north-northern or south-southern....

Discussion in 'English Only' started by meral, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. meral Member

    I want to learn about difference between usage of north-northern, south-southern, west-western, east-eastern....and I wonder if there is a determinant factor shaping on these usage differences, because I see "Northern Italy", "North Korea", "northern Iraq", etc. ıf there is a difference between, for example north of Iraq and northern Iraq?

    thanks in advance
  2. Aupick

    Aupick Senior Member

    Strasbourg, France
    UK, English

    I believe North, etc., are used in official names of countries/provinces/states, etc., and are carefully delineated, with defined borders, whereas northern, etc., are much vaguer non-political, non-administrative descriptions.

    North Korea, South Africa, West Virginia and East Timor are countries or states.

    Southern Africa in contrast is, roughly, the group of countries occupying the southern end of the African continent.
    Northern Iraq is roughly a third of the country to the north.
    I say I come from northern England (Manchester), but where northern England begins is subject to debate. People from Newcastle wouldn't say that I come from northern England.

    (Note that North, etc., are usually capitalized, whereas northern, etc., usually aren't.)
  3. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English
    English is not that consistent.
    I've never heard anyone say North Ireland, it's always Northern Ireland.

    In Australia, we have the Northern Territory.

    Rhodesia was divided into Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia, which later became Zambia and Zimbabwe.

    Before Germany was re-united, both West Germany and Western Germany were used.
  4. A90Six Senior Member

    England - English.
    My tuppence worth.

    North is a noun.
    Northern is an adjective.

    I do not deny that ther are anomalies!

    Northern Ireland is the area of Ireland still annexed to Britain. In Ireland it is referred to as The North (and I think sometimes, The North of Ireland).

    Australia provides such anomalies as Northern Territory, Western Australia, and South Australia. Perhaps there is some historic reason for these.

    Agian, I don't know the history, but was Rhodesia a country with northern and southern areas that were eventually split to make two countries?

    I have never heard Western Germany used to replace West Germany.

    Northern England is also reffered to as The North. It is generally regarded as beginning at the southern boundaries of Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire, although all southerners know that The North begins at passport control on the southern boundary of Watford.:D
  5. meral Member

    I think there is some ideological and political references for different usages on this point and history is full of artificial frontiers drawn in accordance with interests of big powers or something like that. sory for my bad English but try to learn. Of course language is the main instrument of expression, so it is natural that there has been a distinction, like between "northern" Iraq and "Northern" Ireland, isn't it?
    why not north of Iraq but northern Iraq?
  6. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    North can be a noun <North Dakota> or an adjective <north Louisiana>.
  7. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Even more inconsistent than you're letting on! Don't you also have states named Western Australia-- and South Australia? That's almost as jumbled-up as the situation in Texas.
  8. A90Six Senior Member

    England - English.
    Did you miss it?
  9. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
  10. A90Six Senior Member

    England - English.
    Fair dos.

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