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Country names

Posted: 2015-03-07, 5:47
by Lazar Taxon
For inconsequential reasons, I'm interested in Neo-Latin names for modern countries. It's usually not too hard to figure out the basic form (the difficulty mostly arises when you have to decide between an older form like Lusitania and a newer one like Portugallia), but what I find monumentally frustrating is the lack of information on vowel length. Very few Neo-Latin sources bother with macrons, and those that do tend to disagree with each other. You could say, "Who cares? just use your own approach," but I'm struggling to even find a consistent approach. Here are some of the cases that are bugging me – focusing, for now, on Europe:

I wouldn't have expected a long vowel here, but I saw one source that spelled it Bōsnia.

The analogy of Sarmatia and Dalmatia argues in favor of Croatia, but a lot of sources seem to prefer Croātia.

Hungaria, Bulgaria
There seems to be no agreement on whether -aria or -āria should be used. I would imagine that both countries should take the same approach, right?

Jūgoslāvia? Jugoslāvia? Jugoslavia? I have no idea.

Classical analogies would seem to favor Lithuānia, but who knows?

Moldavia, Moravia
I can't find any indication, but I think the analogy of Batāvia and Scandināvia would argue in favor of -āvia.

Polonia, Lettonia, Estonia
Classical precedent gives us examples like Macedonia and Calēdonia, but nonetheless several sources use Polōnia, so I'm uncertain about all three of these.

I saw one source that spelled it Rūssia.

I can't find any indication of whether it should be Slovacia or Slovācia.

I can't find any indication, but the analogy of Armenia argues in favor of Slovenia.

So… any advice?

Re: Country names

Posted: 2015-03-07, 10:45
by linguoboy
For the mid vowels, can't you just look at modern reflexes? For Armenia, Catalan has Armènia and Italian agrees in having an open vowel here, corresponding to a short Latin vowel. Of course, most your examples involve a, but this still affects stress placement. For instance, Romance languages agree in placing the stress on the a in croata, implying a long vowel in Latin.

Re: Country names

Posted: 2015-03-07, 17:31
by Lazar Taxon
Yeah, looking at it further, I think Italian and modern Greek can be of help.

– Italian has Croàto contrasted with Dàlmato and Sàrmato, so I think I'll go with Croātia.

– In Italian, Estonia and Lettonia both have –one forms associated with them just like Macedonia, and they're both spelled with omicron in modern Greek. So short o's for them. Poland, on the other hand, doesn't have an -one form in Italian, and it's spelled with an omega in Greek, so I'll use Polōnia.

– Based on Italian Ùngaro and Bùlgaro, I think I'll use short a's for both of those countries.

– Slovenia uses epsilon in Greek, just like Armenia, so it looks like the e should be short.

– For Slovakia, Italian has Slovacchia, which I think argues in favor of a long a (cf. pūblicus, pubblico).

Re: Country names

Posted: 2015-03-08, 12:52
by Bernard
Lazar Taxon wrote:... I think Italian and modern Greek can be of help...
Plane tecum consentio. :waytogo:
Forsitan legenda sint etiam carmina mediae et infimae Latinitatis; hexametri enim aliique versus utiles videntur esse.
Ecce duo exempla:
Hungăria] Ianus Pannŏnius poeta in epigr. 1, 1, 1 (hexameter): „Cum videt Hungărici vectum ad fastigia regni“.
Moldāvia] ibd. 1, 9, 1: “Dum fera Matthīae premitur Moldāvia regi”.