In a lesson designed to discover more suffixes I asked the class to brainstorm places that they were from.

A partial list of what we came up with includes…


We came up with more questions than conclusions during our investigation.

We thought perhaps places that end in <a>  use <-an>. Some of those places use the connecting vowel <i>.   However that didn’t work because the word sum doesn’t support it unless a letter is dropped. * America + anà Americaan; *India+anàIndiaan. I’ve never heard of a letter other than silent <e> being dropped without the use of an apostrophe. So the conclusion was that there must be a suffix <-n> but we were not able to confirm it in a reference work.

I suspect that Canadian has some sort of a connecting vowel but I am still a bit confused on this topic so ignored this during our investigation. It also would imply that a letter is dropped as well.  *Canada+i+anà Canadaian

Places that end with a consonant use <-i> or <-ese> as a suffix.  The burning question is how do you know which suffix to use? However China breaks that pattern so it doesn’t work either.

But the most puzzling question we had was wondering why and how France becomes French and Switzerland becomes Swiss?

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