Slovak: why dvetisíc if tisíc is masculine?

Londyncan69

New Member
English - UK
My understanding is that the number two in the nominative case is declined:

Dvaja - masculine animate
Dva - masculine inanimate
Dve - feminine and neuter

So why is this year dvetisícpätnasť if tisíc is masculine?

Why is it dvetisíc and not dvatisíc?
 
  • morior_invictus

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    Welcome to the forum, Londýnčan69!
    Why is it dvetisíc and not dvatisíc?
    I hate to say it but. . . it just is. :eek: "dvatisíc" / "paťtisíc" etc. (instead of correct forms "dvetisíc" / "päťtisíc"* etc.) are present in nonstandard usage, though.
    Dvetisíc či dvatisíc? [...]

    Úvahy pisateľa listu o slove dvetisíc sú oprávnené. Slovo tisíc je mužského rodu, preto by sa dalo očakávať, že aj číslovka dva v spojení so slovom tisíc bude v mužskom rode. Napokon, ak sa číslovka dva používa v spojení s číslovkou tisíc samostatne, je v mužskom rode, pričom číslovka tisíc sa v takomto spojení správa ako akékoľvek podstatné meno, t. j. v spojení s číslovkami dva, tri, štyri je v nominatíve množného čísla a v spojení s číslovkami od päť vyššie je v genitíve množného čísla, teda dva tisíce, tri tisíce, štyri tisíce, päť tisícov, desať tisícov atď., podobne ako dva milióny, tri milióny, päť miliónov. V bežnej rečovej praxi sa však namiesto spojení typu dva tisíce, tri tisíce, päť tisícov zvyčajne používajú zmeravené tvary, ktoré sa píšu ako jedno slovo a v ktorých číslovka tisíc je nesklonná, napr. dvetisíc, tritisíc, štyritisíc, päťtisíc, desaťtisíc atď. Zmeravené tvary používame aj pri zložených číslovkách s druhou časťou sto: dvesto, tristo, štyristo, päťsto, šesťsto atď. No kým pri číslovke dvesto je aj formálna zhoda v rode medzi jednotlivými časťami zloženej číslovky, lebo číslovka sto je rovnako stredného rodu ako tvar dve, pri zloženej číslovke dvetisíc to tak nie je. Preto môžeme predpokladať, že tu pôsobila analógia s číslovkou dvesto (pozri o tom aj M. Marsinová: Dva tisíce, dvatisíc, dvetisíc? Slovenská reč, 15, 1949/50, s. 30).
    Pozrime sa ešte, aký bol stav pri používaní číslovky dvetisíc (dvatisíc) v minulosti, [...]
    Source: juls.savba.sk : Kultúra slova, p. 238-239.
    Dvaja - masculine animate
    Dva - masculine inanimate
    Dve - feminine and neuter
    The above may be good as some general rule but please note that almost any "pes" (= dog) is pretty alive and biting. . . :) . . . not to mention if there are two of them (dva psy = two dogs). :)
    But yes, in that case, "pes" is inflected according to the pattern "dub" (= oak) which is "inanimate" (though even an oak can flip you with its branches when having a bad day :)).
    [...] „zvieracie mená nerady prijímajú príponu životných, hoc ju niektoré i majú v skutočnosti, ako napr. vtáci, vlci, bujaci, baranci, medvedi atď.; ony rady prijímajú prípony neživotných, a to, podľa svojho zakončenia, buď y, buď e" (str. 42).
    Source: juls.savba.sk : Slovenská reč.

    *
    "paťtisíc" was just an example of another nonstandard usage (it is not similar to the "dve / dva" thing).
     
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    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    This word was feminine in Common Slavic, cp. the Old Church Slavonic (9–10th centuries) dъvě tysęšti, tri tysęštę, četyri tysęštę, pętь tysęštь, so I guess this Slovak numeral simply preserves the original gender.

    Update. Contemporary (not attested) Proto-Slovak forms must have been *dъvě tysęci, *tri tysęcě, *čьtyri tysęcě, *pętь tysęcь.
     
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    Londyncan69

    New Member
    English - UK
    Thank you very much for the warm welcome and for the reference to sources I would not have found left to my own devices.

    Dva psy is less surprising to a native-English speaker learning Slovak than dvetisíc and dvesto, as introductions to the language point out that children and the young of animals can be neuter so the idea that there is a perfect correspondence between gender in nature and in the language has already been shattered. Switching between paradigms in the singular and the plural just adds to the pleasure in learning the language.

    I wonder whether the people who use a non-standard paťtisíc are also using a nonstandard pať rather than päť for the number five? Would pať even be their pronunciation of päť or do they combine a standard päť with a nonstandard paťtisíc?

    This is a fascinating forum, and at the risk of testing readers' patience, I will post something about ä separately as and when the forum software allows me to post a link, which as a new member I can't do for now.
     

    morior_invictus

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    I wonder whether the people who use a non-standard paťtisíc are also using a nonstandard pať rather than päť for the number five? Would pať even be their pronunciation of päť or do they combine a standard päť with a nonstandard paťtisíc?
    Rarely. Yes, "pať" would even be their pronunciation of "päť" (the same applies to "patsto" / "psto" instead of "päťsto," etc.). In Bratislava, such pronunciation is common among people of the lowest social rank ("from the streets") and young people trying to emulate them. For more information, a new thread on this topic should be opened.
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    ... I wonder whether the people who use a non-standard paťtisíc are also using a nonstandard pať rather than päť for the number five? ...
    This non-standard form is the consequence of a (Western Slovak) regional realization of "ä" (< Slavic nasal "ę") , not a common colloquial form. In Eastern Slovakia the corresponding vowel is always "e", never "a". (For curiosity, a typical Eastern Slovak dialectal form for 5000 is pejctyśic)
     
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    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    You are right :) (I have forgotten that it's двe тысячи in Russian) ... So the masculine gender seems to be a common Western Slavic phenomenon (Pl. dwa tysiące, Cz. dva tisíce), but in such case it seems to me quite improbable that the (standard) Slovak preserves the original common Slavic gender.

    There's no Russian/Eastern Slavic dialect where it's of masculine gender or where the corresponding word for тысяч is not declined?
     
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    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    You are right :) (I have forgotten that it's двe тысячи in Russian) ... So the masculine gender seems to be a Western Slavic phenomenon (Pl. dwa tysiące, Cz. dva tisíce).

    There's no Russian/Eastern Slavic dialect where it's of masculine gender or where the corresponding word for тысяч is not declined?
    I really don't know. For my entire life, I have never heard anybody speaking a Russian dialect. Will check the literature.
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    I have no serious books on the Russian dialectology, and Trubachov's Slavic etymological dictionary, which usually lists all available forms, hasn't reached the letter T. The manuals I have checked don't mention anything for this word, so I guess there is no variation, at least in Russian. Ukrainian dialects, especially western ones, may be more diverse.

    I should say that this word is also feminine in Germanic, cp. Gothic þūsundi, where it also agrees in Slavic in the declension type (ī-stems). The Baltic forms, however, are masculine and belong to the former i-stems (tūkstantis and tūkstotis). Old Lithuanian and modern dialects show also feminine forms (tūkstantė, stūkstančia).

    As to Slovak, the innovations spread as waves, and they don't have to affect all words in all dialects: I don't think it is impossible that this word in Slovak alone preserves the old gender.
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I have no serious books on the Russian dialectology ...
    It's not really important in this case ... Finally, "frozen" forms of numerals are nothing exceptional and can happen also independently or innovatively in various languages (see e.g. tre cento/tre mila in Italian, but tres cientos/tres mil in Spanish).
    ... As to Slovak, the innovations spread as waves, and they don't have to affect all words in all dialects: I don't think it is impossible that this word in Slovak alone preserves the old gender.
    No doubt ...I do agree. What I wanted to say is an "opposite phenomenon": languages with older (more ancient) literary tradition tend to preserve some "arcaic features" (in certain cases) due to the influence (importance/weight) of the written language.
     
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