All Slavic: Irregular changes of words across languages

Karton Realista

Senior Member
Polish - Poland
Hello
What I mean by the thread title is difference between the same (or similar in their etymology) words in two languages that's not regular in it's nature, for example:
  1. Non-corresponding consonants or vovels
  2. Different consonant order
1. Like in words grzbiet (pl) - chrbát (sk). Polish g and h (pronounced as ch, exists in loans) correlate with Slovak (and Czech, Sorbian) h (examples: vrah - wróg, hlava - głowa, etc.) But in this word it's for some reason ch, which is pronounced differently than h.

Róża (pl) - ruža (sk). Those words are identical when it comes to pronounciation (even the stress in on the same syllable), but they shouldn't be - Polish ó correlates with weird Czech u with circle above it and Slovak letters a, e, o and their longer versions. I saw that the name ruža exists also in some Southern Slavic languages.

2. Hmla (sk) - mgła (pl) - mlha (cz). This word also exists in Latvian as migla and in many Slavic languages, with m-gl- structure ('-' meaning vowel/s or nothing).
I don't really know what to think about this. It looks to me like Czechs and Slovaks just misspelled the word and it caught on.

Do you have another examples of such irregular change?
 
  • bragpipes

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Yeah, that "fog, mist" one really takes the cake with variation. An imperfect examples:

    Kashubian "rust" - dredza from (rъd-ja), not really a rearrangement of consonants (r*d = d*r*d), more of a gaining a new d at the start.

    Some better ones:

    From lьsk, lьšč (CS, OSC: lьšč-ati, etc): lesk, lesku, leskot, laštiti se, leščati se, etc. Polish: ślnić.

    From lъž (spoon) - lъžica, ložka, lažica, etc. Czech: (dial) žlíce, Croatian: žlica.

    mъg-ur (blink, flicker, eyelid) - miža, migla, etc. Slovak: žmúriť, BCS: žmuriti, Slovene: žmrkati, žmurka,

    Fly: mucha, moucha, muva, etc. Upper Sorbian: šmica, Lower Sorbian: šmyca.

    Heart, core, essential: strьža, srьdьce: srce, strýžeń, etc. Upper Sorbian: žro, Polish (arch) drzeń.

    This one, I'm not sure of. It's the name of a plant, but it means different things in different languages (different plants)

    Upper Sorbian: drost, Lower Sorbian: drest, Slovene: dresen, Belorussian: draśon, Ukrainian: dŕasen, Russian, Polish: rdest.

    (The source I have does not show the words in Belorussian or Ukrainian. I don't know what ś or ŕ are in Cyrillic).

    That last example is a word related to rust/red, so etymologically, r comes before d (rd, rьd), so this is one of the rare examples of a widespread "verlan." :)
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    Polish żebro vs Slovene rebro. The root is *rebro.

    If the Polish form were rzebro, everything would be perfect (pronounced the same anyway), but why "ż"?
     

    bragpipes

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Polish żebro vs Slovene rebro. The root is *rebro.

    If the Polish form were rzebro, everything would be perfect (pronounced the same anyway), but why "ż"?

    That's interesting. What's more curious is how Czech has žebro. I can only assume that it's borrowed from Polish. (Slovak has it as rebro).
     

    ilocas2

    Banned
    Czech
    2. Hmla (sk) - mgła (pl) - mlha (cz). This word also exists in Latvian as migla and in many Slavic languages, with m-gl- structure ('-' meaning vowel/s or nothing).
    I don't really know what to think about this. It looks to me like Czechs and Slovaks just misspelled the word and it caught on.

    In Czech there is also mha
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    It looks to me like Czechs and Slovaks just misspelled the word and it caught on.

    Do you have another examples of such irregular change?

    I don't think that misspelling can be the reason. Words existed in their forms long before they were written down - and I daresay the majority of Slavic speakers were illiterate well into the 18th century.

    Another example of such change is mohyla/mogyła/могила vs gomila.
     

    Karton Realista

    Senior Member
    Polish - Poland
    I
    I don't think that misspelling can be the reason. Words existed in their forms long before they were written down - and I daresay the majority of Slavic speakers were illiterate well into the 18th century.

    Another example of such change is mohyla/mogyła/могила vs gomila.
    I meant to say misspronouced.
    *mogiła, not mogyła I assume it's Polish, after the latter ł has been used
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    In Russian it is consonant + mjagkij znak сь, рь. I assume it's identical in Belorussian and Ukrainian.

    Yes, it is consonant + ь or "iotated" vowel.

    It is the same for Russian, Belorusian and Ukrainian (except that there is no soft "r" phoneme in Belorusian).
     

    bragpipes

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I wasn't sure when (or if) Belorussian and Ukrainian would (ever) use:
    1. сьа ся сья
    2. сьо сё сьё
    3. рьа ря рья

    I think рьа and сьа are never used, but I did not know that seventh in Ukrainian is сьо́мий (Russian would use ё instead of ьо́) and I've seen the reflexive "сья" sometimes.
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    I think рьа and сьа are never used

    Correct. ря and ся fulfill this need.

    сьо сё сьё

    In Russian, both сьо and сё are possible (e.g. компаньон and нёс). Ukrainian doesn't use ё, so their only option is ьо [same in Bulgarian]. Belarusian only uses ё, even in loanwords (e.g. Russian район vs Belarusian раён)

    рьа ря рья

    The same as above, except Belarusian has no need to use this combinations because their "r" is always hard.

    I've seen the reflexive "сья" sometimes

    Can you provide an example?
     

    bragpipes

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Correct. ря and ся fulfill this need.



    In Russian, both сьо and сё are possible (e.g. компаньон and нёс). Ukrainian doesn't use ё, so their only option is ьо [same in Bulgarian]. Belarusian only uses ё, even in loanwords (e.g. Russian район vs Belarusian раён)



    The same as above, except Belarusian has no need to use this combinations because their "r" is always hard.



    Can you provide an example?

    Thank you for the explanation.

    I just google-searched "сья" but that finds it if it's a standalone word, and does not show partial matches (inside a word). I found this, which made me suspicious, because wiktionary says Ukrainian uses "ся". I should've looked more closely (it said it in the URL) - it's not standard Ukrainian, but Lemko. I don't know if Lemko makes a distinction between сья and ся in sound, or if it's just an orthographic convention. I know that phonetically, there can be levels of palatalization, but I don't know if any language in the world makes a distinction between soft (сь) and very soft (сьь?).

    Russian has examples of this, I wouldn't call it redundancy (let's say the alphabet is less-phonetic than a purely phonetic one), but in a word like "варенья" (gen. sing) doesn't я already make the н > нь in pronunciation?
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    Ah, right, it may be something dialectal (Lemko). Not standard language, surely.

    Well the difference between ся and сья is in the [j] sound. ся is pronounced [s'a] (that is, palatalized s + a), while сья is pronounced [s'ja] (palatalized s + j + a).

    The third option [sja] is achieved with the hard sign: съя. Compare сесть [s'est'] = to sit down vs. съесть [sjest'] = to eat up.
     

    Karton Realista

    Senior Member
    Polish - Poland
    Well the difference between ся and сья is in the [j] sound. ся is pronounced [s'a] (that is, palatalized s + a), while сья is pronounced [s'ja] (palatalized s + j + a).
    With the exception of - ся at the end of the word, when it means something like się /sa/se etc. And is pronounced in many ways
    This conversation is off-topic, please move it to pms /another thread
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    варенья is thus pronounced [-n'ja]. *вареня would be [-n'a]. I believe East Slavic speakers would immediately hear the difference, others maybe less so. :)

    About different levels of pronunciation, there is the "semisoft sign" Ҍ ҍ used in Kildin Sami language "where it indicates palatalization (sometimes also called "half-palatalization") of a preceding stop, /nʲ/, /tʲ/, or /dʲ/." (wikipedia) [Looks suspiciously similar to Old Slavic yat vowel Ѣ ѣ.]

    Sorry for straying off-topic, will shut up now. :)
     

    Lubella

    Senior Member
    Ukrainian
    I wasn't sure when (or if) Belorussian and Ukrainian would (ever) use:
    1. сьа ся сья
    2. сьо сё сьё
    3. рьа ря рья

    I think рьа and сьа are never used, but I did not know that seventh in Ukrainian is сьо́мий (Russian would use ё instead of ьо́) and I've seen the reflexive "сья" sometimes.
    in Ukrainian ся, сьо, ря
    волосся [- s'a]
    варення [- n'a]
    сьогодні [-s'o]
    рябий [-r'a]
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    ... 1. Like in words grzbiet (pl) - chrbát (sk). Polish g and h (pronounced as ch, exists in loans) correlate with Slovak (and Czech, Sorbian) h (examples: vrah - wróg, hlava - głowa, etc.) But in this word it's for some reason ch, which is pronounced differently than h.
    I think this phenomenon occurs especially in case of clusters h+r/rz+consonant, especially at the beginning of some words (that might be difficult to pronounce "correctly/exactly"). In case of grzbiet/chrbát probably the Slovak version is unetymological, as in Slovak there is a verb hrbiť sa (to bow/cringe/crouch) that seems to be etymologically related to chrbát. Plus, in some Eastern Slovak dialects chrbát is hribet. But see also e.g. the Slovak hrdza and Polish rdza (Czech rez) meaning "rust" - another kind of non-correspondence between g and h.

    Róża (pl) - ruža (sk).
    The spelling of the Polish róża and the Czech růže seem to me perfectly etymological, even if loanwords (supposing they are "quite old"). In my opinion, this spelling cannot be compared directly with that of the (standard) Slovak without knowing when and from which languages were these words directly borrowed into the respective languages.
     
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    Karton Realista

    Senior Member
    Polish - Poland
    In my opinion, this spelling cannot be compared directly with that of the (standard) Slovak without knowing when and from which languages were these words directly borrowed into the respective languages.
    Well, I suspected something like that, the Slovak version being loaned from language that already had "u" pronounced in that word. The phenomenon is wider, it encompases Southern Slavic languages and non-Slavic languages. It seems pretty complicated, with a lot of factors in a lot of different places.
     
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