I was interested in understanding the origin and meaning of the word "genocide" and went to the Online Etymology Dictionary where it says that "The proper formation would be genticide."

  1. Why would the proper word-formation be genticide and not genocide?
  2. Does this type of word-formation have a name in linguistics?

Edit: This question has been wrongfully closed as off-topic. This question has absolutely nothing to do with "Language-specific grammar and usage". It's about word formation and etymology. For which there are tags. It seems this community is not strong enough to correct the mistake of 5 guys. This text can be removed if and only if the question is reopened. Until then, enjoy the censorship and drama of Linguistics Beta.

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    Maybe Latin Language is a good place for this question, because it is about Latin word formation. – jk - Reinstate Monica Jul 16 '18 at 9:38
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    @jknappen or at ELU – Mitch Jul 16 '18 at 15:11
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    The why question seems like an etymology question, which should be asked on another site. – curiousdannii Jul 18 '18 at 8:48
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    @curiousdannii So, what's the point of the etymology tag? – user22302 Apr 2 '19 at 1:41
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    @q-l-p If you'd bothered reading anything on Meta you'd see that some etymology questions are fine, when they involve systematic issues, language change, widespread borrowings, or are more grammatical. – curiousdannii Apr 7 '19 at 1:38

Because the stem of the Latin word it is formed from is genti- (nominative gens, genitive gentis). So its combining form in Latin would be genti-.

The geno- form appears to have been formed by analogy with many other Latin and Greek compounds where the elements are joined by -o-; but not obviously from other -cide words, which are nearly all in -icide: suicide, patricide, fratricide, regicide, insecticide, fungicide.

Edit: the OED says that this is from Greek γένος, as some of the comments have said. It remains the only word I've been able to think of in -ocide.

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    So, the error arises from taking the Greek "genos" instead of the Latin "genti"? – user22302 Jul 15 '18 at 12:19
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    Sorry, Colin, but that's wrong: see perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/…, section 873. There are third declension stems that keep their vowel in compounding in Greek: -i-, -y-, -au-, -ou-. -e- is not in that list: the regular formation for such nouns is still -o-. That's why third declension kle-e-os > kleos form compounds starting with kleo- — as in Cleopatra. – Nick Nicholas Jul 16 '18 at 1:12
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    So, @q-i-p, yes, the error arises from taking the Greek "genos" instead of the Latin "genti". – Nick Nicholas Jul 16 '18 at 1:14
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    I do not want to vote down the answer, rather to improve it. Currently it gives the wrong impression. As already stated, taking Greek γένος would correcty give geno-. The real question then arises why choosing γένος over genti- would be wrong? – Midas Jul 16 '18 at 9:07
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    @q-l-p Some people think that, when you create a new word from other languages, all the pieces must come from the same source language. Other people don't mind since they're all foreign anyway. See Hybrid Words. Personally, I don't think there's right or wrong here, if you know the Greek root, you probably know the Latin and so being consistent isn't like helping anybody out. You're making up a word, anything goes really. – Mitch Jul 16 '18 at 19:58