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A Grammatical Dictionary of Botanical Latin

usque (adv.): at every point, through and through, from (a place or position) ... to, (in space or time) up to, all the way to, continuously, as far as (usually followed by ad with object in acc.). The position of usque is usually before the preposition, but sometimes is placed after the noun; see 'ad,''to'; cf. tenus (prep. with abl): up to, as far as, reaching to;

- ala dorsali a folii medio ad apicem usque continua, dorsal wing from the middle of the leaf to the apex continuous;

- usque adhuc, up to now, until now

- usque ad apicem, up to the tip

- usque ad Floridam, as far as Florida

As listed by Glare (2006) the functions of the Latin word 'usque' include:

1. an adverb used with a variety of prepositions, of which the most common is 'ad' + acc. With the ablative preps. 'ab, ex' it means 'all the way from, all the way out of);

- costa usque ab base ad apicem robusta, with a costa robust all the way from the base to the apex.

- ex apice usque ad basem, from tip to base.

- costa cellulis adaxialibus ex apice usque ad insertionem quadratis praedita, costa provided with adaxial cells quadrate from the apex all the way to the insertion.

- lamina e basi sinus dorsalis usque ad basem folii plicata, lamina plicate from the base of the dorsal sinus to the base of the leaf.

- una specie usque ad Europam et Asiam extensa (B&H), with one species extended to Europe and Asia.

NOTE: the use of 'ad' with numerals under 'ad (prep. + acc.)'.

2. a preposition + acc. of place to which, up to, as far as;

- usque apicem, as far as the apex.

- parte connata usque ad 6(-9) cellulas lata, with the connate part to 6(-9) cells wide.

- petalis ad tertiam partem usque digitato-multifidis (Boissier), with the petals digitate-multifid up to a third part.

3. with limits in time, ab + abl. 'from,' ad + acc. 'to';

- pileus flavus usque ab juventute ad vetustatem, the pileus yellow from youth right up until old age.

4. up to a specified amount, limit, or total;

- numeri usque a quattuor ad centum.

- ab ovo usque ad mala, from egg to apples, 'from beginning to end,' that is, from the beginning of a Roman meal, to the end.

- [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.

5. as an adverb, usque may modify verbs and other adverbs, but Glare gives no single instance where 'usque' is used in conjunction with an adjective, hence the word 'usque' does not appear to be used with adjectives. For example 'pileis cupreis usque brunneis' 'with pilei copper-colored to brown' is not appropriate, it seems, as Glare gives no instance of adjectives modified in this way by 'usque' as an adverb. In every instance where 'usque' is used with a preposition or as a preposition, a noun in the accusative case is required.

6. NOTE: 'usque' used with numerals.

All numerals are adjectives and hence modify nouns. Cardinal numerals are indeclineable adjectives (excepting the numerical adjectives 'one, two, three,' and 'thousands' which are declined) and hence are unaffected in case and gender and not affected by prepositions; see 'numeral;' note that all the numerals modify centimetrum, millemetrum, metrum;

- folia usque ad 14 cm attingentes, leaves up to 14 cm attaining.

- cellulis usque ad 8 um diametro, with cells up to 8 um in diameter.

- capitulis usque 4 cm longis, with heads up to 4 cm. long

- arbores usque 15 m, trees to 15 meters.

NOTE: all the numerical adjectives (Arabic numerals 14, 8, 4, 15) in these examples modify the neuter nouns cm (centimetrum), um (millimetrum) and m (metrum), which as objects of the prepositions 'ad' and 'usque,' are all in the acc. case.

NOTE: fractions are also adjectives modifying nouns;

- amphigastria saepe usque plus quam 0.25 partes longitudinis divisa, amphigastria often to more than 0.25 part of the length divided.

- petiolis comparate longioribus, 1/8 usque ad 1/3 partem longitudinis foliaris (non usque ad 1/10 partem), by the petioles comparatively longer, 1/8 up to 1/3 part of the leaf length (not to 1/10 part).

NOTE: other units of length as points of reference may be used other than inches, centimeters, etc., such as the length of something (teeth, hairs) in reference to the cells of which it is composed:

- ciliis usque ad longitudinem 4(5) cellularum longis, with cilia as far as the length of 4(5) cells long.

- ciliis per longitudinem 4-5 cellularum longis, with cilia long through the length of 4-5 cells

NOTE: neither 'usque' nor 'ad' is used in phrases such as 'flavus ad ruber' or rubrum, 'yellow to red' - botanical convention routinely uses two conventions:

1. 'vel,' = or; 'vel' in Latin ordinarily suggests a choice between two discrete things, either one or the other, but in botanical prose convention 'vel' expresses the end members of a range of variation;

- petalis rubris vel flavis, with petals red to (i.e. or) yellow.

- foliis lanceolatis vel ovato-lanceolatis, with leaves lanceolate to (i.e. or) ovate-lanceolate.

2. in terms of color or other qualifiers (non numerical adjectives), use of the preposion 'e', 'ex' + abl. 'indicative of change of state' (Stearn 1983) with the adjective of the modifying color in the ablative.

- pileus ex olivaceo brunneus, pileus brown (from olivaceous).

The advice given by Stearn, however, does not indicate what gender or number to which the ablative ending should relate. I suggest the quality 'from' which there is a gradation should modify the word 'status' (s.m.IV), hence there is only one gender (masculine) and one number (singular), hence the adjective occurring after the preposition e, or ex, ends in only -o or -i;

- petala ex [sc. statu] rubro alba, petals from red to white

- lamina ex ovato deltoidea, with the lamina deltoid from ovate; lamina ovata vel deltoid

- petalis e [sc. statu] pallide luteo dilute aurantiacis, with petals dilute orange from a pale yellow.

- foliis e brevi longiusculis, with the leaves from short to rather long.

- arboribus e suffrutescenti dendroideis, with trees from suffrutescent, dendroid.

- capsula e rotundo cylindrica, capsule roundish cylindric..

3. also use adverbs (laeviter lanceolatus); also the hyphen: ovatis vel ovato-ellipticis.


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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