the historical transformation of [ɡ] into [v] in Russian

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Encolpius, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Prague
    Hungarian
    Hello, I was not able to find any information on the net about the interesting fact, that in the genitive (acusative) case the Г is pronounced [v] in Russian. Is there any explanation? Thanks.
     
  2. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    No, there is none. This is the most puzzling aspect of the Russian historical phonology. The steps are known, since they are reflected in dialects: g>gh>h>0>w>v, but this occurred only in this ending, never else in the language, and that is strange. I cannot recall where, but the literature mentions the same development in some dialects in, if memory serves, Sorbian or Slovenian. Will try to find.
     
  3. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    I was wrong, it is not Sorbian or Slovenian but Kashubian: in some north Kashubian dialects, this ending has experienced the same development: noveho, noveo, novewo; tewo, kuowo, čewo (Селищев АМ · 1941 · Славянское языкознание. Том первый. Западнославянские языки: 332–333).
     
  4. Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    Russian
    It's also a generic feature of North Russian dialects and has North Russian origin in the standard Russian language. South Russian dialects, just as well as Belarusian ones, have a fricative [ɣ] in that position - the same as any /g/ in them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  5. Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    Russian
    Well, morphemes that are most frequently pronounced always have their own tendencies of phonetic development. Compare that to the process of turning "человек" into "чек" in the fast Moscow speech.
     

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