It may not always end with ის or ისა, either

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/04/09 03:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/04/09/571628.aspx


In the spirit of It may not always end with ի, I thought I would post another example, and though I cannot speak too much more intelligently about Georgian than I can Armenian, it will prove to be as hard of a case to research without that knowledge....

Georgian is a language that also has a suffix that is used for its genitive case (particularly in traditional literature), and there are two different suffixes, either of which may be used:

Like Armenian, the Georgian month names in Windows does not use the genitive case in it's data. Let's look at the data that is there without us trying to be fancy and adding any suffixes: 

 

Month Name Letters
იანვარი IN AN NAR VIN AN RAE IN
თებერვალი TAN EN BAN EN RAE VIN AN LAS IN
მარტი MAN AN RAE TAR IN
აპრილი AN PAR RAE IN LAS IN
მაისი MAN AN IN SAN IN
ივნისი IN VIN NAR IN SAN IN
ივლისი IN VIN LAS IN SAN IN
აგვისტო AN GAN VIN IN SAN TAR ON
სექტემბერი SAN EN KHAR TAR EN MAN BAN EN RAE IN
ოქტომბერი ON KHAR TAR ON MAN BAN EN RAE IN
ნოემბერი NAR ON EN MAN BAN EN RAE IN
დეკემბერი DON EN KAN EN MAN BAN EN RAE IN

Now, just looking at how all of the month names end in a vowel makes me a little nervous about trying to blindly tack either a 'ის' or a 'ისა' to the end of them, but let's take the naive approach and search for them, prior to this post going live and muddying up the waters....

Tentative Genitive Month Name # of hits
იანვარიის/იანვარიის 0/0
თებერვალიის/თებერვალიის 0/0
მარტიის/მარტიისა 2/0
აპრილიის/აპრილიისა 0/0
მაისიის/მაისიისა 0/0
ივნისიის/ივნისიისა 0/0
ივლისიის/ივლისიისა 0/0
აგვისტოის/აგვისტოისა 0/0
სექტემბერიის/სექტემბერიისა 0/0
ოქტომბერიის/ოქტომბერიისა 0/0
ნოემბერიის/ნოემბერიისა 0/0
დეკემბერიის/დეკემბერიისა 0/0

This would seem to indicate one of several possibilities:

Okay, let's look at these least two choices and try to see if it can be established which one is correct.

Putting two vowels together is in some languages consider illegal/uncommon, in others it extends the sound, and for still others it actually creates a whole new vowel sound.

Let's see if there is something to that illegal/uncommon theory, and try just removing the duplicate vowel to see how common the results are:

 
Tentative Genitive Month Name # of hits
იანვარის/იანვარი 131/2
თებერვალის/თებერვალი 131/2
მარტი/მარტისა 90,700/91
აპრილის/აპრილისა 19,000/92
მაისი/მაისისა 14,600/91
ივნისი/ივნისისა 17,900/71
ივლისი/ივლისისა 9,320/67
აგვისტოს/აგვისტის/აგვისტოსა/აგვისტისა 24,800/4/50/0
სექტემბერი/სექტემბერისა 113/3
ოქტომბერი/ოქტომბერისა 97/0
ნოემბერი/ნოემბერისა 40/4
დეკემბერის/დეკემბერისა 55/3

A spot check of some of those ones with higher search hits does seem to be showing full date strings, of the type that would usually be used for genitive dates -- which I think is enough to prove that there is (or at the very least used to be) a usage involving a genitive case for month names in Georgian.

Though obviously the rules for handling the exception is not as easily handled as my "remove the duplicate vowel" test.

Perhaps the "exceptions" in these cases are to use same word as the nomintive form (in many modern contexts this is done with all month names, so it would be easy to imagine this being the case). Something similar happens with Czech, where Setember is září in both nominative and genitive case, even though the other month names vary with an "-en" ending becoming "-na".

If any native or knowledgable Georgian informants wanted to comment on my (somewhat sketchy) logic, that would be fine. If not, I'll probably be digging into this one too, eventually -- maybe starting here and/or here. Learning details about a language is an interesting and satisfying activity for its own sake. :-)

 

This post brought to you by "ი" (U+10d8, a.k.a. GEORGIAN LETTER IN)


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referenced by

2010/09/09 Latvian. Genitive. Oops.

2008/05/14 Windows is too busy being consistent with the user to be consistent with itself!

2007/08/04 A re-genitive post

2006/05/28 No Georgians or Armenians goed to the blog?

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