Morphological variation in the construction of French names for inhabitants

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The French names for inhabitants like <i>Paris</i> --> <i>Parisien</i> &#8216;Parisian&#8217; or <i>Toulouse</i> --> <i>Toulousain</i>, are mainly formed by derivation and exhibit high variability due to the wide range of suffixes used for detoponymic adjectives and their various bases. The derivational stem is formed by morphological processes like epenthesis, allomorphy, or suppletion, and the selection of a suffix is related to the formal shape of the stem. It is impossible to predict the selection of any particular suffix, but one can nevertheless restrict the selection to some of them to the exclusion of others. When forming French ethnonyms, speakers first construct a possible derivational stem and in a second step select a probable suffix in order to derive ethnonyms with a harmonic structure. The concrete construction principles are discussed in the second part of this paper.


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