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Introduction - Name Properties and Concepts - Nominal Concepts

Namebank records can be grouped together by lexical type to form nominal, or lexical, concepts. Every NameBank record is assigned to a nominal group. Nominal groups account for the variations that can exist for the same term.

Records linked by a common nominal group identifier can fall into one of the following categories.

Lexical types

Members of a nominal group are assigned a lexical group qualifier that provides additional metadata concerning the NameBank record within the context of the group. Current nominal qualifiers are listed below. Default value is 'lv."

lexical qualifier definition
lv general lexical variant; contains the following subclasses
 pf reviewed, preferred representative of the lexical group
 cf canonical form of the name
 ms misppelled lexical variant
 ab abbreviated form (name only)
 cv lexical variant by alphanumeric case (case differences)
The remaining lexical qualifiers are term variants
crs chresonym
non name and non reference

Lexical variants (lv)

Some string concepts describe distinct string forms of names that may vary only slightly within a lexical group. This includes distinct name/author pairs.

Gerardia paupercula var. borealis (Pennell) Deam
Gerardia paupercula (Gray) Britt. var. borealis (Pennell) Deam
Gerardia paupercula (A.Gray) Britton var. borealis (Pennell) Deam
Gerardia paupercula borealis
Gerardia paupercula borealis (Pennell) Deam
Pomatomus saltator Linnaeus, 1768
Pomatomus saltator Linn.

Canonical form of a name (cf)

The canonical form of a name is the lexical form of a name that has been reduced to it's simplest form. For polynomial scientific names, the canonical form consists of the genus, species and infraspecific names without author, infraspecific rank, or nomenclatural annotation. In cases where a combination name includes a subgenus, the canonical form does not include the subgenus. Nomenclatural homonyms will produce identical canonical forms.

nameString cf
Pomatomus saltator Linnaeus, 1768 Pomatomus saltator
Gerardia paupercula (Gray) Britt. var. borealis (Pennell) Deam Gerardia paupercula borealis
Aotus Illiger 1811 Aotus
Aotus J.E. Smith 1805 Aotus
Loligo (Loligo) pealei Loligo pealei

Preferred form of a name (pf)

The preferred form of a name is that member of a lexical group that has been reviewed by an authority within the taxonomic domain and determined to be the most fully qualified form of the name.

Misspellings (ms)

Misspelled names within NameBank are not corrected by changing the incorrect name string. The misspelled name is added to a lexical group that contains the correctly spelled form and is qualified as a misspelling with a lexical name qualifier.

Pomatomus correctly spelled form
Pomatomix misspelled form

Case Differences (cv)

Name strings that differ only in alphanumeric case are candidates for unique NameBank identifiers. These rarely are recorded within the current NameBank but they occur occasionally.


Abbreviated Names (ab)

The abbreviated form of a scientific name. This qualifier is provided for completeness and currently the indexing of these forms is not encouraged. Mapping a cited abbreviated form to a more fully qualified lexical group can provide the means to disambiguate an otherwise ambiguous abbreviated name.

P. N. tetradactyla Barkow, 1862 Das Leben der Walle, p. 17
H. planifrons Kellogg, 1940 Nat. Geog. Mag., 77(1): 68

Chresonyms (crs)

NameBank indexes published name and author combinations that do not follow formal nomenclatural conventions. For example, some taxonomies list chresonyms within their synonymies. A chresonym is a name and author pair where the author refers to a published use of a name instead of a reference to the original author. These chresonyms often are disseminated and are often hard to distinguish from traditionally cited names.

Xysticus cristatus Levy, 1976
Xysticus cristatus Levy, 1985
Xysticus cristatus Azarkina & Logunov, 2001

Non references (non)

This type of name represents a taxonomic concept that asserts that the referenced data object is NOT the name combination originally described by the cited author. The name this exclusive assertion references, however, is the name+author combination cited and does not designate a new, homonymous type and therefore the term is placed within the lexical group. In addition, non citations are under subjective interpretation and refer in reality to entities that may be or not of the named species. Such taxonomic distinctions are an attribute of a taxon, and not a lexical, concept.

Adioryx furcatus (non Günther, 1859)
Acentronura gracillima (non Temminck & Schlegel)

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