Canadia
Posted: 09 June 2014 03:26 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The Australian PM recently made an error in which he referred to Canada as “Canadia”. He quickly corrected himself, just one of those errors that can occur in speech, I suppose.

Most of the places that end in -a but not -ia have demonyms formed by the addition of an -n.

Some exceptions among national demonyms:

-a +ese
Burmese*, Guyanese, Chinese, Maltese

+nian
Panamanian (This is interesting in that Panama is the most similar named nation to Canada in terms of stress placement).

-a +ian
Canadian, Argentinian
Among the US states, we could also add Floridian, Carolinian, Alabamian. Of these, Florida has similar stress placement to Canada.

So what do you think is behind it? Did someone decide Canadian sounded better than Canadan? Is there some other historical reason?

*Burman has previously sometimes been used as a general demonym for Burma and is still used to denote a particular ethnic group = Bamar)

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Posted: 09 June 2014 03:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The OED entries, which are old, first edition ones, indicate that the difference comes from Latin. Both the -an and -ian suffixes are variations on the Latin -anus suffix. In Old French, the Latin suffix became -ain, changed in English to -an, or if following the letter < i >, -ian. Hence, Italia > Italian, and explaining why the Australian PM inserted a < i >. In words not coming from Old French, the choice of suffix may be indiscriminate.

But in the case of Canadian, the answer is simpler. The word is from the French Canadien. I can’t speak to the development of the French word.

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Posted: 09 June 2014 05:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Dave Wilton - 09 June 2014 03:55 AM

The OED entries, which are old, first edition ones, indicate that the difference comes from Latin. Both the -an and -ian suffixes are variations on the Latin -anus suffix. In Old French, the Latin suffix became -ain, changed in English to -an, or if following the letter < i >, -ian. Hence, Italia > Italian, and explaining why the Australian PM inserted a < i >. In words not coming from Old French, the choice of suffix may be indiscriminate.

But in the case of Canadian, the answer is simpler. The word is from the French Canadien. I can’t speak to the development of the French word.

Well, I guess that beats all.

The Font Of All Wisdom says:

Alors que Jacques Cartier employait le terme « Canadien » pour faire référence aux résidents iroquois de la colonie, le terme a ensuite été appliqué aux sujets français nés au Canada, puis aux habitants des deux colonies.

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nom_du_Canada

So perhaps Cartier invented the term, and I will need to ask him about it. Perhaps he was driven to distraction by people mistakenly calling him Carter.

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Posted: 10 June 2014 05:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The English version of OPT’s link has this to say on the origin of the word ‘Canada’:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_of_Canada

The name of Canada has been in use since the earliest European settlement in Canada, with the name originating from a First Nations word kanata (or canada) for “settlement”, “village”, or “land”. The name Canada is pronounced /ˈkænədə/ in English, [kanada] in standard French of France, [kanadɑ] in standard Quebec French.[1] In Inuktitut, one of the official languages of the territory of Nunavut, the First Nations word (pronounced [kanata]) is used, with the Inuktitut syllabics ᑲᓇᑕ.

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Posted: 10 June 2014 06:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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It’s on the Big List too.

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