By the Havlik's law, the front yer in the first syllable of *dьnьsь was weak, so why didn't it disappear?

It disappeared in most Slavic languages (like Czech "dnes" or Bulgarian "dnes"), but apparently not in Serbo-Croatian or Slovene. Why?

An obvious answer might be that the Serbo-Croatian "danas" is a borrowing from Chakavian, where the yer in the first syllable was regularly preserved. However, that doesn't explain the Slovene form "danes".

  • 1
    To me, a naïve not so good speaker of South Slavic with no special expertise in historical linguistics, it seems expected, *dьnь became dan and the stress is on the first syllable, and unlike in East Slavic, danas and noćas are still the main words for these concepts and people subconsciously analyse them as dan- plus a suffix. Commented Jan 13 at 18:01
  • Cf. Slovene pekel, Serbo-Croatian pakao for Proto-Slavic *pьkъlъ (although that is a noun which may be influenced by oblique case forms)
    – ain92
    Commented Jan 16 at 23:18
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    @ain92 Serbo-Croatian phonotactics doesn't allow for a word to start with pk-. Commented Jan 17 at 3:09
  • By the way, the assertion about Bulgarian is misleading, lots of people say something more like денес or дънъс. Commented Jan 23 at 21:32
  • @AdamBittlingmayer денес or дънъс - not really, except maybe in particular dialects (region of Macedonia?). Most Bulgarians in informal speech would simplify it to нес or (with a diminutive suffix) неска, even in places close to Serbia.
    – ngn
    Commented Feb 2 at 22:53


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