Ukrainian і and Russian е/о
Hi, I noticed that in many places where Russian has the vowels е/о, Ukrainian has і/ї:
сок - сік (‘juice’)
ем - їм (‘[I] eat’)
место - місто (‘place’ in Russian and ‘city’ in Ukrainian)
This rule is clearly not universal (e.g. сон - сон ‘dream’), but I can’t really determine when it does or does not apply.
Can anyone explain how this works?
I could be wrong, but my first guess is that maybe it has something to do with the "fleeting е/о" that keeps it from turning into і. День/дня, сон/сну, вогонь/вогню, серпень/серпня, etc. Either way, it's probably better just to memorize the words as you come across them, cause any rule is bound to have exceptions.
Another thing is words with forms like хлад/град/глад/враг will appear in Ukrainian as холод/город/голод/ворог (usually in Russian too, except ворог in this example) not холід/горід/голід/воріг etc. But again, there's most likely exceptions, but it's something to keep in mind if you already know another Slavic language.