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WHY IS SATELITA MASCULINE?


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
8 Mar 2009 #1
Some words in -ita are feminine such as okowita (a tipple), otehrs asre masculine such as banita. Anyone know why satelita is masculine in Polish?
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240
8 Mar 2009 #2
satelita as in satellite television is feminine
satelita as in satellite orbiting a planet, such as the Moon is masculine, probably to tell them two satellites apart
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
8 Mar 2009 #3
But satelita in a cosmic sense was first -- satellite TV came much later. WHy at that time (in the late 1950s and early 60s as far as artifical satellites are concerned) was it decided and by whom to make satelita masculine?
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240
8 Mar 2009 #4
satelita is not the only masculine noun which ends with -a. there are plenty. you might as well wonder why all those other nouns are masculine. i'm really not sure why that is. cos men identified and named them?? lol. in the olden days other *cosmic* nouns such as planeta or asteroida well masculine in Polish as well. the Astronomical Association, or whatever they are called in Poland, recommend that satelita is used as a masculine noun.

i'll try to find out why, no joy with google polska so far...
Bartolome 2 | 1,085
8 Mar 2009 #5
Quite an ironic fact in Polish is that the word for 'man' - 'męczyzna' has an ending typical for feminine nouns.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
8 Mar 2009 #6
If true, that's interesting. I never thought "ten planeta" could have ever been correct.
Bartolome 2 | 1,085
8 Mar 2009 #7
'męczyzna'

'mężczyzna' of course.
Some professions and words describing character, features etc have '-a' endings too, e.g. geodeta, specjalista, inwalida, troglodyta
Krzysztof 2 | 973
10 Mar 2009 #8
Guys, learning Latin (or at least Italian/Spanish) never hurts :)

With some exceptions (like "mężczyzna", "sędzia", "oferma") those words were borrowed from Latin, where they also presented this irregularity (-a ending and male gender).

Since this combination isn't natural for Polish, so the rarely used words (like "asteroida" or even "planeta") switched to the common sense gramatical gender quite smoothly.

Trying to change the gender of "mężczyzna" to female (because of -a ending) would be much more difficult :)
Originally it was "mąż" for a man (today "mąż" = husband), I don't know why they applied the typically female ending to it (or more precisely to the adjective "męski" = manly, you may find the ending -yzna in other words, "ojczyzna", "ojcowizna", "£emkowszczyzna", "golizna", "blizna", "łatwizna" etc., they are always femele gender).

Quite an ironic fact in Polish is that the word for 'man' - 'mężczyzna' has an ending typical for feminine nouns.

Well, in German "das Weib" (a woman) and "das Mädchen" (a girl) both have a neuter gender, so Polish isn't the only language with such "problems".
z_darius 14 | 3,968
11 Mar 2009 #9
Quite an ironic fact in Polish is that the word for 'man' - 'męczyzna' has an ending typical for feminine nouns.

This is an interesting word that follows some rules of Polish grammar. Originally (I'll spare everybody Old Slavonic forms) the word for "man" was "mąż", now meaning a married man.

"Mężczyzna" used to be understood as singularium tantum and meaning a collection of men, sometimes (though not as often) the quality of being a man/masculine.

In the latter part of the 16th century a Polish writer stated "Krzyżacy posiekwszy mężczyznę wszystkę, dziatki i niewiasty pobrali" which meant "all men". The word, then, used to be of feminine gender describing a collection of masculine elements. Only around 17th century the meaning was beginning to lean towards one person of masculine gender, and that's about the time when it acquired masculine grammatical form.
gumishu
11 Mar 2009 #10
suffix -yzna would produce nouns describing a quality
still in use are golizna (bareness,nakedness) from goły, tężyzna (strength, stamina) - from tęgi (there's semantic shift here though tęgi means mostly thick now), drożyzna (expensiveness, high prices) from drogi

ojczyzna(motherland), ojcowizna(heirdom) and pańszczyzna(socage), polszczyzna(Polish language) are not qualities but ideas that are derived from the adjective roots of the words
strzyga 2 | 993
2 Jan 2010 #11
satelita as in satellite television is feminine

no.
in "satellite television" satellite (satelitarna) is an adjective and has feminine ending only because the noun television(telewizja) is feminine. As any adjective, it could take any gender ending.

But "satelita" as a noun is always masculine.
pawian 204 | 21,118
2 Jan 2010 #12
Anyone know why satelita is masculine in Polish?

Why ship is feminine in English while in Polish it is masculine?
Derevon 12 | 172
2 Jan 2010 #13
The thing with "satelita" is that it's one of extremely few nouns ending in -a that is male (not counting those that describe an individual who is by definition male, or potentially male). The only other word I know of is "boa", but I guess it's male just because it's implied "wąż boa". If anyone knows of any others, feel free to share.
pawian 204 | 21,118
3 Jan 2010 #14
I wouldnt` say they are so extremely few. Take words from -yta family: erudyta, troglodyta. Or -ista: talmudysta, ekstremista, pacyfista etc etc. and hundreds more.
Derevon 12 | 172
3 Jan 2010 #15
But those words you listed describe people who are by definition or potentially male, so I don't count them. "Satelita" on the other hand, doesn't.
pawian 204 | 21,118
3 Jan 2010 #16
For me, a Pole, satelita is by definition masculine. :):):)
Ziemowit 14 | 4,412
3 Jan 2010 #17
It is indeed strange that satelita is masculine gender. Polish people are used to it, so they think it's obvious, but it's definitely not obvious. For example, kometa is feminine, asteroida is ... well, I think it is feminine, but it might be that some people think it ... masculne! Maybe it's the same story as with boa; the gender of one implies the gender of the other: (ten) wąż-boa / (ten) księżyc-satelita.
Michal - | 1,865
4 Jan 2010 #18
Krzysztof
Das madchen is a diminutive and all such endings are neuter in German.
catsoldier 62 | 595
3 Feb 2012 #19
I hope that this is in the right thread, it is related to the gender and animals etc.

Like kot, masucline.
Mój kot miał na imię Paweł. No problem here because everything is masculine, names and nouns etc. Paweł because I don't know what Polish cats are called.

Mój kot miała na imię Katarzyna. There is surely a mistake here somewhere.

Can anyone help?
Lyzko
3 Feb 2012 #20
That still wouldn't explain either "das" Kind (neuter child???) or "das Genie":-), would it now Michał?LOL

Polish "a-class" nouns form a special area of focus in Polish for foreign learners.
Ender®
3 Feb 2012 #21
I think the masculine form has been simply transfered from sputnik. In time 'satelita' becomes more popular (satellite tv -televizja satelitarna, satellite disc - satelita as antena (aerial) is famine form.
rybnik 18 | 1,461
3 Feb 2012 #22
Mój kot miała na imię Katarzyna. There is surely a mistake here somewhere

moj kot miał na imię Katarzyna.
catsoldier 62 | 595
3 Feb 2012 #23
We stick with the gender of the noun so and the gender of the animal doesn't matter?
Alligator - | 261
3 Feb 2012 #24
moj kot miał na imię Katarzyna.

I would add:
"Moja kotka miała na imię Katarzyna."

Some words in -ita are feminine such as okowita (a tipple), otehrs asre masculine such as banita.

There are two kinds of gender in language: natural and grammatical. Gender of some polish words can be identified immediately, others you just have to learn by heart.

In this case I would agree with Ziemowit, that satelita is considered as male, because of connotation to księżyc.


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