View Full Version : The term "Romance"

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006, 05:15 PM
Should it not be "Romanic", because all tribal/ethnic names all have the "-ic" suffix.

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006, 09:04 PM
Good question.

The suffix -ic in the term Romance has had more time to evolve than in words like Germanic or Slavic. It is, after all, a Latinate suffix. The word Romance comes from the word Romanice, which meant "after the manner of the Romans." It was a word already in existence in Late Latin. As a result, as the word descended into the various Romance languages, the suffix was subject to the normal sound changes (lenition, syncope, and so forth) that helped Latin evolve into Romance. The end result is the word Romance.

The suffix -ic in words like Germanic and Slavic is much more recent. By the time these words were created, the suffix was already an element of Neo-Latin (a dead language) rather than Late Latin (a living language), so sound changes didn't really operate on the suffix in these words.

So Romance does have the -ic suffix: it's just had the chance to evolve that it has lacked in words like Germanic and Slavic.