POLAND-ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > POLAND-ROOTS > 2010-08 > 1282839894
From: "Fred Hoffman" <>
Subject: Re: [POLAND] -ska surnames
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 12:24:54 -0400
I checked my e-mail this morning and saw the note from Marie asking
about -ski/-ska names. Then I saw Joe Armata's note and rejoiced that he'd
already given a really good answer to Marie's question.
The only thing I'd add is that -ka is a common diminutive ending added to
roots to form Polish nouns -- and if the root to which it's added ends
in -s-, bingo! you have -ska (example: las = -ka = laska). Or if the root
ends in -z-, addition of -ka causes that -z- to devoice to the sound of -s-,
and thus the diminutive may be spelled -ska rather than -zka. Whether it's
spelled with -s- or -z-, it's pronounced as an -s-; Joe pointed this out
with the example of Brzozka and Brzoska. So one way or another, addition of
diminutive -ka to a root ending in a sibilant is probably the main way these
nouns ending in -ska develop. I suppose the rest are mostly instances where
the root itself ends in -ska, such as _troska_, "worry, care."
But really, Joe's answer is the one to go with. He explained the situation
without talking about devoicing or sibilants, and his examples of English
words derived by similar processes were particularly good. I loved it when
he pointed out that "forest" doesn't mean "most for." It's really effective
you show that some feature of Polish that baffles us isn't really all that
different from things we do in English!
|Re: [POLAND] -ska surnames by "Fred Hoffman" <>|