Slovene: (Negative) imperatives & prefixes

hoffmad08

New Member
English - US
I'm in the process of learning Slovene, but haven't been able to find any clear, comprehensive answers to my questions about Slovene imperatives.

I have 2 basic questions:
1) In imperatives, is the negation always the first element?
2) Are there any word order effects of having verb prefixes?

I think the answers are yes (1) and no (2). Based on that, are the sentences below correct? And, are there any verb prefixes or particles that wouldn't stay attached to the verb in an imperative (for example like German separable prefixes - ausgehen 'to go out', but Geh (nicht) aus! '(don't) go out!')?

(Ne) pusti me! - (Don't) let me go!
(Ne) zapusti me! - (Don't) leave me alone!

I'm asking because I am working with a German dialect that was originally spoken in Slovenia and appears to have adopted some Slovene features. Thanks!
 
  • Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    Hello and welcome to Slovene!

    You are right, negative imperatives just add "ne" in front, with no other changes.

    Regarding number 2, prefixes are an integral part of the verb. They are never "separated" like in Germanic languages - this is not a feature of Slavic verbs.

    (Ne) pusti me! - (Ne) zapusti me! are both perfectly correct.

    All that said, there is a tendency in spoken/colloquial Slovene to not use negative imperative at all and substitute it with negative infinitive. For example: "Pusti me!" (Let me (go)) but "Ne me pustit!" (Don't let me (go)). "Pustit" here is a short form of infinitive "pustiti", colloquially we omit the -i.

    Another example: "Pojdi!" (Go away) - "Ne it" (Don't go away)
     

    hoffmad08

    New Member
    English - US
    I am actually. There's some really cool things that they do with imperatives that are unlike anything else in other varieties of German, and some of it seems to be the result of combining both German and Slovene structures.

    Are you familiar with Gottscheerisch? Is it a well known group in Slovenia?
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    I have some superficial knowledge about the history and fate of the Gottscheers, but nothing really substantial. I am not familiar with the language, apart from knowing it is a form of German. Some relatives are from the area so I visit fairly often, but they are of course Slovenes whose ancestors settled the area after WWII.

    Edit: I forgot to answer your second question ... So, the local people are aware of their existence, but in general people don't know anything about them. It was a bit of a taboo in communist times and it's still not talked about a lot.
     
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    hoffmad08

    New Member
    English - US
    Unfortunately, that's pretty much what I thought the situation would be. They have a very interesting history in the region though.

    Thanks again for all the help!
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    You are right, negative imperatives just add "ne" in front, with no other changes.
    It is interesting. It doesn't work in Czech. For some reason (unknown to me) we change the perfective verbal aspect to the imperfective one in most cases of the negative imperatives (but not always :confused:).

    Pusť ho ven! = Let him out!
    but
    Nepouštěj ho ven! = Don't let him out! (pouštěti is an imperfective form of pustiti: pouštěti < *púst-ja-ti < pust-i-ti)
    or Nepúšťaj ho ven! (in a Moravian dialect);

    Slovene seems to be much simpler in this respect.
     
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    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    It is interesting. It doesn't work in Czech. For some reason (unknown to me) we change the perfective verbal aspect to the imperfective one in most cases of the negative imperatives (but not always :confused:).

    Pusť ho ven! = Let him out!
    but
    Nepouštěj ho ven! = Don't let him out! (pouštěti is an imperfective form of pustiti: pouštěti < *púst-ja-ti < pust-i-ti)
    or Nepúšťaj ho ven! (in a Moravian dialect);

    Slovene seems to be much simpler in this respect.

    Oh yes, it can be done here as well. For example "Naredi to!" (Do it!) - perfective, but "Ne delaj tega!" (Don't (be) do(ing) it!) - imperfective.

    However, you can also say "Ne naredi tega!" and it is equally correct.
     
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