BCS: making ijekavian from ekavian words

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Encolpius, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Hello, do you know any rule when to change -e- to -je- or to -ije-?

    dole > dolje, bežati > bježati, ovde > ovdje...

    vreme > vrijeme, posle > poslije...

    I think it depends on the consonants before -e-, but which consonants?

  2. Anicetus Senior Member

    What you're actually asking about are regularities of the yat (ě -- a Common Slavic vowel) reflexes, which is more of a question about the historical development of the language.

    It probably goes without saying, but you should first know which e in Ekavian is a yat reflex and which one isn't. Technically, there's no way of determining this from Ekavian solely, but native speakers will know because there's naturally a lot of contact between Ekavians and Ijekavians. You might know this from other Slavic languages.

    The rule of thumb is that long ě (that is, long e in Ekavian) has become ije, while short ě has become je. The tricky part is that these vowel lengths often differ in different words with the same root, and sometimes even in different forms of the same word -- which means they also have a different yat reflex (for example, pobjeda but pobijediti). Where a long yat was shortened in inflection, ije does turn to je (for example, one of the possible genitive plural forms of pripovijetka is pripovjedaka), whereas a reflex of the short yat that's been lengthened in inflection keeps being je (so genitive plural of mjesto is mstā). Anyway, there are some exceptions to this general rule.
    Short ě after r has become e, while long ě has still turned to ije (so genitive of vrijeme is vremena).
    Where ě (regardless of length) stood before o, it has turned to i. The o in this position is actually a vocalised l (such as in *děl > *děo > dio, genitive of which is *děla > dijela). This often happens in masculine singular l-participles (for instance: *viděti > vidjeti, *viděla > vidjela but *viděl > *viděo > vidio).
    Yat before j has also given i (for example, *smějati is smejati in Ekavian, but smijati in Ijekavian).

    Also note that ije is actually pronounced as a long /je:/ in most (if not all) of Bosnia and Croatia, while it's a genuine /ije/ in Montenegro. The original idea was probably that the standard pronunciation of ije be /ije/ everywhere, but that obviously hasn't happened and it's just an unfortunate spelling solution for Bosnia and Croatia.

    I hope I haven't made this too confusing. :)
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013

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