Reflex of "ǫ" in Macedonian

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by 123xyz, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    Macedonian
    From what I observe, the old Slavic nasal vowel "ǫ" is reflected as "a" in standard Macedonian, while it is reflected as "u" in standard BCS, Russian and other Slavic languages or dialects. However, in some cases, it appears to be reflected as "u" in Macedonian as well. I was wondering what was the reason for this, i.e. why there is no regular correspondence. For example, "куќа" contains a "u" although it contained a nasal vowel in the past, which is regularly reflected as a "ъ" in Bulgarian, as "u" in BCS, and as "o" in Slovenian. Likewise, "суд" contains a "u" while the nasal vowel is reflected regularly in the other three languages. Was the evolution of the old nasal "ǫ" in Macedonian more complex than a simple transformation into "a", i.e. governed by some specific rules? Did the discrepancy just arise due to confusion and mixing of dialects?

    Thank you in advance
     
  2. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    Macedonian
    In the meantime, I have found additional examples representative of this apparent discrepancy: "густ", "лукав", and "мудар".
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  3. iobyo Senior Member

    Bitola, Macedonia
    Macedonian
    This often occurred to avoid homophony; for example, *sǫdъ vs. *sadъ, *kǫsъ vs. *kasъ, *gǫsь vs. *gǫzъ.* There are a few more, but only these come to mind at the moment.

    The other South Slavic languages tend to be a little more consistent whereas the main principle for Standard Macedonian is that it reflect the reflexes in the spoken language. In the newsletters published by the Partisans, for example, we find hypercorrect forms such as оражје.

    Гуска (BTW, the Tikveš dialect still has [ˈgaska]), куќа, вруќ(ина) and others spread from the southern dialects to the others. Куќа is said to have taken root in the fourteenth century when Macedonia was a part of the medieval Serbian kingdoms, and many of these words had already displaced the local forms by the sixteenth century; куќа, for example, is attested in a text from Kostur from that period.

    A few of these are Church Slavonicisms borrowed a long time ago: лукав, мудар, etc. The form мученик, for example, was the only one known, but it was 'realigned' to маченик by analogy with мака, мачи and took on a broader meaning (i.e. not just a saint-martyr). Sometimes the older, native forms still exist but with a different meaning or restricted use (ex. the adverb мадро only occurs in the phrase седи мадро, ← *mǫdro). There are also ѫ–у doublets in OCS: нѫжда and нужда, нѫдити and нудити, сѫмракъ and сумракъ, and others.

    Also bear in mind loans from Russian and BCS; ex. суштество (Russian: существо), присутен and отсутен (BCS: prisutan, odsutan; Russian: присутствующий, отсутствующий), оружје (Russian: оружие, BCS: oružje).

    *After the loss of weak yers and devoicing of word-final obstruents.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  4. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    Macedonian
    Thank you.
     
  5. iobyo Senior Member

    Bitola, Macedonia
    Macedonian
    [Correction].
     

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