Latvian: Kristīne Opolais

AndrasBP

Senior Member
Hungarian
Hello,

Kristīne Opolais is a Latvian opera singer. As far as I know, feminine forms of Latvian surnames end in -a or-e.
Can anyone explain why her surname ends in -ais, which looks like a masculine nominative ending for definite adjectives (melnais = the black one)?
 
  • AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Not important - is that person male or female.
    Thank you for the reply, but that's certainly not correct. The feminine forms of Latvian surnames do not end in -s.
    Here's a selection of Latvian women from Wikipedia:

    Amanda Aizpuriete, Ingmāra Balode, Ilze Jaunalksne, Zenta Mauriņa, Agnese Apsīte, Dzintra Blūma

    Their fathers' surnames would have been Aizpurietis, Balodis, Jaunalksnis, Mauriņš, Apsītis and Blūms, respectively.
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Greek
    I found this information, it might be relevant:

    14. The feminine ending -s may only be in surnames – common names of VI declension of Latvian origin which have acquired the meaning of a proper noun, for example, Dzelzs, Grunts, Klints, Uguns, Zivs. In such case the corresponding male surnames shall be with the same endings as female surnames but with differences in the dative case (Klintij – Klintim).
    https://vvc.gov.lv › catalog › dokumenti
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Thank you, it's an interesting document, but the ending -ais in 'Opolais' seems to be a different matter.
    I made some quick searching and found that, except Kristīne, there are also other women whose surname is "Opolais", like Skolestika Opolais, Mārīte Opolais, eg. here. So, the case of Kristīne is not unique.
     

    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I made some quick searching and found that, except Kristīne, there are also other women whose surname is "Opolais"
    Yes, I was aware of that, I only used Kristīne as an example. I've also found that this surname is indeclinable, which also makes it unusual:
    e.g. Kristīnei Opolais (the first name is in the dative case, but the surname isn't).
     
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