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

    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).
  9. bragpipes Senior Member

    English - USA
    @ahvalj When you say "still alive" in Lithuanian, I'm guessing that you mean that it was once alive and kicking in Slavic too? Could you please explain the way it works in Lithuanian?

    I'm not sure how active/passive have anything to do with something like sladak (sweet), or is that the second suffix (-oko)?
  10. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    If you look at the Lithuanian adjectives, you'll find that very many of them belong to the type -us (Nom. Sg. masc.) / -i (Nom. Sg. fem.), including recent loanwords, like intensyvus, intuityvus, konservatyvus, konspektyvus, konspiratyvus, konstruktyvus etc. which means that new adjectives keep forming in this type. In the attested Slavic languages, the u-type has disappeared in the adjectives, but several dozens of the Slavic ъkъ-adjectives correspond to the Lithuanian us-ones (see #7 and also §10 in PIE /a/;/o/ merger in protogermanic, a trace of distinction?), which suggests that the original u-stems were extended with the *ka-suffix, like e. g. in "sweet": Lithuanian saldus — OCS sladъkъ, OES solodъkъ; this is also supported by the fact that this k is not present in the Comparative degree, which formed before that extension took place: OCS sladъkъ → slažde <*saldı̯es (also modern Russian слаще < слаждьше from the neuter form extended with -ьш- from cases other than Nom./Acc. Sg.: e.g. the Nom./Acc. Pl. слаждьша<*saldı̯iṣā: ı̯ from the Nom./Acc. full grade *-ı̯es had penetrated to the other case forms).
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
  11. Karton Realista

    Karton Realista Senior Member

    Polish - Poland
    I'm pretty sure they're relics of short form of adjectives.
    Just like pewien in Polish (regular: pewny).
    None end on -k in Polish, as far as I'm aware.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
  12. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    Saldus — słodki
    glodus — gładki
    lipus — lepki

    Otkupschikov (Откупщиков ЮВ · 1983/2001 · Балтийские и славянские прилагательные с -u-основой) mentions 98 etymologically related Slavic/Lithuanian pairs of this type, e. g.:

    варкий — varus
    гладкий — glodus
    гливкой — gleivus
    глудкий — glaudus
    громкий — grumus
    грудкий — graudus
    грузкий — gramžus
    грязкий — grimzlus
    гудкий — gaudus
    едкий — ėdus
    ёмкий — jamus
    зудкий — žaudus
    крохкий — krušus
    крушкий — kraušus
    крупкой — kraupus
    лайкий — lojus
    липкий — lipus
    лепкий — laipus
    ловкий — lavus
    меткий — metus
    ноский — našus
    резкий — raižus
    сладкий — saldus
    торопкий — tarpus

    бойкий — bajus
    бродкий — bradus
    валкий — ap-valus
    вёрткий — virtus
    вадкий, водкий — vadus, pa-vadus
    видкий — pa-vydus
    гадкий — godus
    гаркий, горкий — gorus
    гидкий — gūdus
    гонкий — ganus
    гуский — ganstus
    дерзкий — diržus
    жалкий — gėlus
    жоркий — gėrus
    колкий — kalus
    коский — kasus
    краткий, короткий — kartus
    ломкий — ap-lamus
    рубкий — rambus
    споркий, споркой — sparus
    терпкий — tirpus
    тяжкий — tingus

  13. Sobakus Senior Member

    Visok and visoki are two forms of the same adjective which can end in 11 different syllables in Polish just for the base form, but the short form used as the dictionary form in Slovene just so happens to have fallen out of use in modern Polish. What the OP was asking about is adjectives whose stem ends in -k.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
  14. Karton Realista

    Karton Realista Senior Member

    Polish - Poland
    Oj, that's the deal. Sorry for that interjection

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