Slovenian : Puhov most

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Hurlevent, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Hurlevent Senior Member

    Hello, I'm trying to understand why the desinence -ov is used to name bridges in Slovenia. For ex: Puhov most, Napoleonov most. As far as I understand, -ov is a desinence for masculine genitive plural, and this doesn't seem to be plural (Puh and Napoleon being both singular). Any hint appreciated, thanks.
  2. iobyo Senior Member

    Bitola, Macedonia
    Those are denominal svojilni pridevniki ('possessive adjectives'): Downov sindrom ('Down's syndrome'), Parkinsonova bolezen ('Parkinson's disease'), Napoleonov most čez Nadižo ('Napoleon Bridge over Natisone River', lit. 'Napoleon's').

    A native speaker will be able to explain it better.
  3. Hurlevent Senior Member

    Great ! I got it. I was mislead by Russian language, where you would say "болезнь Паркинсона" (bolezn' Parkinsona), and where -ov is definitely a masculine genitive plural. Thanks a lot !
  4. iobyo Senior Member

    Bitola, Macedonia
    Here comes the tricky bit.

    Slovenian also has -ov/-ev in the genitive plural and dual of masculine nouns (kitov, Slovencev), and it also has constructions like the Russian ones you mention: Ulica Milana Majcna ('Milan Majcen Street', lit. '[the] street of Milan Majcen'), Cesta Andreja Bitenca ('Andrej Bitenc Road', lit. '[the] road of Andrej Bitenc'), etc.

    And Russian also has masculine possessive adjectives with -ов/-ев: Архимедов винт ('Archimedes' screw').
  5. Irbis Senior Member

    Kamnik, Slovenia
    Slovenian, Slovenia
    And for nouns ending with -c genitive plural/dual is different than possessive adjective, for example Slovencev is genitive plural/dual and Slovenčev is possessive adjective.
    As for using genitive opposed to possessive adjective, the general rule in Slovenian is that is possessive adjective exists, you have to use it, otherwise you use genitive for possession. This is if you have more than one word (like name and surname, like "moja sestra" (my sister), you have to use "knjiga moje sestre" for "my sister's book") and some surnames also don't have possessive forms (those ending with -ski (or even -sky) and -ov/-ev, like Gorbačov, Chomsky).
  6. Hurlevent Senior Member

    Thanks for all this valuable information (I noticed iobyo's Russian example, Архимедов винт). This is all quite interesting.
  7. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA

    Just out of curiosity, why do you say "or even -sky"? I thought (maybe wrongly) that -sky was a foreign equivalent of Slovene -ski.
  8. Irbis Senior Member

    Kamnik, Slovenia
    Slovenian, Slovenia
    Yes, but the rule is talking about Slavic surnames and for Americans with -sky you are sometimes tempted to use declension with adding j instead (Chomskyja instead of Chomskega). It is a bit similar to a problem with names ending with -e. Slovenian names have declensions with t added (Tone, Toneta), foreign names have j added (Goethe, Goetheja). But then you have Slovenian with name Arne, will you use Arneta or Arneja? If you consider that origin of name Arne is foreign, then Arneja is the right answer, but Arne sounds very natural in Slovenian, so a lot of people use Arneta.

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