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20. word formation, diminution

Latin and Greek words in Interslavic

  1. Latin and Greek words are written in phonetic orthography with only -i- but respecting original -ch- and -th-.  Latin and Greek masculine and neuter  suffixes of the nominative case are used in Interslavic as well, but are extended in other declination cases by interslavic suffices.


    filozofija (f.  N), filozofije (f.  G), ...  (declension pattern duša)
    = philosophy (greek: φιλοσοφία)
    theatro (n.  N), theatra (n.  G), ...  (declension pattern sělo)
    = theater (greek: θεάτρο)
    kosmos (m. N), kosmosa (m. G), ... (declension pattern grad)
    = space, universe (greek: κόσμος)
    kapitalizm (m.  N), kapitalizma (m.  G), ...  (declension pattern grad)
    = capitalism
    architektura (f.  N), architektury (f.  G), ...  (declension pattern žena)
    = architecture
    problem (m. inanim. N), problema (m. inanim. G), ... (declension pattern grad)
    = problem (greek: προβλήμα n.)
    sistem (m. inanim. N), sistema (m. inanim. G), ... (declension pattern grad)
    = system (greek: σύστημα n.)
    fizika (f. N), fiziky (f. G), ... (declension pattern žena)
    = physics (greek: φυσική f.)

  2. Latin words ending by a consonant -as, -atis are masculine.


    fakultet (m. inanim.) = a faculty, (latin: facultas, facultatis f.)
    univerzitet (m. inanim.) = a university, (latin: universitas, universitatis f.)

  3. Greek words -ια or Latin -ia are transformed to feminine -ija.
    filozofija, astronomija, ...

    Greek words -η/-ις or Latin -a are transformed to -a.
    baza, ...

    Greek adjectives -κος or Latin -cus are transformed to palatalized -sky.
    filosofijsky, ekonomičsky (ekonomika k→č), ...

    Latin -sio is transformed to -zija.
    televizija, ...

    Latin -ssio is transformed to -sija.
    diskusija ...

    Latin -tio/-tia is transformed to -cija.
    gravitacija, ...

  4. Latin or Greek voiced -s- between vowels is transformed to -z-.
    vaza, baza, fizika, ...

    Latin or Greek -ss- is transformed to -s-.
    masiv, ...

    Greek -σμος or Latin -smus is transformed to -zm.
    kapitalizm, ...

  5. Greek -ο(ν) or Latin -um is transformed to -um, Greek -ος or Latin -us is trans-formed to -us, -os.
    forum, foruma; korpus, korpusa; kosmos, kosmosa ...

    note some exceptions:
    museum = muzej, muzeja (m.inanim.) theatrum = theatro, theatra (n.)

  6. Greek adjective -στικος or Latin adjective -sticus is transformed to -stičsky.
    kapitalističsky, ...

  7. Latin or Greek -stus, -στος is transformed to -st.
    kapitalist, ...

words from other languages

Words from another Latin-written language should keep their original orthography pronounciation in their original phonetics but follow Interslavic grammar in endings (gender, cases, ...)


metro, metra, ... (n.) = tube, subway, underground
laser [lɛjzr], lasera [lɛjzra], ... (m.) = laser
bypass [bajpas], bypassa [bajpasa], ... (m.) = bypass

Note, that Cyrillic and Greek tradition are different. These orthographies prefer more phonetic style. It is also possible in Neoslavonic as well.

метро, метро, ... (n.) = tube, subway, underground
лејзр [lɛjzr], лејзра [lɛjzra], ... (m.) = laser
бајпас [bajpas], бајпаса [bajpasa], ... (m.) = bypass

μετρο, μετρο, ... (n.) = tube, subway, underground
λειζρ [lɛjzr], λειζρα [lɛjzra], ... (m.) = laser
μπαιπας [bajpas], μπαιπασα [bajpasa], ... (m.) = bypass

word formation - suffixes

This matter has already been discussed in the lesson 8. See this lesson again in order to repeat set of endings used for creation adjectives.

Moreover, learn these two endings:
  1. -ica making a feminine species from something.


    cěsarj = an emperor → cěsarica = an empress.
    glupy (adj.) = stupid → glupica (N) = stupid (noun, f.)

  2. -ec making a masculine species from something.


    glupy (adj.) = stupid → glupec (N), glupca (G), glupče! (V) = stupid (noun, m.)

word formation - prefixes

Interslavic prefixes are made from prepositions. In addition, there are some special prefixes mostly used with verbs, which are not related to any prepositions (see for details about the aspect of verbs).

vz- , voz- (to begin/launch the process)
do- (to finish/complete the process and separate something)

Other prefixes are regularly made from prepositions. One-consonant prefixes are amended by the vowel "o" if they are connected to a word beginning with a consonant.


so-vršiti, so-vrš-iš, ...  (to culminate, to improve, to collect, to make perfect)

Other prefixes are made directly from the preposition without any change.


od-běgati: od-běž-iš, ...  (run out)
pro-dati, pro-daš, ...  (to sell)
na-ložiti, na-lož-iš, ...  (to load, to put down)
pro-slaviti, pro-slav-iš, ...  (to celebrate, to proclaim)


Diminution of words is very characteristic for all Slavic languages​​. By diminution we can express either smaller or younger species of something/somebody or our some kind of familiar relationship to something/somebody.

Neoslavonic supports the very basic common basis of this huge Slavic system. Please learn these only endings:
  1. -ek, -iček = masculine diminution.


    slon = an elephant
    slonek = a little/young/familiar elephant
    sloniček = a very little/young/familiar elephant

  2. -ka, -ička = feminine diminution.


    krava = a cow
    kravka = a little/young/familiar cow
    kravička = a very little/young/familiar cow

  3. -ko, ičko = neuter diminution


    děte = a child
    dětko = a little/young/familiar child
    dětičko = a very little/young/familiar child

    tele = a calf
    teletko = a little/young/familiar calf (syllable -et- is added due to declension pattern tele, telete)

    brat = a brother
    bratko = a little/young/familiar brother as neuter noun