# Bulgarian: Numbers 11, 12

#### Perseas

##### Senior Member
Hello,
I've read that 11 in Bulgarian is "edin-no-deset" and 12 "dva-na-deset". What is the function of no/na? I'm trying to understand the logic behind the formation of those numbers. Thanks in advance.

• #### Panceltic

##### Senior Member
It’s actually edinadeset, dvanadeset, trinadeset etc. an the logic is very simple. Na means ‘on’, so we have ‘one on ten’, ‘two on ten’, ‘three on ten’ etc.

#### Perseas

##### Senior Member
Thanks a lot.

#### AndrasBP

##### Senior Member
an the logic is very simple. Na means ‘on’, so we have ‘one on ten’, ‘two on ten’, ‘three on ten’ etc.
It's the same logic as in Romanian (12=doisprezece) and Hungarian (13=tizenhárom).

#### Perseas

##### Senior Member
I see that the same logic applies also to Russian, according to @Awwal12 :
Nothing fancy in Russian either. Восемнадцать (vosemnádtsat'), an archaic reduced form of восемь на десять (vósem' na désyat'), lit. "eight onto ten". All the numerals from 11 to 19 are built by the same model.
I thought this model applied to some Balkan countries, as in a book of mine it was used as an example of characteristics of the Balkan Sprachbund.

#### jasio

##### Senior Member
I see that the same logic applies also to Russian, according to @Awwal12 :

I thought this model applied to some Balkan countries, as in a book of mine it was used as an example of characteristics of the Balkan Sprachbund.
I'm sorry to spoil your expectation, but I believe that this model applies to all Slavic languages - at least all I was able to check. The only difference was a level of distortion from the original structure - which in case of Bulgarian is very close, while in the North they were more severely changed, albeit not beyond recognition. Let's take twelve as an example:

Old Church Slavonic: дъва на десѧте (dŭva na desęte)
Bulgarian: дванадесет ([dvɐˈnadɛsɛt] - which is almost identical, because OCS was basically a Slavic dialect of or nearby Thessalonica adapted for religious purposes)
Macedonian: дванаесет ([dvaˈnaɛsɛt])
Serbian: дванаест
Bosnian: dvanaest
Croatian: dvanaest (which is no surprise because only 30 years ago the latter three were considered to be one language)
Slovenian: dvanajst
Slovak: dvanásť
Czech: dvanáct
Sorbian: dwanaće
Polish: dwanaście
Ukrainian: дванадцять ([dʋɐˈnɑd͡zʲt͡sʲɐtʲ])
Belorussian: дванаццаць ([dvaˈnat͡sːat͡sʲ])
Russian: двенадцать ([dvʲɪˈnat͡s(ː)ɨtʲ])

The Slavic languages also have a common model for tens (дъва дєсѧти = two tens, двадесет, dwadzieścia) and hundreds (dъvě sъtě = two hundred(s), двеста, dwieście). Only with thousands differences begin, because in the Southmost Slavic languages the numeral apparently comes from Greek (хиляда or similar depending on the language), while in Croatian and further to the north "tisuću" or similar words are used instead.

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#### Perseas

##### Senior Member
Actually, I didn't have any expectation, because I know nothing on this subject.
Reading about the Balkan Sprachbund I saw that three Balkan languages (Bulgarian, Romanian, Albanian), that don't belong to the same family, form some numbers (e.g. 11, 12) in the same way. This motivated my desire to open this thread. Thank you for your thorough reply!

Also, the fact that this model applies to all Slavic languages probably shows that the case of Romanian and Albanian has been influenced by the Slavic languages.

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#### jasio

##### Senior Member
Actually, I didn't have any expectation, because I know nothing on this subject.
Reading about the Balkan Sprachbung I saw that three Balkan languages (Bulgarian, Romanian, Albanian), that don't belong to the same family, form some numbers (e.g. 11, 12) in the same way. This motivated my desire to open this thread. Thank you for you thorough reply!
Indeed, the Balkan languages (some linguists seem to include also Greek, Slavic Macedonian, as well as a bunch of minority languages or dialects) share a whole lot of structural similarities. But apparently the structure of the numerals is shared on a much wider area.

#### Panceltic

##### Senior Member
The Slavic languages also have a common model for tens (дъва дєсѧти = two tens, двадесет, dwadzieścia) and hundreds (dъvě sъtě = two hundred(s), двеста, dwieście).

Interestingly, Slovenian did away with this. We simply have dvajset (a bit irregular), trideset, štirideset, petdeset ... and dvesto, tristo, štiristo, petsto. Same in Croatian/Serbian afaik.

Only with thousands differences begin, because in the Southmost Slavic languages the numeral apparently comes from Greek (хиляда or similar depending on the language), while in Croatian and further to the north "tisuću" or similar words are used instead.

Tisoč for us, but in spoken language it’s usually tavžent (from German Tausend of course)

#### ahvalj

##### Senior Member
I'm sorry to spoil your expectation, but I believe that this model applies to all Slavic languages - at least all I was able to check. The only difference was a level of distortion from the original structure - which in case of Bulgarian is very close, while in the North they were more severely changed, albeit not beyond recognition. Let's take twelve as an example:

Old Church Slavonic: дъва на десѧте (dŭva na desęte)
Bulgarian: дванадесет ([dvɐˈnadɛsɛt] - which is almost identical, because OCS was basically a Slavic dialect of or nearby Thessalonica adapted for religious purposes)
Macedonian: дванаесет ([dvaˈnaɛsɛt])
Serbian: дванаест
Bosnian: dvanaest
Croatian: dvanaest (which is no surprise because only 30 years ago the latter three were considered to be one language)
Slovenian: dvanajst
Slovak: dvanásť
Czech: dvanáct
Sorbian: dwanaće
Polish: dwanaście
Ukrainian: дванадцять ([dʋɐˈnɑd͡zʲt͡sʲɐtʲ])
Belorussian: дванаццаць ([dvaˈnat͡sːat͡sʲ])
Russian: двенадцать ([dvʲɪˈnat͡s(ː)ɨtʲ])

Old Church Slavonic (OCS) and Old East Slavic (OES) actually had two forms for ‘twelve’: a masculine dъva na desęte (OCS) / desäte (OES) and a feminine/neuter dъvě na desęte/desäte: among modern standard languages all, except Russian, seem to have generalized the masculine form.

For ‘eleven’, there were probably three gender forms (as the neuter jedino na desęte is attested in Old Church Slavonic), but in later languages the syllable before na was dropped together with the contrastive ending (or, alternatively, only the masculine jedinъ/jedьnъ na desęte > jedin/jedьn na desęte has survived everywhere).

A similar system "digit on ten" is found in Latvian:

11 = vien.pa.dsmit (1 on 10)​
12 = div.pa.dsmit (2 on 10)​
13 = trīs.pa.dsmit (3 on 10).​

Pa is actually not exactly ‘on’, but the counterpart of the Slavic po (cognate of ἀπό) with no good English translation: it means movement on the surface, that is a kind of ‘on’, but not stative.

The Slavic languages also have a common model for tens (дъва дєсѧти = two tens, двадесет, dwadzieścia)

Some languages also possess a special word for ‘ninety’: later Old East Slavic (attested in the 13–14th centuries) devänosto~devästo and modern Belarusian dzʲevʲanosta, Russian dʲevʲanosto, Ukrainian devjanosto, as well as Old Polish (15th century) dziewiętnosto, which likely continue the inherited Proto-Indo-European form cognate to ἐνενήκοντα.

#### Awwal12

##### Senior Member
I thought this model applied to some Balkan countries, as in a book of mine it was used as an example of characteristics of the Balkan Sprachbund.
Probably so, but who said that certain features of the Balkan Sprachbund cannot be induced by Slavic languages?

#### marco_2

##### Senior Member

Interestingly, Slovenian did away with this. We simply have dvajset (a bit irregular)
It is worth adding that the Bulgarians in everyday speech use the reduced form of these numerals, so instead of единадесет, дванадесет ... двадесет ... they say: единайсет, дванайсет ... двайсет ... respectively.

#### Awwal12

##### Senior Member
It is worth adding that the Bulgarians in everyday speech use the reduced form of these numerals, so instead of единадесет, дванадесет ... двадесет ... they say: единайсет, дванайсет ... двайсет ... respectively.
Phonetically unmotivated shortenings of very frequent words and, in particular, numerals are entirely common. Cf. Rus тысяча ['tɨsʲəʨə] > ['tɨɕ:ə] ("тыща"); пятьдесят [pʲɪdʲ:ɪ'sʲat] > [pʲɪj'sʲat], шестьдесят [ʂɨ̞zʲdʲɪ'sʲat] > [ʂɨ̞j'sʲat] etc. Old Russian "один на десяте", "дъвѣ на десяте" etc. also wouldn't have produced Russian "одиннадцать", "двенадцать" etc. with regular shifts and morphological analogies only - that also required an irregular shift from е to ь, which then regularly led to -дьсять > -цять (the fall of the yers and resulting assimilation) > -цать (the hardening of ц).

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#### ahvalj

##### Senior Member
Phonetically unmotivated shortenings of very frequent words and, in particular, numerals are entirely common. Cf. Rus тысяча ['tɨsʲəʨə] > ['tɨɕ:ə] ("тыща"); пятьдесят [pʲɪdʲ:ɪ'sʲat] > [pʲɪj'sʲat], шестьдесят [ʂɨ̞zdʲɪ'sʲat] > [ʂɨ̞j'sʲat] etc.
[As usual, I pronounce it in a less reduced way than you, namely [pʲɪɪ'sʲat] and [ʂɨ̞ɨ̞'sʲat], with three distinct syllables.]

#### Awwal12

##### Senior Member
Actually in fast relaxed speech it will be simply [pʲɪ'sʲat] and [ʂɨ̞'sʲat] - with the first vowel being nearly silent (for me and for a huge amount of other people).

P.S.: And yes, in modern Russian [V.ɪC] seems generally unstable and prone to shifting to [VjC] (cf. the atrocious misspellings like "храбрые войны", "астеройд", "гуманойд", "Андройд" etc.), though in my case the possible lost of syllable in "пятьдесят" is lexical.

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#### ahvalj

##### Senior Member
P.S.: And yes, in modern Russian [V.ɪC] seems generally unstable and prone to shifting to [VjC] (cf. the atrocious misspellings like "храбрые войны", "астеройд", "гуманойд", "Андройд" etc.), though in my case the possible lost of syllable in "пятьдесят" is lexical.
[I periodically encounter these войны and гуманойды in the net, but yet have to hear such a pronunciation in person to ask the speaker about it. So far I strongly suspect these -oйд- are not phonetic changes but rather plain anglicisms, and воин->войн- are results of interference with война. Otherwise why don't we find **читайт or **думайт?]

[P. S. By the way, nobody knows that in -оид- it is -и- that has to be stressed, as it is so in Latin: a long vowel in a penultimate syllable].

#### Awwal12

##### Senior Member
So far I strongly suspect these -oйд- are not phonetic changes but rather plain anglicisms
Er... how? Okay, it might work for Android OS, but I positively cannot imagine a situation when a person becomes acquainted with the word астероид from the English pronunciation of "asteroid" and not from spoken or written Russian. On the contrary, I'd normally expect the Russian -оид to influence the English pronunciation of -oid among Russians (compare how they still occasionally pronounse English "c" [s] as [ʦ]).
and воин->войн- are results of interference with война
That "interference" actually results in a merger. Looks far too complex an explanation.
Otherwise why don't we find **читайт or **думайт?
Because of the absolutely transparent morphology here.

#### ahvalj

##### Senior Member
Er... how? Okay, it might work for Android OS, but I positively cannot imagine a situation when a person becomes acquainted with the word астероид from the English pronunciation of "asteroid" and not from spoken or written Russian. On the contrary, I'd normally expect the Russian -оид to influence the English pronunciation of -oid among Russians (compare how they still occasionally pronounse English "c" [s] as [ʦ]).

That "interference" actually results in a merger. Looks far too complex an explanation.

Because of the absolutely transparent morphology here.
[I need actual speakers to investigate: as I have written, I have never heard this in person. There is also выйграть etc. in the net, which looks to me a regional pronunciation: again, never heard by me in the real life.

The question to me is whether it (андройд and войн) is phonetic or just a collection of particular superificially similar phenomena. I understand, you and some other people in the Russian forum are over-enthusiastic in promoting the speech habits of future millennia, but since I don't hear anything like this around, I remain confused as to which place this reduced pronunciation occupies in the real life. It may easily represent a particular way of speaking that will not necessarily survive (like the syncopated Muscovite theatrical pronunciation of the past that has luckily died off).]

#### Awwal12

##### Senior Member
again, never heard by me in the real life
You just wouldn't recognize it as such, I suppose. The purely acoustic difference between [V.ɪC] and [VjC] is negligible, so the brain simply reconstructs the "correct" structure, whatever it may be.

#### Eirwyn

##### Senior Member
P.S.: And yes, in modern Russian [V.ɪC] seems generally unstable and prone to shifting to [VjC] (cf. the atrocious misspellings like "храбрые войны", "астеройд", "гуманойд", "Андройд" etc.)
I don't think it's fully correct. Stressed /ViC/ and /VjC/ do tend to merge, but the result of this merger is closer to the former than the latter. [aë] can pass as a relaxed version of [ai̯], but not the other way around.

#### Awwal12

##### Senior Member
I don't think it's fully correct. Stressed /ViC/ and /VjC/ do tend to merge, but the result of this merger is closer to the former than the latter.
As I said, the purely acoustic difference is negligible anyway. The numer of syllables, however, does count phonologically.

#### Eirwyn

##### Senior Member
The numer of syllables, however, does count phonologically.
What do you mean by this?

#### Awwal12

##### Senior Member
What do you mean by this?
That there is a pronounced phonological difference which, however, may have little or, potentially, even zero effect on the actual acoustic realization.

#### Eirwyn

##### Senior Member
I still don't quite understand what you're trying to convey. The only situations when syllable partition matters are spelling and chanting pronunciation which is mostly determined by the spelling anyway. In this virtual phonology, however, the merger did not happen and /VjC/ and /ViC/ are still perceived as separate entities, even though in some words one may replace another as a result of interference with the actual spoken phonology.