Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"What's the matter with you?" in Serbian



"Koji ti je andrak?" (what's the matter with you? what is wrong with you?) ... a blast from the past ! I was so happy when I came across this phrase which I haven't heard for ages :o) Where do words hide when they grow old?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Noun Declension in Serbian: 1st Declension, part 1

According to the case suffixes, nouns in Serbian can be grouped into three or four declensions (the order and number hasn't been established yet). I'll list the three most commonly presented ones, starting from the most complex one, which is often subdivided, depending on the noun gender and its stem ending:

1. Declension:

Masculine nouns ending in a consonant
Neuter nouns ending in -o or -e

*Note that Masc. nouns in Sg. Acc. is the same as the Genetive if the noun denotes an 'animate concept', like human being or an animal, while the 'inanimate' ones are objects, but also plants and groups of people or animals (like 'a people'= 'narod' or pack (of wolves)= 'čopor')

** All Neuter nouns have the same form for Nominative, Accusative and Vocative, which is really great :o)

*** With Masc. nouns ending in palatal 'j, lj, nj, č, dž, đ, ć, š, ž'
a/ in Sg. Instrumental case it will end in 'em', instead of 'om'
b/ in Sg. Vocative case it will end in 'u' instead of 'e'

ANIMATE ANIMATE non-ANIMATE non-ANIMATE
Sing.




non-palatal ending palatal non-palatal palatal ending
Nom DOKTOR PRIJATELJ BROD ČEKIĆ
Gen DOKTOR-A PRIJATELJ-A BROD-A ČEKIĆ-A
Dative DOKTOR-U PRIJATELJ-U BROD-U ČEKIĆ-U
Acc DOKTOR-E PRIJATELJ-A BROD ČEKIĆ
Voc DOKTOR-E PRIJATELJ-U BROD-E ČEKIĆ-U
Inst DOKTOR-OM PRIJATELJ-EM BROD-OM ČEKIĆ-EM
Loc DOKTOR-U PRIJATELJ-U BROD-U ČEKIĆ-U

****The pattern for Plural being the same for all the forms:
Nom DOKTOR-I
Gen DOKTOR-A
Dative DOKTOR-IMA
Acc DOKTOR-E
Voc DOKTOR-I
Inst DOKTOR-IMA
Loc DOKTOR-IMA

*****Elongated Plural can be seen in the majority of one syllable and a good part of two syllable nouns. In the plural they get 'OV' or with palatal ones 'EV':



Elongated' = longer form
Nom STAN-ov-I
Gen STAN-ov-A
Dative STAN-ov-IMA
Acc STAN-ov-E
Voc STAN-ov-I
Inst STAN-ov-IMA
Loc STAN-ov-IMA

******* Sometimes, if the noun ends in -c, -s, -z or -t, there is an ending in -ev (e.g. vicevi (jokes), nosevi (noses) , putevi (roads) )

Well, as you can see, this is just the beginning of the story about Noun Declensions. If you are learning Serbian, I'd like to ask you if you find it easier to learn the language in this 'grammar oriented' fashion, or simply 'by ear'?

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