Akmajian

humvee

Senior Member
Cantonese and Mandarin
Recently I've been doing some research into the origin of names. I came across this one and every source I found labelled "origin unknown or origin uncertain". Is this a Slavonic name or what?
 
  • Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,
    Recently I've been doing some research into the origin of names. I came across this one and every source I found labelled "origin unknown or origin uncertain". Is this a Slavonic name or what?
    I'm guessing Armenian.
    I must say that this was my first guess too (because of the word final -jan (or -yan).

    Could you please gives us a bit more context? Do you have more information that could help us help you?

    Take good care,

    Frank
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    I'm guessing Armenian.
    If you mean the first name it cannot be Armenian just due the ending, because such ending is typical only for the surnames. In Grabar (Ancient Armenian) it was Genitive Plural ending and expressed possesiveness. In modern Armenian it's a suffix making adjectives from the nouns. Such suffixes as English -an and French -ien are of the same IE origin.
    I heard many Armenian names but to me this name doesn't seem Armenian, though I cannot be sure for 100 %, of course. But here is a list of Armenian names (in Russian) http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Список_армянских_имён and there is nothing alike.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    But there are plenty of Armenian names beginning with "Aga-", Maroseika; I also can only guess, but probably a merger of <g> and <k> occasionally happened either in Armenian or else through another language of the broader Caucasus region.

    (Also, if such a merger were in any way likely - which I am unable to judge, I'm only guessing - it could be also of Turkic origin; "Aga" or "Agha" was a military title in the Osman Empire, and elsewhere is part of surnames, e. g. in Bosnia.)

    Which reminds me, we still don't know whether this name originally was (or is) used in the Caucasus region, or do we? As I see it, we only have guesswork so far (including mine :)).
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    If it were a surname it might have Turcic origin. -ayan is a typical suffix for Turkish participles, for example, such as acymayan < acimak (to feel sorry) or akmayan < akmak (to flow). Participle as a surname is quite possible, I guess. But we must check how this name is read: [-jan] or [-ʤan]. The latter of course is typical not for Turkish, but for Armeninan or Persian In the latter ending -yan there is of quite different origin being a complex of two endings: possessive -i- and Plural -an-.
     
    Hello,

    That could be Akmajian. In Turkish, "akma" is one of the words for "resin" and "akmacı" (c is pronounced as j) could be the man who sells resin and similar stuff. Such surnames, the Turkish word for the profession plus the suffix -iyan, are common among the Armenians (I do not know what it is like in Armenia, that is common mainly among the diaspora and the Armenian community in Turkey).
     

    humvee

    Senior Member
    Cantonese and Mandarin
    Hello buddies
    Y'all are very learned and willing to help. Thanks!
    In fact I'm doing research into the etymology of names of linguists.
    Like Saussure, Sapir, Jespersen, Chomsky, Lakoff and many more.
    And I found names like Saussure, Lakoff and Akamajian weird.
    Akamajian's full name is Adrian Akamaijian.
    I read an introductory linguistics textbook written by him.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    So we know now that the bearer of this name was an US citizen, but we still don't know if his roots were Armenian. However, with chrysalid's explanation about a possible root in Turkish, and the (possibly) Armenian ending, this at least seems to be likely.
     
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