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A Grammatical Dictionary of Botanical Latin

than: see quam; cf. praeter "more than, beyond" (prep. + acc., 2B);

NOTE: quam (adv.): derived from the acc. sg. feminine of the relative pronoun (qui, quae, quod);

1. quam (conj. after a comparative) functions as a coordinating conjunction meaning ‘than;; it connects two items being compared; the same case or construction follows ‘quam’ as that which precedes it, that is, both nouns are in the same case;

- foliis quam petiolis brevioribus, with the leaves than the petioles shorter (dat. or abl. plural).

- cellulae marginis non maiores quam cellulae folii interiores, cells of the margin not larger than the inner cells of the leaf (nom. pl.).

- foliis ramulinis quam caulinis brevioribus, with branch leaves shorter than the stem leaves [dative or ablative].

- folium medianum latius quam apicale, median leaf wider than the apical leaf [nom. or acc.].

- pileus juvenis latior quam maturus, young pileus wider than the mature pileus [nom.sing.].

- thecis maioribus quam gemmis, with the thecae larger than the gemmae [dat. or abl.]

- lumen minus quam papilla, the lumen smaller than the papilla [both nom.].

- lumen minus quam papillam, the lumen smaller than the papilla [both acc.]

- genus vix magis a Buckinghamia differt quam sectiones Grevilleae inter se, the genus scarcely differs more from Buckinghamia than the sections of Grevillea between themselves [to each other] (B&H) [note ‘magis’ is a comparative adverb].

- major usus aurium quam oculorum, greater use of the ears than of the eyes [both gen. pl.].

2. NOTE: when the first element to be compared is in the nominative or accusative case, ‘quam’ may be omitted, but the second element is then in the ablative case, the ‘ablative of comparison;’ e.g. virtus (nom.) est praestantior quam aurum (nom.) (or) praestantior auro, virtue is more excellent than gold.

- foliis petiolis brevioribus, with the leaves than the petioles shorter.

- foliis ramulinis caulinis brevioribus, with branch leaves shorter than the stem leaves.

- trichomatibus rubris pilis glandulosis brevioribus, with the red trichomes shorter than the glandular hairs.

- folium medianum apicali latius, median leaf than the apical wider.

- pileus juvenis maturo latior, young pileus than the mature one wider.

- thecis gemmis maioribus, with the thecae larger than the gemmae.

- lumen papilla minus, lumen smaller than the papilla.

- lumine papilla minore, with the lumen smaller than the papilla.

- pedicellis glabris perigonium aequantibus vel eo brevioribus, with pedicels glabrous equalling the perigon or shorter than this.

- bracteis acutis, pedicellis brevibus aequantibus vel iis duplo longioribus, with bracts acute, with short pedicels equalling [them] or two times [greater than] these (abl. pl.).

- stylus parte conjuncta parte libera triplo breviore, style with the connected part three times shorter than the free part.

- ovarii rudimentum villosulum, integrum, staminibus paulo brevius, the vestige of the ovary villosulous, entire, somewhat shorter than the stamens (B&H).

NOTE: in the sentence: "folia 9-plo longiora quam latiora, leaves 9 times longer than broad,“ the use of two comparatives, e.g. longiora and latiora connected by quam, is generally considered preferable to a comparative followed by a positive, e.g. folia 9-plo longiora quam “lata." (Stearn 1984);

- setis 2-plo longioribus quam achenii longitudine, with the bristles 2-times longer than the length of the achenium.

- valvae capsularum 7-9(10)-plo longiores quam latiores, the valves of the capsules 7-9(10) times longer than wide.

- setis foliorum caulinorum rigidioribus quam robustioribus, with the bristles of the stem leaves more rigid than strong.

NOTE: in Cassell’s dictionary there is the note (under the entry ‘than’) that “after the comparatives amplius and plus, minus, minor, major, ‘than’ is left out altogether, and the numeral is still expressed in the same case as if it had been used;”

e.g. amplius sunt sex menses, there are more than six months; plus ducentos milites desideravit, he desired more than 200 soldiers; minus trecenti perierunt = less than three hundred (men) died; major (minor) quam octo annos natur, ‘born more than (less than) eight years [ago], i.e. more (or less than) eight years old’; this same meaning may be expressed in the following ways, but note that in all these instances, the comparative in the examples given is always in the singular and in the nominative, i.e., like an adverb, it does not appear to be declined; note also ‘octo’ is an indeclineable numeral (as are all cardinal numbers except the first three: 1,2,3 which must be declined):

        major (minor) octo annos natus, born more (less) than eight years 
        major (minor) octo annis natu 
        major (minor) octo annis 
        major (minor) octo annorum 

- plus ducentae setae crescentes (nom. pls.), more than 200 setae growing.

- foliis basalibus minus quinque alas efferentibus, with the basal leaves less than 5 wings producing (abl. pl.).

- plus partem dimidiam foliorum pilosam, more than the half part of the leaves pilose (acc. sg.).

- minus 300 sporarum abortivae (sunt), less than 300 of the spores abortive (nom. pl.).

- sporae minus 300 abortivae sunt, less than 300 of the spores abortive (nom. pl.).

- amplius sunt quatuor loculi, there are more than four loculi.

- minus sunt quatuor loculorum, there are less than four loculi.

- sporophyton plus decem capsulas efferens, sporophyte producing more than 10 capsules.

- minus quinque perichaetia fertilia sunt, there are less than five perichaetia fertile.

- folia duplicia quam numerus ramorum, the leaves double than the number of branches.

NOTE: ‘than’ used with aliter (adv.), ‘otherwise, in another manner than;’ aliter ... quam, ‘other than, otherwise than, in another manner than;’

- sed species aliter quam in Prodromo distribuendae, but species should be distributed otherwise [in another manner] than in the Prodromus.

NOTE: with potius (adv.), i.e. suggesting one thing is more correct than another; rather, preferably, more than;’ potius...quam, rather by the... than...;

- genus potius habitu quam characteribus definitis limitatum, the genus more limited by the habit than definite characters.

- potius ratione et consilio quam virtute vincere, to conquer rather through cunning device than through bravery.

- sed differt potius lamina rotundata (quam cordulata), potius bracteis hypanthium aequantibus (quam 1/2 longitudinis hypanthii), but it differs more by the lamina rounded (rather than cordulate), more by the bracts equaling the hypanthium (rather than 1/2 of the length of the hypanthium).

NOTE: with magis (compar. adv. from the root magnus), more, to a greater extent, rather, more completely; opposite of minus (adv.) 'less;'

- glomeruli e sporis compressione magis diffractis quam dissolutis compositi, glomerules composed of spores by pressure more break into pieces than separate.

- caulis flaccidissimus itaque magis decumbens quam erectus, the stem very flaccid and so more decumbent than erect.


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 2010-2018

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