BCS: variants for genitive plural?

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by polskajason, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. polskajason Junior Member

    English - American
    Hi,

    I had learned that the genitive plural for most nouns ends with -a, with a "movable a" added to a final consonant cluster.
    Djevojka -> djevojaka
    krletka -> krletaka

    However I've also seen djevojki and krletki (just to use these two examples).

    Is there a rule about when this alternative -i ending is used? Is it a Croatian vs Serbian thing?

    Hvala vam unaprijed.
     
  2. Pajapatak Senior Member

    Belgrade, Serbie
    serbe / Serbian
    You can hear it (quite often) but it's not correct. In some cases it is just "less correct". Examples: krošnja - > krošanja (better), (but also) krošnji; zagonetka - > zagonetaka (better), (but also) zagonetki...
    I hope my answer was of some help. :)
     
  3. itreius Senior Member

    Assembly
    I was under the impression that both krletki and krletaka were accepted in the standard language (as well as djevojki/djevojaka). Perhaps that's not the case in Serbian, though.
     
  4. Pajapatak Senior Member

    Belgrade, Serbie
    serbe / Serbian
    Serbian Pravopis says: devojaka, but zagonetaka and zagonetki (better: zagonetaka), krošanja and krošnji (better: krošanja) etc. I wouldn't know why it is so. I would never say devojki, but I admit that I use krošnji and zagonetki when I speak, but I force myself to write zagonetaka, krošanja...
     
  5. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Whatever
    The bottom line is that there is no hard and fast rule. Some nouns have one, some the other, and yet others have both forms. There is no particular difference between Serbian and Croatian; I don't even sense it as a dialectal issue. Sure, some difference in standardization might exist, but it's secondary.

    There's, I think, a certain correlation between type of accent and suffix. At least for disyllabic ones, long and rising accents favor -i (mâjka : mâjki, sàrma:sàrmi) and short falling accent -a (tëtka : tëtaka, čëtka : četaka). But I'm mostly speculating; unfortunately, getting it right much requires native competence (and, as you saw above, even native speakers have doubts or disagreements). Anyway: don't worry about it too much, it will be understood either way.
     
  6. polskajason Junior Member

    English - American
    Thank you so much for your replies, everyone. I'll probably stick with the -a ending since it seems to be safer (except for words like majka & sarma).
     
  7. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Whatever
    Actually, for trisyllabic words -i is much safer. All ethnics have only -i: Zagrepčanki, Sarajki, Mostarki, Španjolki etc. Djevojka and olovka have both. Čitanka has only -i. I can't even recall off the top of my head a trisyllabic one with only -a.
     
  8. polskajason Junior Member

    English - American
    Very helpful, thank you. Does this only apply to feminine nouns?
     
  9. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Whatever
    Yes, I had in mind only them; masculine and neuter ones always have -a anyway.
     
  10. polskajason Junior Member

    English - American
    Thank you!
     
  11. Pajapatak Senior Member

    Belgrade, Serbie
    serbe / Serbian
    I've been thining and thinking and finaly remembered alkica, vunica, vučica, lavica, (policijska) marica, sadnica, kravica, palica... and other feminin nouns ending in "ica". Genitive plural is the same: alkica, vunica... Although, there is no "disappearing a" (ex. krošnja -> krošanja), so I'm probably off topic.
    :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013

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