Last modified on 4 May 2010, at 01:08

Macedonian/Introduction

<< Macedonian | Macedonian Alphabet | Macedonian Grammar | Macedonian Numbers | Macedonian Verbs | Macedonian Words | Common phrases >>

Flag of the Republic of Macedonia

The Macedonian language is a one of the South Slavic languages. It is very closely related to the other South Slavic languages like Bulgarian, Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian . There are no case marking of nouns in Macedonian, which makes it one of the easiest Slavic languages to learn, as every other Slavic language (except Bulgarian) makes use of an extensive case system. Also, there is no infinitive form of verbs. For reference purposes, dictionaries list the present first-person singular conjugation.

This book will help you to learn this language.


General characteristicsEdit

SyntaxEdit

The canonical word order of Macedonian is AVO (Agent-Verb-Object), but word order is variable. Word order may be changed for poetic effect (inversion is common in poetry).

Nominal morphologyEdit

The Macedonian nominal system distinguishes two numbers (singular and plural), three genders (masculine, feminine and neuter), case and definiteness. Definiteness is expressed by three definite articles pertaining to the position of the object (unspecified, proximate and distal) which are suffixed to the noun.

DefinitenessEdit

The article (определен член) is postfixed, as in Bulgarian, Albanian and Romanian. One feature that has no parallel in any other standard Balkan language[1] is the existence of three definite articles pertaining to position of the object: unspecified, proximate (or close) and distal (or distant).

The definite articles
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Unspecified -от -та -то -те -те -та
Proximate -ов -ва -во -ве -ве -ва
Distal -он -на -но -не -не -на

NounsEdit

Macedonian nouns (именки) belong to one of three genders (masculine, feminine and neuter) and are inflected for number (singular and plural), and marginally for case. The gender opposition is not distinctively marked in the plural [2]. Definiteness is expressed by three definite articles pertaining to the position of the object (unspecified, proximate and distal) which are postfixed to the noun.

Vocative caseEdit

The vocative case is formed by adding the endings –o (in feminine nouns), –u (in masculine monosyllabic nouns) and –e (in masculine polysyllabic nouns). For example, пријател, "friend") takes the form of пријателe (pri'jatɛlɛ}}, "friend!").[2] The vocative is used almost exclusively for singular masculine and feminine nouns. Exceptions to this rule are the vocative forms децо and господо of the irregular plurals of "child" (sing. дете; pl. деца,and "gentleman" (sing. господин; pl. господа), respectively.

PronounsEdit

Main page: Macedonian pronouns

Macedonian pronouns decline for case ('падеж'), i.e., their function in a phrase as subject (ex. јас 'I'), direct object (него 'him'), or object of a preposition (од неа 'from her').

Based on their meaning and the function in the sentence, pronouns are fall into in the following categories:

Types of pronouns Examples
Demonstrative pronouns ова (this), она (that), овде (here), таму (there)
Indefinite pronouns некој (somebody), нешто (something)
Interrogative pronouns кој (who), кого/кому (whom), што (what)
Personal pronouns јас (I), ти (you), тој (he), таа (she), тоа (it), ние (we)
Possessive pronouns мое (mine), твое (yours), нејзино (hers), негово (his), наше (ours)
Relative pronouns кој (which), што (that), чиј (whose)
Reflexive pronouns
and reciprocal pronouns
себе — си (himself, herself), се (self)
Universal pronouns сите (all), секој (everybody, each), сешто (everything), секаде (everywhere)

NumeralsEdit

Symbol Cardinal (masculine) Ordinal (masculine)
0 нула нулти
1 еден прв
2 два втор
3 три трет
4 четири четврт
5 пет петти
6 шест шести
7 седум седми
8 осум осми
9 девет деветти
10 десет десетти

AdjectiveEdit

Adjectives (придавки) agree with nouns in gender, number and definiteness with their noun and usually appear before it.

ComparisonEdit

Adjectives have three degrees of comparison (споредбни степени) — positive, comparative and superlative. The positive form is identical to all the aforementioned forms. The other two are formed regularly, by prepending the particle по and the word нај directly before the positive to form the comparative and superlative, respectively, regardless of its comprising of one or two words.

Positive Comparative Superlative
тежок (heavy) потежок (heavier) најтежок (heaviest)
долг (long) подолг (longer) најдолг (longest)

Macedonian only has one adjective that has an irregular comparative — многу.

Positive Comparative Superlative
многу (a lot) повеќе (more) најмногу (the most)

A subtype of the superlative — the absolute superlative — also present in some other South Slavic languages and romance languages (such as Italian and Spanish), expresses the highest quality without comparison. It formed by prefixing the particle пре to an adjective, roughly corresponding to the English very + adjective or too + adjective combinations.

VerbsEdit

Perfect tenseEdit

In Macedonian the perfect tense is formed by a clitic which agrees in number and gender with the object of the sentence, followed by има ("to have"), and the passive participle of the verb in its uninflected form. This is common in Germanic and romance languages, along with other languages in the Balkan linguistic area, such as Albanian and Greek.

For example, the sentence "I have read the book" reads:

Јаc ја имам прочитано книгата
Jas ja imam pročitano knigata
I it (clitic) have read book-the

In contrast to other Slavic languages that have the perfect tense, it is almost universally built with the verb "to be" and a past active participle; that is also an option in Macedonian. The older common Slavic form with сум ("to be") is predominant in the east of the country, while the form with "to have" is more widespread in the west, but has spread in the younger generations due to the influence of the standard language [3].

The sentence "I have seen" reads:

New perfect Old perfect
имам видено сум видел
imam videno sum videl

Being replaced by the new construction, the "old perfect" tends to become an expression of the renarrative mood (nonconfirmative status) in Western Macedonia and in the standard language.

AoristEdit

The aorist (минато определено свршено време, "past definite complete tense"), is a form which refers to a completed action in the past tense. It most often corresponds to the simple past tense in English: I read the book, I wrote the letter, I ate my supper, etc. In contemporary standard Macedonian, the aorist is formed almost exclusively from perfective verbs.

The formation of the aorist for most verbs is not complex, but there are numerous small subcategories which must be learned. While all verbs in the aorist (except сум) take the same endings, there are complexities in the aorist stem vowel and possible consonant alternations.

All verbs (except сум) take the following endings in the aorist:

јас ние -вме
ти -ше вие -вте
тој -ше тие

(The sign # indicates a zero ending, i.e., nothing is added after the stem vowel.")[4]

Future tenseEdit

The future tense is formed by means of the clitic ќе and an inflected present tense form of the verb.

Thus, "I will come" reads:

ќе доjдам
kje dojdam
will (clitic) I come (perfective aspect)
I will come.

In this respect, both Macedonian and Bulgarian differ from other Slavic languages. In Macedonian, as in other Balkan Sprachbund languages (Bulgarian, Greek and Albanian) the clitic is fixed, whereas in Serbo-Croatian it inflects for person and number [5]. In both cases the clitic is derived from a verb meaning "to want".

Future-in-the-past is expressed by means of the same clitic and a past tense inflected form of the verb:

ќе доjдеше
kje dojdeše
will (clitic) he came (imperfective aspect)
He would come/he would have come.

In this respect, Macedonian is different from Bulgarian: Macedonian is consistent in the use of ќе as a clitic, whereas the equivalent Bulgarian construction involves the inflection of the clitic for tense, person and number as a regular verb (щях да дойда, "I would [have] come"; щеше да дойде, "he would [have] come").

An interesting fact is that a past tense form of the verb can be used in a future sense as well, although this construction is mostly limited to older speakers.

Examples:

  • Те отепав, штом те фатам. ("I have killed you, when I get you")
  • Те фатам ли, те казнив. ("As soon as I grab you, I have punished you")

OrthographyEdit

Macedonian orthography ("правопис", ˈpravɔpis) encompasses the spelling and punctuation of the Macedonian language. It is based on a combination of and historical principles. While largely phonemic in practice it shows, in some instances, principles that are etymological or analogous to other spellings.

AlphabetEdit

PunctuationEdit

Punctuation (интерпункција) marks are one or two part graphical marks used in writing, denoting tonal progress, pauses, sentence type (syntactic use), abbreviations, et cetera.

Marks used in Macedonian include full stops (.), question marks (?), exclamation marks (!), commas (,), semicolons (;), colons (:), dashes (–), hyphens (-), ellipses (...), different types of inverted commas and quotation marks ("", '', ‚‘, „“, »«), brackets ((), [], {}) (which are in syntactical use), as well as apostrophes]] (',’), slashes (/), equal signs (=), and so forth.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Standard Bulgarian has only the unspecified form, although three definite article forms exist in certain Bulgarian dialects, notably the vernaculars of Tran and parts of the w:Rhodopes [1].
  2. Compare with other languages in the Balkan sprachbund; Bulgarian: приятел and приятелю; Serbo-Croatian: prijatelj and prijatelju; Greek: φίλος and φίλε; Romanian: prieten and prietene.

Learning Macedonian
IntroductionThe Alphabet 50% developed  as of May 6, 2010Common phrases 100% developed  as of May 5, 2010


Lessons

Beginner level
Lesson 1 100% developed  as of May 6, 2010Lesson 2Lesson 3Lesson 4Lesson 5Lesson 6

Intermediate level
Lesson 1Lesson 2Lesson 3Lesson 4Lesson 5Lesson 6

Advanced level
Lesson 1Lesson 2Lesson 3Lesson 4Lesson 5Lesson 6

Special level
Lesson 1Lesson 2 100% developed  as of May 5, 2010Lesson 3Lesson 4



Grammar
AdjectivesAdverbsPrepositionsNounsVerbs