Upon this discussion with YellowSky, a follow-up question arose:

There are some adjectives ending in -тный which could be grammatically possibly originated from both a noun and a verb with -т- not being a part of the verb's infinitive stem.

Of those adjectives, are there such which for semantic reasons can definitely be said to have originated from the noun and not from the verb?

Here are some examples:

  • Рукопожатный can (theoretically) be derived both from пожать руку and рукопожатие, since they define the same concept. Same with кровопролитный, старожитный etc.

  • Занятный ("amusing, interesting") cannot be derived from занятие but only from занимать ("take one's attention, curiosity, interest"), since занятие does not have this metaphorical meaning. Same with понятный etc.

  • Приметный ("related to omens, superstitions", as in народно-приметный календарь) is definitely originated from примета and not приметить, however, -т- here is a part of the verb's stem.

  • Рвотный ("emetic") could only be originated from рвота and not рвать, because рвать lacks -о-. Same for блевотный, тошнотный etc.

  • What about блевота > блевотный, тошнота > тошнотный, рвота > рвотный? Corresponding verbs cannot be the source of derivation, those verbs don't have the -o-.
    – Yellow Sky
    Feb 12, 2013 at 10:18
  • @YellowSky: sure they can't, that's why I don't consider them. I'm looking for words which (grammatically) could be derived from both a noun or a verb, but would exclude the verb for semantic reasons.
    – Quassnoi
    Feb 12, 2013 at 10:37
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    What about разворотный-разворот-разворотить or воротный-ворота-воротить where воротить means вернуть к.-л.?
    – КуЪ
    Feb 12, 2013 at 11:16
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    @КуЪ: воро-т-ить, -т- is in the stem. The question deals with a very specific pattern, see the original question (russian.stackexchange.com/questions/1877) and the discussion. The verbs that would fit here are -жать / -жатный, -мять / -мятный, -пить / -питный, -лить / -литный, -жить / -житный, -быть / -бытный and similar, without -т- before -[V]ть
    – Quassnoi
    Feb 12, 2013 at 11:23
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    @AleksG: it's a calque of Latin par ("peer, equal") from paritas ("parity, equality"), which corresponds to CS чета ("gathering of peers"). Compare он мне не чета ("he's not of my station"), сочетать ("to match, to chord"). Anyway it has a -т- in the stem too.
    – Quassnoi
    Feb 14, 2013 at 17:42

2 Answers 2


At first, word composition looks a bit more complicated.

An ending is only "ый" here.

"т" and "н" could be 2 suffixes or parts of suffixes (we wish, it is not part of a stem). "н" is definitive one, but suffix "т" doesn't seem to exist at all. It could be a part of a suffix.

Adjective suffixes:

"оват"/"овит" in "угловатый","деловитый". I cannot imagine any combination like "оватный", it just sounds unnatural.

Similar story with suffix "чат", "аст", "ат", "ист". There is no need to add another suffix after.

Noun suffixes:

"ет"("от") example: доброта - добротный

"ист" - i cannot imagine something with "истный", and it doesn't look really Russian. Adjectives are build usually with "истический". sounds more German.

"есть"("ость") example: жалость - безжалостный


  • So what is your answer? Can you provide an example?
    – Quassnoi
    Mar 7, 2013 at 16:23
  • @Quassnoi as i tried to illustrate, that the question "originated from verb or noun" needs to be clarified. Because these verbs and nouns are originated from each other. Do you mean historical "facts about etymology" or "possibility to find some logical relation" ? Mar 7, 2013 at 16:37
  • The examples help to clarify what I meant exactly. In the second example (занятный) the adjective originates from the verb and not a noun, though the two are definitely closest cognates.
    – Quassnoi
    Mar 7, 2013 at 17:15
  • @Quassnoi Ok, probably I've understood wrong before. I'll rewrite the answer. Mar 7, 2013 at 18:36
  • I'm sorry, but have you read the question? :)
    – Quassnoi
    Mar 8, 2013 at 15:42

I think рвотный makes an exception here, while the rest of the adjectives shows a т + н combination of suffixes.

My guess is that these suffixes were first used to designate two different actants: т used to be a marker of (past) passive participle, like in Germanic languages, while н was to designate an adjective derived from a participle.

This participle/adjective distinction has survived up to day in modern Swedish language. Thus, т is a more ancient marker and н appeared later.

The т + н combination might appear in Russian during the period of distribution of т/н participles by their conjugation types.

  • I dont think its exception. Moreover that was the right example (see my answer). We have there suffix "от" wich is very popular добротный, рвотный, животный(not sure here, can be a stem), высотный, широтный, and so on .. Mar 8, 2013 at 10:19
  • The suffix is -(V)т- like in рукопожатный, приметный, сытный. In some words, like in сиюминутный, it may even be a part of the word stem. The words you have listed also seem to expose the semantic combination of participle+adjective markers.
    – Manjusri
    Mar 8, 2013 at 11:49
  • No, they cannot be understood as "participle-like". E.g. высотный is nothing that was risen or made high, it is something that is on height or has high height. Mar 8, 2013 at 14:43
  • Высотный is something which has a quality of being built high, or having obtained высота as a main quality; добротный has got a lot of доброта; рвотный causes рвота; животный has a lot of живот, or life; широтный has got a lot of широта as its main quality, etc. These words, however, should be divided into those which have -t- as a part of their stem and those which don't. Again, they are not exactly participles, but rather participle-like, where, roughly, -Vt- conveys the meaning of passive participle and the -n- that of adjective/active participle. Pls see the distribution of participles
    – Manjusri
    Mar 8, 2013 at 16:15
  • ...and adjectives derived from participles in modern Swedish.
    – Manjusri
    Mar 8, 2013 at 16:15

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