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From time to time I encounter the word таков (in written language) but do not have a real clue about it.

Usually I replace it (mentally) with такой cause it's typically translated as such.

  • In which sense таков is usually used?
    • Is it linked with or can it be replaced by такой?
    • Would there be a use case in spoken language?
  • Is the female ending pronounced or not? Wikislovar and gramota are discordant about it.
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ТАКОВ is a short form of ТАКОВОЙ, which generally means such, the same, above-mentioned. Now answering your questions specifically

  1. The main meaning is "such" that might be used as a name-replacement in a bureaucratic documentation, although in a full form ТАКОВОЙ, ТАКОВЫЕ: "К протоколу прилагаются их объяснения и замечания, если ТАКОВЫЕ имеются." - ... if such are available.
  2. In the previous meaning - yes, fully. Using ТАКОВОЙ makes the sentence much more formal.
  3. As to the spoken language, there are a couple of idioms with ТАКОВ. "...И был ТАКОВ" = скрылся, убежал (иронически) - in case someone did or said something and then suddenly disappeared. "Каков поп, таков приход" = everyone gets what it is worth of. The last frequent case I can think of is a statement of the type "ТАКОВ ...": "ТАКОВА судьба" - such is our destiny, "ТАКОВ человек" - such is the man (human nature), "ТАКОВЫ факты" - these are the facts.
  4. Sure, ТАКОВА.
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  • so it's таковА or такОва? – user3538 May 6 '14 at 6:35
  • @embert It's таковА. – Artemix May 6 '14 at 6:56
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    "Каков поп, таков и приход", literally, "a parish is the same as its priest"; meaning, leaders define moral standards for the crowd. Often translated "like priest, like people" as in the Book of Hosea, but the context and meaning there is quite different. – ach May 6 '14 at 10:12

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