Bulgarian/Macedonian -т in Sg. 3

Old Church Slavonic had -т- in both Sg. 3 and Pl. 3 of the verbs in the Present tense:
несетъ — несѫтъ
сѣдитъ — сѣдѧтъ
иматъ — имѫтъ


Modern Standard Bulgarian and Macedonian show in the Plural but not in the Singular. Are there regional varieties where is present in both numbers and is there any explanation why this asymmetry ever emerged?
 
  • Sobakus

    Senior Member
    The obvious explanation is that removing the -t from the Pl. 3 yields a substantial number of homonyms with Sg. 1 (несѫ, имѫ) and I've always assumed this to be the reason for the spread of the Sg. 1 in -m in the affected languages (BCS несем – несу).
     
    The obvious explanation is that removing the -t from the Pl. 3 yields a substantial number of homonyms with Sg. 1 (несѫ, имѫ) and I've always assumed this to be the reason for the spread of the Sg. 1 in -m in the affected languages (BCS несем – несу).
    Macedonian:
    чујам — чуе — чујат
    молам — моли — молат
    имам — има — имаат.

    Both the Sg. 3 **чует and Pl. 3 **чуја won't disturb the paradigm.
     

    Sobakus

    Senior Member
    Macedonian:
    чујам — чуе — чујат
    молам — моли — молат
    имам — има — имаат.

    Both the Sg. 3 **чует and Pl. 3 **чуја won't disturb the paradigm.
    They wouldn't in standard Macedonian, but in Bulgarian they clearly would:
    чуя – чуе – чуят
    моля – моли – молят

    The deletion of this -t obviously goes back some centuries, maybe even to Common Slavic, and thus should be explained by the situation in the language of the day, not the situation in the modern standard language. If my assumption is true, the switch to the -am conjugation should have spread after -t deletion (which is found even in Polish and Ukrainian), and the situation in Bg. and Mk. testifies to that – the former affected only Mk. while the latter didn't affect either. And even if the order was reversed, the two shifts are still evidently independent – being affected by one does not imply being affected by the latter, even if the resulting combination would preserve paradigm distinctions.
     
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    The problem of the history of the Slavic verbal endings is a more complicated one than slavicists used to acknowledge, but I intentionally asked about Bulgarian and Macedonian that have their direct ancestor in the form of Old Church Slavonic, so we know that they had -t- in Sg. 3 a millennium ago.

    I understand your argumentation about Bulgarian, but on the other hand the merger of Sg. 2 and Sg. 3 in the Aorist and Imperfect endings that occurred some 1500 years ago (e. g. Bulgarian and Macedonian Aorist прочита/прочита and Imperfect прочиташе/прочиташе) didn't motivate the speakers to do something with this issue (Old East Slavic e. g. created the Sg. 3 Imperfect -ашеть: не лѣпо ли ны бꙗшеть, братиѥ). Again, for 15 centuries the language doesn't distinguish between Sg. 2 and Sg. 3 in both its most used Past tenses — and the Sg. 2 and Sg. 3 are much more prone to be confused contextually than the Sg. 1 and Pl. 3 are.
     

    DarkChild

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Are there regional varieties where is present in both numbers and is there any explanation why this asymmetry ever emerged?
    I'm not aware of any such varieties. 3rd Sig ending is -T sounds highly unnatural and foreign to my ears.

    On the other hand, in Western dialects, the 1st sig ends in -M, which in turn makes the 1st pl end in -ME (in standard language the plural ends in -M)
    Standard: az molya - nie molim
    Western dialects: az molim - nie molime
    This is a problem in -EM and -IM verbs (endings of the 1st plural in Standard)
    Of course, there are many verbs that end in -AM even in standard (otivam - otivame), and here there's no differences between dialects.
     
    Thank you. And are there varieties where -т is absent in the Plural?

    Also a question about foreign: is this the right word? Doesn't some acquiantance with Church Slavonic make this ending somewhat less alien? Do people in Bulgaria cite phrases from old texts where this or other obsolete traits are present? E. g., a considerable percent of Russians are aware of the former existence of -х, -ше, -хом, -сте, -ша and -ху endings of the Aorist and Imperfect: people don't understand the grammatical meaning of these anymore, but these morphemes aren't perceived as exactly foreign.
     

    uugsxq

    New Member
    Serbo-Croatian
    Are there regional varieties where is present in both numbers

    The western Macedonian dialects (except most of the central ones) have in both numbers.

    In Ohrid, for example, the 3.S.PRS and 3.PL.PRS of мисли 'think' is [ˈmislit] and [ˈmisleːt], respectively.

    The ending *-ętъ was generalized for the 3.PL.PRS. The e-type verbs merged with i-type verbs (cf. *znaj-e-tъ > *znaj-i-tъ > [ˈznai̯t], *znaj-ǫ-tъ > *znaj-ę-tъ > [ˈznaeːt]), so there is no homophony.
     

    DarkChild

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Thank you. And are there varieties where -т is absent in the Plural?

    Also a question about foreign: is this the right word? Doesn't some acquiantance with Church Slavonic make this ending somewhat less alien? Do people in Bulgaria cite phrases from old texts where this or other obsolete traits are present? E. g., a considerable percent of Russians are aware of the former existence of -х, -ше, -хом, -сте, -ша and -ху endings of the Aorist and Imperfect: people don't understand the grammatical meaning of these anymore, but these morphemes aren't perceived as exactly foreign.
    I can't think of any old texts that contain 3rd person sing -T ending. Old texts, however, do contain cases and thus people are somewhat familiar with them. Same with popular sayings, folklore songs, etc.
     

    uugsxq

    New Member
    Serbo-Croatian
    And are there varieties where -т is absent in the Plural?

    Absent in both the singular and plural?

    In Ljubanci (Skopje), the 3.S.PRS and 3.PL.PRS of копа 'dig' is [ˈkopa] and [ˈkopae̯], respectively.
     
    I can't think of any old texts that contain 3rd person sing -T ending. Old texts, however, do contain cases and thus people are somewhat familiar with them. Same with popular sayings, folklore songs, etc.
    And how do Bulgarian speakers perceive the т-endings (and overall the language) in the church texts:
    http://static5.depositphotos.com/10...3951-Fresco-of-Rila-Monastery-in-Bulgaria.jpg
    Свѧтый архаггелъ Михаилъ мꙋчитъ дꙋшꙋ богатагѡ / Свѧтый архаггелъ Михаилъ мучитъ душу богатаго ?
     

    DarkChild

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    It sounds archaic and in a way Russian. That's my perception. I can't speak of others but I imagine it's something similar.
     
    Well, this is Russian Church Slavonic, but the actual Old Bulgarian sentence would differ only in the preservation of ѫ: свѧтыи архаггелъ Михаилъ мѫчитъ дѹшѫ богатаѥго (Old Church Slavonic) > свѧтый архаггелъ Михаилъ мѫчитъ душѫ богатаго (Church Slavonic).
     

    Christo Tamarin

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Old Church Slavonic had -т- in both Sg. 3 and Pl. 3 of the verbs in the Present tense:
    несетъ — несѫтъ
    сѣдитъ — сѣдѧтъ
    иматъ — имѫтъ


    Modern Standard Bulgarian and Macedonian show in the Plural but not in the Singular. Are there regional varieties where is present in both numbers and is there any explanation why this asymmetry ever emerged?
    No. Uniformly, all over Slavo-Balkanic (Bulgarian+Macedonian), the final -T is preserved in Plural (like in Russian) and lost in Singular (like the other Slavic languages except Russian).

    It was claimed in the 19th century, that in a region of Macedonia (now in Greece) the final -T was preserved in Singular too, but I doubt that some speakers survived. Slavophones were expelled from Greece or converted to Hellenophonia in the early 20th century.
     

    Christo Tamarin

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    The final -T is preserved in all texts in Church Slavonic, as people usually do in Latin texts. No difference - Russia or Bulgaria.

    In principle, in Bulgaria, the Russian pronunciation of Church Slavonic was accepted. So, in Bulgarian churches, you would never hear "мѫчитъ дѹшѫ богатаѥго" or "архаггелъ Михаилъ мѫчитъ душѫ богатаго". It would be "Свѧтый архаггелъ Михаилъ мучитъ душу богатаго". As in Russian, but O never goes to A, and -АГО is heard as written.
     

    Зрак

    New Member
    Bulgarian
    Well actually, the 3rd person plural form should be pronounced as -ът, rather than -ат, which is a spelling convention from the end of the nineteenth century, in which case there would result no ambiguities as to meaning.
     

    Christo Tamarin

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Isn't -а/я in Sg. 1 actually as well?
    Yes, of course.

    Thank you. So, we have two contradicting opinions about the preservation of in Sg. in parts of Macedonia (Bulgarian/Macedonian -т in Sg. 3 vs. Bulgarian/Macedonian -т in Sg. 3). And do you people agree with Sobakus (Bulgarian/Macedonian -т in Sg. 3 and Bulgarian/Macedonian -т in Sg. 3) that the drop of in Sg. was spontaneous, while in Pl. 3 the consonant persisted (in Bulgarian) to avoid the confusion with Sg. 1 (неса — несат)?
    Yes, I would accept that explanation.
     

    Зрак

    New Member
    Bulgarian
    Yes, I was referring to the 3rd person singular. As to 1st person singular you are correct, and ambiguities would occur, only in the eastern dialects however.
     

    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    Old Church Slavonic had -т- in both Sg. 3 and Pl. 3 of the verbs in the Present tense:
    несетъ — несѫтъ
    сѣдитъ — сѣдѧтъ
    иматъ — имѫтъ


    Modern Standard Bulgarian and Macedonian show in the Plural but not in the Singular. Are there regional varieties where is present in both numbers and is there any explanation why this asymmetry ever emerged?

    Привет ahvalj! :)

    It is true that Standard Macedonian doesn't have in 3rd person singular.

    BUT many of the southwestern Macedonian dialects (Охрид, Струга, Вевчани, Дебар, Река, Кичево, Демир Хисар, Македонски Брод etc.) have it. And it is used even today in everyday speech in these dialects. So, these verbs sound and are written like this:

    сѣдитъ — сѣдѧтъ
    седитседат
    иматъ — имѫтъ
    имат имаат, имает, имеет (where aa is one long a, and ee is one long e)

    Other samples, 3rd p.sg. — 3rd p.pl.:

    значитзначат ... Standard Macedonian: значи — значат
    читат читаат (where aa is one long a) ... Standard Macedonian: чита — читаат
    сакат сакаат (where aa is one long a) ... Standard Macedonian: сака — сакаат
    стоит or стојтстојат (where и is short) ... Standard Macedonian: стои — стојат
    пеит or пејтпејат (where и is short) ... Standard Macedonian: пее — пеат
    знаит or знајтзнаат (where и is short; aa is one long a) ... Standard Macedonian: знае — знаат
    праит or прајтпраат (where и is short; aa is one long a) ... Standard Macedonian: прави — прават

    3rd p.sg. form is mainly same in all those dialects where it's used. But there are differences in their 3rd p.pl. forms, like you saw with the verb имат (имаат, имает, имеет). The other verbs from the samples have also different 3rd p.pl. forms in different dialects/regions.
     
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    Привет ahvalj! :)

    It is true that Standard Macedonian doesn't have in 3rd person singular.

    BUT many of the southwestern Macedonian dialects (Охрид, Струга, Вевчани, Дебар, Река, Кичево, Демир Хисар, Македонски Брод etc.) have it. And it is used even today in everyday speech in these dialects. So, these verbs sound and are written like this:

    сѣдитъ — сѣдѧтъ
    седитседат
    иматъ — имѫтъ
    имат имаат, имает, имеет (where aa is one long a, and ee is one long e)

    Other samples, 3rd p.sg. — 3rd p.pl.:

    значитзначат ... Standard Macedonian: значи — значат
    читат читаат (where aa is one long a) ... Standard Macedonian: чита — читаат
    сакат сакаат (where aa is one long a) ... Standard Macedonian: сака — сакаат
    стоит or стојтстојат (where и is short) ... Standard Macedonian: стои — стојат
    пеит or пејтпејат (where и is short) ... Standard Macedonian: пее — пеат
    знаит or знајтзнаат (where и is short; aa is one long a) ... Standard Macedonian: знае — знаат
    праит or прајтпраат (where и is short; aa is one long a) ... Standard Macedonian: прави — прават

    3rd p.sg. form is mainly same in all those dialects where it's used. But there are differences in their 3rd p.pl. forms, like you saw with the verb имат (имаат, имает, имеет). The other verbs from the samples have also different 3rd p.pl. forms in different dialects/regions.
    Oh, thank you very much.
     
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