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The Smith quote, using heptamerede to refer to an "inſtrument", doesn't AFAICT match our definition of "¹⁄₃₀₁ of an octave". Nor do any of the references listed in the entry (except perhaps the OED, which I can't see) support our definition.​—msh210 (talk) 19:24, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Nor does the Spanish translation seem to match our definition AFAICT not knowing Spanish.​—msh210 (talk) 19:25, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
The OED entry just says "see quot."; AFAICT, all the referenced "authorities" are making argumenta ad etymologiam which are unsupported by Smith's use. See w:Joseph Sauveur, w:Savart, and User talk:Atelaes#heptamerede ← … ← *ἑπταμερηδ-? for context. I believe Smith uses instrument in the sense "That which is used by an agent in or for the performance of an action; a thing with or through which something is done or effected; anything that serves or contributes to the accomplishment of a purpose or end; a means." (cite: OED, sense 1a). — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 19:31, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for clearing up the issue of the references. Perhaps some caveat should be tacked onto the References section so people don't wonder, as I did, what these sources are being used as references for, as in fact they're not being used as references for anything. And should we remove the Spanish? Re instrument, you mean he means that the unit (heptamerede) is an instrument used to express the interval, as the inch is used to express a length? That does make sense; otherwise, I don't see how an heptamerede can be an instrument, "used... in or for the performance of an action", "a means".​—msh210 (talk) 19:50, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I'll add (a) cavea(n)t to that section later today; when I realised that those dictionaries define the term erroneously, I changed the References header to Dictionary notes, but I was reverted, since "dictionary notes [is] no longer a valid header". I've removed the erroneous Spanish translation. Your analogy of the inch is indeed how I interpret Smith's use of instrument and heptamerede. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 14:28, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I've also removed the Welsh translations because they're unattestable. Besides, they looked badly-formed to me; *seithrannydd would be the form I'd use. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 16:11, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
How will these do as caveant? — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 19:23, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Beautifully IMO (assuming, of course, that they're correct). Thanks.​—msh210 (talk) 19:27, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
All the information I've added to and retained in that entry is accurate to the best of my knowledge. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 21:14, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Pertinent discussion from User talk:Atelaes[edit]

This entry was discussed on Atelaes’ talk page; here is the discussion that ensued:
heptamerede ← … ← *ἑπταμερηδ-?

Hi Atelaes. You might have noticed my request that entries for διμερής (dimerḗs, bipartite), πολυμερής (polumerḗs, multipartite”, “manifold), and τριμερής (trimerḗs, tripartite) be created. They are compounds that feature the combining form (-μερής) of μέρος (méros, part), according to the OED. I have three pertaining questions, and would be most grateful if you could provide me with answers to them. Firstly, are those requested terms' stems διμερηδ- (dimerēd-), πολυμερηδ- (polumerēd-), and τριμερηδ- (trimerēd-), respectively? Secondly, does the analogous term *ἑπταμερής (heptamerḗs, septempartite) exist in Ancient Greek? And thirdly, would it be reasonable to assert that heptamerede represents an etymon — actual or hypothetical — of the form *ἑπταμερηδ- (heptamerēd-)? Any help you can provide would be gladly received. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 11:14, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Raifʻhār, may I begin by asking a rather tangential question? Would you be in any way offended by me addressing you with a version of your name sans diacritics? Admittedly, I don't actually type your name all that often, even when we're having an intense one on one discussion, but it does come up, and the only way I can correctly spell your name is to copy and paste from your signature. While this doesn't take all that long to do, it does rather break up my rhythm. On the other hand, names are a funny thing. My name in real life (Jesse) switches genders when the final 'e' is replaced with an 'i', and people tend to always spell it with that 'i', to my great chagrin. Consequently, I can sympathize with people who are particular about how their names are spelled. So, I would much prefer an honest answer to an accommodating one.
As to your question. Unfortunately, I am in the process of changing residences at the moment, and so lack the time, motivation, and mental clarity to investigate. Oh, and all my books are in boxes :). However, all should be settled in under a week, and I will make a point of researching it very shortly thereafter. One (and sadly, the only) thing I can tell you right off the top of my head is that your hypothesis is reasonable (dependent, of course, upon the word actually existing). There is a regular transformation of sorts which adds a -δη to the end of words ending in -ης, so a *ἑπταμερηδης could be created from a *ἑπταμερής. I don't recall quite what the -δη means, but I almost think it's analogous to the -er in baker, fisher, etc., i.e. a vocation creation suffix, one who does something. When I check on the existence of the words in question, I will try and find some examples of that transformation. As for the requested entries.....I am still of the impression that writing entries by hand is simply too inefficient. Sadly, my plans for automatic bot importation of the LSJ have been derailed, for the time-being at least. However, I have started work on a javascript (i.e. built into the browser) entry creation wizard. My vision is along the lines of Yair rand's newentrywiz, but distinctly more involved and with a lot of automation. Then again, perhaps I'll just do a few the old fashioned way. It is kind of a soothing exercise. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 13:51, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Call me “Raif”; pretty much everyone IRL does. You can easily enter ‘í’ using the key combination Alt Gr + i, which means that typing “Doremítzwr” shouldn't break up your rhythm too much. Is that OK? If Alt Gr + i doesn't work for you that way, feel free to write “Doremitzwr”, sans the acute accent; it happens too often for it to bother me, anyway.
Thanks for your feedback re my specific questions. The analysis of heptamerede ← *ἑπταμερηδης as an agent noun formed from ἑπτά (heptá, seven) + -μερής (-merḗs, part) + -δη (-dē, -er) is consistent with an erroneous but recurrent Spanish translation lo que divide en siete partes (that which divides into seven parts) which I've seen in a number of English–Spanish dictionaries, three nineteenth-century English dictionaries' erroneous definitions (“that which divides into seven parts”, “[a] div[i]der int[o] sev[e]n p[a]rts”), and an English–Welsh dictionary's two otherwise-unattested calques (seithranor and seithranydd = seith- (seven) + ran (part) + -or, -ydd (-er)).
Don't worry about the three entries I requested at WT:RE:grc; they're not very important for me. The creation of an entry (or entries) for *ἑπταμερής (heptamerḗs) &c. would be more useful for my purposes (just because of the link with heptamerede), but my main concern was with getting an answer to my questions so that I could make sure that that English entry's etymology section is as accurate and informative as possible.
You might've noticed that I spend most of my editing time doing high-quality (as opposed to high-quantity) work, as is the case with balanephagous and heptamerede — the former isn't listed in any other dictionary (that I know of), whereas the latter has involved the correction of supposed authorities that make lazy argumenta ad etymologiam. You're probably right that your time ATM is better spent on automatically importing the LSJ, but in the long run, there can be no substitute for manual grunt-work. That's how I justify it to myself, anyway; and it must be said, it is often rather rewarding. :-) Thanks again. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 15:12, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I've created ἑπταμερής, which does in fact exist. Having reread your initial post, I realized that I didn't answer your fundamental question, except perhaps incidentally. The stem of ἑπταμερής, and others like it, is not ἑπταμερήδ-, but rather it is ἑπταμερεσ-. The final sigma drops, and then the ending vowels of the stem play with the beginning vowels of the inflection, and do some crazy things. Of particular oddity is the fact that the noun and adjective of the same stem inflect differently, a fact which I have yet to hear an explanation for. There are some interesting and perhaps helpful notes in the inflection table of μέρος. I could not find any ης -> ηδης examples. It's possible that they exist, and we simply don't have any on Wiktionary. It's also entirely possible that I was quite mistaken that the paradigm even exists at all. Most of the words ending in δης/δής did so as a result of having εἶδος as an etymon. So, it's possible that heptamerede's etymology is ἑπτά + μέρος + εἶδος. Anywho, I'm sorry that I couldn't find you a more definitive answer. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 06:54, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for getting back to me. I've not the time to give a full response now. I have a question: When was the existence of ἑπταμερής first known? Or rather, when would it most likely to have been first known to the editors of the NED (OED, 1ˢᵗ ed.)? I ask, because the OED (2ⁿᵈ ed.)'s entry states that the etymology of heptamerous is hepta- + μέρος + -ous, and that entry is unchanged from the NED's entry (see page 226). I'm wondering whether the etymology is better presented as ἑπταμερής + -ous… Thanks again. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 21:47, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
If the the OED says it's from hepta- + μέρος + -ous, then it probably is. I think we can do nothing but assume they've known it all along. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 00:46, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, I've given the etymology for heptamerous as hepta- + -merous, because the entry for -merous in the OED (draft revision for the 3ʳᵈ ed., June 2010) gives that suffix's etymology as "< French -mère and its etymon ancient Greek -μερής having (a specified number of) parts, sharing (see -MERE comb. form) + -OUS suffix", which is pretty much equivalent to saying μέρος + -ous. Looking again at that entry, it later on in the etymology section says "[a form] in…hepta-…probably originate[s] in English (although [it has an analogue] in Greek)", so that settles it as you suggested; I'll add ἑπταμερής, introduced by "compare".
Would it be accurate to call -μερ- the contracted stem of -μερής, given what the entry for μέρος says? As for heptamerede, does εἶδος form agent nouns? None of its senses seem compatible. What rôle does it play in the words of which it is an etymon?
Thanks again. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 01:32, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it'd be accurate to call -μερ- anything. Granted, it's the only bit that's consistent after all the contractions are done, and so someone who doesn't understand what's going on might be tempted to cite it as something meaningful, but μερεσ- is the root, and I there really isn't such a thing as a contracted root. εἶδος as a combining form is rather analagous to -ish. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 02:52, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm trying to work out how best to explain -merous. It's not true that it's formed from Ancient Greek -μερεσ- + English -ous (which would render *-meresous). The OED is silent on the issue of exact formation, just saying (essentially) "French -mère and/or Ancient Greek -μερής + English -ous"; however, that can't be taken as the whole story, because it results in different forms for the suffix depending on the etymon (viz. *-mèr(e)ous and *-merêsous). In a way I can't quite express, -merous is well-formed on the root of -μερής; I just want to explain how — any ideas?
-Ish forms adjectives, so if εἶδος is truly analogous with it, I very much doubt that it is a part of heptamerede's derivation. In full, the chain (which is given with an ellipsis as this section's title), as I understand it, is: English heptameredeFrench heptaméridehepta- (← Ancient Greek ἑπτά, perhaps with one or more Latin or other intermediary) + mérideAncient Greek ? ← -μερής (comb. form of μέρος) + ? — however, I might just have been in looking in the wrong place (i.e., Ancient Greek), and the -ede / -ide element might be an element from some other language (perhaps French or Latin), though it is doubtful that the spelling of heptamerede would have been regularised from the French heptaméride whilst that uniquely French element (-ide) was retained. I'll ask Martin whether he knows anything about (hepta)méride. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 18:31, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Pertinent discussion from User talk:Mglovesfun[edit]

This entry was discussed on Mglovesfun’s talk page; here is the discussion that ensued:

Hi Martin. How are you?

Atelaes and I are discussing the etymology of the English words heptamerous and heptamerede at User talk:Atelaes#heptamerede ← … ← *ἑπταμερηδ-?. Heptamerede derives immediately from the French word heptaméride, eptaméride (savart), which measures an interval of pitch one-seventh that of a méride (¹⁄₄₃ of an octave), from which word it derives by prefixation with hepta-, epta-. Those terms have etyma in ἑπτᾰ́ (heptá, seven) and -μερής (-merḗs) (-merēs: the combining form of μέρος (méros), meros, “part”) and an unknown element represented by the -ede, -ide ending. Do you know of any element of French or other morphology which could account for the -ide in heptaméride, eptaméride? Even if not, you could really help by creating entries for méride and heptaméride, eptaméride and by contributing to Atelaes's and my discussion in any way you can. Thank you. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 19:06, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Quick answer is no, nudge me in a week if I haven't looked into it. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:50, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
I'll do that. Thanks. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 20:08, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Here is your requested nudge. Please excuse me for being a day early with it. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 13:11, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
French Wiktionary doesn't have an entry for any of the three, and méride is the only one with an incoming link. The TLFi doesn't have it, so there's a lot of work to be done. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:15, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, there probably is. Re the Trésor, look on the bright side — at least you don't have red herrings to throw you off! You should find some useful information under w:Joseph Sauveur and w:Savart. Also, n.b. that there are 3,150 b.g.c. hits for méride, 170 for heptaméride, and 209 for eptaméride. Good luck, and thanks in advance for whatever you can manage. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 13:26, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Just a comment, but the "element of French or other morphology which could account for the -ide" is in fact just -ide, the French form of -id...a standard adjectival suffix for Greek-ish words. Ƿidsiþ 13:42, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your input, but I fail to see how that in heptamerede fits with the glosses "that which divides into seven parts" and "a divider into seven parts". Heptamerous accounts for "divided into seven parts", so that only leaves the sense of an agent noun to be accounted for by the -ede element. A couple of elements of that form have already been proposed, but none have fitted the meaning necessary. Still, thanks anyway. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 14:10, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant to say "standard noun suffix". The -id means "that which" in your definitions, as in the standard ending borrowed from the inflected -id- of Greek or Latin words whose nominative ends in -is. As in Leonid, pycnide, annelid etc. Ƿidsiþ 14:28, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Is the OED's “-id, suffix²”, sense b (“Astr. Added to the name of a constellation to form the name of a meteor in a shower having its radiant point in that constellation, as Andromedid, Leonid, Lyraid, Perseid; also more widely used (cf. BIELID).”) the one you mean? — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 16:01, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
That's the one, obviously not specifically sense b though, which is just for astronomy. Ƿidsiþ 16:06, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
The main sense is “corresp. to F. -ide, in ns. derived from Latin ns. in -is, -id-em, adopted from Greek ns. in -ις, -ιδ-α. Such are carotid (ad. Gr. pl. καρωτίδ-ες), chrysalid, hydatid, parotid, pyramid (cf. F. pyramide). This formative occurs in certain botanical terms, as amaryllid, epacrid, orchid: etymologically these should denote the plants amaryllis, epacris, and orchis respectively, but they are actually used to denote a member of the order of which these are the typical genera (Amaryllid-eæ, Epacrid-aceæ, Orchid-aceæ).” and sense c is “Used as a terminal element in the names of epic poems, as ÆNEID, HERACLEID, THEBAÏD.” — I assume you mean the main sense, yes? — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 16:23, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
If that is the case, wouldn't that mean that the regular form would be *heptamerid? — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 18:28, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Or heptameride, as a French borrowing. And that seems readily attestable form Google Books. (Sorry about all this, MG). Ƿidsiþ 20:55, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Hmmm. But that makes me wonder why Adam Smith would use the spelling heptamerede, and why three dictionaries (including the OED) would list the term under that spelling. I'll do some investigating. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 14:34, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

definition and quotation from the entry[edit]

  1. (acoustics, obsolete, rare) An interval of pitch 1/301 that of an octave; a savart.
    • ante 1790 (pub. 1795), Adam Smith, Eſſays on Philoſophical Subjects, “Of the Nature of that Imitation which takes place in what are called the Imitative Arts”, editorially annexed essay: “Of the Affinity between Muſic, Dancing, and Poetry”, page 184
      The heptamerede of Mr. Sauveur could expreſs an interval ſo ſmall as the ſeventh part of what is called a comma, the ſmallest interval that is admitted in modern Muſic. Yet even this inſtrument, we are informed by Mr. Duclos, could not expreſs the minuteneſs of the intervals in the pronunciation of the Chineſe language; of all the languages in the world, that of which the pronunciation is ſaid to approach the neareſt to ſinging, or in which the intervals are ſaid to be the greateſt.


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Is this attested outside of dictionaries and the one cited work? - -sche (discuss) 09:36, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

It's an obvious typo. Sauveur didn't call it a "heptamerede", he called it a "heptaméride", which is possibly attestable in English (sometimes without the accent). 1, 2, 3, 4 Smurrayinchester (talk) 11:00, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
I would sooner call it a variation than a typo. Regardless, he is clearly quoting the word from a French text (even though there are no quotation marks) and so it doesn't support that this is an English word. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 11:06, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
I can only find it in dictionaries and in this one text (the one quoted in heptamerede). Heptameride seems to be good though. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:33, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Can it be called dictionary-only if it has one non-dictionary cite? --WikiTiki89 (talk) 11:40, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm leaning towards typo because literally every dictionary entry I can find is apparently basing their entry on the same quote, the only use of the word in the whole Google Books corpus. Since the quote explicitly says "The heptamerede of Mr Sauveur", it seems like the writer is familiar with Sauveur's work (so he has the original spelling to hand), and there's no obvious precedent for the change (Google books finds hits for "meride", "eptameride" and "decameride", but no valid hits for "merede", "eptamerede" or "decamerede"). It just seems more likely than a typesetter unfamiliar with the word printed it wrong than for the author to have chosen to spell the word with an "e". Smurrayinchester (talk) 14:40, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Or, the author spelled it the way he pronounced it, neither checking nor caring whether it was spelled the same way in French. He wasn't necessarily staring right at Saveur's work while writing his own. I don't see why either explanation is any less likely than the other. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 14:56, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
I have just created heptameride without realising this conversation was going on. I have put heptamerede down as an alt spelling but if this is a misspelling/typo perhaps it should go. Heptameride (music) seems to be more citable (which I will add shortly) but still a bit iffy as all the cites I could find are explicitly discussions of Sauveur. However, heptameride has other citable senses as well, which I will also add citations for shortly. SpinningSpark 15:10, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
I think heptamerede should be included in Appendix:English dictionary-only terms, but not in the main namespace, as a variant. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 15:29, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
RFV-failed. - -sche (discuss) 17:18, 13 November 2012 (UTC)