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Dear All,

Does anybody know (or want to risk hypothesising) any "rules" about the
formation of adjectives from names in a scholarly context?

I have reviewed a paper which uses Bourdieusian which sounds wrong (and
also slightly ugly) but I can't appeal to any "authority" beyond my own
ear for language - which is hardly infallible.

There seems to be quite a large set of possible endings some irregular:

Pigouvian (economist Pigou)
Shavian (George Bernard Shaw)
Kafkaesque (Is there some implication of "in the style of" rather than
"intellectually similar to" with esque? I don't hear it used much in
academia:  Granovetteresque? Granovetterian?)
Marxist (At some point there was meant to be a substantive distinction
between Marxist analysis and Marxian analysis. Perhaps only a Marxish
scholar could make sense of this distinction!)
Nobody seems to use "ish" seriously but I have heard "Pinterish" instead
of "Pinteresque".
Are there some names that defy this approach and are usually "in the
style of x" instead?

The nearest to a rule I see is "usually ian unless it doesn't work and
then do something with the last letter" but I can't think of anything
like the "add s" case in Bordieusian which is why I think it might be
wrong. It is Rousseauesque or Rosseauian (!) rather than Rosseausian
(but then this has a lot of esses already).

Some possibilities are ruled out by ugliness (Uzzi-ish) or by
unfortunate meanings (Wellmaniac).

Of course, not everyone is eminent enough (or has a distinctive enough
style of analysis) to justify these terms but still I am curious. (It is
also quite hard to research this on the web because one needs to work
through all the possibilities - and could easily miss irregular ones.)
On google, I get 9,880,000 for Marxist, 893,000 for Marxian (many more
than I expected), 170 for Marxesque and 613 for Marxish.

All the best,


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