Is Proto-Germanic "u" always cognate to Proto-Slavic "y" ?

English Proto-Germanic Proto-Slavic

thou *þū *ty
thousand *þūsundī *tysęti
mouse *mūs *myšь
son *sunuz *synъ
loud *hlūdaz *slyti
now *nu *nyne


Proto-Balto-Slavic *ū lost its rounding and became *y (possibly a long back unrounded vowel, though it's not entirely clear) in Proto-Slavic; *au and *eu then became *ū in a chain shift (usually written as *u, though it was still a long vowel). Short *u meanwhile is written *ŭ in Proto-Balto-Slavic and *ъ in Proto-Slavic, but there wasn't necessarily any change in pronunciation between the two.

So the answer is no. PIE words with *u can also have *u in Proto-Germanic but *ъ in Proto-Slavic, such as PIE *h₂elut- > PS *ȍlъ, PGmc *aluþ- "beer". It's only PBS long *ū (which arose in various different ways) that became *y.

  • Why the downvote? Am I wrong about this? – Draconis Dec 3 at 2:35
  • not sure, but if it makes you feel any better I wasn't going to bother upvoting this one because I only gave it a quick look and it's not stuff I am intimate with, but then I did when I saw it had a random -1... – LjL Dec 3 at 4:02

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