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

Accusative for names that don't end in "-o"?

I've been hearing a lot about this "Sofia" on the Esperanto course. Duolingo has never actually used "Sofia" as the direct object of a sentence, and so I don't know what to do if she actually is. As far as I know, "-a" is only used on adjectives. So I have three guesses as to what happens.

  1. You just plain add the "-n" to Sofia so that it is "Sofian". I think that this wouldn't work because if you were going to add an adjective to Sofia both of them would have "-a".

  2. You either add an "-o" to Sofia so that it is either "Sofiaon", or replace the "-a" with the "-o" so that it is "Sofion".

  3. You don't add the accusative and use word order to imply what you mean. This one I think is very unlikely.

There could of course be something that I am entirely missing. Thank you for any answers in advance!

July 22, 2018

7 Comments


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

My rule, which I think I picked up as a result of correspondence with Claude Piron back in the day - is to add the -n if it's phonetically possible.

  • Mi vidas Sophia-n.
  • Mi vidas Sally-n.
  • Mi vidas John.
  • Mi vidas Heather.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaptianKaos8

Kial ne "Mi vidas Heathern"?


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

IMHO it's not phonetically possible. YMMV, but I suspect if you find it easy you're pronouncing the R wrong. :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertoKin9

PMEG says that all of the following are valid:

Ĉu vi konas Anna? Ĉu vi konas Annan? Ĉu vi konas mian amikinon Anna?

If your Esperanto is strong, you can read more here: http://bertilow.com/pmeg/gramatiko/propraj_nomoj/ne-esperantigitaj.html#i-u5g


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

Thanks! I’ve got another question. Why would somebody even pick a name that ended with an “-a” in the first place? Wouldn’t it just make sense to simplify and make it an “-o”?


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

It's fairly well established in Esperanto that female names can end in -a. This is certainly a carry over from the national languages where this happens. In any event, it's pretty common.

I also know a few women named "Suzano" and my son's name ends in a silent H and is often transcribed in Esperanto as ending with -a.


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

That clears a lot up. Thanks!

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