Appendix:Proto-Slavic/-ica

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This Proto-Slavic entry contains reconstructed words and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.

Proto-Slavic[edit]

Etymology[edit]

By secondary thematicization of older consonant-stem, e.g.

This is comparable to the treatment of ī/ih₂-stems in Latin, in the suffix -trīx, compare:

The primary function in PIE, also retained in Proto-Slavic, was thus to create feminines, substantivized feminine adjectives. The diminutive function is closely related to the structural element */-k-ā/, and has parallels in other suffixes: *-ьka, *-ъka, *-ika, *-ьkъ, *-ъkъ.

Suffix[edit]

*-ica f (sometimes m, see usage notes)

  1. Denominal, forming diminutives.
    *děva (girl, maiden) → *děvica ((a little) girl)
    *muxa (fly) → *mušica ((a small) fly)
    *noga (leg) → *nožica ((a small) leg)
    *rǫka (hand) → *rǫčica ((a small) hand)
    *oldi, *oldьje (ship, boat) → *oldьjica ((a small) ship, boat)
    *ryba (fish) → *rybica ((a small) fish)
  2. Denominal, forming feminine counterparts of masculine nouns.
    *cěsarjь (emperor) → *cěsarjica (empress)
    *lisъ (a male fox) → *lisica (a female fox)
  3. Denominal, forming nouns denoting something related to the meaning of the baseword.
    *gъrdlo (throat) → *gъrdlica (turtledove)
    *buky, *bukъve (beech) → *bukъvica (beech fruit)
    *bъrъ (a kind of millet) → *bъrica (a variety of wild millet)
  4. Deadjectival, denoting a carrier of a property.
    *pьjanъ (drunk) → *pьjanica (drunkard)
    *desnъ (right) → *desnica (right hand)
    *čьrnъ (black) → *čьrnica (something or somebody black)
    *starъ (old) → *starica (old woman)
    *zoltъ (golden) → *zoltica (something golden)
  5. (rare) Deadjectival, forming abstract nouns.
    *blědъ (pale) → *blědica (paleness)
    *blědьnъ (pale) → *blědьnica (paleness)
  6. (rare) Deverbal, forming agent nouns and nomina instrumenti.
    *daviti (to choke, gag, stifle) → *davica (that who/which chokes)
    *plęsati (to dance) → *plęsica (dancer)

Declension[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

Forming feminine counterparts of masculine nouns is particularly productive in South Slavic. North Slavic normally prefers the suffix *-ьka / *-ъka instead.

Diminutive formations are particularly productive in South Slavic (especially Old Church Slavonic and Serbo-Croatian, which do not have diminutive reflexes of suffixes *-ьka / *-ъka). North Slavic has the suffix preserved in relics, and prefers the suffix *-ьka / *-ъka instead.

Agent and instrument nouns formations are secondary, and were originally based on the primary adjective, noun or participle, and later semantically influenced by the corresponding verb. E.g.

  • *bъrzica (fast flowing river; a fast human or animal) ← *bъrzъ (fast) : *bъrziti (to rush, hurry, haste)
  • *bujica (torrent, rapid stream) ← *bujь (unrestrained, violent, fierce) : *bujiti (to rapidly, vigorously grow, surge, swell)

Some agent nouns on *-ica, such as *pьjanica (drunkard), can also be masculine, which is especially productive in Serbo-Croatian.

Accent depends on that of the baseword. In case of oxytonic and circumflexed base, usually the suffixal *-i- is acuted. Derivations from acuted basewords usually preserve the acute (e.g. *ba̋bica, *sta̋rica).

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

  • *-ьnica (with *-ьn- element abstracted away from denominal derivations on *-ьnъ)
  • *-avica (with *-av- element abstracted away from agent nouns on *-ava and adjectives on *-avъ)

Related terms[edit]

  • *-ikъ (masculine counterpart)

Descendants[edit]

References[edit]