Thursday, February 23, 2006

 

Ending in "A"

Haven't you ever wondered why so many country names, or names of US states, end in "a"? Quite a mystery.

Comments:
That's the start of my name, but I digress... Scientists say that language evolved as a form of synesthesia that meant we could better understand each other, find food, that sort of thing. Maybe it has something to do with finding/conquering new places, and the first letter in the alphabet.
Maybe people were thinking what to cal it in mid-sentence. "What are you goig to call this place, Bill?"
"Aaaa....merica! Yes, that's a good name..."
I sometimes do that when I am trying to find something :-)
 
Mama

Dada

Nana

Papa

Oma

etcetera...

Some things demand a name that can be cried out.
 
"Aaaa...linguistica!" Maybe the 'a' naturally signifies that most elemental of nouns, the place. So it would be "Americ," "Nigeri," "Russi" "Estoni," "Sant Barbar," the places of being named with the suffix "a..."
"..ours is a bastard tongue..." My cat says this topic smells more terrestrial than galactic.
 
Maybe it has something to do with the female aspect. In Western languages, nouns ending in 'a' tend to indicate the feminine. Also, many cultures refer to their land with maternal references. I guess Germany would be an exception.
 
Ya I agree that it denotes a "place". Very popular in giving a location to otherwise invisible, but felt, concepts or adjectives. For example: erotica, psychedelia, schizophrenia... Also it will create plural of a singular concept: suburbia, quanta. And also attributes a feminine quality to the word. Where does this feminine come from? Perhaps it comes from Gaia, which from Greece, means "Earth as Goddess" and has percolated into many languages to feminize nouns and other linguistic variables. Very fitting.
 
I think it's just fine. When I dream I dream of a great big letter "A". With a whole bunch of little bitty "a"s floating all around. Inka dinka do.
 
They sound Latin...

Gail
 
"A" is almost universally the first vowell sound pronounced "MA" therefore the earliest vowell sound mastered in the lifelong preoccupation with survival. Countries, america canada etc, are macrocosms of home, security and survival. All my daughter's names end in "A" . I ate Manna to survive. Some look to Allah Jehovah and Buddha for protection and solace. Etcetera!
 
no i havnt but i think its bcuz they r too lazy to sit and think about it so they just use the 1st letter in the alphabet
 
It's likely the Latin effect on the European languages. America does not end in 'a' in Cantonese (if I remember correctly).
 
What I find more interesting than place names is what hey call their inhabitants. Who decided if the residents of a place will be "ans", "ians", "ers", "ites", "wegians", or something else? I've always found this fascinating.
 
The Natives(Indians) had already named most of the areas inhabited by the settlers over here in the Americas(North and South) before the Europeans arrived. And "we" just ended up keeping most of the names because it was easy. You can take that to the bank!
 
I would rather consentrate on the U.S. rather than other countries. I say most names of states are derived from a language already existing when white man arrived. Mostly American Indian & some Spanish.

Not only state names, but mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, bays, counties,cities & a host of other things.

It's perfectly natural to do so. Imagine attempting to conjure names of tens of thousands of areas & geographical features without using this method.

As far as ending in "A", the name chosen coincidentally ended that way in the language.

I would much rather have most chosen this way than to have had groups of white men from foreign countries pick names associated with their foreign country.

To do it the way it was done retains the flavor of this area, rather than someone elses.
 
Well we couldn't come up with a name for all our letters eh? So we call them all together by the first two (in greek form)Alpha and Beta. Perhaps if you checked out the symbols and objects each letter originally represented you might find a more fulfilling answer, eh? I think the letter A was a bull or ox (like a bull Alephant)so it's like a leader, kind o' macho EH? not as wimpy as say , eh, eh? which brings to mind , well , say weren't the french helpful in the american revolution ? ahh those were the days my friend.
 
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