-(vowel)+ity/ité and (vowel)+itarian/itaire


Today was my first time trying to write the word “autoritaire” (authoritarian). I wasn’t sure how to treat the suffix so I looked it up in my DJS dictionary which shows it written in full.

Following the spirit of compound prefixes and suffixes, I was wondering if suffix “-(vowel)+itaire” could still be written with a detached R-E-R.

I know that in English there mustn’t be a lot of words ending in -itarian, but in French there are a few which are pretty common: autoritaire, prioritaire, majoritaire, minoritaire, sécuritaire, paritaire.


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7 comments Add yours
  1. If you want to write –ritaire as a derivative of –rité, then the ending would be a detached r-r (not r-e-r) based on pronunciation (and for –litaire it would be a detached l-r). However, why go through writing a detached r-e-r/l-e-r, where you can just apply the abbreviation principle and end the word at the t if you thing writing t-e-r is too much? For example: militaire: m-e-l-e-t, solitaire: right s-o-l-e-t, etc.

    Just a thought.

  2. Thank you Carlos! I must say the abbreviation principle is not something I have fully understood. The DJS manual just gives a few examples but I didn’t really understand the underlying principle, other than "just shorten the longer words". Are there specific rules that should be followed, or is it literally simply about not writing the end of longer words?

    1. The Abbreviating Principle says that you only write enough of a word to still be able to transcribe it. It was used heavily in Anniversary and earlier series. Its use became limited starting with Simplified Gregg to decrease the memory burden. However, that doesn't mean that you cannot apply it in your own writing.

      I explain it in detail here. Also, you can see how it is applied in French Anniversary in Chapter 9 of Sénécal's manual.

    1. "Acuity", since it comes from "acute", is written a-k-e-oo hook-t-e (no need to add the extra schwa after the hook — makes it much easier to write). The omission of minor vowel principle applies here. 

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