Thanks Nigel = nigelc
for your latest post about EU languages
, ISO standard 2-letter
and 3-letter language codes
, and endonymic
and exonymic glossonyms
As usual, your post adds helpful and relevant information to this thread. I will add here some related terms, together with further consideration of some terms you defined, on the principle that a "second pass" will serve as reinforcement of your information, while allowing me to add some related information.
Some linguistic terms ending in -nym
Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure is widely considered to be one of the forefathers of both
linguistics and semiology, which is the philosophical study of the interpretation of signs and symbols.
Naming things is a fundamental part of language. The names compactly encode information, and allow us to remember, to record and to communicate effectively.
English words ending with the suffix –nym
classify various kinds of name. The suffix comes from Greek ὄνομα
ónoma — name
Two familiar examples:
— a second word with similar meaning to that of a given word. From Greek σύν
sún — with
— a second word with opposed meaning to that of a given word. From Greek αντί
antí — instead
Endonyms and exonyms
, various kinds of names are either endonymic
(words in the principal language of a location where the things named occur naturally) or exonymic
(words in a non-local language). The prefixes endo-
come from Greek ἔνδον
éndon — within
éxō — out
, Greek αὐτο
aúto — self
, from Greek ξένος
xénos — foreign
The term autonym
was introduced into linguistics by James A. Matisoff, who remarked: "Human nature being what it is, exonyms are liable to be pejorative rather than complimentary, especially where there is a real or fancied difference in cultural level between the ingroup and the outgroup."
As a place name example, London
is an endonym/autonym.
The following are some cognate exonyms/xenonyms (where cognate
means the names are derived from the spelling or pronunciation of the endonym):
in Catalan, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Tagalog; Λονδίνο
[Londino] in Greek; Londen
in Dutch; Londra
in Italian, Maltese, Romanian and Turkish; Londer
in Albanian; Londýn
in Czech and Slovak; Londyn
in Polish; Lundúnir
in Icelandic; Lontoo
in Finnish; Lúndūn 伦敦
in Mandarin; and Luân Đôn
More ethnolinguistic terms
— name of an ethnic group. From Greek ἔθνος
éthnos — nation
— name of inhabitant of a country. From Greek δῆμος
dêmos — people, tribe
— name of a language. From Greek γλώσσα
glóssa — language
Synonyms: glottonym, linguonym.
— a place name, especially one derived from a topographical feature, such as Table Mountain, Cape Town. More generally, in human geography
, a toponym is the name by which a geographical place is known.
• patronym = patronymic
(noun) — personal name derived from the name of a father or ancestor, such as Johnson, O'Brien, Ivanovich. From Greek πατρό
patró — father
• matronym = matronymic
(noun) — personal name based on the given name of one's mother, grandmother, or any female ancestor; English matronymic family names include Parnell, Hilliard, Marriott. From Greek μήτηρ
méter — mother
Note: Patronymic and matronymic can also be adjectives; it would seem natural to reserve them as adjectives and to use patronym and matronym as the corresponding nouns.
Some other -nym words not directly related to ethnolinguistics:
• eponym — name of a real or fictitious person whose name has given rise to the name of a particular item.
• allonym — a name that is assumed by an author but that actually belongs to another person.
• pseudonym — a fictitious name, especially one used by an author.
• aptronym — a person's name that is regarded as amusingly appropriate to their occupation.
• acronym — an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word, such as ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange.
• metonym — a word, name, or expression used as a substitute for something else with which it is closely associated; sometimes described as "the container for the think contained". For example, "Canberra" is an Australian metonym for the Federal government.
• homonym — each of two or more words having the same spelling and pronunciation but different meanings and origins, such as "pen" —a holding area for animals, or "pen" — a writing instrument.
• hyponym — a word of more specific meaning than a general or superordinate term applicable to it: for instance, spoon is a hyponym of cutlery.