Slovak: “Gender” of sto and tisíc

Concise

Senior Member
Hungarian
It seems to me that while the dictionaries do not say that these numerals have a gender, but since the plural of ‘sto’ is not just ‘sto’, but also ‘stá’, it can be regarded as a neutral/neuter noun, too. And indeed 200 is ‘dvesto’, so it is not contradictory to it, because ‘dve’ is used for feminine and neuter nouns.

On the other hand the plural of ‘tisíc’ is ‘tisíce’, so it can be considered either masculine or feminine, but the declension in singular ‘tisica’, ‘tisicu’ …, makes it evident, that it is regarded as masculine. At the same time 2000 is not ‘dvatisíc’, but ‘dvetisíc’.

Did I miss something OR the logics behind is driven by totally different factors like historical ones OR the numerals like 200, 300, …., 2000, 3000, …are simply exceptions from the rules of genders? ‘Dva milióny’ is clear and logical.

I hope that this question of mine is a good comeback after one month of my “sabbatical absence”. :)
 
  • numerator

    Senior Member
    Hungarian, Slovak
    Welcome back, @Tisztul_A_Visztula !

    You are not missing anything. The numerals 200-900 to 2000-9000 are best learned as ossified forms.

    Czech would be more "regular" (?) in this sense, with its dvě stě (yay, dual!), tři sta, pět set, ..., dva tisíce, tři tísíce ... but then pět tisíc (not "pět tisíců") - the reason for this variation is probably that "1000" was feminine in Old Slavic, cf. Croatian tisuća Tisuća ili tisuča? and Russian tysjača.
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    dvě stě (yay, dual!)
    In Slovenian (where we actually have dual), it is much more boring: sto, dvesto, tristo, štiristo, petsto, šeststo, sedemsto, osemsto, devetsto :( The thousands: tisoč, dva tisoč, tri tisoč, pet tisoč, šest tisoč ...

    What is more interesting is that sto declines like an adjective: sto, stotih, stotim, sto, stotih, stotimi

    Tisoč on its own (meaning a unit of 1000, or an unspecified large number) is masculine and can be in plural (tisoč, tisoča ...; tisoči, tisočev ...) although SSKJ also cites a dated feminine form (tisoč, tisoči ...), but when talking about exact numbers we just don’t decline it. Not to mention the German loanword tavžent that we usually use instead. :)
     

    Concise

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Although my question was simply redundant and thus useless, your interesting answers made the thread valuable.
     

    Concise

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    the reason for this variation is probably that "1000" was feminine in Old Slavic

    It is just a bet, but was “čas” also feminine earlier?

    I just wonder, because its genitive plural is listed as “čias/časov”.
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    No, čas was masculine even in Proto-Slavic. That said, the original genitive plural of masculine nouns had a zero ending (-ov is a later development) and it is possible that Slovak has retained this in the word čas.

    For comparison, in Slovenian we still have some masculine nouns where g.pl. is the same as n.sg. - usually with a different pitch accent nevertheless - (mož (man, husband), las (hair), konj (horse), zob (tooth) etc.)
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    No, it was čas, but the a > ia is the Slovak result of the compensatory lengthening which took place after the fall of the yers. In very simplified terms, when the ending disappeared, (and it was -ъ) the preceding vowel was lengthened to compensate for it. So you have žena > žien for example. Also visible in other Slavic languages, e.g. Polish droga (road) > g.pl. dróg with a long ó (which is nowadays pronounced u).
     

    Concise

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    The numerals 200-900 to 2000-9000 are best learned as ossified forms.
    When I consider päťka and šestka, and realize that “ť” of the root word became “t” only in case of šesť, am I obliged to think that there is no explanation and I must simply memorize them, or there is something evident behind?

    You know when I faced first sedmička and osmička, somehow I felt that since sedem and osem are similar to each other then their form as číselné podstatné mená are also logical even if just these two numbers use the diminutive -ička.

    Back to 5 and 6, all the other forms except for those used to express číselné podstatné mená follow the same rules regarding “ť” vs “t”:

    5päť, piatipiatypätinapäťkrátpäťkapätoro
    6šesť, šiestišiestyšestinašesťkrátšestkašestoro
     

    vianie

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    No, it was čas, but the a > ia is the Slovak result of the compensatory lengthening which took place after the fall of the yers. In very simplified terms, when the ending disappeared, (and it was -ъ) the preceding vowel was lengthened to compensate for it. So you have žena > žien for example. Also visible in other Slavic languages, e.g. Polish droga (road) > g.pl. dróg with a long ó (which is nowadays pronounced u).
    Unlike Slovak, Czech normally shortens or maintains the root vowel / consonant:

    Czech
    N sg. kráva, vrána, ulice, srdce, droga
    G pl. krav, vran, ulic, srdcí, drog

    Slovak
    N sg. krava, vrana, ulica, srdce, droga
    G pl. kráv, vrán, ulíc, sŕdc, drog (not drôg as with indigenous words, like Vajnory - Vajnôr)


    When I consider päťka and šestka, and realize that “ť” of the root word became “t” only in case of šesť, am I obliged to think that there is no explanation and I must simply memorize them, or there is something evident behind?
    päťka has ť just because it would have shared the same form with the first grade diminutive of päta (päta > pätka > pätička)

    Otherwise, you have t in all other cases ending with ť: deväť - deviatka (colloq. devina), desať - desiatka (colloq. desina), jedenásť - jedenástka, dvadsať - dvadsiatka (colloq. dvacina) etc.

    You know when I faced first sedmička and osmička, somehow I felt that since sedem and osem are similar to each other then their form as číselné podstatné mená are also logical even if just these two numbers use the diminutive -ička.
    You can take the Czech jednička into consideration.



    And now a bit of googling:
    "anglických časov" is more used than "anglických čias"
    "starých dobrých čias" is more used than "starých dobrých časov"

    Anyway, I daresay that "čias" is more elegant than "časov"
     

    Concise

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    päťka has ť just because it would have shared the same form with the first grade diminutive of päta (päta > pätka > pätička)

    Aha, interesting, simply to differentiate it.

    I had not known about the grades of diminutive existing in Slovak until your post I just always felt that words ending with -čka sound more “friendly”, have a tone of more endearment, than those ending without “č”. Example, I feel that maminka is intimate, but mamička is even more.

    Anyway for some reason for 7 and 8 the second grade of diminutive is used when you form a noun from the numeral: sedmička, osmička.

    Do you have an idea, why? Sedemka? Osemka? Would they hurt/break some sort of rules of Slovak?
     
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