it displays the accumbent cotyledons.

- inter omnes congeneres robustissima species, among those of the same genus the most robust species. 'Congeneres' here is an adjective (nom. pl.) modifying omnes species (plurals).

- species nova a congeneribus diversa, new species from its congeners is different.

- laevitate thecae a congeneribus recedit, by the smoothness of the theca it departs from the others of the same genus (Stearn).

- Arabis falklandica, Hook., a congeneribus differt (B&H), Arabis falklandica Hook. differs from its congeners.

- ex habitu ad congeneres Orthothecae Syrrhopodontium, e. gr. ad O. lycopodioidem accedens, from its habit it approaches to the congeners of Orthotheca, or Syrrhopodon from the group FOR EXAMPLE to O. lycopodioides.

- habitu staturaque Desmatodonti obtusifolio similis, ab hoc et aliis congeneribus foliis margine erectis atque limbo pellucido plus minus distincto superne circumductis statim distinguitur (Austin), with the habit and stature similar to D. obtusifolius, from this and other congeners it is at once distinguished by the leaves with erect margin and also circumscribed by the more or less distinct transparent limb [i.e. bordering edge].

- ab congeneribus Lepidoziae novae-zealandiae amphigastriis subulatis differt, it differs from the congeners of Lepidozia novae-zealandiae by the subulate underleaves.

- ex habitu et fructu certe Jeffersoniae diphyllae congener videtur (B&H), from the habit and fruit it certainly seems a congener of Jeffersonia diphylla.

- [fungus] satis crassus ceterum, gelatinosus, mollis, forma ad congeneres accedebat et historia (S&A), it is quite thick otherwise, gelatinous, soft, in shape and history [i.e. natural development] it resembled its congeners.

2. adjective: congener, congenerous (Eng. adjj.) = congeneric;

congeneric: “having to do with, related; belonging to the same genus, as a congeneric species” (WIII); congenerous akin in nature, origin, or character: related, congeneric (WIII);

congeneric “belonging to the same genus” (Jackson); (in bryophytes) belonging to the same genus (Magill 1990); (in fungi) “belonging to the same genus” (S&D): congenericus,-a,-um (adj.A).

- species (s.f.V) congenerica, a congeneric species, a congener.

- a speciebus congenericis foliis ovatis diversa, it differs from all congeneric species by the ovate leaves.

3. adjective: congener,-eris (adj.B): of the same race or kind; with gen. (Pliny) [> L. genus,-eris (s.n.III) (Lewis & Short)]; cf. congener (Eng. adj.) = congenericus,-a,-um (adj.A).

[Presumably, this adjective is declined like acer (m.) acris (f.) acre (n.) and that it may also have ‘congeneris’ as the masc. nom. sg.]

                     sing.                                   plur.

  Nom.    congener [or congeneris] (m.) congeneris (f.) congenere (n.)  
                                                [congeneres (m.f.) congeneria (n.)] 
  Gen.             congeneris                          congenerium 
  Dat.             congeneri                           congeneribus 
  Acc.  congenerem (m.f.) (congener (n.)    congeneres (m.f.) congeneria (n.)  
  Abl.             congeneri                          congeneribus 
NOTE adjj. ending in -er in the nominative masculine sing. include acer, campester, paluster, silvester, terrester; they also have acris, campestris, etc. as an alternative masc.nom.sg.. Note that in all these examples the ‘e’ is elided before the ‘r’ in all cases except the nom. sg. masc. It would be awkward to delete the ‘r’ in ‘congener, congeneris, congenere’ in the oblique cases (i.e. all cases except the nom.sg).

4. adjective: congener, congenera, congenerum (adj.A): “(of a plant) belonging to the same family” [> L. con- + gener] (note: Glare lists this adjective, but not Lewis & Short). The definition used here, in a classical dictionary, is somewhat puzzling as it suggests a taxonomic meaning. Perhaps = congener,-eris (adj.B), q.v. Note that Glare indicated > L. con- + gener (gener, i.e. a noun applied to a prospective son-in-law; extended to remoter generations” (Glare), i.e. within the family or gens. Congener,-eris (adj.B) of Lewis & Short derives rather from ‘genus,-eris (s.n.III);’ cf.congener (Eng. adj.) = congenericus,-a,-um (adj.A).


A work in progress, presently with preliminary A through R, and S, and with S (in part) through Z essentially completed.
Copyright © P. M. Eckel 2010-2017

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