all Slavic: feminine (Štajerska) or neuter (na Štajerskem)

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by iezik, May 14, 2014.

  1. iezik

    iezik Senior Member

    The Slovenian geographic proper adjectives on -ski,-ški are rather peculiar in gender selection. When used as a head of a nominal phrase, they're feminine: Štajerska, Dolenjska, Primorska, Hrvaška, Češka, Slovaška. When used in locative phrase with preposition "na", they're neuter: na Štajerskem, na Dolenjskem, na Primorskem, na Hrvaškem, na Češkem, na Slovaškem. These are the most common forms, although some variability exists.

    So, such words don't behave as other adjectives that keep their gender like "dežurni; na dežurnem" or its feminine form "dežurna; na dežurni". Are such gender changing adjectives found also in other languages?
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  2. jakowo Senior Member


    One or two centuries ago, it was fairly normal to use such expressions like 'im Steierischen' for 'im steierischen Land/Gebiet'. Other examples 'im Ungarischen, im Habsburgischen, im Böhmischen', etc.etc.
    Sort of nominalization of adjectives.
    Nowadays 'outmoded'.
  3. Azori

    Azori Senior Member


    Štajersko (Styria) - v Štajersku (in Styria) /neuter noun/
    Chorvátsko (Croatia) - v Chorvátsku (in Croatia) /neuter noun/
    Slovensko (Slovakia) - na Slovensku (in Slovakia) /neuter noun/
    Slovenská republika (the Slovak Republic) - v Slovenskej republike (in the Slovak Republic) /feminine adjective + feminine noun/

    Adjectives in geographic names don't "change gender", e.g. Oravská priehrada (the Orava dam) - na Oravskej priehrade (on the Orava dam)
  4. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    In fact, Štýrsko, Charvátsko, Polsko, Maďarsko, etc. are substantivized adjectives of neuter gender.

    Another locative ending is (město city, ve městě in the city):

    Polsko, v Polsku, v Polště (archaic, "Švédové v Polště", a novel written by Michał Czajkowski);
    Hradecko, na Hradecku, na Hradečtě;

    also Lipsko (= Leipzig), v Lipsku, v Lipště;
  5. ilocas2 Senior Member


    Štýrsko (neuter noun)
    loc. - Štýrsku

    Chorvatsko (neuter noun)
    loc. - Chorvatsku

    Česko (neuter noun)
    loc. - Česku

    Česká republika (fem. adjective + fem. noun)
    loc. - České republice

    Slovensko (neuter noun)
    loc. - Slovensku

    "Charvátsko" is an obsolete name for Croatia
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  6. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Was the original pattern something like the following?

    Slovaška "Slovakian lands", where -a = neuter nom. plural
    na Slovaškem "in the Slovakian land", where -em = neuter loc. sg.

    But if so, what neuter noun would Slovaška originally have been modifying?

  7. vianie Senior Member

    I have always thought that

    Country names like these are substantivised adjectives of feminine gender:
    Slovenian - Slovaška država -> Slovaška
    BCS - Češka zemlja -> Češka
    Polish - Polska ziemia/kraina -> Polska

    And country names like these are substantivised archaic adjectives of neuter gender:
    Czech - Rusko (území) -> Rusko
    Slovak - Poľsko (územie) -> Poľsko
  8. Azori

    Azori Senior Member

    Poľsko územie? Are you sure? :cool:
  9. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    But država alone doesn't seem to account for the ending -em in na Slovaškem. Either

    - there were originally two different nouns in Slovene: one feminine (e.g., Slovaška država) and one masculine or neuter (e.g., na Slovaškem ozemlju)
    - there was one neuter noun appearing sometimes in the plural (e.g. Slovaška ozemlja), sometimes in the singular (na Slovaškem ozemlju)
  10. vianie Senior Member

    The point of that was just to pass a figurative noun of neuter gender in there. I don't even think there was neccessary to have any noun after an adjective of neuter gender (most likely a possessive one), that's why I put that in the braces.

    Analogically speaking, the first seems to be right. Na Slovaškem may be L sg. of Slovaško, an adjective of neuter gender.
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  11. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    Russian just doesn't use adjectives as country names, I'm afraid. :) In case of settlements, the gender of the proper adjectives depends on the gender of the respective word for a type of the settlement; посёлок will be named "Калининский", село would be "Калининское", while деревня or станица would be "Калининская". There are no inconsistiencies about their declension.
    (Etymologically, the town names ending in -ск are adjectives as well, although there are no short forms of relative adjectives in modern Russian, so now it's just a pattern of town naming, and all those names are declined as usual nouns).

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