BSC: iz Srbije vs srpski

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by sesperxes, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. sesperxes

    sesperxes Senior Member

    Burgos (Spain)
    Dobar dan svima!

    when I've tried to say to a Serbian friend that the family of a guy is from Greece (porodica Kiriakos-a je grčka) he has corrected me (njegova porodica je iz Grčke), but he hasn't been able to explain me why I was wrong. Are these expressions equivalents or is there a serious mistake somewhere?

    Thanks for your help.
  2. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    You keep on asking tough questions :).

    I wouldn't call it a serious mistake. It's certainly probably grammatical, just slightly unusual. Let me think aloud...

    First, it is perfectly fine when you use the adjective within a noun phrase, like: On je iz grčke porodice Kirjakos. It turns odd when you put the adjective into a predicative: Porodica Kirjakos je grčka. We would normally say that Porodica Kirjakos je grčkog porekla or iz Grčke.

    The reason is probably that the adjectives made from toponyms do not have an indefinite form (neodređeni vid). That means that they cannot be used in predicative, or at least it sounds odd.

    There exist other adjectives without an indefinite form, so they cannot be put into predicative. The one that springs to my mind is vrli, and there are others, but I can't recall them at the moment. I would have to Read The Fine Grammar. We've had few threads on the subject (1, 2), but I can't find where we pinpointed such adjectives.
  3. Brainiac Senior Member

    Srpski - Kosovo
    I don't know if Kiriakos is a name of a person or a family name, but if it's a surname:

    Porodica Kiriakos
    -a je grčka = the Kiriakos family is "Greece's" (I guess it would mean something like that, that's why it sounds strange.)

    You could say Kiriakosi su grčkog porekla, or eventually Porodica Kiriakos je poreklom grčka (but even this is odd word order, normaly is from Greece - iz Grčke, or this version is not used for people but for food, products etc.)

    Spoken, it may sound Porodica je Grčka!
  4. Tassos

    Tassos Senior Member

    Kiriakos (Κυριάκος) is a proper name, not a surname.
    Oddly enough (or not?) the exact same situation that you have in BCS applies to Greek as well.
    But I guess the reason is not the same.
    In Greek the adjective grčka-greek-ελληνική is OK when it refers to a product (to denote the country of origin), but sounds odd when it refers to family. This means that:

    Pivo "Mythos" je grčko.

    sounds perfectly normal in Greek. In BCS?
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  5. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    You're right Tassos, the beer sentence sounds just fine. I retract my theory about indefinite adjectives and join the club which says that it just doesn't... sound good.

    Have you just mentioned a beer? :)
  6. Brainiac Senior Member

    Srpski - Kosovo
    Beer? Noooo. I met Kiriakos last week, he told me he drank Biblia Chora Ovilos White ;) :D
    (Zapazi reč Biblija u imenu vina!)
    Vina moja grčka,.... this doesn't sound odd....
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  7. sesperxes

    sesperxes Senior Member

    Burgos (Spain)

    So, it's a matter of objects vs persons?

    I mean: I can say "Jelen" je srpsko i "Nikšičko" je crnogorsko, but : njien klijent je iz Srbije = njen klijent je Srbin but never *on je srpski*?

    And (Duya is going to kill me, I know!), what objects "sound" good?: Moskvić je iz Rusije/ruski, SONY je iz Japana/japanski, Ryanair je iz Irske/irski, Titanic je bio iz Englezke/engleski, Rex je iz Austrije/austrijski, McDonald's je iz Amerike/amerikanski..

    Well, while you all think about all this, I'm going to have a beer..prijatno!
  8. Brainiac Senior Member

    Srpski - Kosovo
    I'll answer and you owe me a beer. :)

    "Jelen" je srpsko i "Nikšičko" je crnogorsko :tick:
    njien klijent je iz Srbije :tick::thumbsup: = njen klijent je Srbin (this is ok, but it stresses nationality of a person, so "iz Srbije" is better), but never *on je srpski* :tick:
    Yes, never "on je srpski" except if "on" is not a person (man) but a masculine noun (thing).

    Moskvič je ruski, but it can be "iz Rusije", depends on the sentence structure.

    Njegov Moskvič je iz Rusije = Njegov Moskvič je kupljen u Rusiji. (Nabavljen je iz Rusije.)

    The same goes with the rest:

    SONY je japanski, Ryanair je irski

    Titanic je engleski
    Titanic je došao iz Engleske - arrived from England

    Rex austrijski
    (I don't know what Rex is, but I guess it's an Austrian brand), McDonald's je amerikanski američki
  9. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    I think part of the answer is that we have systematically distinct ethnonyms (Grk, Francuz) and adjectives (grčki, francuski), unlike English, where it's only occasional (Spanish:Spaniard but Greek:Greek and French:French). We don't usually apply such adjectives to people, if there are alternatives in form of nouns. Thus: Moji prijatelji su Grci/Beograđani/stranci, or Moji prijatelji su iz Grčke/Beograda/inostranstva but not *Moji prijatelji su grčki/beogradski/strani. There's something in the kind of adjective which blocks its usage in predicative for people. What exactly, I don't know.
  10. Brainiac Senior Member

    Srpski - Kosovo
    Porodica Kiriakosova/Kiriakosa je grčka is not incorrect, just not ...well, not in use in normal conversations. But it's possible to find such structure in, for instance, math and logic puzzles like Einstein IQ Test, or in some scientific papers and... history when making distinction: Kumanudi su poznata srpska porodica, ali je zapravo poreklom grčka.
    (I gave my best to depict you how would I use the adjective the way you put it :))

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