All Slavic: сущий, súščij - Non-Russian equivalents?

arn00b

Senior Member
English
Russian has the word сущий (súščij) which is the present active (imperfect) participle of быть ‎(bytʹ).

Yes, present active imperfect participle is a mouthful and not everyone may know what it is. Basically it's the present tense form of бы́вший (byvšij) which most Slavic languages have.

Does your language have a form like сущий? Is it used or does it just exist in grammar? How is it used? Only in religion/law/poetry/philosophy/rock music?

(I'm not excluding Russian here. I don't know how it's used in Russian either, I just know that it exists.)
 
  • Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Hi arn00b, grammarians don't always use terms in the same way, but I did a double take on seeing сущий described as the present participle. The Russian sources I've consulted describe it as an adjective - прилагательное, though, of course, it can function as a participial noun - we don't have context here.

    The present participle of быть is будучи, and that form doesn't change. The Czech present participle, rarely used except in the contexts you describe, is jsa - masculine singular, jsouc - feminine and neuter singular, and jsouce - all genders plural. So that differs from Russian in that the Czech participle form changes for gender, while будучи doesn't.

    Cу́щий, су́щая, су́щее, су́щие is (in terminology I am used to) an adjective (existing, living, being, real, downright, sheer [сущий вздор] etc) and it declines for number, gender and case. This word, of course, is not to be confused with суши - definitely a noun, which is a Japanese raw fish dish :rolleyes:.

    Czech has the equivalent adjective formed from the third person plural (jsou) of the verb to be - být(i), and it's jsoucí, which also declines for number, gender and case, but as a "soft" adjective, the nominative form is jsoucí in all genders and both numbers.

    [Ed: typo - declines]
     
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    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    Czech: jsoucí (oni jsou, OCz. sú = they are)
    Old Czech (and dialects with conservative phonology): súcí (súci, sucy) < *suštij

    It is rarely used, often in philosophy ("jsoucí jest, nejsoucí není" - Parmenides). Hence the noun jsoucno (das Dasein).

    It is also extensively used in (monolingual) dictionaries, e.g. acefalický = bezhlavý, bez hlavy jsoucí, např. plod, společnost (acephalous = headless, being w/o head, e.g. foetus, society).

    In dialects súcí is common, but has somewhat different meaning than jsoucí in Standard Czech:

    "To néni súcí." (nesluší se to = it is not appropriate to do it)
    "kúřit bylo na slobodnú cérku haňba a nebylo to súcí" (= to smoke ... it was not becoming/appropriate for an unmarried girl)
    "Do večera zme lozili po stromoch a koštovali, keré hrušky nebo jabka sú už súcí k snědku." (= we ... tasted which ... apples were suitable for eating)
     
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    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Hi arn00b, grammarians don't always use terms in the same way, but I did a double take on seeing сущий described as the present participle. The Russian sources I've consulted describe it as an adjective - прилагательное, though, of course, it can function as a participial noun - we don't have context here.

    The present participle of быть is будучи, and that form doesn't change. The Czech present participle, rarely used except in the contexts you describe, is jsa - masculine singular, jsouc - feminine and neuter singular, and jsouce - all genders plural. So that differs from Russian in that the Czech participle form changes for gender, while будучи doesn't.

    Cу́щий, су́щая, су́щее, су́щие is (in terminology I am used to) an adjective (existing, living, being, real, downright, sheer [сущий вздор] etc) and it declines for number, gender and case. This word, of course, is not to be confused with суши - definitely a noun, which is a Japanese raw fish dish :rolleyes:.

    Czech has the equivalent adjective formed from the third person plural (jsou) of the verb to be - být(i), and it's jsoucí, which also declines for number, gender and case, but as a "soft" adjective, the nominative form is jsoucí in all genders and both numbers.

    [Ed: typo - declines]
    To clarify some things.
    There are two kinds of participles in Russian:
    - причастие (participle), which serves as an attributive or a predicate just like any adjective, and, like any adjective, has gender, number and case - plus, like any verb, has voice and tense (cf. Eng. existing object, related topic, this subject is being discussed, etc.);
    - деепричастие (a.k.a. adverbial participle, verbal adverb, or gerund), which signifies some secondary action, and doesn't have any of the mentioned adjectival cathegories, but still has voice and tense (cf. Eng. smiling, he opened it).
    To me the word сущий doesn't behave like a normal participle should. It cannot be modified by an adverb, for instance (so, you can say давно существующий, - "existing for a long time", - but not давно сущий). It cannot be connected to typical arguments of the verb "to be" (он повар, он был поваром, он будет поваром; but not он сущий повар(ом)). And its secondary (or even main) meanings - "true", "sheer", "mere", - aren't verbal at all.
    The same, in fact, refers to the similar word будущий (adj. "future"). Бывший (adj. former), in the same time, really can be a participle as well (человек, давно бывший поваром - a man who was a cook for a long time).

    Etymologically it's surely a participle (a Church Slavonic participle, in fact), but that's another matter.
     
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    Сущий in the modern language functions, indeed, as a plain adjective, but we can find examples of its participial usage in the 19th century poetry (всяк сущий в ней язык "every language [nation] existing there"). Etymologically it is just a plain inherited Participle: it looks Church Slavonic to a modern speaker only because of being obsolete in this function. The latter is surely connected with the absence of the Present of "to be" in most contexts of modern Russian.

    P. S. Yes, one cannot say он сущий поваром, but one cannot use any Active Participle in such a construction (он служащий поваром, он читающий книгу, он купивший хлеба).

    P. P. S. Yes, щ instead of ч is a Bulgarian trait, but this doesn't mean that the Present Active Participles as a class were borrowed: just that they have been codified in their Church Slavonic shape.
     
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    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Сущий in the modern language functions, indeed, as a plain adjective, but we can find examples of its participial language in the 19th century poetry (всяк сущий в ней язык "every language [nation] existing there"). Etymologically it is just a plain inherited Participle: it looks Church Slavonic to a modern speaker only because of being obsolete in this function.
    Russian cannot have "inherited participles" ending in -щий in the first place, only in -чий (and those are all adjectives for a really long time already).
    The whole cathegory of present active participles in the modern Russian is loaned, and almost not used in both the modern colloquial Russian and the (historical) Russian dialects.
     
    Russian cannot have "inherited participles" ending in -щий in the first place, only in -чий (and those are all adjectives for a really long time already).
    See P. P. S. in my previous post. "Borrowed" would mean that there was a period when Literary Russian lacked Present Active Participles, which is not so: they always existed, simply with time the Bulgarian щ-variants won.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    See P. P. S. in my previous post. "Borrowed" would mean that there was a period when Literary Russian lacked Present Active Participles, which is not so: they always existed, simply with time the Bulgarian щ-variants won.
    Occam disagrees, I am afraid.
    There is none participle ending in -чий in Russian. Not in the standard Russian, not in the dialects, nowhere. Not even in Ukrainian or Belarusian. For a good reason: all they produced the Russian gerunds ending in -чи instead (if were not fully lexicalized as adjectives, as it was mentioned). In the same time there is a lot of participles ending in -щий, but alas! they aren't used in the live speech (and don't even exist in East Slavic languages outside Russian). The simplest explanation looks quite simple.
     
    Occam disagrees, I am afraid.
    There is none participle ending in -чий in Russian. Not in the standard Russian, not in the dialects, nowhere. Not even in Ukrainian or Belarusian. For a good reason: all they produced the Russian gerunds ending in -чи instead (if were not fully lexicalized as adjectives, as it was mentioned). In the same time there is a lot of participles ending in -щий, but alas! they aren't used in the live speech (and don't even exist in East Slavic languages outside Russian). The simplest explanation looks quite simple.
    They are actually used in the speech: I notice them from time to time e. g. in people speaking by phone. Of course, this is the influence of the written language, yet nevertheless.

    I intentionally wrote about Literary Russian: you can't find a period during all the millennium of literacy when the written language lacked these participles. In the beginning, they existed in both ч- and щ-forms, later indeed the ч-variants stopped being used in the Participle role. If it were so that these щ-Participles were confined to the texts of high register (like it originally was in the case of many latinisms in the Western European languages), then, yes, we could have soundly regarded them as Church Slavonic loans when they would have begun to penetrate to the standard written style, yet in reality they never disappeared from the texts that otherwise belonged to the chancery register, and hence they always kept being part of the normal written usage.

    The difference between Russian and both other East Slavic languages is that it never experienced any interruption of the written tradition, so the forms lost in the dialects but surviving in the educated use are as Russian as any others. Also, Russian language codifiers never regarded the people's speech as the source of inspiration: the standard was always based on the speech of the metropolitan nobility and educated classes.
     
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    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    In Slovenian, we only have the adjective bivši for the past and bodoči for the future. There is no word corresponding to сущий or jsoucí.
     

    Hachi25

    Member
    Serbo-Croatian
    Serbo-Croatian has an adjective 'sušti' and a noun 'suština'. They both correspond to the Proto Slavic verb *sǫtji, but today they mean something different now: 'suština' is 'an essence, a heart or a core of something'. It is still actively used, no archaic connotations or anything similar.
     
    Serbo-Croatian has an adjective 'sušti' and a noun 'suština'. They both correspond to the Proto Slavic verb *sǫtji, but today they mean something different now: 'suština' is 'an essence, a heart or a core of something'. It is still actively used, no archaic connotations or anything similar.
    Yet these are of Church Slavonic origin: the inherited forms would be **sući and **sućina.
     

    Hachi25

    Member
    Serbo-Croatian
    Yes, I know. And the inherited forms exist, at least as a noun - 'sućanstvo' or 'sućnost', but that's considered very archaic.
     
    If it is a present active participle it must be imperfective, I presume ...
    In Russian, perfective Present Active Participles are occasionally possible (I have a feeling that their frequency is increasing), with the future meaning: откроющийся "which will be opened" — https://www.google.ru/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=откроющийся&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=nbtbWLOOB-eEygXav4OQAw#newwindow=1&q=откроющийся&nfpr=1

    The Subjunctive participles (i. e. Past Active Participles with бы) are already more natural, especially in some authors, e. g. сказавший бы "which would say / would have said" — https://www.google.ru/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=откроющийся&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=nbtbWLOOB-eEygXav4OQAw#newwindow=1&q="сказавший+бы"

    I warmly welcome both developments as this is how the language enriches itself by filling the existing gaps without breaking anything.
     
    In principle, from открыть/открывать "to open" the following participles are possible:

    открывающий
    откроющий
    — developing
    открывавший
    открывший
    открывавший бы
    — developing
    открывший бы — developing

    открываемый
    … (откроемый is still not possible)
    … (открыванный is lost)
    открытый
     

    arn00b

    Senior Member
    English
    In principle, from открыть/открывать "to open" the following participles are possible:

    открывающий
    откроющий
    — developing
    открывавший
    открывший
    открывавший бы
    — developing
    открывший бы — developing

    открываемый
    … (откроемый is still not possible)
    … (открыванный is lost)
    открытый

    Wow, that's impressive. Could you please add a translation for these, including the hypothetical/non-possible ones? I'm very curious.

    Thanks a lot for this.
     
    открывающий — opening
    откроющий [developing] — which will open
    открывавший — which opened / which was opening / which opened and then closed
    открывший — which opened / which has opened
    открывавший бы [developing] — which would open / which would have opened / which would open and then close / which would have opened and then closed
    открывший бы [developing] — which would open / which would have opened

    открываемый — being opened
    … (откроемый is still not possible) — which will be opened
    … (открыванный is lost) — which was opened
    открытый — opened

    Since, in contrast to English, Russian always distinguishes between transitive and intransitive verbs, "to open" in the intransitive sense is conveyed by a separate verb открыться/открываться, which contextually is also used for the Passive of открыть/открывать, so it adds six more Participles:

    открывающийся — opening / being opened
    откроющийся [developing] — which will open / which will be opened
    открывавшийся — which opened / which was opening / which opened and then closed / which was opened / which was being opened / which was opened and then closed
    открывшийся — which opened / which has opened / opened
    открывавшийся бы [developing] — which would open / which would have opened / which would open and then close / which would have opened and then closed / which would have been opened / which would have been opened and then closed
    открывшийся бы [developing] — which would open / which would have opened / which would have been opened

    The diverse English translations reflect that Russian and English verbs emphasize different sides of the aspectual, voice and tense oppositions. Ideally, the verb should have expressed each with its own set of forms, but unfortunately, the Indo-European verbal systems are very poor.

    P. S. The above list represents the maximum range. Many verbs form less participles, e. g. intransitive ones don't have Passive forms and uniaspectual ones don't have Imperfective and Perfective pairs. For example руководить "to govern" only has руководящий "governing", руководивший "which governed" and руководимый "being governed": paradoxically, in contrast to most other Slavic languages, Russian has almost lost Past Passive Participles from the Imperfective verbs (so that **руковождённый "governed" is no more possible): when necessary to express the past passive imperfective meaning, Past Active Participles of -ся -verbs are used, when available (i. e. "governed" can be sometimes translated as руководившийся).

    Other Slavic languages don't distinguish between Present and Past Passive Participles anymore: the present meaning is conveyed by Past Passive Participles from Imperfective verbs (деланный), the past one by Past Passive Participles from Perfective verbs (сделанный). So, from the original Slavic system of three Passive Participles (делаемый, деланный, сделанный) only two have been preserved: Russian has preserved делаемый and сделанный (деланный is residual), while other Slavic languages have preserved деланный and сделанный.

    P. P. S. The Russian Present Passive Participles, contrary to what can be sometimes read, are quite alive: yes, they can't be formed from many verbs belonging to non-productive classes, but they are freely possible from the Imperfective transitive verbs of the productive types on -аю, -ею and -ую and, with hesitation, from verbs on -ю/-ить, cp. loanwords of the last 10 years ла́йкать/ла́йкаемый (https://www.google.ru/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=лайкаемый&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=D0diWITQK4HFsAGwmIvQDg#newwindow=1&q=лайкаемые&nfpr=1) and фо́лловить/фо́лловимый (https://www.google.ru/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=фолловимый&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=GUdiWJ3eAYHFsAGwmIvQDg#newwindow=1&q=фолловимые).
     
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    arn00b

    Senior Member
    English
    Thanks so much, ahvalj.

    I have a question concerning руководимый. How is the determination made whether this prefix means -ible/-able i.e. guidable vs guided?

    Is it the same prefix with dual uses or was it two different sounding/looking prefixes that eventually become identical?
     
    Thanks so much, ahvalj.

    I have a question concerning руководимый. How is the determination made whether this prefix means -ible/-able i.e. guidable vs guided?

    Is it the same prefix with dual uses or was it two different sounding/looking prefixes that eventually become identical?
    Yes, these are the same words with dual meaning: that of Present Passive Participles and that of adjectives of passive ability. Not every participle can be used as an adjective, though: руководимый can't for example, it is only the participle; one has to check the dictionary each time whether an adjective exists. On the other hand, there are many words formed specifically as adjectives, first of all those of the structure (не-)…-имый (непобедимый, (не)представимый, (не)сопоставимый).

    The origin of this adjectival meaning is in principle transparent: самый лайкаемый "the most liked" can easily receive the meaning "the most likable". This transposition is old: it is already present in Old Church Slavonic, e. g. the Nicene creed of all things visible and invisible/ὁρατῶν τε πάντων καὶ ἀοράτων/visibilium omnium et invisibilium is видимыимъ же вьсѣмъ и невидимыимъ (Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed - Wikisource) and the same usage exists in Baltic: regimosios ir neregimosios visatos (Lithuanian) and visa redzamā un neredzamā (Latvian).

    On the other hand, even Russian has traces of proper adjectives of passive ability with the suffix -н-<-ьн-, e. g. видно, слышно, можно, опасно, сносно (cp. also Slovene vseh vidnih in nevidnih stvari), and numerous adjectives of active or passive ability on -к-<-ък- (колкий, ломкий, чёткий, броский, ноский). Both types, too, have Lithuanian counterparts: -ьн- corresponds to the adjectives on -inas formed in Lithuanian from the Infinitive or Past Passive Participle and meaning "requiring to be done": atidėtinas "requiring postponement", atmintinas "memorable", būtinas "obligatory" (literally "which has to be"), bartinas "reprehensible"; -ък- corresponds to the Lithuanian type on -us (in Slavic the old *-uṣ was extended with the suffix *-ka-, hence *-ukas>-ъкъ): glodus : гладкий, grumus : громкий, ėdus : едкий, lavus : ловкий.

    P. S. Compare pairs: слышимый : слышный, невыносимый : несносный, приемлемый : приятный (OCS приѩтьнъ) — the participle in each case belongs to a higher style.

    Приятный/приѩтьнъ has an exact etymological counterpart in the Lithuanian priimtinas "acceptable". In Russian, приятный and its cognates have embraced outcomes of two unrelated words, the Old Church Slavonic приꙗти "to like" (where prьja- is the root, cognate to friend, Gothic frijonds) and приѩти "to accept" (where pri- is the prefix and -(j)ę- is the root), so that this group looks now connected with both "likable" and "acceptable": cp. неприятный (rather from приꙗти) and неприятие (rather from приѩти).
     
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