Russian: suffix -it in "оdessit" (person from Odessa)

AndrasBP

Senior Member
Hungarian
Hello,

Does anyone know the origin of the suffix -it in the Russian word оdessit (одессит = an "Odessan", a person from Odessa)?
Are there any other city names that use this suffix?
 
  • Perseas

    Senior Member
    Greek
    The suffix -ite exists as I can see here in Greek, Latin, also in some modern languages. If this suffix isn't a Russian element, it can be a Greek influence considering the city's relations with ancient Greeks. In Greek it's Οδεσσίτης/οdesitis.
     

    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Thank you, that must be it.
    I'm pretty sure it isn't a Slavic suffix.

    Do you know if the Latin suffix -ites was borrowed from Greek, or do they both come from the same Indo-European root?
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    In a nutshell it says that the Latin suffix was borrowed from Greek.
    Seems odd, surely Latin had a similar associative ending before contact with Greeks, how did they use to say 'she's Roman/Greek'? Maybe they just said 'she is from Rome/Greece'.
     
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    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Seems odd, surely Latin had a similar associative ending before contact with Greeks,
    Probably yes. The page I linked above refers to two -ite:

    Origin of -ite 1
    Middle English < Latin -ita < Greek -itēs; often directly < Greek; in some words representing French -ite, German -it, etc. < Latin < Greek, as above

    Origin of -ite 2
    < Latin -itus or -ītus past participle suffix
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    This Greek suffix was used in the early Middle Ages to render the Slavic tribal suffix *-ītj-, e. g. Drougoubitai : Dregoviches, later by analogy e. g. in Muscovite : москвич, and, judging from its Lithuanian counterpart -iečiai (vilniečiai, maskviečiai), it may actually be cognate, cp. "citizen": πολίτης : pilietis from πόλις : pilis, the difference being the zero grade and ā-stem in Greek vs. the full e-grade and ı̯o-stem in Balto-Slavic.

    P. S. Why is i long in -ītēs??
     
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    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Greek
    P. S. Why is i long in -ītēs??
    In πόλι-ς, ι is short, but in πολί-της it's indeed long.
    Τhe suffix is actually -τη-, as in δεσπό-της. But Ελλαδίτης < Ελλάς (Ελλάδ-).
     
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    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    This particular word is secondarily attracted to the above type, since -t- etymologically belongs to the root (déms_pótis), but samnīs, too, has an unexpected ī, so perhaps speakers of both Latin and Greek used i (syncopated in tiburs) after consonant stems and ī after another i?
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Greek
    This particular word is secondarily attracted to the above type, since -t- etymologically belongs to the root (déms_pótis),
    You're right of course. Perhaps then "ναύ-της" (from ναῦς=ship) or the toponymic Eleā-tes (from Elea).
    so perhaps speakers of both Latin and Greek used i (syncopated in tiburs) after consonant stems and ī after another i?
    Sounds logical explanation.
     

    Delvo

    Senior Member
    American English
    Seems odd, surely Latin had a similar associative ending before contact with Greeks, how did they use to say 'she's Roman/Greek'? Maybe they just said 'she is from Rome/Greece'.
    Latin and Greek originally had -tas & -tes, which would often follow an "i" depending on what word they were attached to. But the "i" getting stuck to the suffix and becoming part of it began in Greek with the reanalysis of "poli-tes" as "pol-ites" and spread from there.
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    Are there any other city names that use this suffix?
    In Czech we also have only one town name that uses a similar suffix:

    Tábor > Táborita (a-stem masculine, a feminine noun would be Táboritka);
    the town of Tábor, founded in 15th century, was named after the Mount Tabor in Galilaea ( Όρος Θαβώρ in Greek) which is a unique case as the Czech cities/towns have mostly names of Slavic or Germanic origin;
    however, táborita mostly means a member of the radical Hussite faction (Tábor was their centre);
     
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