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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoffmant99

dreißig and not dreizig?

I noticed that 30 in German was not what I expected...

Any ideas why 30 in German is dreißig and not dreizig?

March 13, 2016

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garpike

This is an interesting question; I had a dig around and it appears (although I might be wrong) that dreißig comes from Old High German drīzzug, which itself has a double 'z' (OHG 'three' is just 'drī', and the '-ty' 'ten' suffix is just 'zug') because it came from proto-Germanic word for 'three', 'þrīz' (which does end in a sibilant); this sibilant was lost in subsequent German words for 'three' but was retained in 'thirty'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoffmant99

So it seems the "z" at the end of "dreiz" was cut off and became "drei; whereas " dreizzig" kept the double zz, which changed to "ß" because it is between two vowels? Maybe "hieße" was once "hiezze"?

Even though I don't know much about the " ß" character, it is starting to make more sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

"Den Grund, warum man dreißig mit ß schreibt, die anderen Zehner zwanzig, vierzig, fünfzig bis neunzig aber mit z, müssen wir in der 2. bzw. hochdeutschen Lautverschiebung suchen. Diese Lautverschiebung trennte zwischen dem 6. und 8. Jahrhundert n.Chr. im Süden unseres Sprachraums das Germanische vom (Alt-)Hochdeutschen. Die Zehnerzahlen werden durch das Anhängen des Suffixes -zig gebildet, welches aus einem alten germanischen Wort entstanden ist, das mit t- anlautete. Schriftliche Beispiele für das Germanische vor der 2. Lautverschiebung finden wir heute nur noch im Gotischen, und dort gibt es das Wort got. tigus in der Bedeutung "Dekade, Zehnzahl". Also bildeten die alten Germanen beim Abzählen ihrer Sippe oder ihrer im Busch auf die Römer lauernden Krieger die Zehnerzahlen als Komposita aus Grundzahl als Erstglied und dem besagten t-Wort als Zweitglied.

Das anlautende t stand normalerweise hinter einem Konsonanten (zwan-, vier-, fünf- usw.) und wurde dann entsprechend den Lautgesetzen während der hochdeutschen Lautverschiebung zu einem Verschlusslaut mit folgendem Reibelaut([ts] = z) verschoben. Zwischen Vokalen trat dies jedoch nicht ein. Hier verschob sich das t zu einem Reibelaut, zu einem scharfen s ([s] = ß) – daher heißt es drei-ß-ig. Natürlich muss unsere Wirtin nicht erst die Proseminare der Germanistik besuchen, um die Zehnerzahlen richtig schreiben zu können. Sie und alle Normalverbraucher müssen sich nur Folgendes merken: nach einem Konsonanten immer -zig, nach einem Vokal immer -ßig. So wirr ist die Regel also gar nicht."

http://www.abendblatt.de/meinung/article129904476/Ein-Geschenkgutschein-mit-einigen-Folgen.html

It's a bit complicated. Basically, it's because of the High German consonant shift, which turned /t/ into /ts/, but between two vowels, /t/ turned into /s/. This shift did not occur in Low German and Dutch. That's why it's still "dörtig" / "dertig" in these languages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatrikRosen

"Sie und alle Normalverbraucher müssen sich nur Folgendes merken: nach einem Konsonanten immer -zig, nach einem Vokal immer -ßig. So wirr ist die Regel also gar nicht."

Gut zu wissen! Vielen dank! Auch danke für die Erklarung.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Or, for that matter, in English (thirTy).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/psimpson1

This is very interesting, thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoffmant99

Viele( oder Viel?) danke! Your response is like a lesson I need to translate. I look forward to understanding your post soon, with a pc, since it is too cumbersome to switch between tabs on mein( oder meine?) Handy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

"vielen Dank" (or: "danke sehr") and "auf meinem Handy" :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoffmant99

"Vielen", not " Viel", because "Dank", a masculine noun, is accusative in this case. "Dank" is the noun for "thanks".

The whole saying, " Vielen Dank" is short for what one can assume is " Ich sage Ihnen vielen Dank". - I googled this yet cannot paste "aus meinem Handy". Nevertheless it should make some sort of sense.

Handy is dative, so it is "meinem Handy". "Auf" is on/upon/top, so "auf meinem Handy".

Hence, the lessons. Lol.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamuelSchr11

"Christan". Are you a native German speaker?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UliKrebs

Very interesting - as german native speaker i never thought, that this is causing trouble for foreigners; actually the pronounciation of "s", "ß" and "z" is different; s is prounounced soft as in sea (See); "ß" (also written ss) ist prounounced a lot harder (more like in snake); for the pronouncation of "z" i don't have an English word (maybe somebody is able to help here), but it is prounouced more like "ts". I do not know the exact prounouncation of Tsunami in English, probably this may do it. So, if learning German by ear, you don't think about it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Malzire

Tsunami is just a silent t. Soo-nah-me. You find the z sound at the end of plural nouns ending in t (cats, pots, gnats)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoffmant99

I had to think about this too. I am a native English speaker and I did not know how to pronounce it until there was a major one in the Pacific about "zehn" years ago.

I also forgot how to say it just now. Yes, it sounds like "zoo" to start.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SchnitzelFan

Yes this a tricky area. In fact, I think the single "s" in German is harder than you suggest: English "s" is softer and the German "s" sounds more like an English "z". Eg compare English and German "sang" (http://www.dict.cc/?s=sang might help).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bduderstadt

German s is voiced like English z. German ß is voiceless like English s. German z is like t+s


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/psimpson1

It's just one of those irregularities you have to memorize. No idea why, and the reason probably isn't substantial.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bduderstadt

Exactly. Those number words have lots of irregularities, probably in most languages. Why is it eighty, not eightty, forty, not fourty in English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SajadDoLengu

I am confused now! if "nach einem Konsonanten immer -zig, nach einem Vokal immer -ßig" is true,

So why not dreizehn ---> dreißehn ?!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/linguistkris

Different rule for a different suffix, I suppose (not that I looked it up). Although the Old Germanic suffix for ten should have started with a t- also. But sound change can also be influenced by word stress. And not least, speakers tend to regularise an odd one out, and the -zehn suffix is very much still obvious so speakers (as opposed to the Gothic tigus mentioned above), so it might just be back-formed to appear regular. (Sorry that I'm not taking the time to look it up; I may get around to it later this weekend.)

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