Slovene: -il-/-al- (noun and adjective suffix)

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Gavril, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA

    Many Slovenian nouns and adjectives seem to contain a suffix -il-/-al-:

    nabiralnik "mailbox" < nabirati/nabrati "gather"
    potovalni (as used in phrases like potovalni ček "traveler's check") < pot
    hladilnik "refrigerator" < hlad

    On the other hand, there are nouns and adjectives that are formed from similar elements but don't have an -il-/-al- suffix:

    (as in potni list "passport", etc.) < pot
    čekovni (čekovna knjižica "checkbook", etc.) < ček
    "pebble" < prod "gravel"

    Do the noun/adjective suffixes -il- and -al- have a clear meaning that helps you predict where they will appear? (Perhaps they are related to the past-tense suffix -l, for example?)

    Or, do I simply have to memorize where these suffixes appear and where they don't?

    Najlepša hvala,
  2. Irbis Senior Member

    Kamnik, Slovenia
    Slovenian, Slovenia
    I don't know the theory behing this, word formation is not my erea of expertise.
    But all those sample nouns seems to be created from verb -l form (deležnik na -l) with -nik added. And it means that this noun (and nouns with ending -nik are tipical for things, not people) is doing the thing, described in verb.
    You have mor examples like these:
    gugalnik - rocking chair
    bralnik - reader/scanner
    iskalnik - search engine
    sesalnik - vacuum cleaner
    brskalnik - browser
    črkovalnik - spell checker
    pregledovalnik - checker
    prevajalnik - compiler/translation program

    This is still alive way to form new words, as you can see from the samples above, many new words are formed this way (and I've just noticedthat undefinite verbs are used).
    For persons you would use -ec (male) or -ka (female) insteak -nik.
    All these are similar to English verb + -er nouns.
  3. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    What about adjectives in -(a)lni, such as potovalni (potovalni ček, etc.)?

    I see now that potovalni could be based on the verb potovati, but I'm still not sure what meaning the -alni suffix adds.

    Hvala znova
  4. Irbis Senior Member

    Kamnik, Slovenia
    Slovenian, Slovenia
    "-len" ("-lni" as definite form) is adjetive for something, that is used for doing something:
    pisalen (pisati: pisalna miza, pisalni stroj)
    pralen (prati: pralni stroj; but pralen also means "washable")
    pomivalen (pomivati: pomivalni stroj)
    bralen (brati; bralna lučka)
  5. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    I realized that this might be the same -l- suffix seen in

    letališče "airport" < letati "fly"
    drsališče "ice rink" < drsati "skate"

    But then why is the -l- missing in words such as ležišče "bed"? If ležišče is based on the verb ležati "lie (down)", why isn't it ležališče instead?

    (I'm not saying that there must be an answer to this question -- I'm just curious whether ležišče reflects a larger pattern.)
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
  6. Irbis Senior Member

    Kamnik, Slovenia
    Slovenian, Slovenia
    I guess it was too long so people shortened it.
    But in 1895 Pleteršnik dictionary there is a word "ležališče" with German translation "Lager" (which can also mean "ležišče").
  7. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    I don't think so. Apparently, forms on -alen, -ališče are derived from imperfective verbs on -ati, while forms on -en, -išče are derived from their shorter, perfective pairs. Now, I don't see a deeper semantic reason; BCS generally prefers shorter (putni), and Slovene longer forms (potovalni), but there's no hard rule. I can even think of a few paronyms in BCS, like odmaralište 'resort' and odmorište 'resting place' (next to road or on staircase). Also, not same set of suffixes is productive in BCS and Slovene (some of words mentioned above have -aći, -alnica, etc.)

    My point is that, while in the other Gavril's question we detected Common Slavic origin of -k- adjectives by comparative analysis, here the process seems to be recent and semi-random.
  8. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Hi Duya,

    Do you mean that ležišče is based on a stem like leči, zlekniti se, etc.? These are the only perfective counterparts of legati/ležati that I can find right now.

    Other than ležišče, are there any other -išče nouns in Slovene that are (seemingly) based on a verb, but are not formed from an -l- stem?
  9. Morana_ Member

    In SSKJ, there are 454 nouns ending in -išče:*išče&hs=1

    113 of them end in -ališče:*ališče&hs=1

    All of these "-ališče nouns" are formed from imperfective verbs.

    As for the rest of "-išče nouns" (without those ending in -ališče), they are mostly formed from nouns (for instance: ajdišče from ajda, bobrišče from bober, bojišče from boj, cestišče from cesta etc.), many of them are formed from verbs (perfective and imperfective, for instance cepišče from cepiti), and some even from adjectives (ajdovišče from ajdov).

    As for poten/potovalen:
    - poten is formed from pot (noun), examples are potni načrt, potna obleka, (po)potna palica, (po)potni tovariš, potni list, potni nalog, potni stroški;
    - potovalen is formed from potovati (imperfective verb), examples are potovalni čas, potovalni načrt, potovalne potrebščine, potovalna mrzlica, potovalni urad, potovalna agencija, potovalna torba.
  10. Morana_ Member

    Well, there is an answer to this question and it's quite simple: nouns ending in -ališče denote, without exception, a place where the activity expressed by the original verb is (being) done. Ležališče (a non-existant word) would therefore mean "a place where people go to lie (down)" - and ležišče is not a place, but simply a bed of any sort (a device, so to speak, with which you do what the verb says, not a place where you do it).
  11. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    OK, but does this mean that ležišče is not derived from ležati or a similar verb? If so, where (as far as you know) would ležišče come from? The noun lega "position" is the closest possibility I've found so far.
  12. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Rather, they all derive from the same root, lež-, by means of suffixation.

    Morana's SSKJ lists also provides a few paronyms, along the lines of her explanation: gledišče 'viewpoint' : gledališče 'auditorium'; obesišče 'hanging point' : obešališče 'gallows'; stalište 'standpoint' (figurative) : stajališče 'station, bus stop'.
  13. Morana_ Member

    Yes, they derive from the same root, but this root is actually leg-, isn't it?

    Ležišče follows the same pattern as sedišče and stojišče, these nouns are derived from the present form of the verbs ležati, sedeti and stati:
    - ležim, ležiš, leži / leživa, ležita, ležita / ležimo, ležite, ležijo na ležišču;
    - sedim, sediš, sedi / sediva, sedita, sedita / sedimo, sedite, sedijo na sedišču;
    - stojim, stojiš, stoji / stojiva, stojita, stojita / stojimo, stojite, stojijo na stojišču.

    No, lega is itself a derivative (gerund) from leči.

    Then there's another thing I'd like to point out; you drew parallels a few posts earlier between ležati and letati. Now these verbs are not actually analogous: the analogue of ležáti is letéti, not létati (note the accentuation). They are both imperfective verbs (like ležáti is), but letéti means simply to fly, while létati is iterative and means to fly repeatedly, again and again, it implies repetition.
    Ležáti lacks such an iterative pair. There is, of course, légati (imperfective and very rarely used), but that's a pair to léči (perfective, meaning to lie down), not ležáti (imperfective, to be lying).
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
  14. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Thanks, Morana.

    If I can ask one more question, is there a connection between

    1. Verbs with accent on the suffix or penultimate syllable (ležáti, sésti, státi, etc.)
    2. Derivatives in -išče (as opposed to -ališče, -ilišče etc.)

    You described the contrast between -ališče / -išče as being related to the contrast between a wider area (-ališče) and a single spot/point (-išče), but I was curious if this is also correlated with the distinction above.

    Znova hvala


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