Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-11-2019, 10:22 PM
Lamoral's Avatar
Lamoral is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Fenario
Posts: 2,771

Monegasque and Basque


Why do these nationalities, and these two alone, have the suffix "asque"? Is it due to grammatical rules of French word construction?
  #2  
Old 08-12-2019, 02:34 AM
UDS is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 8,829
Basque comes from the Latin vasco, an inhabitant of Vasconia, which is the Latin name of the region we now know as the Basque Country. However it's likely that the Romans called Vasconia after the people who lived in it, rather than the other way around. The etymology of vasco is uncertain, but it may be derived from a Celtic word meaning top or summit, so it may be that it meant "the people who live up in the mountains" or something of that kind, and it may have been the name applied to the Basques by their Celtic-speaking neighbours.

I think the common ending with [i]Monégasque[/] is probably coincidental. The French word is a borrowing from Italian, Monegasco. In Ligurian and Piedmontese dialects of Italian. -asco is a not uncommon suffix to indicate origin in or connection with a particular place. So, Monegasco, person connected with Monaco.
  #3  
Old 08-12-2019, 02:44 AM
Nava is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 42,227
The Basque root for Basque is eusk... euskaldun, person who speaks Basque; euskera or euskara, the Basque language; etc.

So at a guess, the Romans just did the usual transcription. Pronunciations have shifted in the intervening 2000 years and change; in Basque, both pronunciations and declensions change by dialect; the Basque spellings are themselves recent, as Basque stayed a largely-unwritten language until the late 19th-early 20th century.
  #4  
Old 08-12-2019, 03:03 AM
MrDibble's Avatar
MrDibble is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 25,877
The two aren't related. Basque is just a frenchifying of the Latin ethnonym Vascones via Vasco, whereas Monegasque uses the -asque variant of -esque, and while not applied to any other countries, it is applied to a lot of other towns (which, let's face it, is all that Monaco is). Those towns are all either in Italy or Alpes-Maritimes, and derive from the Ligurian and Lombard languages, rather than Italian (which would be most of the the -esque ones):

Bergamasque
Brigasque
Cômasque
Crémasque
Ezasque
Mentonasque
Peillasque
Pignasque
Roquebrunasque
Royasque
Sanrémasque
Tendasque
Triorasque
Turbiasque
  #5  
Old 08-12-2019, 03:08 AM
MrDibble's Avatar
MrDibble is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 25,877
Quote:
Originally Posted by UDS View Post
In Ligurian and Piedmontese dialects of Italian.
I would quibble with this - only the Italians considers these dialects, most everyone else considers them languages - they have a distinct enough history and cultural identity, with enough internal dialectal variation, to more than qualify as such .
  #6  
Old 08-12-2019, 08:27 PM
UDS is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 8,829
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
The Basque root for Basque is eusk... euskaldun, person who speaks Basque; euskera or euskara, the Basque language; etc.

So at a guess, the Romans just did the usual transcription. Pronunciations have shifted in the intervening 2000 years and change; in Basque, both pronunciations and declensions change by dialect; the Basque spellings are themselves recent, as Basque stayed a largely-unwritten language until the late 19th-early 20th century.
It it generally accepted that basque comes from euskera? As pointed out above, some authorities suggest a Celtic derivation; that we get the word not from the Basques themselves, but from their neighbours.
  #7  
Old 08-13-2019, 03:31 AM
Nava is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 42,227
I said "at a guess".

RAE doesn't get into that, but the notion of getting the word from "Celtic neighbors" the way some names of Native American nations were obtained from their own neighbors and that this Celtic word has no relationship with the Basque word which sounds very close to the Latinate word assumes one, a lot less mixing of ethnolinguistic groups than existed in the Peninsula at the time the Romans decided they'd rather conquer it than set up colonies (the way previous foreigners had); two, that those other neighbors were encountered before the Basques themselves were (Hannibal's troops included both Basque and Balearic mercenaries, chronicles of his exploits being the first time the Basque are mentioned in writing; Greek and Carthaginian merchants sailed up-Ebro until almost current-day Logroño); three, that somehow those neighbors had come up with a similar-sounding word to the Basque one with no relationship to the Basque word.

And as for "the people on the mountains", it just doesn't make sense unless "the mountains" is used to apply to a whole chunk of mountains, flatlands, hills and rocky seaside north of the Ebro.

Last edited by Nava; 08-13-2019 at 03:35 AM.
  #8  
Old 08-13-2019, 03:42 AM
Nava is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 42,227
I also didn't say "from Euskera", I said "from eusk..." The root, not the nominative of the language. "Eusko" is the possessive in most dialects and can be used as an independent word or as part of a word, for example in the name of the political party Eusko Alkartasuna, "Basque Union/Solidarity" (Elhuyar gives the second word as Elkartasuna).
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:35 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017