Data points: libfixes 1/17/11

From Willis Roth Regier’s Quotology (see here), p. 66:

[Thomas Brown’s Laconics] claimed among its ancestors “the Perroniana, the Thuana, the Scaligerana, the Sorberiana, the Valesiana, the Menagiana, etc. containing the Observations and Sayings of several great Men, whose names they bear.” Such ana attributed their quotable contents to their protagonists; Brown wrote his own.

Yes, ana, abstracting the -ana from the various titles, not only liberating the suffix, but elevating it to a lexical item on its own, like ology and ism, as in Michael Quinion’s book title Ologies and Isms (see here). Quinion’s entry for -ana, with a reference to the totally liberated formative:

Things associated with a person, place, or field of interest.

[Latin, neuter plural ending of adjectives in -anus.]

This ending can indicate a collection of interesting or collectible items associated with a person, place, or period: AmericanaChurchillianaAfricanaShakespeareana (sometimes Shakespeariana), Victoriana; or a collection of notable sayings associated with a person: JohnsonianaSwinburneanaAna sometimes occurs as a free-standing word in the sense of a collection of anecdotes or literary gossip about a person.

4 Responses to “Data points: libfixes 1/17/11”

  1. Bill Findlay Says:

    When does an -ana become an -iana, Arnold?

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Haven’t looked into this, Bill, but it seems to be contingent on both segmental phonology and prosody, but in such a way that some bases can have more than one libfixed derivative.

      • arnold zwicky Says:

        As a first approximation: consider derived adjectives in -an/-ian (American, Canadian, Shakespearean, etc.); expand these with a final -a; and locate the primary accent of the result on the first a of -ana. That reduces the -ana/-iana choice to the existing (and obviously historically related) -an/-ian choice, which is known to be complex in a number of ways.

  2. Inventory of libfix postings « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] 18. POST –ana AZBlog, 1/17/11: Data points: libfixes 1/17/11 (link) […]

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