All Slavic languages: Articles

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by natasha2000, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member


    In another thread, a forero said that Macedonian and Bulgarian have articles. Since forero who claimed that doesn't have neither Macedonian nor Bulgarian in his profile as languages he speaks, I am a little bit suspicious, considering that as far as I know, no Slavic language has articles. Apart of that, the only Slavic language I can understand is Macedonian and Bulgarian, and I would say there are no articles whatsoever.

    Now, do Macedonian and Bulgarian have articles or not?
  2. alby Senior Member

  3. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    AAAAAAAAA... :D That's why they put -to, -ta at the end of almost each word! So, it's article...

    But... Woldn't it be demonstrative, rather than article, considering it is very similar to our taj, ta, to? And in S/C/B it is called demonstrative, and not article?:confused:

    Thanks for your answer:)...
  4. alby Senior Member

    I'm a bit confused too, but articles are often made from demonstrative pronouns. Anyway, Macedonian would say drvoTO (the tree) and S/C/B would say TO drvo (that tree) wich would mean the same in conversation, atleast i think :), but in the first case it's an article and in second one is demonstrative..!?

  5. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    Maybe their article has roots in our demonstrative? Or it was earlier demonstrative, which turned into article...!?
  6. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Don't forget that Bulgarian is part of the Balcanic Sprachbund. The languages in that group have some unique characteristics, one of which is having a suffix for the definite article.
  7. jester.

    jester. Senior Member

    Aachen, Germany
    Germany -> German
    Sorry, I should have included links to Wikipedia when I said in the other thread that Bulgarian and Macedonian have articles.

    You were right to be suspicious ;)
  8. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    :eek: You got me red handed!!!!:D

    It's not that I don't believe you, its just that it looks so incredible....:eek:
  9. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    According to this link, Serbian is also in this group, and it doesn't have article at all.
  10. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    They say that Serbian Torlak (a dialect of Serbian?) does...
    Of course, not all languages in the group have every characteristic that define it. For example, Greek has no postposed article, either.
  11. jester.

    jester. Senior Member

    Aachen, Germany
    Germany -> German
    Don't worry, I understand your situation perfectly well.
  12. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    A kind of Serbian dialect, BUT......

    Torlak is some kind of mixture among Serbian, Macedonian and Bulgarian. I do not understand it since it is more similar to Bulgarian than to Serbian I speak, i.e. standardized language. I would go even further and call it speech rather than dialect, since it is not standardized, and according to where their speakers live, it is called Serbian Torlak dialect or western Bulgarian dialect. Even their speakers do not belong to the same nation, but they can be characterized only as Slavs - Serbs Macedonians, or Bulgarians...

    I would like to quote one thing more:

    Therefore, I would say it is very different from official Serbian, and the article thing came to this language through Macedonian and Bulgarian, and NOT through Serbian.
  13. българин Senior Member

    Pozdravi :)

    Let my try and clear up some confusion. Yes, you guys are right. Bulgarian and Macedonian (which linguistically similar) differ from all other slavic languages in that they have lost their noun declension system (I beleive sometime in the Middle Ages) and have adopted the suffixed article. There are also some other characteristics but I'll just stick to the main topic. Let me give you an example:

    Bulgarian: Чашата е пълна. (The cup is full)
    Macedonian: Чашата е полна.

    Bulgarian: Българският език. (The Bulgarian language)
    Macedonian: Македонскиот jазик. (The Macedonian language)

    Bulgarian: Най-добрият начин. ("the best way")
    Macedonian: Наjдобриот начин.

    Bulgarian: Организаторите на манифестацията очакват между гостите да бъде и директорът на училището.

    Macedonian: Организаторите на манифестацијата очекуваат меѓу гостите да биде и директорот на училиштето.

    (The organizers of the manifestation expect the school director to be among the guests)

    I think by now you've figured out that the bold letters indicate the definite article.
    та- feminine
    ят, ът/от- masculine
    то- neuter

    As far as Torlakian (Турлашки) goes, one thing pops into my mind, Zona Zamfirova :) Generally speaking, a person from western Bulgaria can understand it far better than someone from the eastern part. Although Torlakian is considered a dialect in both countries, we should strive to keep this linguistic richness of our languages.
  14. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    Thank you, Bulgarian, for your explanation. I was always wondering why Bulgarians and Macedonians put that TE, TA, TO in almost all words that are the same or at least similar to Serbian ones... I would have never imagined it would be the article. One last question in respect to the articles: TE is plural both for feminine and masculine gender, as well as for neuter? From what you put, I understand that TA is feminine singular, OT would be masuline singular (sorry, don't have these Bulgarian letters, so I cannot write the Bulgarian article correctly), and TO neuter singular....

    Zona Zamfirova is an excellent novel, but as I alrady said, I almost need a translation, since I can hardly understand it. It was very difficult for me to read it when I was at school...:)

    Thanks again :)
  15. cajzl Senior Member

    IMHO it is rather a demonstrative enclitic (written together with the nouns) than a suffix.

    In Czech we can also say: Číše ta je plná. = Чашата е пълна.

    BTW, all Slavic languages use the following demonstrative enclitics (in some form)

    sing. -jь , -ja, -je
    plur. -ji, -je, -je

    dobrъ, dobra, dobro -> dobrъjь, dobraja, dobroje

    novaja kniga is formally equivalent to the Bulgarian novata kniga
    novyje knigy ... novyte knigy
  16. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    For learners: This is very poetic. You would sound stilted. I think I have never uttered it. :)
    So they are not simply endings? I have never thought of it this way!

    But you say "all Slavic languages use the following demonstrative enclitics". I am in a quandary - what do we use in Czech? The -ta thingy above?

    What's the difference between the first and the second group?

    Thanks, :)

  17. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    All? Well I know three that don't have demonstrative enclitics.


    Demonstratives go always in front of the noun, and as a separate word.
  18. българин Senior Member


    You're mostly correct, but I will add a table to summarize everything.


    masculine singular: ~ът and ~ят, човекът and краят (the man, the end)
    feminine singular: ~та, книгата (the book)
    neuter singular: ~то, дървото (the tree)
    masculine and feminine plural: ~те, (мъжете, планините) (the mountains, the men)
    neuter plural: ~та, кучета (the dogs)

    Now, there actually exist too forms of the definite article for masculine singular, complete and incomplete. The complete form is the one I wrote above, ~ът. This is used when writting. The incomplete form is ~а. This is used in spoken speech (partly because it's a bit difficult to pronounce the ~ът clearly when speaking, so we just say ~a). So, we have мъжът in written form and мъжа in spoken form. Also, in masculine singular, words ending in й, the ~ят is used (край ---> краят). That's all. Not too difficult eh?
    The only thing I have to say is that for plural nouns you need to be careful because you cannot add the definite article for the plural immediately. The noun has to be in its proper plural form first. There are some rules for forming plural nouns, but that's a different topic. For example, дете would change to plural деца. And "the children" would then be децата.

    Now in macedonian you have:

    Masculine singular ~от
    Feminine singular ~та
    Neuter singular ~то
    Masculine and Feminine plural ~те
    Neuter plural ~та

    Sometimes the т changes with в in order to specify distance. When the т is used, it is an unspecified distance. When the в is used it is a close distance. For example,
    книгата - the book
    книгава - this book; the book over here
    книгите - the books
    книгиве - these books; the books over here
  19. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    This is fascinating, Bulgarian!
    I have spen almost all my life with those languages so near, and yet I haven't known anything about them, even though I uderstand it the best of all Slav languages... Thank you very much for this thorough explanation...
  20. Juri Senior Member

    Koper, near Trieste
    Interesting the theory enunciated by cajzl, about unconsciously use of demonstrative forms in everyday speech.I'm not a linguist, nevertheless I know the followiing examples in Slovene, are not appreciated in the litteral form, only in dialect.
    "Ta dobre Bog vzame"(The good ones are taken/seized by God)
    "Ta predsednik je boljši od prejšnjega"(This president is better then the former one) "To leto hiše ne bo dokončal"(He will not finish the house in
    the present year) "Če bi me le ta glava nehala boleti!"(Fine, if my headache would stop!)
  21. Sofianec New Member

    While the postpositioned articles in BG/MK obviously evolved from the demonstratives, they are clearly fully fledged definite articles now. That is also why Bulgarians usually have no problem with articles in other ( European) languages, though there are some differences in use.

    Romanian similarly has postpositioned articles, so do the Scandinavian languages.

    I may be mistaken, but other Slavic languages simply cannot express the opposition definite/indefinite:

    Чета книга/Чета книгата - I am reading a book/I am reading the book
  22. janecito

    janecito Senior Member

    Γρανάδα, Ισπανία
    Slovene, Slovenia
    I like your approach, cajzl. :) I agree. Although I'm not sure if jь, ja, je indeed is a demonstrative (pronoun). It's true that the difference between the short and long form of adjective can be compared to the use of article in other languages (but only in meaning, probably not in etymology). I'm not sure though. The whole declination of the pronoun jь, ja, je can still be observed in the declination of personal pronouns for the 3rd person (singular and plural). While the nominative forms of these personal pronouns derive from demonstrative pronouns onъ, ona, ono ... the rest of the cases use the forms of the pronoun jь, ja, je (genitive for instance: jego, jej ipd.) unlike demonstrative pronoun onъ, ona, on that would have the genitive forms onego etc. And I think this can be observed in most modern Slavic languages:

    он, его, ему, его ...
    она, её, ей, её ...
    оно, его, ему ...
    они, их, им ...

    on, jego, jemu ...
    ona, jej, jej
    ono, jego, jemu ...

    on, njega, njemu, njega ...
    ona, nje, njej...
    ono, njega, njemu ...
    oni, njih, njim ...
    one, njih, njim ...
    ona, njih, njim ...

    Nominative forms > from the demonstrative onъ, ona, ono
    Other cases > from the pronoun jь, ja, je

    By the way, Slovene lost most of its short/long form adjective distinction (it is only preserved in nominative singular masculine – velik/veliki). And even in this case speakers nowadays make absolutly no distinction when using these two forms. I don't know how this is in other South Slavic languages.

    I'm not sure, but I thing in Old Church Slavonic they very even called indefinite (dobrъ, dobra, dobro) and definite (dobrъj, dobraja, dobroje) form of adjective.

    Definite articles in general derive from demonstrative pronoun. So, I'd say, the pronoun came first. :) In the case of Bulgarian and Macedonian this is obvious because the forms of their articles are so preserved. But also in other languages. Latin demonstrative pronouns ille, illa, illum, for instance, developed into articles that we know in modern Romance languages (e.g. Spanish el, la, (lo)). I don't know much about Germanic languages, but I'm sure we could find common points in the etymology of THE and THIS. ;) This shouldn't really be surprising as the articles and demonstrative pronouns really have a very similar task – to define a noun. The demonstrative only adds something extra to the meaning (it tells you the relative location of the noun respective to the speaker). So if you say “ta kuća” instead of “kuća” (again, pardon me a possible misuse of ć ;) ), what you do is define the house. What must have happened in Bulgarian and Macedonian is that the demonstrative lost this extra meaning of localization, hence becoming a definite article.
  23. tkekte Senior Member

    I thought кучета is simply the plural of куче. So it's just "dogs", and "the dogs" would be кучетата... :)
  24. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Yes, Slovene dialects indeed do use articles but aren't included in the Slovene standard language as this use of articles is traced back to German influence.
    Not all linguists do agree on that one, some think that reasons for the development of a (new) article in Slovene dialects lies within the Slovene language and is no interference from other language.

    However, the fact that the use of articles in Slovene is discouraged still remains. It is a non-standard feature.

    As for the Bulgarian and Macedonian (postponed) article, this is no 'Slavic' development (or at least not restricted to southeastern Slavic languages) but a feature of the 'Balkansprachenbund' which Wiki translates as 'Balkan sprachbund' into English and means just 'common features' of Balkanese languages:
    - postponed article
    - infinitive is avoided with phrasings like 'hoćeš da idem' instead of 'hoćeš iti' (and please excuse grammatical faults if I've made some)
    - common loan words etc.

    So, wherever Bulgarian and Macedonian article may have originated, it is not a genuinely Slavic article in origin.
  25. OldAvatar Senior Member

    Interesting. This is very similar with Romanian too:
    Ceaşca e plină.
  26. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Please find the discussion about tonal accent in South Slavic languages here.
  27. MIODRAG Banned

    none -- all languages I use are equally "foreign" to me
    Even though not widespread, the use of a demonstrative pronominal adjective as a de facto definite article exists in (heir-languages to) Serbo-Croat.

    The final "-(a)s", or rather originally "-ьс" in words such as "данас/danas" (day-this => today), "ноћас/noćas" (night-this => tonight), "вечерас/večeras" (this even[ing]), "јесенас/jesenas" (this autumn), "зимус/zimus" (this winter), "летос/l(j)etos" (this summer) is an example of this.

    It can be compared to Macedonian "годинава" (this year) as opposed to "годините" (those/the years).
  28. Kanes Senior Member

    You don't understand the difference between articles and demonstated pronouns. It does not matter are they behind the word, those are still demonstrative pronouns and I think they imply "durring" in all your examples which would make them cases. The is not the same as This.

    What you wrote on makedonian is wrong:
    It's годината and it means (the year), not (this year)
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008
  29. Christo Tamarin

    Christo Tamarin Senior Member

    In all languages(?), there are demonstrative pronominal adjectives:
    Definite articles are usually derived from demonstrative pronominals.

    Most Slavic languages (including Serbo-Croatian) have no definite articles.

    In order some demonstrative pronominals to become definite articles, the language has to follow this rule: If a demonstrative pronominal can be applied to a noun, then either apply it or apply the corresponding definite article.

    Thus, in some context, you can say to drvo in Serbo-Croatian and you can say това дърво in Bulgarian and you can say that tree in English. Demonstrative pronominals are used in all the three languages. In some context, you can merely omit the demonstrative pronominal to in Serbo-Croatian and say just drvo. However, in English, in the same context, if you omit the demonstrative pronominal that, you must use the definite article in that context: the tree. The same is true for Bulgarian/Macedonian: if you omit the demonstrative pronominal това, you must use the definite article in that context: дървото. The key phrase is: you must. Otherwise, the meaning may be changed.

    The position of the definite article in Bulgarian/Macedonian is inherited from Old Slavonic where the short demonstrative pronominals were enclitics. The Bulgarian/Macedonian (the Slavo-Balkanic language) has influenced Romanian (the Romano-Balkanic language) and possibly Albanian in relation to the postpositioned definite articles.

    The other Romance languages, Greek, English, German have pre-positioned definite articles.

    These cases are related to the lexicology rather than to the morphology. Articles are not concerned. I have already mentioned the position of the short demonstrative pronominals in Old Slavonic. On the other hand, the above words are adverbs, they are not nouns, they cannot get adjectives. They are simply different words, I mean there is a word "ноћ" which is noun and you can say "добра ноћ", and there is another word "ноћас" (Bulgarian: "нощес") which is an adverb.

    Let me introduce a term. You already know that all Romance languages (French, Spanich, etc), all Germanic languages (English, German, etc) and all Balkanic languages (Albanian, Greek, Slavo-Balkanic, Romano-Balkanic) have definite articles. Now, we can say that those languages are arthromaniac, or we can say that those languages have arthromania.

    Some Slavo-Balkanic dialects (in FYRO-Macedonia, to the west of the Vardar river; as well as in the Rhodopes mountains in Bulgaria) have extended arthromania. They have three sets of definite articles expressing nearness, neutrality and distance:

    nearness: годинава (in the Rhodopes: годинаса)
    neutrality: годината
    distance: годинана

    The Standard Macedonian accepts the extended arthromania, the Standard Bulgarian does not.

    So, Macedonian годинава should be translated into English as this year.
  30. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London but from Yorkshire
    English - England
    Can we? Have you just made that word up, Christo? I can't find it in the Oxford English Dictionary or on Google.
  31. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    I don't know that term either (and I don't think that it is an accepted term in linguistics) but Christo obviously used the Greek word for "article - άρθρο" combined with "-mania".

    The meaning anyway is rather clear as Christo explained it in his post above.

    (On a sidenote, there's a total of 8 Google hits for "arthromania" - two of them referring to this thread and the rest not using it as a linguistic term.)
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  32. Diaspora Senior Member

    Serbocroatian, English
    Officially Serbocroatian doesn't have articles but in reality there is a three-way demonstrative pronoun system which serve as primitive articles, they are inflected for gender, number and case. Maybe the language will evolve and one can choose to look at it as pronouns or articles.

    "Uvela ti duša ta". from the song Zvijezda tjera mjeseca

    Ej, stvarno ti je to auto dobro!

    Plus the accusative ending of some nouns is related to Bulgarian article -a.

    Vidim čovjeka.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
  33. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Czech officially doesn't have articles, either, but I keep hearing the demonstratives ten, to, ta everywhere to exhaustion that I think we could (at least tentatively) say that Czech does have articles after all.
  34. SweetCherry Member

    I could have died not learning that some of the Slavic languages have articles.
    Am I shocked... or am I shocked?! :confused:
    Duya, thank you very much for your explanation about the use of accent in order to express definite/indefinite form of nouns.
    This form is known by the certain name in Serbian grammar
    (mlad covek - mladi covek), but it has been a long time, so I leave it to someone with more knowledge to explain. :eek:
    Now, here is my question to all of you who say that certain forms in Bulgarian, Macedonian etc. are containing articles.
    Why are you saying articles?
    Is there a group of words in the grammars of these languages that is known by that name?
    Or is it simply that certain suffixes (added to a noun) are used to express definite/indefinite form of the noun?
    In Serbian, there is definitely no word group known as articles, but there are ways to express definite/indefinite form of nouns, one of them is the one that Duya mentioned, another one is by using/not using definite pronouns (taj, ta, to, ovaj, ova, ovo...).
  35. Anatoli Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Native: русский (Russian), home country: English
    This question has been answered in the first posts. Why is it coming back again?

    Look for definite article:
    Look for definiteness:

    There are only 2 Slavic languages with definite articles: Bulgarian and Macedonian (they are very close and mutually comprehensible). The definite articles work as suffixes, attached to the end of the word. There are no indefinite articles. The indefiniteness is expressed by an absence of the article.
  36. Christo Tamarin

    Christo Tamarin Senior Member

    I think that the casus was explained: the term arthromania was introduced by me and it was given a definition. Thus, it can be merely used in the discussion here. However, in order to use that term in another discussion, it is to be defined there again.
  37. Christo Tamarin

    Christo Tamarin Senior Member

    That is not true.

    The Bulgarian article -a is just an abbreviation of the article -ът having omitted the final . This topic is related just to the orthography.

    Note 1: The rule for differentiating the use of the articles -ът and is totally unnatural, it is just forced by scholars in their attempts to violate the language. Moreover, that rule is always ignored in the speech and usually ignored in writing as well. In particular, that rule is an internal affair and it is to be ignored outside Bulgaria.

    Note 2: In Bulgarian, on the other hand, there is an archaic accusative ending -a along with an archaic dative ending -у (-u) that may be applied to a class of nouns.
  38. Christo Tamarin

    Christo Tamarin Senior Member

    Perhaps, every language allows definiteness and/or indefiniteness to be expressed in some way.

    Arthromaniac languages go further: expressing definiteness and/or indefiniteness is obligatory. E.g., in German, you must say das Mädchen (if definite) or ein Mädchen (if indefinite) in Singular. You must always express if the girl is definite or indefinite: you are not allowed to rely on the context. You cannot say just Mädchen: it would be the indefinite plural form (the definite plural form is die Mädchen). And this is in addition to the demonstrative pronominals: you still can say dieses Mädchen (this girl) ordiese Mädchen (these girls) to express definiteness. However, please pay attention: you cannot simply omit diese(s) - you must replace it with an article (das/die). That's why German is arthromaniac, unlike Serbian and most other Slavic languages.
  39. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Well you can actually when addressing a person (in which case it would be automatically definite, and not indefinite) - like "Mädchen, kommst du bitte mal?" which is not a very idiomatic sentence, but it works perfectly with: "Fräulein, könnten Sie mir bitte helfen?"

    But apart from that you're of course basically right. :)

    In Slovene, in those dialects which do use article (standard language only has definiteness in adjectives as explained already, but no articles), the use of article is rather unsystematic - sometimes article is used and sometimes not; but as far as I know use of article is never obligatory in those dialects: so yes, it seems that the article of those Slovene dialects isn't nearly as fixed grammatically as it is in German.
  40. phosphore Senior Member

    I don't really understand how you prove that use of articles is mandatory in a language: for example, both English and French has articles but they use it quite differently.

    Could someone tell us when, historically, were articles grammaticalised in Bulgarian?
  41. Christo Tamarin

    Christo Tamarin Senior Member

    We cannot omit the articles in English neither can we in French: definiteness and/or indefiniteness must be expressed explicitely. We cannot rely on the context for that. English and French are arthromaniac.

    In Russian, definiteness and/or indefiniteness can be merely implied by the context. Russian (Polish, Serbo-Croatian, etc) is not arthromaniac.

    The above example shows that the usage of articles in English and French agree in the basic cases. In some special cases, they do differ. In some special cases, there are differences in the usage of articles even inside the Romanophonia: ma mère (French) vs. la mia madre (Italian).

    Bulgarian caught the arthromania as a member of the Balkan sprachbund, not earlier than 10th century. On the other hand, Bulgarian should have caught the arthromania early enough. And respectively, the articles should have been grammaticalised early enough. This is because we need the article -та already grammaticalised for feminine nouns (жената, водата) and then applied to all a-stemmed nouns (владиката, воеводата). When Turkish came to Balkans (15th century approx.), the grammaticalisation of articles should be already finished because massive a-stemmed loanwords took the article -та: чорбаджията, завалията, etc.
  42. phosphore Senior Member

    I do not think your example works. The direct translation from Russian to Serbian would be:

    Јуче сам видео плавушу за воланом црвеног аутомобила. Данас је плавуша седела за воланом плавог аутомобила, а за воланом црвеног аутомобила седела је бринета.

    However, it sounds highly unnatural to me, if not ungrammatical. I would rather say:

    Јуче сам видео неку плавушу како вози црвен аутомобил. Данас је та плавуша возила плав аутомобил, а онај црвени је возила нека бринета.

    Serbian definitely has no articles but in this case you have to express definiteness or undefinitess somehow and in all the same cases as in French or English.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2009
  43. WannaBeMe

    WannaBeMe Senior Member

    Serbian (ijekavian)
    You know, you are right but in preslavonic it was a personal pronoun which stem from Indoeuropean personal pronoun for he,she,it. If you compare it with Latin or Sankskrit or Baltic languages you will see a big similarity.

    And according to Bugarian and Macedonian this particle hasnt been replaced its been added to it.

    DOBRI+OT ČOVEK and not DOBER+OT čovek, you see?
  44. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Moderator note:

    This is an old thread - but with the vivid new discussion about definiteness of Slavic adjectives we finally thought it is better to split these topics:

    - in this thread here, please continue to discuss articles of Bulgarian and Macedonian and those Slavic languages which have adopted articles in colloquial speech (like some Slovene dialects, as mentioned above);

    - in the new thread definitiveness of adjectives.

    Unfortunately, some posts referred to both topics and when splitting I had to make a choice. :) (And I only can hope that I chose well.)

    Thanks for your understanding!
  45. Ukrainito Senior Member

    Ukrainian & Russian
    In modern Eastern Slavic languages, the indefiniteness is often expressed using the numeral "one" (as we know, practically all European languages have their indefinite articles that evolved from the numeral "one"). However, the Russian/Ukrainian/Belarusian "one" is never officially identified as "the indefinite article" and its use isn't compulsory to express indefiniteness, so to speak.

    Russ. У меня есть один друг, который....
    Ukr. У мене є один друг, який...
    Transl. I have one friend who... (i.e. I have a friend who...)

    Re. the definiteness, it's almost exclusively expressed using the demonstrative pronouns (Russ. этот, тот; Ukr. цей, той). Interestingly, in Modern Russian (both colloquial and literary) you're likely to come across the de-facto definite article -то used in postposition (exactly like in Bulgarian).

    Russ. Море-то тёплое
    Bulg. Морето е топло
    Eng. The sea is warm.

    This -то is indeed viewed by many Russian linguists as the definite article. However, it's unlikely to be called so in school grammar books partly because its use isn't compulsory to express definiteness.

    The "-то article" or something of that sort isn't found in Modern Ukrainian.
  46. Sobakus Senior Member

    This -то isn't an article in any way: it isn't obligatory, it doesn't mark definiteness, it can be used with pronouns. It is an intensive particle only. "Море-то тёплое" doesn't mean "The sea is warm", it means "() sea is actually warm" and implies you thought it wasn't.
  47. WannaBeMe

    WannaBeMe Senior Member

    Serbian (ijekavian)
    I agree with you.
  48. Ukrainito Senior Member

    Ukrainian & Russian
    You're SO wrong.
  49. Sobakus Senior Member

    Elaborate, please.
  50. As you probably know, except for Bulgarian and Macedonian, no standard Slavic language uses definite article regularly. Lately, however, I have often observed in Czech, that many people, including educated speakers in very formal speech, overuse demonstrative pronouns ("ten, ta, to, ti, ty, ta") in a way very close to the definite article.

    E. g.: Všechny ty knihy jsou o tom životě těch lidí za války.
    (All the books are about the life of the people during the war.)

    None of these pronouns is used reasonably - all of them are mere articles. I think it was not used before nineties.

    What about other Slavic languages? Is there any similar tendency?

    Thanks for answers.

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