https://www.duolingo.com/AnCatDubh

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?

May 28, 2015

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/AnCatDubh

Thanks! But it says that this is a reflex of /o/ and /e/ in closed syllables, but сон is a closed syllable with an /o/...

May 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jmango2

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.

May 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AnCatDubh

Oh, so, like, if it originally came from ъ in OCS rather than о?

May 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/savasabaka

yes, it did. сънъ - съна (modern Ukrainian сон-сну, modern Russian сон-сна), similarly *дънъ - дъніа (день - дня). ъ was called "yer" and phonetically is a schwa (ə) like e in taken.

May 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Vinnfred

Yes, it has to deal with Yat, so it is true only for words which had it. But you can't determine it by just looking on a word

May 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jmango2

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.

May 29, 2015
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