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What's with the distinction between the ulice/ovce declension patterns?

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I've only gotten through about the first checkpoint and a half, so maybe this is addressed later in the course, but I thought I'd ask anyway.

The course classifies feminine nouns ending in -e into two groups: "ulice" and "ovce." However, all of the sources I can find on the internet prefer to categorize all feminine nouns ending in -e under the same paradigm (usually růže).

So far, the only distinction between the two, as far as I can tell, is that ulice is "ulic" in the genitive plural while "ovce" is "ovcí." I've noticed by random searching that the null ending seems to occur whenever the noun ends in -ice or -ile.

I have a few questions: 1.) Is this a completely predictable pattern? That is, are feminine nouns ending in -ice/-ile always declined this way in the genitive plural, and other -e nouns with the -í ending? 2.) Are there any other differences between these two types of nouns?

Thanks!

1 year ago

1 Comment


https://www.duolingo.com/svrsheque

The course classifies feminine nouns ending in -e into two groups: "ulice" and "ovce." However, all of the sources I can find on the internet prefer to categorize all feminine nouns ending in -e under the same paradigm (usually růže).

ulice is sometimes listed as a sub-paradigm under růže, whether or not whatever one happens to find on the internet recognizes it. the motivation for the sub-paradigm really is just the variant null ending in G. pl.

what is more important, ulice also happens to be a word we thought useful even for the word and grammar-starved front of the course, unlike růže. until we run into G. pl., the user can easily apply the ulice endings to all words of the růže declension. when we do run into it, we just point out that ovce, a word the user also already knows, represents a different (main) group within the paradigm. we could try to add a footnote saying that the official paradigm is růže, but then the user may be asking "who cares". the paradigm actually used to be nůše, a word even less useful in practice. we would have ignored that one too.

constructing a course here just deals with a different set of objectives and constraints than selecting a paradigm by the natives for the natives, and where we must choose one over the other, we choose our course. if our current team feels like moving růže up the tree to try making more use of the actual paradigm in sentences that would not do more harm than good, the next tree may have early roses. we must all keep in mind that messing with the beginning of the tree in tree updates may be a recipe for failing the a/b test and losing months of work. (i should also add that stavení is unlikely to ever even make it into the course, paradigm or not.)

I have a few questions: 1.) Is this a completely predictable pattern? That is, are feminine nouns ending in -ice/-ile always declined this way in the genitive plural, and other -e nouns with the -í ending? 2.) Are there any other differences between these two types of nouns?

  1. the pattern is sort of predictable. the norm within růže is a G. pl. with . non-foreign nouns ending in -ice almost always have a null G. pl. ending. (except svíce allows svěc, svic, and svící, even if lžíce and plíce gets only lžic/plic.) adopted foreign -ice words (definice, opozice,...) and words ending in -yně (žákyně, jeskyně) allow both endings. the -ile situation is sort of predictable also: we have košil, chvil, mil, but pílí.
  2. no.
1 year ago
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