Indeclinable nouns, adjectives in languages with declension - only Slavic languages?

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ahvalj

Senior Member
Before the middle 18th century Luciano Pavarotti would have become in Russia some Лукьян Паваротий (with a nominal declension: Паваротия, Паваротию): people were ingenuous then and simply russified foreign names. Purely linguistically speaking, that's a welcome approach, since no grammar rules get harmed, unlike what other Slavic languages do. Ancient Greeks and Romans, and overall most peoples in history, did this as well, unless they dealt with a prestigious language they hesitated to distort.
 
  • jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Many examples can be found in Wiktionary.
    Very many verbs form nouns in -ní/-tí: čtení, psaní, umění, myšlení, stárnutí — that's an unlimitedly productive type as far as I imagine. Also random examples: mládí, stáří, štěstí, počasí, listí, kamení, obilí, -ství…
    These words, unlike derby and zoo, are not indeclinable, as their instrumental differs from the remaining cases: NGDAVL umění (art), instrumental: uměním.
     

    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    As for Italian, we don't even make a foreign noun plural: il bar - i bar the bar - (the) bars, we just change the definite masculine article (bar is masculine in Italian).
    Actually that is what I have been thinking of, not only declension, bt I do not know what you call that, suffixes, grammatical changes.
    Are there imilar words in other Romance languages. I bet there are.
    But not in English or German, right? I mean no changes in plural.
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    But the Finnic situation is exactly the opposite of the Slavic one. In Slavic indeclinable are loanwords, whereas in Finnic the adjectives were originally indeclinable in the attributive function (as elsewhere in Uralic), then began to agree with nouns in case and number, but a small amount of (inherited and ancient) adjectives has not been affected by this process.
     

    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I can only think of one Czech indeclinable noun: zoo. Maybe Encolpius, who started this discussion, can think of more?
    Just open Slovník cizích slov or think of many foreign female names (Lucy, Marilyn, Kiki, etc) [while i Hungarian: Lucyvel, Marilynnel, Kikivel, etc] Jeden guru mi prozradil jedno tabu, že až poletíme do Peru ať si nedáme tofu s kešu místo tiramisu, jinak na nás budou dělat bububu. :D
     
    Last edited:

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    In my opinion, those are just postpositions attached to the nouns Lucyvel - Kikivel - with Lucy, with Kiki. :p
    In agglutinative languages the border between postfixes and postpositions is naturally vague. However, as long as they cannot be separated by something which is undoubtedly a distinct word, or don't demostrate phonetic independency, it's safe to classify these morphemes as postfixes.
     

    jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    I know a bunch of Poles and I know how they talk.

    Imię Romano i podobnie zakończone występują w czterech moich poradach, jednak w żadnej z nich nie zalecam unikania odmiany. Napisałem wyraźnie, że imiona te należy odmieniać, zaś nieodmienność można zaakceptować, skoro znajduje uzasadnienie funkcjonalne.
    imiona włoskie na -o - Poradnia językowa PWN

    Główna przeszkoda pojawia się na poziomie praktycznym: formy odmieniane nie pozwalają na jednoznaczne odtworzenie formy podstawowej imienia, np. gdy słyszymy o Conradzie Moreno, nie jesteśmy stanie ustalić, czy jego imię w mianowniku ma formę Conrad czy Conrado.
    imiona zakończone na -o - Poradnia językowa PWN
     

    jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Elokuva-arvio: Pikku tärkeilijät kriisi-iässä
    Movie review: Little pretenders in an age of crisis - midlife crisis (?) (I don't like my translation, but tough.)
    Elokuva-arvio: Pikku tärkeilijät kriisi-iässä

    As you can see, nothing was added to pikku. Why? I don't know. Languages are fraught with exceptions.

    The usual word for little/small is pieni, which has to be declined. I usually see pikku in compounds, as I've written before.
     

    jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    They are adjectives: Palasin viime viikolla (I returned last week). Palaan ensi viikolla (I will return next week).
     
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