all Slavic: adjective suffix -k?

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Gavril, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA

    Quite a few basic adjectives in Slovene end in -k:

    visok "high"
    širok "wide"
    ozek "narrow"
    grenek "bitter"
    mehek "soft"
    gledek "smooth"
    globok "deep"

    Is this pattern of k-final adjectives found in all Slavic languages, or is it restricted to South (or South-west) Slavic?

    Also, does anyone happen to know the origin of this -k suffix? Is it related to, e.g., the (originally Greek) suffix -ic seen in words like elastic, static, etc.?

    Thanks for any info,
  2. Eunos New Member

    This suffix is found in Bulgarian too:
    висок "high"
    дълбок "deep"
    нисък "short"
    тънък "thin"
    In Russian this types of adjectives have "ий" after the "k"
    высокий "high"
    глубокий "deep"
    низкий "short"
    тонкий "thin"
  3. Azori Senior Member

    In Slovak these adjectives always end in a vowel in the nominative case (the ending depends on the gender and the number of the noun). Thus:

    vysoký / vysoká / vysoké / vysokí (high)
    široký / široká / široké / širokí (wide)
    úzky / úzka / úzke / úzki (narrow)
    ... etc.

    Most adjectives of this kind end in a vowel in Slovak. They have only the so-called "long form". There are very few adjectives with both a long and a short form, as far as I know, there are only three of them:

    dlžen (as in "byť dlžen" = to owe somebody something), with the long form dlžný
    hoden / hodný (worthy, deserving)
    vinen / vinný (guilty)

    There is no difference in meaning but the short forms are somewhat literary.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  4. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Well yes, but that -k- is still not part of the root: vys-, šir-, uz- etc, which can be seen from the comparative forms. Gavril asks where does that -k stem from. I wouldn't know the answer, but it apparently comes from Common Slavic, since that same paradigm is present in all languages we surveyed so far. It would be interesting to hear from Baltic language speakers.
  5. FairOaks Banned

    I think that, for facility's sake, you must consider the short forms of Russian adjectives, for example: высок, глубок, низок, тонок.
    But to answer the main question—no, I don't think the suffix has been borrowed from Ancient Greek, although they might share a common PIE root. Also, note that there are apparently at least two different suffixes per language (with certain exceptions, I suppose):
    широк / širok (–ок/–ok)
    гладък / gledek (–ък/–ek)
    And that's not a recent development, because it's found in Old Church Slavonic (широкъ, гладъкъ, etc.).
  6. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    I wasn't suggesting that it was borrowed from Greek, but that (as you say) it might be from the same PIE root. And, if Wiktionary is trustworthy (I just checked it), that does indeed seem to be the case: OCS -ъкъ (-ŭkŭ) is apparently cognate with Greek -kos (> English -ic, etc.), Germanic *-gaz (English -y, German -ig etc.), and so on.
  7. iobyo Senior Member

    Bitola, Macedonia
    That was my first thought too, and it would seem it's a Slavic innovation (examples from Derksen's dictionary):

    *gladъkъ < BSl. *glaʔdus (Lith. glodus);
    *kortъkъ < BSl. *kortus (supposedly a cognate of Lith. kartus 'bitter');
    *ǫzъkъ < BSl. *anź-(u)- (Lith. ankštas);
    *soldъkъ < BSl. *sol‹ʔdus (Lith. saldus, Latv. salds);
    *tьnъkъ < BSl. *tinʔ-u-/*tenʔ-u- (Lith. tęvas, Latv. tievs).

  8. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    There are actually two suffixes, -uko- (OCS -ъкъ) and -oko- (OCS -окъ). The first one, as iobyo has shown, replaces the old u-adjectives, still alive in Lithuanian and often denoting active or passive ability. The second, -oko- occurs in a limited number of Slavic adjectives and looks like a simple morphological extension of the root. Both suffixes are inherited from the Indo-European and occur in other IE languages as well. As to the Greek -iko-, it is the same suffix as the OCS -ьць (Russian -ец, SC -ac etc.). Its older form is preserved in Lithuanian: vainikas=вѣньць (IE *woynikos), vainukas=вѣнъкъ (IE *woynukos).

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