Questions tagged [slavic-languages]

Subgroup of the Indo-European languages, spoken in Eastern and Central Europe, the Balkans, and the Northern part of Asia.

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Etymological relationship between picture/image and education/formation

There are German words Bild (picture/image) and Bildung (education/formation). In Russian, education is образова́ние [obrazovaniye], whilst obraz in many Slavic languages means either directly picture/...
2 votes
2 answers
76 views

Epenthesis of /u/ before the syllabic sonorant "l"

Why does Old Russian have epenthesis of /u/ only before the syllabic sonorant "l"? (before the syllabic sonorants "r,m,n" the epenthesis is /i/)? I thought earlier that only Proto-...
0 votes
3 answers
223 views

If Hebrew is not related to Slavic, why there are apparent sound correspondences?

We have hebrew: šeš; russian: šestʹ; ukrainian: šistʹ; latin: six; english: six; hebrew: yeš; russian: yestʹ; ukrainian: ye, isnuye; latin: est; english: is; hebrew: ze; russian: se; ukrainian: сe [...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Pronunciation of г in Old Novgorodian

Pskov dialects are transitional between Belarusian and Russian, so this makes me think that <г> was pronounced as /ɣ/, but I have also read that Old Novgorodian has had an impact on Northern ...
3 votes
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Is the Proto-Slavic root *term (dwelling) related to the Proto-Ugric root *tärɜ „open space, room”?

I am curious about the obscure etymology of the Romanian word tărâm (realm, domain, world, geographical space -- usually a poetic word, like in the plural form alte tarâmuri = "other (foreign) ...
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1 answer
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Relation between Russian "пока" and Czech "zatím"

I have noticed that the Russian word пока means the same as zatím in Czech in both meanings. The first is as a conjunction and the second use means goodbye. I am aware that in Czech the equivalent ...
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1 answer
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Are Proto-Slavic present passive participle forms from first-person singular present forms?

Are Proto-Slavic present passive participle forms (e.g., *beromъ) from first-person singular present forms (e.g., *berǫ)?
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Are "brat" and "frater" cognates?

Both the Slavic brat (Брат) and the Latin frater mean brother. Are they cognates? Or is their phonetic "proximity" a red herring? Related: How were “bratrъ/bratъ” and “sestra” formed in ...
10 votes
2 answers
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Do the Belarusians understand the Ukrainian language better than Russians do?

Here is an interview on a opposition Belarussian TV channel with an Ukrainian officer. One host is speaking Russian, the other speaks Belarussian and the guest ...
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1 answer
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Why is there a Second Palatalization in personal nouns but not in non-personal nouns in Nominative Plural in Slavic languages

Using Polish as an example, why in personal nouns like "robotnik>robotnicy" or "włoch>włosi" Second Palatalization takes place in the nominative plural, but in non-personal ...
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1 answer
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Were Iranian languages originally separated and more related to Slavic?

Iranian languages and Slavic languages have some similarities, such as the merger of aspirated sounds into unaspirated sounds, and the development of the consonant /z/. Historically, the settlements ...
6 votes
2 answers
474 views

What language branch of PIE does Kartvelian belong to? (Georgian language)

I know little about language, so I would like to preface that this question may appear disjointed. I have been listening to some wonderful Georgian folk music and have been trying to relate it to any ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Why is the Croatian word "pjena" (foam) spelt with "je" as if it were from Slavic yat, rather than "i", as it is from Slavic "y"?

Why is the Croatian word "pjena" (foam) spelt with "je" as if it were from Slavic yat, rather than "i", as it is from Slavic "y"? We know it is from Slavic &...
2 votes
1 answer
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Are Latin causative verb ending -eō and Old Slavic -ити from verbs eō and ити ("to go")?

Are Latin causative verb ending -eō and Old Slavic -ити from verbs eō and ити ("to go")?
2 votes
0 answers
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How were “bratrъ/bratъ” and “sestra” formed in PSl?

The PIE r-stem words seem to have lost the final -r in PSl: OCS mati, dъšti, and how some words which had -r (and -l) in final position preserve this consonant in the middle of words in slavic?
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Havlík's law, 3, & 4 in Czech

According to Wiktionary, the words for 3 and 4 in Proto-Slavic are *trьmi and *četyrьmi, respectively, in the instrumental case. In (current) Czech, they evolved into třemi and čtyřmi. But if you ...
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Historical explanations for soft/hard declensions in Czech

Declension patterns in Czech is traditionally categorized into hard and soft ones based on the final consonant of the stem. Materials for learners, e.g., Lída's Czech Step by Step or Michael's ...
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The easiest model for mapping Hindi oblique case onto Slavic languages' case systems

How can Hindi Oblique case be mapped into Slavic cases of languages such as Polish or Russian? My intuition is that Oblique case stands for all the Polish cases, except the nominative. That is, for ...
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1 answer
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Is Proto-Balto-Slavic zero-grade from long zero-grade i? [closed]

Is Proto-Balto-Slavic zero-grade from long zero-grade i pílˀnas wilkás źírˀna śírˀnāˀ Is Proto-Germanic zero-grade from long zero-grade u fullaz wulfaz kurną hurną
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What is the type of ablaut?

PS *kysnǫti / *kvasъ PIE ū / wā (wō) PS *xytiti / *xvatati PIE ū / wā (wō) PS *xyrěti / *хvоrati ū / wo ? PS *ty / *tvоjь ū / wo Is it somehow related to kʷetwóres rule? modern Russian spelling ...
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Using Polish-inspired z Digraphs for Czech, Slovak

Is it ever okay, i.e. where technical circumstances restrict the available character set (e.g. slugified URLs), to systematically substitute cz, dz, lz, nz, rz, sz, tz and zz for Czech and Slovak ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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Why did the softness of the L in the OCS word "велми" reflect so unpredictably into today's languages?

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....
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1 answer
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When did Old Slavic ЪI become Ы? [closed]

When did Old Slavic ЪI become Ы?
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What is the difference between Slavic little yus and little iotified yus?

What is the difference between Old Slavic little yus ѧ and little iotified yus ѩ, and what does "iotation" mean in this context? Relating to the difference between ѧ and ѩ, is the earliest ...
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1 answer
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Why are PIE oi changes to ī in Latin and Proto-Slavic?

Why are PIE oe changes to ī in Latin and Old Slavic? English PIE Latin Old Slavic wolves *wĺ̥kʷoes lupi vlĭci Is it a result of short u singular ending in place of PIE o? English PIE Latin Old ...
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2 answers
198 views

Why are Proto-Slavic nasal vowels reconstructed as ę and ǫ?

Why are Proto-Slavic nasal vowels reconstructed as ę and ǫ? But not "i with a little tail" and "u with a little tail"?
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2 votes
2 answers
573 views

Are Germanic languages closer to Italo-Celtic languages or Balto-Slavic languages?

I ask because in some recent classifications, Italo-Celtic languages (like French, Spanish, Italian, Irish, and Breton), Balto-Slavic languages (like Lithuanian, Russian, Polish, and Serbo-Croat), and ...
2 votes
0 answers
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Proto-Slavic ablaut type

PS решти rešti (to speak) full e-grade / рѣчь rěčĭ (a speech) lengthened ē-grade PS ĭ PIE i may also be lengthened to PS i PIE ey But what type of ablaut is бьрати bĭrati (to gather) / берѫ berǫ (I ...
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Slavic second palatalization

Why is the Slavic second palatalization took place before PIE *aj (Proto-Slavic *ě), but врагъ (vragŭ, enemy) / враѕи (vradzi, enemies), where vradzi is a PIE *ey (Proto-Slavic *i)?
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1 vote
1 answer
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Examples of ě₁ palatalization

"The distinction between *ě₁ and *ě₂ is based on etymology and have different effects on a preceding consonant: *ě₁ triggers the first palatalization and then becomes *a, while *ě₂ triggers the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
216 views

How would've the Old Novgorodian language looked like?

I need help reconstructing the Old Novgorodian words for "earth", "hand", "bee" and "bird nest". I'm not good at linguistics at all and don't really understand ...
3 votes
1 answer
153 views

Exceptions to Intrasyllabic Synharmony in modern Czech?

Studying Czech (and reading about the history of slavic languages) I encountered the concept of Intrasyllabic Synharmony, which somehow motivates the Slavic Palatalizations by explaining that the ...
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2 answers
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Why is Proto-Germanic long i /iː/ reconstructed as "ī"?

I know that Gothic has "a large number of archaic features". I know that Gothic writes Proto-Germanic (PGmc) "ī" /iː/ as "ei". wīną wein, swīną swein I know that Gothic ...
1 vote
0 answers
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What are the descendants of the PIE suffix "-n̥kʷos" in the Czech language if there are any?

Me and my friend would like to know whether there is any PIE suffix "-n̥kʷos" descendats in the czech language, we feel like "-uha" in "ostruha" could be it, in other ...
0 votes
1 answer
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Glagolitic Ⰾ (l) is like Ⰴ (d). Is it related to Latin / Old Latin l / d lingua dingua, lacrima dacrima?

Glagolitic Ⰾ (l) is like Ⰴ (d). Is it related to Latin / Old Latin l / d lingua dingua, lacrima dacrima?
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4 answers
155 views

What can explain the appearance of "self-made" language features if neither of languages a person speaks or learns have similar features?

I know a woman, whose native language is Kyrgyz (Turkic family) and who learned Russian as an adult (mostly, maybe she was somewhat exposed to it before as well). What striked me is that she invented ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Germanic loanwords in Czech? The case of "lék" [duplicate]

Recently I started studying Czech and I learned the word "lék", pill/medicine and "lékař", doctor/physician. In Polish there is a similar one. They bear a superficial resemblance ...
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1 answer
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Is there a phonological division in Slavic languages as important as the La Spezia-Rimini line? If not, is there a most important partition anyway?

All divisions of Slavic languages based on phonological criteria that I have seen so far are rather minor and/or localized (e.g. spirantization (Czech, Ukrainian) or not (Russian, Polish) of g). Is ...
10 votes
0 answers
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What kind of features support the claim that Slavic languages are closer to Germanic languages than to Indo-Iranian languages?

Inspired by this answer to a different question, I ask what kind of features justify a claim that Balto-Slavic languages are closer to Germanic languages than to Indo-Iranian languages. The features ...
5 votes
4 answers
5k views

Where is the Slavic homeland, according to linguists, and how do they know that?

UPDATE: After posting the question, I found out, to my great disappointment, that Manhunt Unabomber is only loosely based on real events, so I'm rephrasing the question: Where is the Slavic homeland, ...
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Why are some Russian and Swedish words so strikingly similar? Два - två, по-шведски - på svenska, etc

Hur säger man ... på svenska? This common Swedish phrase means: How do you say ... in Swedish? As a student learning Russian, I instantly saw a striking similarity with the Russian language. Russians ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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u and v distinction in Slavic languages

Prepositon "in" in Slavic languages ("in" as "in the house") : v - Czech в - Russian (a Cyrillic v) u - Serbo-Croatian v - Slovak v - Slovenian w - Polish в - Bulgarian (...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Sound laws in Balto-Slavic and Slavic changes

What are the regular sound laws that explain the modern form of the words in baltic and slavic languages? I am aware of the centum/satem separation, which already helps to identify a lot of cognates ...
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4 votes
3 answers
448 views

Where does the letter <j> come from to Slavic Cyrillic alphabets?

Most South-West languages of Slavic language family with Cyrillic writing system as primary have the Latin letter in their alphabets, which doesn't origin in what we consider today Cyrillic. Where ...
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4 votes
5 answers
695 views

Why does Russian not vary from region to region?

We know that English varies from one country to another. Even within US, there are different accents (Baltimore, Texas, Kentucky, New York, etc). But why Russian does not vary despite the large ...
2 votes
2 answers
261 views

Could have inflected Proto-Slavic really 'been created' as a lingua franca among some Slavs and many agglutinative, Turkic languages-speaking peoples?

In my experience, it seems to be that people learning as a second language one that is significantly more inflected that their mother tongue(s) experience serious difficulties and tend to avoid ...
2 votes
0 answers
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Does Old Church Slavonic have 'design errors' due to being devised by non-natives?

I know Polish at a nearly-native level and Russian at a basic level. Old Church Slavonic word meanings sound to me discordant with what I would we expect from those words' morphologies. Some prefixes ...
10 votes
2 answers
597 views

Any reasons for unexplained centumization in Balto-Slavic?

Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic languages are called satem languages, because in them the Proto-Indo-European palatovelars *ḱ, *ǵ, and *ǵʰ developed into sibilants or affricats, usually into [s]/[z]- or ...
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1 answer
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Etymology of Slovene vrtnica "rose". Can it be the Slavic reflex of PIE *wr̥dʰos “sweetbriar”?

Slovene has a word: vrtnica (wiktionary: en, sl) meaning "rose". It resembles the known Proto-Indo-European *wr̥dʰos “sweetbriar”, which gives Persian gul "rose, flower" and Old/...
4 votes
1 answer
724 views

Absense of cases in Bulgarian

Nowadays, Bulgarian and Macedonian are the only Slavic languages where the system of cases isn't developed. Bulgarian and Macedonian are very close to each other, but are considered to be 2 ...