BCS: making ijekavian from ekavian words

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

  1. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    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

Share This Page