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One can often derive adjectives from city names, the most famous example probably being Romanus from Roma. Such derivatives are typically formed with -anus or -ensis. My impression is that -anus is typically restricted to names ending in -a (like Roma), but -ensis can be used for any kind of name. For a first declension example, the adjective derived from Aboa (Turku) is Aboensis, not Aboanus.

Suppose I have a city name ending in -a. Is there any rule or tendency for choosing between -anus and -ensis? How do I know which one to pick? Does it depend more on the time and location where the derivative is formed or on the type of the city?

This is related to the recent question about Eura. I learned that the city is called Eura in Latin, but now I would like to know whether to derive Euranus or Eurensis. However, instead of this special case I want to focus on general rules (or lack thereof) for such derivations. If someone knows the answer for Eura, I can make it into a separate question so that particular translation stands out (or you can post it as an answer to the previous Eura question).

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This kind of thing is codified in Bennett's New Latin Grammar at http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/bennett.html#sect150

The entries that you seek are:

Names of persons take the suffixes: -ānus, -iānus, -īnus; as, —Catōniānus, belonging to Cato; Plautīnus, belonging to Plautus.

Names of nations take the suffixes -icus, -ius; as ,—Germānicus, German; Thrācius, Thracian.

Names of places take the suffixes -ānus, -īnus, -ēnsis, -aeus, -ius; as,—Rōmānus, Roman; Athēniēnsis, Athenian; Amerīnus, of Ameria; Smyrnaeus, of Smyrna; Corinthius, Corinthian.

NOTE.— -ānus and -ēnsis, appended to names of countries, designate something stationed in the country or connected with it, but not indigenous; as,— bellum Āfricānum, a war (of Romans with Romans) in Africa; bellum Hispāniēnse, a war carried on in Spain. legiōnes Gallicānae, (Roman) legions stationed in Gaul.

  • So you are telling us that Chilean shouldn't be chilensis? Now that's huge. As a Chilean myself I have never heard other forms. Ofc, any Chile-related name in Latin is necessarily modern, yet there are many examples of scientific and Ecclesiastical (and a few civil) names with chilensis on them – Rafael Jun 22 '17 at 21:37
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    I feel this does not answer the OP's questions completely. Yes -ānus and -ēnsis are appended to place names, but he was asking how to choose one or the other. Made me wondering too! – kkm Jun 22 '17 at 22:02
  • Many thanks! Although you don't give a comparison of -anus and -ensis (as @kkm points out), this answer is very useful and interesting, and thus greatly appreciated. +1! (I meant to write this yesterday, but the Finnish midsummer caused some delays.) – Joonas Ilmavirta Jun 23 '17 at 19:38

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