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Confusion about genitive plural


benszymanski 8 | 465  
22 Mar 2008 /  #1
Hi

I have just noticed something in polish.slavic.pitt.edu/firstyear/lessons/lesson9.pdf of the PDFs on the university of pittsburgh site regarding the genitive plural which is confusing me. Maybe some experts out there can clarify this for me?

I thought that to form the Gen. pl. of feminine nouns you just take the stem with no endings, for example with "ulicy" the stem is "ulic" so you can use that for "nie ma tych ulic".

Likewise, the stem of ciocia is "cioć", so "nie ma tych cioć". This makes sense to me so far.

But on page 8 of the PDF it says that the stems of "Maria" and "chemia" are "Marj" and "chemj". So following the regular logic that should produce the sentences "nie ma tych Marj" and "nie ma tych chemj". But the Polish people I have asked say that this is wrong and there are no such words as "Marj" or "chemj".

Have I misunderstood something? I am confused now...

Thanks in advance.

Ben
Mafketis  
22 Mar 2008 /  #2
The basic problem is that words borrowed into Polish from other languages ending in -ia don't act like fully Polish words and the -ia is not the same as the -ia that ends words like ciocia or babcia.

So, most people pronounce the Polish word dania (dishes [of food]) differently than they do Dania (Denmark, the country).

Technically the country should probably be spelled Danja (or even Danija) but (maybe) to make the words look more international the spelling -ia was maintained.

similarly fotografie (plural of fotografia) is pronounced differently from fotografie (vocative case of fotograf - photographer). Again a more accurate spelling of the first would be fotografje but ....

Anyway, 'international' words in -ia are declined slightly differently than Polish words, the genetivie plural is -ii (think of that as -ji) These are similar to international words ending in -ja (like stacja, misja).

so Marii and chemii would be the (very rarely used) genetive plurals.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
22 Mar 2008 /  #3
Marii and chemii would be the (very rarely used) genetive plurals

Like Mafketis said, these forms (Marias, chemistries) aren't really used in Plural except some very rare circumstances, so no need to worry about it.

And you'll notice later some nouns (especially those ending in two soft consonants) don't follow exactly the cioć/ulic rule (stem only)
przyjaźń / wiadomość (fiendship / news) - plural: (Nom.) przyjaźnie / wiadomości; (Gen.) przyjaźni (not przyjaźń) / wiadomości (not wiadomość).

most people pronounce the Polish word dania (dishes [of food]) differently than they do Dania (Denmark, the country).
similarly fotografie (plural of fotografia) is pronounced differently from fotografie (vocative case of fotograf - photographer). Again a more accurate spelling of the first would be fotografje but ....

I don't know where in Poland you live, but I never heard any difference in the pronounciation of those pairs of words. Not in real life nor in TV. Maybe I'm just deaf (or have hearing impairment).

Again a more accurate spelling of the first would be fotografje but ....

did you mean 'fotografije'? That probably was an archaic pronounciation (maybe even spelling)
Mafketis  
22 Mar 2008 /  #4
On Dania = dania

This, isn't universal, but it's true of most speakers IME (not all whom realize this before being asked - most describe Dania as having a longer soft sound, almost Dańnia).

I don't hear the difference but my ears just aren't tuned the way a native speaker's are - I don't hear the difference between proszę and prosię either.

And always there's a fair amount of both regional and individual variation involved in lots of different phonetic details in any language, I once knew a Pole who insisted that -ą and -om were always pronounced alike (as they were in his speech).

Some time ago I read an account of the history of different competing spellings for loan words ending in -ia. It was a big controversy and IIRC the church favored -ija/-yja spellings (like the radio station) and some secular authority(ies) favored -ia.

The -ia spellings reflect stress better but the -ija/-yja spellings probably were more sound linguistically.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
22 Mar 2008 /  #5
church favored -ija/-yja spellings (like the radio station) and some secular authority(ies) favored -ia.

yes, Maryja (for Virgin Mary) is still used in Church, because that's how it sounded for centuries (also Austryja, partyja and so on) , but now it's considered obsolote, with Maria, Austria, partia etc. taking over. And I have never heard in Poland anyone using the arhcaic forms (except "Maryja" in prayers), I guess those forms ceased to exist in spoken language about 50 years ago.
OP benszymanski 8 | 465  
22 Mar 2008 /  #6
Thanks for the quick answers.

And you'll notice later some nouns (especially those ending in two soft consonants) don't follow exactly the cioć/ulic rule (stem only)

Yeah I guess that sums it up - nothing is regular or predicatable in Polish (at least that's how it seems).

Thanks again.
Davey 13 | 388  
22 Mar 2008 /  #7
I have a question about genitive plural,
how do I know with masc. whether to use 'ów' or not 'ów'?
Mafketis  
22 Mar 2008 /  #8
When in doubt say -ów, even when it's not right it's always completely understandable (and chances are some Polish people would say it that way too). Apart from that ...

The only real rule I can think of off the top of my head is that if the nominative plural is -e (usually after a soft or functionally soft stem) then the genitive plural is likely -i/-y. (lekarze, lekarzy / konie, koni)

Of course there are exceptions:

mężczyźni - mężczyzn
przyjaciele - przyjaciół
bracia - braci (here the nom. is irregular)
Moonlighting 31 | 234  
13 Jul 2008 /  #9
Merged: Genitive plural of "mur" (the wall)

In nominative, the plural is "murzy" but in genitive, does the r -> rz conversion remain and does it also end with "y" ?

Is there a rule where the alterations from singular to plural in nominative case remain in other cases?

Thanks
Magdalena 3 | 1,837  
13 Jul 2008 /  #10
mur - mury! in the whole declension cycle, both sing. and plural, there is no "rz" in sight here. unless I've suddenly gone crazy and forgotten my mother tongue ;-)
Moonlighting 31 | 234  
13 Jul 2008 /  #11
I was confusing. The "r -> rz" alteration only occurs with "animated male" nouns. Inanimated male nouns do not change. Indeed so says my Polish lessons book.

Thanks Magdalena for forcing me to review it ;-)
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
13 Jul 2008 /  #12
unless I've suddenly gone crazy and forgotten my mother tongue ;-)

must be the heat!
Locative and also Vocative (sing) murze

The "r -> rz" alteration only occurs with "animated male" nouns. Inanimated male nouns do not change. Indeed so says my Polish lessons book.

You mean Nominative case plural? Because in Locative (and Dative for femminine gender) case this r>rz is quite common:

kura (hen), kora (bark), rura (tube, pipe), dziura (hole) - all femminine
In Dative and Locative (singular) the forms are: kurze, korze, rurze, dziurze.

bór (bigger forest, a little archaic), nowotwór (cancer) are masculine, non-animated.
Loc. (sing) borze, nowotworze

futro (fur) is neuter - Loc. (sing) futrze.

there are plenty of such examples, I only gave you a few.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837  
13 Jul 2008 /  #13
Locative and also Vocative (sing) murze

and right you are! ;-) thanks for pointing it out :-)
Michal - | 1,865  
17 Jul 2008 /  #14
Mur, mury, murów
miranda  
17 Jul 2008 /  #15
bardzo ladnie Michal.
pawian 178 | 16,128  
17 Jul 2008 /  #16
Mur, mury, murów

bardzo ladnie Michal.

Don`t forget murom from the song: Wyrwij murom zęby krat....
Michal - | 1,865  
17 Jul 2008 /  #17
Sorry, yes ja idę ku murowi!
miranda  
17 Jul 2008 /  #18
just make sure you don't bang your head Michal.

he, he......
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
29 Jul 2008 /  #19
just make sure you don't bang your head Michal.

Can he really get any worse. I'd think a little incident like that could only help him.
sausage 19 | 777  
30 Jul 2008 /  #20
Can someone tell me how "ściana" is different from "mur"? Which is the preferred one?
rafik 18 | 589  
30 Jul 2008 /  #21
sciana-wall of the house,of the room
mur-something outside,strong and thick.eg mury zamku(wall around the castle)
we also say sciana(not mur!) deszczu-wall(?)of rain
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
30 Jul 2008 /  #22
other than metaphors (such as sciana deszczu and similar) "mur" often suggests a masonry structure.

murować - to lay bricks, to erect a brick wall
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
30 Jul 2008 /  #23
also we say Ściana Płaczu (Wailing Wall), but don't get confused, technically it should be Mur Płaczu :)
other fixed expressions:
Ściana or Mur slowniki.wp.pl/szukaj.html?szukaj=Wall
Moonlighting 31 | 234  
10 Nov 2008 /  #24
Merged: Genitive plural of female and neuter nouns

Hello,

I have a constant problem when building the plural form of female and neuter nouns in dopełniacz. For example, sometimes it consists of removing the final letter of the original word, sometimes there is an ending in "-ek". I don't understand exactly how to choose the appropriate ending. Are there specific rules?

Thanks.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
10 Nov 2008 /  #25
1st group/ -ek ending with words that have -ka ending in signular nominative and -ki in plural nominative, like książka, łyżka, matka, przyjaciółka, lekarka, kucharka etc.

(a great part of female nouns, many of them form a matching pair with a male noun, see przyjaciel, lekarz, kucharz, some others are diminutive forms of older words, for example księga >> książka, mać >> matka),

also neuter nouns that end in -ko in singular nominative, -ka in plural nominative, like łóżko,
(of course there are some exception, like dziecko, plural dzieci, Gen. plural dzieci)

2nd group/ removing the final letter of the original word, for example female nouns ending in singular nominative in -a (but not "-ka"), which have -y or -e -i ending in plural nominative, like markiza, kanapa, herbata, kobieta, ballada, góra; świeca (Nom. plural świece); rzeka, (Nom. plural rzeki), hipoteka

(notice that "rzeka" or "hipoteka" isn't ending in -ka, the main part, or the root/stem of the word is "rzek-" and the ending is "-a", so it seems similar to the 1st group, but belongs to the second)

I'm not sure about neuter nouns, it's late so I won't think about it now, but give me some examples, so I try to search a rule for them tomorrow or in the next days.

This is just off the top of my head, so anyone, please, feel free to disagree or post some more accurate rules from grammar books.
Michal2 - | 78  
11 Nov 2008 /  #26
This is just off the top of my head, so anyone, please, feel free to disagree or post some more accurate rules from grammar books.

No it is not. Yet again, you have copied all this out of a book and made a fun simple subject a misery. Forming the plurals in Polish is not difficult-it is mostly a simplified Russian grammar which was stolen from them in the first place.
Shawn_H  
11 Nov 2008 /  #27
you have copied all this out of a book

Which book might that be?
Michal2 - | 78  
11 Nov 2008 /  #28
there are several books full of these God damn examples from Polish grammar. I could download something nearing the bible with pages of boring examples. A very sad and bad way of showing a living language and quite pointless too.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
11 Nov 2008 /  #29
Carry on, Michal, you're always funny to read.

from other thread:

What about words such as piekarnia, ciastkarnia, suszarnia... is the gen. pl. piekarń or piekarni?

Polish spelling dictionary gives both forms as correct, but I'd rather use piekarni (ciastkarni, suszarni), which is also considered more common, because the -rń ending is a little more difficult in pronounciation for native speakers (I'm sure for foreigners too).

Similar ending words like female gender babcia, ciocia, niania and neuter gender parcie (plural Nom. babcie, ciocie, nianie, parcia) have Genetive plural babci or babć, cioć, niań, parć. In this case the -ń or -ć ending, with a preceding vowel, is easy to pronounce, while the -rć or -bć ending (in parć, babć) is also much easier to pronounce than the -rń ending, anyway, for those lazy bums who find -bć to hard to say, "babci" in Gen. plural also exists.

So here's my guess: grammatically it should piekarń (ciastkarń, suszarń), but since we're not masochists, we didn't follow this rule to make the speaking act a little more fluent and the spelling/grammar books had to adjust.

Related: piekarń?

Nie ma już w naszym mieście zbyt wielu prywatnych piekarń.
Would "piekarni" for gen. pl. also be acceptable, as many people use it, or is it substandard?

piekarń - there's no bakerys
piekarni - there's no bakery

Słownik poprawnej polszczyzny says:
piekarnia - D. lm. piekarni, rzadziej: piekarń
So it's not substandard, rather the opposite.
Moonlighting 31 | 234  
12 Nov 2008 /  #30
Krzysztof,

Thank you very much for your replies. They were very helpful.

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