The name Liguria predates Latin and is of obscure origin. The Latin adjectives Ligusticum (as in Mare Ligusticum) and Liguscus[5] reveal the original root of the name, ligusc-: in the Latin name -sc- was shortened to -s-, and later turned into the -r- of Liguria, according to rhotacism. Compare Ancient Greek: λίγυς, romanized: Lígus, lit. ‘a Ligurian, a person from Liguria’ whence Ligustikḗ λιγυστική transl. the name of the place Liguria.[6] The name derives from the ancient Ligures people, although in reality the territory of this people was much larger than the current administrative region; it included all of North-west Italy south to the Po river, and south-eastern France.[citation needed]

Some scholars see a possible connection with Old European languages, as the formant -sc- (-sk-) is also present in names like Etruscan, Euskadi (the endonym of the Basques), and Gascon. Since these are all coastal regions, the shared formant may relate to a shared descent from pre-Indo-European, maritime peoples,[7][8] and/or the hypothetical Tyrsenian and Vasconic language families respectively. This argument is weakened, however, by the fact that the name Etruscan is a relatively late exonym and the relevant endonym, used of the Etruscans themselves, was Rasenna or Raśna. (In Greek this mutated into Tursēnoi and Tyrrēnoi; in Latin it became Etruria and Toscana.)

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