The OCS word "велми", meaning "very" and surviving in several Slavic languages today, is quite a conundrum to me in terms of how it has reflected into the living languages of today. It appears to bear the inherently soft Slavic L sound if one were to go by for example the Slovak version: veľmi or the Belarusian "вельмі". It is archaic in Polish and Russian but it exists in those too, and is reflected as "wielmi" and "вельми", respectively. So far all reflexes seem to suggest it was soft to begin with. Czech has just "velmi", but Czech has one letter for all types of L to begin with, so we're still on track.
But then there's the shtokavian "veoma", with the "o" that's a transformed hard L. It suggests the letter may indeed have been hard to begin with. And then you check the word in an Old Church Slavonic dictionary, and the word spells "велми". It's hard. Meaning that in Proto-Slavic it probably was too.
How come a word with the hard L has come to reflect with a soft one in so many languages? Could this be because of softening of consonants after adding a suffix to the root, much like what happens in sila -> siĺny? Is -mi a suffix? I can recognize the root "vel-" from words such as velikъ and derived ones, but I didn't think that -mi was a suffix. Could it be that a softened L was interpreted mistakenly by all those speakers as an inherently soft L instead, and written as such because the suffix quickly lost meaning and stopped being considered one? I've always considered Slovak quite reliable at conveying the "inherently soft" L in its orthography (meaning one that's soft in word roots initially rather than becoming soft due to gaining a suffix or losing a soft yer via flexion), and Slovak generally doesn't render the softened L, which helps even further to filter out the truly soft L's. It goes: sila - silný (while in Polish for instance it alternates from the hard ł to the non-hard l), but predictably: kráľ (in Polish król, with the non-hard L right from the get-go).
Why does it (alongside so many other languages) then render veľmi in the same way, suggesting inherent softness, while the L was hard in this word to begin with? What happened here?