Ples | Taniec - when did these root terms for dance diverge?

polskajason

Member
English - American
Slavic languages seem to be split with respect to the word for dance, with the ples- variants mostly South Slavic (except Bulgarian) and the tanec variants dominating elsewhere, but with ples- variants sounding dated (at least looking at Wiktionary's translations).

How recently were the ples- "dated" variations used commonly, and how "dated" do they sound?
 
  • ilocas2

    Banned
    Czech
    in Czech both are totally commonly used today but they have different meaning

    tanec - dance
    ples - ball (dance party), but we have word bál too - is less used

    for example maškarní ples, maškarní bál - masquerade ball

    and then there is verb plesat which has again different meaning - to exult, to rejoice, to be jubilant

    to dance is tančit, tancovat
     
    Last edited:
    The latter is a loan from the German tanzen, the former (plęsati) is Common Slavic with cognates in Lithuanian (obsolete Lithuanian plęšti; the Lithuanian š testifies that it is not a Slavic loan) and attested also in Gothic (plinsjan - Wiktionary), where it had been borrowed from Slavic, Baltic, or from some extinct Central European language.

    In modern Russian, both are used in principle: танцевать being a generic word and denoting a more formal dance while плясать either having more folk connotations or meaning a kind of dance with more active movements.
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    Slavic languages seem to be split with respect to the word for dance, with the ples- variants mostly South Slavic (except Bulgarian) and the tanec variants dominating elsewhere, but with ples- variants sounding dated (at least looking at Wiktionary's translations).

    How recently were the ples- "dated" variations used commonly, and how "dated" do they sound?
    For me the Polish "pląsać" does not sound dated, it sounds rather a bit derogatory. "Taniec" is tango, waltz or rock-and-roll, while "pląsać" sounds a bit like more or less uncoordinated are very straightforward movements to the music - at least in the eye of the speaker.

    The latter is a loan from the German tanzen
    "Tanzen" is pretty similar to dance, dans, danza, etc. which are used across the whole Europe, only adapted to the local pronunciation. So perhaps it's not a loan FROM German, but THROUGH German?
     
    "Tanzen" is pretty similar to dance, dans, danza, etc. which are used across the whole Europe, only adapted to the local pronunciation. So perhaps it's not a loan FROM German, but THROUGH German?
    As far as I understand, the meaning "to dance" originated in French (the word itself is a Frankish loan there, but it originally had another meaning — Reconstruction:Frankish/dansōn - Wiktionary). Yes, if you like, we can say that this is eventually a French borrowing.
     

    marco_2

    Senior Member
    Polish
    For me the Polish "pląsać" does not sound dated, it sounds rather a bit derogatory. "Taniec" is tango, waltz or rock-and-roll, while "pląsać" sounds a bit like more or less uncoordinated are very straightforward movements to the music - at least in the eye of the speaker.
    That's why we also have in Polish the word pląsawica - chorea, an abnormal involuntary movement disorder.
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    In Slovenian, plesati and ples are the normal forms. Tancati has acquired the meaning of jumping on one leg. (Ristanc is the children's game where kids jump on the pattern drawn (ris-) on the floor, like this: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/GMn44o49xWY/maxresdefault.jpg)

    In dialects, older people sometimes say tancpoden for "dancefloor" (from German Tanzboden, I imagine).

    More recently, English loan densati is quite popular (colloquial/informal use only, of course).
     
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