Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A demonym or gentilic is a word that denotes the members of a people or the inhabitants of a place.
- -an or -ian (America -> American)
- -ite (Vancouver -> Vancouverite) (mostly cities)
- -er (London -> Londoner) (mostly cities)
- -ish (Spain -> Spanish) (mostly countries)
- -ese (Taiwan -> Taiwanese, Vienna -> Viennese) (mostly East Asian and Francophone locations, from the similar-sounding French suffix -ais)
- -i (Iraq -> Iraqi) (mostly Middle Eastern locales)
In some cases, both the location's name and the demonym are produced by suffixation, for example England and English (derived from the Angle tribe). In some cases the derivation is concealed enough that it is no longer morphemic: France -> French.
In a few cases, demonyms are borrowed from other languages or adapted in a process of linguistic mutation where English demonyms are similar to those of other languages (Kosovo -> Kosovan (English demonym) -> Kosovar (Albanian demonym also used in English)).
Demonyms can be nouns or adjectives. In many cases the noun and adjective forms are the same (Canadian/Canadian); in other cases they are different (Spaniard/Spanish, Slovene/Slovenian). In some of the latter cases the noun is formed by adding -man or -woman (English/Englishman/Englishwoman, the obsolete Chinese/Chinaman/Chinawoman).
Often the name of the Language is the same as the demonym.
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