cocă (declension)

123xyz

Senior Member
Macedonian
Hello everybody,

Could someone tell me why the noun "cocă" meaning "dough" has an irregular definite genitive/dative form, namely "cocăi" (according to DEX)? I haven't encountered any other noun which has the ending in -ăi in the form in question (but I would be interested to hear if there are others). All other feminine nouns ending in "ă" seem to have "-ei" or "-ii" in this form. When "cocă" means "hull" (of a ship), this is how it is declined, just like "bigă" and "vină". So, what anomalous factors yielded the form "cocăi"? What is there in the history of this word to explain its modern declension pattern? Moreover, why isn't there any indefinite genitive/dative form (like "bigi" and "vini" for "bigă" and "vină" respectively)?

Thank you in advance
 
  • irinet

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Hi,
    There is an interesting link about 'coquo' on the Wiktionary, that may be of help.

    This does not mean that I say those two terms are related, could be. 1072 Romanian words or so may have unknown origin.
     
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    123xyz

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    I'm sorry, but I don't understand how "coquo" is relevant to my question. It's a verb, whereas I'm asking about the declension of a noun. Besides, there's a huge jump from Latin to Romanian, such that simply mentioning Latin words doesn't directly explain anything. Please clarify what connection between "coquo" and "cocă" you're trying to direct my attention to.

    Meanwhile, I have just discovered that "rouă" and "vlagă" can also have a definite genitive/dative singular in "-ăi" (again, based on what DEX says). What these words all have in common is that they don't have plurals, whereas feminine nouns' genitive forms tend to overlap with their plural forms (in terms of their stems).
     
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    irinet

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Hello everybody,

    Could someone tell me why the noun "cocă" meaning "dough" has an irregular definite genitive/dative form, namely "cocăi" (according to DEX)? What is there in the history of this word to explain its modern declension pattern?

    Thank you in advance

    Hi,

    The verb 'a coace' (the Latin form 'coquo') could have given us the noun 'cocă' which is to heat in the oven to make 'bread'. 'Cocă' seems to be of unknown origin.

    When dealing with shipyard terminology, 'coca' is the skeleton + the case of the ship. So, this term might have suffered a meaning extension. And it does possess plural form.

    In point of declension, I'll try looking into it harder later.
     
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    123xyz

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    The verb 'a coace' (the Latin form 'coquo') could have given us the noun 'cocă' which is to heat in the oven to make 'bread'. 'Cocă' seems to be of unknown origin.

    I understood that this was what you were suggesting in your first post, but I wasn't interested in the etymology of "cocă" in general. When I asked "What is there in the history of this word to explain its modern declension pattern?", I was specifically referring to its definite genitive/dative singular form, namely "cocăi". I don't see how "coquo" could account for it, regardless of whether it gave rise to "cocă". I can rephrase, or rather summarise, my question as follows: why is it "cocăi" rather than "cocei" or "cocii"?
     

    irinet

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Hi again, :)
    First, I have been answered the way I did simply because your question is by far a very complex one. I've been thinking all day long to find an appropriate answer. I don't know if I will be of help in the end, but I suppose that the more we communicate, the better answers can be provided by anyone.

    Now, we are dealing with a lexeme having three different meanings and possibly two derivational G-D case morphemes.

    1. One of the rules say that we can have two or sometimes three acceptable G-D forms for feminine nouns ending '-că' like, 'bunică - bunicii/bunicăi', 'doică - doicăi/doicii'. I dare say this is the rule. So, I wouldn't consider 'cocii' wrong either.

    For instance, I'm thinking that 'cocă' , meaning 'baby', can have the G-D in 'cocăi', while 'cocă', meaning 'dough', can have 'cocii' - to dinstinguish the semantic binome /+animate/ - /non-animate/.

    It's possible, but not necessarily valid.:confused:

    2. Your example with 'rouă' does not fit this category. And yet, it has the same declension. That could be an exception. However, both nouns, 'cocă' ( = syn. 'aluat') and 'rouă' have something in common, as they are invariable nouns. They don't have plural. But that does not help in explaining declension either if we consider these two nouns together. I believe that we should not do that in this case.

    3. I have no clue about 'cocă' when it relates to ships / aircrafts. I suppose it has plural ('coci' and 'cocile' with definite art.). I suppose it has 'cocii' in G-D.

    Other than that, I am looking forward to read about more interesting opinions.
     
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    farscape

    mod-errare humanum est
    Romanian
    Interestingly enough there seems to be a distinction (as far as G-D is concerned) between cocă (hull) and cocă (dough). While the hull follows the standard rules for feminine nouns ending in "ă" sobă/sobii, uşă/uşii, cocă/cocii, etc. the dough is different, at least according to Mika Sarlin in Romanian Grammar.

    Cocă (aluat), rouă, pască, frişcă -> G-D: Cocăi, rouăi, pascăi, frişcăi

    I'm intrigued, can't say why we have two forms for G-D cocă depending on it's meaning, but such is the language, made by those who speak it and not by those who write about it :)

    Later,
    f.
     

    123xyz

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    Thank you for the replies. So, it appears that there's a separate class of feminine nouns with a definite genitive/dative form in "-ăi". Initially, I thought that "cocă" was just an odd exception, but in light of the additional nouns of this kind that I've discovered as well in light of the other ones provided by farscape, it is clear that this is not so. Furthermore, I thought that these nouns might be descended from a particular declension class in Latin, but it appears that they're a Romanian innovation. I suppose that this is all that one can conclude about the matter.
     
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