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The ending -o makes a stem into a noun. The ending -a makes a stem into an adjective. The ending -e makes a stem into an adverb:
|energio = energy||energia = energetic||energie = energetically|
|diskreto = discretion||diskreta = discreet||diskrete = with discretion|
|vespero = evening||vespera = evening||vespere = in the evening|
|hejmo = home||hejma = domestic||hejme = at home|
|nokto = night||nokta = nocturnal||nokte = at night|
|tagmezo = noon||tagmeza = midday||tagmeze = at noon|
|posttagmezo = afternoon||posttagmeza = afternoon||posttagmeze = in the afternoon|
|fanatiko = fanaticism||fanatika = fanatical||fanatike = fanatically|
|kunulo = companion||kunula = companionable||kunule = companionably|
A noun is, in general, the word used to name a person, animal, place, thing, idea, or abstraction. Words like “house,” “Gerald,” “militarism,” “Connecticut,” and “hypochondria” are nouns. A pronoun is used in a sentence to take the place of a noun. Words like “she,” “it,” and “myself” are pronouns.
Esperanto nouns (and their associated adjectives) form plurals by adding -j, producing a pleasant-sounding diphthong modeled on Greek.
|bienisto = farmer||bienistoj = farmers|
|elefanto = elephant||elefantoj = elephants|
|koloro = color||koloroj = colors|
|trogo = manger, trough||trogoj = mangers, troughs|
|granda hundo = big dog||grandaj hundoj = big dogs|
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The meaning of a noun may be amplified with a prepositional phrase, nearly always following the noun:
Such structures can be converted to compound words by attaching the object of the preposition (with or without its final -o) as a prefix to the noun and omitting the preposition. The -o is usually omitted unless its presence eases pronunciation (in the opinion of the speaker).
This is possible only if context still makes the meaning clear.
Note that the result is not necessarily the same as that of an adjective-noun compound:
As long as the meaning remains clear, the compound can of course become an adjective (ending in a) or adverb (ending in e), just as any other stem can:
Just as the linking -o- is optional, a hyphen may optionally be placed between the joined elements:
Since the word esperanta means “hoping,” the language name Esperanto tends to be compounded this way in preference to using the adjective Esperanta, although Esperanta does occur as well.
When two noun roots are linked, the linking vowel, if it is included, is -o-, but sometimes elements are linked that are not both nouns. Usually nothing special needs to be done to show the precise relationship between them because it is obvious:
|de diversaj koloroj = of various colors||diverskolora = multicolored|
|kiu donas profiton = which gives a profit||profitdona = profitable|
|de alta nivelo = of a high level||altnivela = high-level|
|nenion fari = to do nothing||nenifarulo = a do-nothing|
Occasionally the two elements have an original grammatical relationship between them that requires a different ending on the first element:
|unua rango = first rate||unuaranga = first-rate|
|bele kantinta = having sung well||belekantinto = person who sang well|
|lasta tempo = recent time||lastatempe = recently|
|parolantaj angle = speaking English||angleparolantoj = English speakers|
|nenion fari = do nothing||nenionfarulo = a do-nothing|
(Notice that “a do-nothing” is in this list as nenionfarulo and in the previous list as nenifarulo. Both were suggested by readers of earlier drafts of this book. And both are colloquial. Although the guiding logic must be observed, it is often the case that there is more than one “correct” form. Some stylists regard the shortest correct form as slightly preferable.)
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Note that a structure is possible in English but not in Esperanto: the piling up of a series of nouns each of which modifies one or more of the ones that follow: “Orange County gun control activist hater” is meaningful in English, but consists entirely of nouns. The relationships among the elements are shown entirely by word order. In Esperanto it is also essential to show the relationships, but differently, since no free-standing noun ever modifies the noun that follows it.
(The last, "silly" line is the same as the "wrong" one, but it is technically possible because it is a single noun; the first was a string of nouns, each with its own final -o.)
It is usual for proper names used as titles of things to follow the nouns they refer to. The article la is usually used when the named item is unique. Some writers put quotation marks around the proper name, especially if it does not follow standard Esperanto spelling:
*-The hyphenated usages (Tang-dinastio, etc.) are not particularly graceful Esperanto, but they are common to virtually all publications from China and have become more or less standard when speaking of China. I recommend against extending this to any other part of the world. It makes less jarring Esperanto to live in la ŝtato Connecticut than in Connecticut-ŝtato (or in Kanetikat-ŝtato!).
A minority usage links the proper name with a hyphen as a prefix: Cornell-universitato. People who speak languages with a modifier-before-modified word order (like English or Chinese) tend to create more compounds of this kind than is normal in Esperanto. Thus Chinese dynasties and provinces are routinely referred to in Chinese publications as, for example, Hunan-provinco or Tang-dinastio, where more international usage would say la provinco Hunan and la dinastio Tang.*
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In Western Europe and America the family name follows the given name: Adelle Hanson is Ms. Hanson. In East Asia the family name comes first: Wang Delu is Mr. Wang. In other regions usage also varies. To simplify identifying the surname, it is common (although not yet universal) to write the surname all in capital letters: WANG Delu, Adelle HANSON, Yoram BILU, HUĜIMOTO Tacuo. I recommend this procedure. (In Japan some Esperantists capitalize the first name but not the given name: Huĝimoto tacuo. This usage is limited, so far as I know, to Japan and Korea.)
The original rules of Esperanto permit one to omit the final -o of a noun (never a final -oj or -on!). The missing -o is replaced with an apostrophe. The stress remains where it was, so the effect is to have the noun end with a stressed syllable. This is common in poetry. Notice what a mess it would make of the following translation of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” if we could not omit the final -o’s on two nouns.
|Sur la ŝafido de Meri’||On Mary’s lamb|
|ŝaflano neĝe blankis;||the fleece was snowy white;|
|ne gravis kien iris ŝi,||it didn’t matter where she went,|
|ŝafid’ neniam mankis.||the lamb was never lacking.|
|—Derek Roff||(Literal translation)|
The omission of the final -o of a noun is most common in poetry, but it occasionally occurs in other contexts, sometimes humorously:
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The so-called accusative case is marked in Esperanto with the letter -n at the end of adjectives, nouns, or pronouns. When there is a -j to show the plural, the -n follows the -j:
Some grammarians regard the expression “accusative case” as referring to a relationship between a noun and a verb; others consider it to refer to a distinctive form of a word (in Esperanto, any form to which the ending -n has been added). This second is the definition we will use here. In Esperanto the accusative ending may be added to nouns, pronouns, adjectives, or adverbs of location.
The direct object of a verb in Esperanto is always in the accusative case. In English, the subject and direct object of a verb are shown by word order. In Esperanto, they are shown by the presence or absence of the accusative ending -n. For this reason, word order is much more flexible in Esperanto.
Viro mordas hundon.
= Man bites dog.
|Hundo mordas viron.
= Dog bites man.
|Hundon mordas viro.
= Man bites dog.
|Viron mordas hundo.
= Dog bites man.
|Viro hundon mordas.
= Man bites dog.
|Viron hundo mordas. |
= Dog bites man.
Although in principle the subject, verb, and object may occur in any order, in fact, there is a tendency for Esperanto word order to be very similar to English word order, although this is by no means inevitably the case. Since grammatical information is shown in Esperanto word endings, fluent speakers feel free to vary word order for emphasis or stylistic effect. If you assume the word order of an Esperanto phrase parallels English, you will be right some of the time, but you will be misled sooner or later. I suggest making it a practice to try to create Esperanto sentences in which the word order does not follow the English pattern in order to try to break the habit of depending on word order for grammatical information. Instead of saying Ĉu vi deziras kukon? = “Do you want cake?” try to remember to say Ĉu vi kukon deziras? or Ĉu deziras vi kukon? or Ĉu kukon vi deziras?
The fact that there is a clearly marked accusative form leads to some efficiencies not shared with English. For example, sometimes we do not need to repeat a verb for a second clause:
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When a preposition indicates location, the accusative of movement is used to shift its meaning to location toward which the action proceeds.
The movement away from a place, by the way, is expressed by adding the preposition de before the preposition. No accusative is necessary:
The accusative is not used after the prepositions al = “to,” el = “from,” or ĝis when it means “as far as,” since these prepositions already show motion:
Since some adverbs also indicate location, the same -n device is used to indicate “motion toward” expressed by adverbs:
*-Older English sensibly had “there,” “thither” (= “to there”), and “thence” (= “from there”) and “where,” “whither,” and “whence,” but that was about the extent of it.
In modern English this distinction between “place where” and “place to which” is not often shown in the words themselves* We must depend upon the verb and the context to tell us whether “there” means “at that place” or “to that place” (= “thither”). In Esperanto the -n is always used in adverbs showing motion towards a place, so that tien and hejmen always indicate “place to which” while tie and hejme always show “place where.”
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In his original publication of Esperanto, Zamenhof provided (as rule 14) that when no other preposition was clearly applicable, the “generic” preposition je could be used. Alternatively, the accusative case could be used. This must have been the result of some very deep thinking on his part. Many times it is difficult to decide what the “natural” relationship is between a verb and its complement. Why do we “see” something but we “look at” it? Why do we “hear” something but “listen to” it? Why do we “thank” somebody but “speak to” the same person? Why the “at” and the “to”? How should we expect Esperanto verbs to act?
*-Although Zamenhof probably intended the preposition/accusative alternation to be confined to je, it was early extended to other prepositions, most conspicuously to al in actual practice.
Zamenhof’s ingenious solution allowed great flexibility, and several intransitive verbs are found just as often with an accusative as with a preposition.*
Even so-called travel verbs, though more rarely, sometimes undergo this change:
*-Readers of early drafts of this book universally condemned such forms, although I have heard some of them use them in unguarded moments, as I do myself. The use of -n instead of al to show an indirect object may be the Esperanto equivalent of the English illiteracy “ain’t.” Everybody seems ashamed of it, but it ain’t easy to stamp out. For pronouns it corresponds of course with a common turn of phrase in Romance languages.
Some speakers even use the accusative as a way to express the indirect object, although this usage is considered substandard:*
The opposite process also occurs, and a direct object becomes the object of the preposition al. This happens when a causative verb with the suffix -ig- takes two objects, one for the root, and the other for the causative suffix. This is treated in detail in Section 12.4.5, but we can anticipate it here.
*-It is also possible, if uncommon, to separate the -ig- and make it a separate word, as in English: Mi igos ŝin aĉeti la kolbason. This is not actually bad Esperanto, so long as it is not overused. More than once a month counts as overuse.
Note that aĉet-ig-os has two objects, one for aĉet- (she is buying a sausage) and one for -ig- (we are making her do it). It is usual to convert whichever of these is the person into a prepositional phrase with al:*
Poetry, often pushing grammar to its limits, is another area in which occasionally a direct object turns into a prepositional phrase, usually with al:
*-E. Mieželaitis (1971) 1986 Homo. Trad. Petras Čeliauskas. Vilnius: Vaga.
The accusative ending -n is generally used in greetings consisting of a single noun phrase:
*-The related verb is dankas. One thanks someone or “to” (al) someone “for” (pro or por) something: Mi dankas al vi por/pro ĝi. = “Thanks for that.” (Pro is generally preferred over por in thanks.) Zamenhof used the expression Dank’ al to mean “thanks to.” It is apparently a short form of [Estu] danko al … = “[Let] thanks be to …” A common expression is Dank’ al Dio, ke … = “Thank God that…”
One explanation for the accusative in these expressions is that these forms are shortened from full sentences beginning Mi deziras al vi … This helps the usage seem logical, but the hypothetical “full” forms are virtually never used.
*-In the case of names of holidays or of days of the week, most speakers observe a distinction between accusative (one time) and adverb (many times). But most speakers use both expressions in both meanings. If you really want to stress, say, every Christmas, it is clearer to say ĉiun Kristnaskon than to depend upon your hearer interpreting the -e that way.
Names of days (including names of days of the week, which, by the way, are not capitalized) are normally used with the -n ending to mean on such and such a day or to mean every such-and-such a day. An alternative to this is the adverb ending -e.*
*-With the element foj- = “time,” it is common for the form foje to mean “once” (= unufoje = unu fojon) rather than “sometimes” (= kelkfoje = kelkajn fojojn). This is a matter of comparative frequency, however: some speakers do in fact use foje for “sometimes” or “a few times,” so you should be prepared for such a usage. Foje never means “every time” (which is ĉiufoje or ĉiun fojon).
With months and years, it is slightly commoner to use a preposition: en februaro = “in February.” *
Dates are usually given with an ordinal number:
To indicate the date of an action, the preposition je or (much more commonly) the accusative is used:
In measurements of time, distance, or quantity of anything, the unit of measure often functions to complement the verb, and tells us how much of something is involved. In this circumstance, the accusative is usual in Esperanto, substituting for dum, je, and other prepositions.
Personal names are nouns, and can reasonably be expected to end in -o , like other Esperanto nouns. But there is a wide latitude in this, since people’s names already exist in other forms in their home languages. There is no strong need for proper names to end in any particular letter. Many Esperantists over the years have preferred that even Esperantized names end in -a for women and -o for men (Paŭla and Paŭlo, for example). Many common European names have more or less standardized Esperanto forms: Johano, Miĥaelo, Maria, Ana, Ludoviko, etc.
Some people prefer to retain the national-language pronunciation but respell the name in Esperanto orthography. For example, “Mike” = Majk, “Jane” = Ĝejn.
Others keep the original spelling but change the pronunciation to match it. For example, I pronounce my last name, Jordan, “Yordahn” in Esperanto; people can still find me in the telephone book that way.
Still others translate their names into Esperanto words with the same meanings. Thus “Hope” becomes Espero, “June” becomes Junio, and so on. This is reasonable only when the result is not silly. “David” is derived from a Hebrew word meaning “beloved,” but I have never met a David who went around calling himself Amata in Esperanto!
Some people leave the original spelling but give a figured pronunciation in parentheses after it and expect people to learn to pronounce it despite the non-Esperanto original spelling. If I did that I would spell the name Jordan (Ĝordn) and pronounce it as I do in English.
Finally (and least helpfully), some people write and pronounce their name exactly as they do in their native language, leaving it to the listener or reader to “wing it.” That only works if both parties already speak the same language, which defeats the point of Esperanto in the first place. Obviously this is to be avoided!
Recommendation: Dealing with foreign names is a problem in any language, and there is no perfect solution. Remember that for at least some Esperanto speakers, your name, no matter how simple it seems to you to be, is potentially difficult. Furthermore, names that cannot be pronounced can seldom be remembered. Here are some ways to try to make life easier for your fellow speakers:
From the name of a place, one can use the suffix -an- to create the name of a person who is associated with the place:
|Novjorko = New York||novjorkano = New Yorker|
|Berlino = Berlin||berlinano = Berliner|
|Amazono = Amazon River||amazonano = Amazonian|
|Peruo = Peru||peruano = Peruvian|
|Kongo = Congo||Kongano = Congolese|
|Usono = USA||usonano = American|
|Hongkongo = Hong Kong||Hongkongano = Hongkonger|
|Irano = Iran||iranano = Iranian|
|Tunizo = Tunis||tunizano = person from Tunis|
(This is not the only use of the suffix -an-. See the section on affixes.)
From the name of an ethnic group, one can use the suffix -uj- to create the name of a place that is associated with that group:
|franco = a Frenchman||Francujo = France|
|polo = a Pole||Polujo = Poland|
|ĉino = a Chinese||Ĉinujo = China|
|kurdo = a Kurd||Kurdujo = Kurdistan|
|heleno = an ancient Greek||Helenujo = ancient Greece|
|berbero = a Berber||Berberujo = land of the Berbers|
When the place associated with the ethnicity roughly corresponds with a modern state, the form in -uj- is usually used as the name of the country (such as Francujo = “France”). Other -uj- forms have nothing on modern political maps that exactly corresponds to them (such as Kurdujo = “Kurdistan”). The geographically dispersed world of Esperanto speakers, by the way, is often affectionately designated Esperantujo, which defies graceful translation into English, since “Esperantoland” sounds like a theme park.
The basic meaning of -uj- is “container” or “producer” of something, and it is used for baskets and boxes, as well as (especially in early Esperanto) fruit trees. (See the section on affixes.) Thus Francujo is literally a “container of Frenchmen.” There is something slightly silly about the idea of containers of Frenchmen, however. Further, many names for countries end in -ia in several European languages, and some people feel that -io is therefore most appropriate in Esperanto. To make things more complex, the word lando = “country” early came into use to make compound names for countries (as in Skotlando = “Scotland” or Pollando = “Poland”). Thus Francujo and Francio are in use, and Franclando is not by any means impossible. If there is a trend, it is for -i- to replace -uj- most of the time in modern Esperanto.
Since-i- was not originally designated for this usage, nouns ending in -io are not always country names.
Furthermore, unlike -uj-, -i- often cannot be removed to make the name of a resident.
Unfortunately, in some countries (especially in Spain and Latin America) the name of the capital is the same as or closely similar to the name of the country. Examples are Guatemala and Mexico (with capitals also called Guatemala and Mexico). Some Esperantists have experimented with using the base form for the name of the capital and the -i- suffix for the name of the country. (Thus Meksiko is the capital, populated by meksikanoj; and Meksikio is the country, inhabited by meksikianoj.)
There are two problems with this. First, it flies in the face of already ingrained international custom if Mexico is Meksikio in Esperanto when it is simply “México” in Spanish and most other languages. The same goes for Mexicans being meksikianoj rather than simply meksikanoj. More importantly, however, it would logically also apply to subordinate levels of administration, changing province and region names all over the Spanish-speaking world, and possibly in other regions as well, often for terms that lack established Esperanto names anyway. (Albacete is both a city and a province in Spain. Must we create Albateto and Albatetio as contrasting Esperanto names?)
It gets worse. Brazil has its capital at Brazilia. Should Brazilo be the country and Brazilio the capital, following Brazilian usage in Portuguese? That would offend our growing Esperanto sense that country names should end in -io, especially when contrasting with names of capitals. But if one makes Brazilio the country and Brazilo the capital, one reverses Portuguese usage, which has been borrowed into most other languages and has become international usage. This leaves Esperanto high and dry as “odd man out” against ingrained habits around the world.
Note that when the root designates a member of an ethnic group (such as franco), the country is the derived form (Francujo), but when the root designates a region (such as Kanado), it is the resident of the region that is designated by the derived form (kanadano).
It was probably a mistake from the beginning to allow regional names derived from ethnic group names to do secondary service as names of political entities, since it produces a division between national states that seem to be conceived of as monoethnic and those that seem to be seen as polyethnic.
|Kanado = land of kanadanoj||Britujo = land of britoj|
|Usono = land of usonanoj||Francujo = land of francoj|
|Irano = land of irananoj||Japanujo = land of japanoj|
|Venezuelo = land of venezuelanoj||Egiptujo = land of egiptoj|
|Tibeto = land of tibetanoj|
*- -The traditional Esperanto name for India, Hindujo, was derived from the (ethnic) name of the inhabitants, hindoj = “Indians.” Fascinatingly, Hindujo is rapidly being replaced today by the country name Bharato (or Barato). Citizens of that land are therefore bharatanoj, a citizenship category rather than an ethnic one.
Zamenhof probably did not really think of nations this way. But European languages generally agreed in making approximately such a distinction, and Zamenhof, seeking internationality, generally followed them. Thus Rusujo (Russia) was the land of the Russians; never mind that non-Russians lived there too. But Usono (USA) was a root in itself, and a resident of it took his national identity from the name of the country, whatever his ethnic identity might be. Norvegujo took its name from its residing norvegoj, while Tibeto gave its name to the tibetanoj who dwelt there. Whether the unmodified root named a person or a place was, in the end, the result of the historical evolution of the European languages that contributed to it.*
There are three practical results for Esperanto usage:
|-o &-ano||-io/-ujo & -o||English|
|Koreo : koreanoj||Koreio : koreoj||Korea(ns)|
|Brazilo : brazilanoj||Brazilio : braziloj||Brazil(ians)|
|Meksiko : meksikanoj||Meksikio : meksikoj||Mexico, Mexicans|
|Egipto : egiptanoj||Egiptio : egiptoj||Egypt(ians)|
*-One of the most acrimonious recent discussions has been over the name for Korea. Using the form Koreo/koreano (just as in English we say “Korea” and “Korean”) has been traditional in Esperanto and still has support. However it seems to imply that Koreans are not also an ethnic group, which some Koreans find offensive. Most (not all!) Koreans now use the form koreo for a Korean and Koreujo or Koreio for the country.
An interesting aspect of this problem is differing opinions about where authority ought to lie to make a decision. One position argues that Esperanto speakers in the country concerned should establish the usage that pleases them. The opposite position argues that the Esperanto Academy possesses both the moral authority and the view of the overall system to make the best decision. There is room for honest disagreement on this, as well as for considerable hot-headedness.
My prediction is that usage will eventually decide that each country has an invariant name (often but not always including the emergent suffix -i-) to which -an- is added to name a citizen. We will see the appearance of such forms as franciano for a citizen of France. Names of ethnic groups will then emerge as a separate, often similar, set of roots, to which the suffix -uj- will be added to designate the “community” of the people designated by the root. Thus Ĉinio will mean China (as it already does); ĉiniano will be a citizen of China; ĉino will be an ethnic Chinese anywhere in the world; and Ĉinujo will refer to the international “Chinese community” or “Greater China.” When the name of the country does not have any strong historical relationship to any particular ethnic name, there will, as now, be no corresponding (and confusing) ethnic group term.
|Francio ||franciano ||franco ||Francujo|
|Rumanio ||rumaniano ||rumano ||Rumanujo|
|Ĉinio ||ĉiniano ||ĉino ||Ĉinujo|
|Malajzio ||malajziano ||malajo ||malajujo|
|Bharato ||bharatano ||hindo ||hindujo|
|Koreio ||koreiano ||koreo ||Koreujo|
This evolution of the language has not yet fully taken place, even though hints of it exist, so it is best to stick with ordinary usage.
Esperanto is not alone in facing such problems. In English we find such spelling doublets as Peking and Beijing, Ceylon and Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and Hongkong (and Xianggang for that matter), Moldova and Moldavia, or alternative names like Falklands and Malvinas. English too is unclear about whether a “Chinese businessman” is of Chinese nationality or Chinese ethnicity (or whether a “Chinese specialist” is even Chinese). On the whole, Esperanto has approached the problem more methodically than English has and shows better signs of evolving real clarity in this area.
Recommendation: (1) Follow the usage of your hosts when traveling or of your guests when you are the host; some of them may feel strongly on the matter. (2) Prefer forms ending in -land when they are already common (Skotlando, Pollando). (3) use -i- in preference to -uj- most of the rest of the time. (4) Given a choice, I tend to resist forms that introduce the -i- into country names like Mexico and Brazil. It seems clearer to designate the capital of Mexico as Meksikurbo and simply to let the city of Brazilia remain Brazilio. I find I am almost never misunderstood this way.
Here is a table of nation names in Experanto as presented by the Universal Esperanto Association in its 2010 yearbook (p. 278), together with their official two-letter abbreviations as developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 3166), and their English names. It is here organized in Esperanto alphabetical order.
|AG||Antigvo k Barbuda||Antigua & Barbuda|
|BA||Bosnio k Hercegovino||Bosnia-Herzegovina|
|CF||Centrafriko||Central African Republic|
|GQ||Gvineo Ekvatora||Equatorial Guinea|
|CG||Kongo (Rep.)||Congo (Rep.)|
|CD||Kongo DR (Kinŝaso)||Congo (Zaire)|
|KP||Korea PR (Pjongjango)||North Korea|
|KR||Korea Respubliko (Brazavilo)||Korea (Rep.)|
|KR||Korea Respubliko (Seŭlo)||South Korea|
|TL||Orienta Timoro||East Timor|
|KN||Sankta Kristoforo k Neviso||St. Kitts and Nevis|
|LC||Sankta Lucio||Santa Lucia|
|VC||Sankta Vincento k Grenadinoj||S. Vincent & Grenedines|
|ST||Santomeo k Principeo||Sao Tome and Principe|
|SA||Saŭda Arabio||Saudi Arabia|
|TT||Trinidado k Tobago||Trinidad & Tobago|
|AE||Unuiĝintaj Arabaj Emirlandoj||United Arab Emirates|
*-Other considerations sometimes enter in. In the Plena Ilustrita Vortaro, for example, Oregonio as a state name contrasts with Oregono as a river name. The same device distinguishes Koloradio, the state, from Kolorado, the river.
Note that a few American state names already end in -io, based on their English forms in “-ia” (e.g., Kalifornio). Some speakers tend to extend this also to other states (Floridio and Alaskio, for example), although even more people say Florido and Alasko, letting the Esperanto follow along after the English.* If we were to decide consistently to use -io for all US state names, the world would probably honor (and possibly even applaud) our preference, but what would we do about some of the less obvious cases? (Maryland = Mario? Mariio? Marilando? Marilandio? Illinois = Ilinio? Ilinojio? Ilinojzio?* )
*-The Plena Ilustrita Vortaro gives Ilinojso, by the way, ignoring the state-river distinction.
Recommendation: State names should probably remain as close as practical to the English original, consistent with being pronounceable in Esperanto. Sometimes it may be best even to leave a name un-Esperantized (Illinois). At least a foreign friend can find the state on a map that way! A resident of a state is named with -an- whatever the root: kaliforniano, ilinojsano, Illinois-ano, etc.
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