BSC: masculine words ending in "a" (Serbian vs Croatian)

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by sesperxes, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. sesperxes

    sesperxes Senior Member

    Burgos (Spain)
    Spanish-Spain
    Dear Members:

    I'm new in this forum, I'd like to say hello to everyone and, of course, I'd like to put my first question: it's about masculine words ending in "a".

    If I'm not wrong (please correct me!),

    in Croatia people say: arhiv, biciklist, demokrat, fronta, gitara, gripa, minuta, pojava, planet, riža, soja, turist.
    In Serbia, people say: arhiva, biciklista, demokrata, front, gitar, grip, minut, pojav, planeta, riž, soj, turista.


    And it's agreed by all: kolega, sluga, ustaša (the word, I mean), poglavica, vođa, and vladika.


    I'd like to kwow whether this list is correct and ...which is the rule for adding or not this "a".


    Velika hvala.
     
  2. VelikiMag Senior Member

    Serbian - Montenegro
    Underlined words aren't masculine but feminine nouns. There is also word soj, it is the same in Serbian and Croatian and it has different meaning from soja.

    Plus vojvoda, starešina, gazda, papa, hodža, muftija, paša, poslovođa, zanatlija, etc. There is also sudija, but I believe that Croats say sudac.

    Words which end with -džija are also masculine: šaljivdžija, siledžija, galamdžija, skeledžija, etc.

    There is no rule, you simply have to know them. Only when a word ends with -ist, you may add "a". Also some foreign words which end with -t like demokrat(a), arhitekt(a), diplomat(a), etc.


    Welcome to the forum!
     
  3. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Whatever
    Let me try to systematize:

    1) There are only a few words which differ both in suffix and in gender between Serbian and Croatian, but this goes either way:

    planet (C):planeta (S), minut (C):minuta (S), fronta (C):front (S), teritorij (C):teritorija (S)

    As far as I know, pair arhiv:arhiva is used in both S and C. However, arhiva means an archive in general, while arhiv refers only to a public institution which keeps documents: državni arhiv, arhiv grada.

    2) there are words which are both masculine, but the suffix and declension differs. For words on -ist, Serbian uses -ista form and "mixed" declension (feminine in singular, masculine in plural). For other words (usually foreign words on -ta), it uses feminine declension throughout:

    fašista:fašiste(GEN), pl. fašisti
    biciklista:bicikliste(GEN), pl. biciklisti
    arhitekta:arhitekte(GEN), pl. arhitekte
    demokrata:demokrate(GEN), pl. demokrate

    and Croatian uses -∅ form and "masculine" declension throughout:

    fašist:fašista(GEN), pl. fašisti
    biciklist:biciklista(GEN), pl. biciklisti
    arhitekt:arhitekta(GEN), pl. arhitekti
    demokrat:demokrata(GEN), pl. demokrati

    3) Finally, there are masculine words which have -a suffix and feminine declension in both languages. Like VelikiMag said, those are vojvoda, starešina, gazda, papa, hodža, muftija, paša, poslovođa, zanatlija, šaljivdžija, siledžija, galamdžija.

    3b) there are few words that denote a (potentially male) person and end in -a, but are actually feminine (the difference from masculine can only be sensed through noun-verb/adjective agreement): On je velika pijanica/kukavica. I would also classify skitnica there, but HJP says it's masculine.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  4. Gnoj Senior Member

    Macedonia
    Macedonian
    That's what I know as well, same thing in my language. "Arhiv" is something like "archivatory".:D
     
  5. sesperxes

    sesperxes Senior Member

    Burgos (Spain)
    Spanish-Spain
    Thanks for your accuracy!


    As Duya said "2) there are words which are both masculine, but the suffix and declension differs. For words on -ist, Serbian uses -ista form and "mixed" declension (feminine in singular, masculine in plural). For other words (usually foreign words on -ta), it uses feminine declension throughout:

    Therefore, the constructions would be these:

    Ovaj biciklista je bio moj prijatelj (SRB) and Ovaj biciklist je bio moj prijatelj (HR)

    Ku
    ća bicikliste je daleko (SRB) and Kuća biciklista je daleko (HR)

    But:

    Ovi divni arhitekte/ ove divne arhitekte su iz Sarajeva (they are men) (SRB)
    Ovi divni arhitekti su iz Sarajeva (always men)

    Moji kolege nemaju
    žena/moje kolege nemaju žena (YU)


    Thanks again

     
  6. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Whatever
    Not so fast, the plural is another issue :).

    The expressions marked red do not work, at least not for me. In the plural, the agreement tends to be by grammatical gender, not by natural gender. Thus, it's always moje kolege, ove divne arhitekte (ovi divni arhitekti in Croatian.).

    However, I've just googled a short article on the issue, granted, from 1953, where the autor notices the trend to use natural gender agreement (moji kolege, ovi barabe). However, I would say that the trend hasn't taken on. I wouldn't say that moji kolege is ungrammatical, but unusual yes. Maybe some other foreros have a different opinion.
     
  7. Brainiac Senior Member

    Srpski - Kosovo
    Ovi divni arhitekti in Serbian too, I would say, I've heard fairly often ;) It doesn't mean only men, it shows profession.
    (If you want only women, there is a joke - arhitetke :D)

    Moje kolege nemaju žene is what I use. Nemaju žena, to me,sounds like you talk about collective nouns... it sounds like they can have 4 wives or a personal harem, like Muslims once or what :D.
     
  8. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Whatever
    Arhitekt and demokrat are recognized in Serbian standard as well, but are less common.
     
  9. DenisBiH

    DenisBiH Senior Member

    Our architects are far too busy designing insane bridges (Zvrk ćuprija) to deal with such matters as marriage. :D

    Getting back on topic:
    I use the same agreement as you Duya, but is this (moje kolege) agreement by grammatical gender? The grammatical gender of kolega is masculine, isn't it?

    I'm with Duya here. However, I've never actually checked what the grammar books say and sometimes I find myself wondering whether agreement such as moje kolege is grammatical or not. The entry for kolega in HJP would seem to indicate that both is considered grammatical, at least in standard Croatian:

     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  10. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Whatever
    I'm really not sure which grammatical gender is kolege. But, since we will agree that moje gazde/starješine/poslovođe/barabe su rekle all work, it must be feminine, isn't it? That makes this class being transgender :D.

    However, the more I think about it (unhealthy... :) ), the version with Moji ... su rekli works as well, although not so well. So I'll retract my previous statement a bit.

    Googling for "moji kolege" does reveal mostly Croatian sites, with an emphasis on Jadranka Kosor, who seems to use the phrase a lot.
     
  11. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Whatever
    P.S. I really like this kind of questions, which makes even us natives think and consciously reanalyze our own language. Way to go sesperxes!
     
  12. Brainiac Senior Member

    Srpski - Kosovo
    Oh Denis is back, I was afraid that you got married :D

    Another ending -(li)ija is masculine too, like Sarajlija. This one understands art :D and ... he is transgender :eek:
     
  13. VelikiMag Senior Member

    Serbian - Montenegro
    Masculine plural of such words like kolega doesn't work for me. Take demonstratives for instance. Ti/ovi/oni kolege sounds terribly wrong. Definite adjectives also, e.g. dobri i pošteni kolege. With verbs it maybe sounds a bit better, but still not good enough. It might be logical, but language doesn't always follow the logic. Furthermore, budala is a feminine noun with a regular declension, but when it denotes a male, people sometimes use a masculine verb form, like budala je rekao. Adjectives and pronouns again don't work, only verbs. And it still doesn't sound correct.
     
  14. sesperxes

    sesperxes Senior Member

    Burgos (Spain)
    Spanish-Spain
    I didn't imagine my question would lead to such a debate! But it's good, ins't it? It means that your language is ALIVE!
     

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