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B’, m', p', w'.- Originally these letters were thus marked when at the end of words, and although the marks are no longer employed, we must remember that the letters have always a softened sound when in that position. The same rule applies to the letters ć, dz, ń, ś, ż, which, however, are still used thus marked. The pronunciation can only be learned from a native; in fact, as regards phonological subtleties, Polish is one of the most remarkable languages of Europe.
The accent is on the penultimate, except in some compound words. Syllables at the end of words, as że, li, by and to (frequently added to strengthen the pronouns), do not affect the word, which is then of course accented on the antepenult, as jakoby.
The sounds of the Polish language may be grouped as hard and soft. I have placed opposite to the hard sounds those into which they are changed in the various modifications of words by declension, conjugation, &c.
The consonants d, l, r, t, ch are changed into dz, l, rz, c, sz when they are followed by e or i. g and k can admit i after them, but never é, e, y: in the latter case there must be interposed an i before the e.
The vowels a, o, ó in declension and conjugation are frequently changed into e. For example, biały, 'white, bieli, nom. plur. ; niosł, ‘he carried,' niesli, 'they carried.'
The vowel e becomes accented é when placed before the consonants b, dz, 9, j, r, rz. O is accented when it is followed by b, d, 9, n, 2, 2, and some other letters, as nóż, 'a knife;' but in inflexion the accent is lost, as noża, 'of a knife.'
The vowel ą is changed into ę
(1) When a substantive is turned into an adjective by the addition of ny or y; e.g., mosiądz, 'brass, mosiężny, • brazen ;' miesiąc, 'a month,' miesięczny, 'monthly.'
(2) In adjectives of two syllables before the termination sz; e. g., skąpy, ‘avaricious,' skępszy, 'more avaricious.'
(3) In the inflection of words when other syllables are added to the stem, as rząd, rank,' rzędu, of a rank.' This is by a law, by which in inflection the vowel of the stem is weakened.
The vowel ę is changed into ą when the consonant after it becomes final by the next syllable being cut off ; as, gęba, the mouth,' gąb, ‘of the mouths.' In forming diminutives by the addition of ka to the stem, the letters é, are changed into t, ś and the vowel ę into ą; as, ges, the
goose,' gąska, 'the gosling.' The vowels e, o, ó are changed into a in the formation of frequentative verbs; as jeść, 'to eat;' jadać, 'to eat often. When the letter e is omitted from a syllable, the soft consonant which preceded it is changed into a hard one, as dzien, 'the day,' dnia, of the day.'
The Doctrine of Forms.
The Polish language has the same parts of speech as others, with the exception of the Article, which is wanting in all Slavonic languages, except Lusatian-Wendish and Bulgarian, where it has been introduced by foreign influ
There are three genders in Polish—masculine, feminine, and neuter. Polish nouns have seven cases—the nomina. tive, the genitive, the dative, the accusative, the vocative, the instrumental and the locative.
There are three declensions, which may be arranged according to the genders: the first, masculine; the second, feminine ; and the third, neuter.
Most nouns which terminate in a hard consonant are
masculine, and diminutives of substantives relating to men and ending in 0. Also most nouns ending in one of the soft consonants, c, j, l, ń, ś.
Example 1 :-chłop, the peasant.'
Note that in the case of inanimate things, the genitive singular ends in u, and the nominative and accusative are the same both in the singular and the plural.
Example 3 :—koń, 'the horse.'
koni (ów). D. koniowi
koniom. A. konia
konie. V. koniu
konie. I. koniem
koniami (kuńmi). L. koniu
w koniach. Among peculiar forms belonging to this declension may be mentioned the noun Bóg, God, which makes the dative Bogu, instead of Bogowi, and also the vocative Boże ; człowiek, man,' has in the vocative both człowieku and człowiecze ; xiądz, ‘priest,' has the genitive xięże.
SECOND DECLENSION. Feminine substantives are those ending in the vowels a (except a few implying the offices of men) and i, and most of the substantives ending in one of the soft consonants é, dz, ść, ż, ż.
Example 1:-pani, the lady.'
pań. D. pani
paniom. A. panią
panie. V. pani
panie. I. panią
paniami. L. pani