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Origin of / reason for spelling /tɕi/ as <ci> in the Polish language


LucDre
13 Jan 2020 #1
Hi, most Slavic languages spell eg. 'Martin' with <ti>, even if it's softened in pronunciation, whereas Polish turns it into <ci>. My question is: has Marcin ever been pronounced as /martsin/, or is it just a weird convention and the pronunciation went straight from /martin/ to /martɕin/?
NieNazwany
13 Jan 2020 #2
I'm almost 100% sure Polish "CI" is never pronounced as "TSI" (same with the voiced consonant counterpart, Polish "DZI" never pronounced as "DZ + I"). The only (hypothetical) exceptions would be if Letters C is either a prefix by itself, or if C the last letter of a prefix, and the prefix modifies a word beginning with Letter I...or vice versa, where Letter I is a suffix by itself, or if Letter I is the first letter of a suffix, and the suffix modifies a word ending with Letter C.

But just to let you know, Letter Z is a prefix by itself (along with prefixes Bez-, Roz-, and Wz-), and if those prefixes are modifying words beginning with Letter I, then they're pronounced as "Zee" and not "Źee". The prefix Bez- modifies mostly adjectives, adverbs, and also nouns derived from those adjectives/adverbs. The prefixes Roz- and Wz- modify mainly infinitives and also adjectives/adverbs/nouns derived from those infinitives. But beware, there's also prefix W- modifying words beginning with Zi (also modifying mainly infinitives and also adjectives/adverbs/nouns derived from those infinitives. "Zee" is also words of non-Polish origin, if that's how the word is pronounced in the other country's language)

Oops, I forgot to mention the feminine counterpart of Marcin is Martyna and not Marcina. But possibly there's also the not-as common option "Martyn". But not sure as to why the TY-part of the male name turned into CI, and not in the female name
gumishu 11 | 5,449
13 Jan 2020 #3
I'm almost 100% sure Polish "CI" is never pronounced as "TSI"

there are words or word elements in Polish where ci is pronounced as tsi - the chemical term cis comes to mind

cis is also a Polish word for a tree (yew) and in that case ci is pronounced as ci in Marcin
NieNazwany
13 Jan 2020 #4
OK thank you, I stand corrected. Are there any words where "DZI" pronounced as "DZ + I" instead of "DŹ + I"? (I'm guessing such words are only of non-Polish origin?)

I'm also curious about the other part of the OP's question, as to why the male given name "Martyn" softened the TY into CI, and why they did that to only the boys' name and not the girls' name "Martyna". And they left the male given name "Justyn" alone, instead of softening the STY into ŚCI into "Juścin" (not that I blame them for leaving it alone, of course LOL)

I guess it's one of those historical changes where no one knows when/why?
Atch 17 | 3,314
13 Jan 2020 #5
What always puzzles me is how Nicholas became Mikołaj. Why did they change the 'n' to 'm'? I started a thread about it once but there was no definite answer. Since then I did a bit more research and it seems that could be a kind of hybrid of Michael and Nicholas. The peculiarity also occurs in other Slavic languages.

Ukrainian: Микола, Миколай (Mykola, Mykolaj)
Belarussian: Мікалай (Mikalaj)
Czech and Slovak: Mikuláš
Upper Sorbian: Mikławš
Lower Sorbian: Miklawš
Slovenian: Miklavž.
gumishu 11 | 5,449
13 Jan 2020 #6
Are there any words where "DZI" pronounced as "DZ + I" instead of "DŹ + I"?

can't think of any words like that
Lyzko 25 | 7,016
13 Jan 2020 #7
I can't either.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,269
13 Jan 2020 #8
The peculiarity also occurs in other Slavic languages.

Not only. You may add the Hungarian Miklós to your list.

What's its version in Serbian or Croatian?

Are there any words where "DZI" pronounced as "DZ + I" instead of "DŹ + I"?

You should understand the concept of softness in Polish first. Soft consonants require an 'i' after them that would represent their softness, if the softness isn't represented on its own by the diacritical mark ' above such a vowel. Words like 'silos', for example, are exceptions that are specially marked in dictionaries.

DZ as a hard consonant will always take 'y' instead of 'i'.
Lyzko 25 | 7,016
13 Jan 2020 #9
Hungarian "cz-sound" as in "RakoCZy Utca" most closely resembles Polish "c" without acute diacritical accent mark. The "cs-sound" though is closest to "ci-sound" in Polish.
mafketis 24 | 8,905
13 Jan 2020 #10
its version in Serbian

Cicho bądź!
Lyzko 25 | 7,016
14 Jan 2020 #11
Swietna idea. Dobranoc:-)


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