Reduced Vowels

Reduced Vowels

 

(also jers), the reduced vocalic phonemes in the old Slavic languages, which were designated by the letters ъ (back jer) and b (front jer).

Reduced vowels developed in Proto-Slavic as a result of the transformation of the Indo-European short close vowels *ῠ and *ῐ. In Proto-Slavic of a later era and in the old Slavic languages, front jer was an unrounded middle or high-middle front vowel, and back jer was a middle or high-middle back vowel, apparently rounded. Reduced vowels were in what is known as weak position at the end of a word, before a syllable with a full vowel, and before a syllable with a reduced vowel in strong position, as in stolъ (“throne,” “seat”; nom. and acc. sg., gen. pl.), sъna (“dream,” “sleep”; gen. sg., nom. and acc. dual), and žbnbcb (“reaper”; nom. sg., gen. pl.). They were in strong position before a syllable with a weak reduced vowel, in an initial stressed syllable, and, in Old Russian, before a liquid consonant, as in šbvbcb (“tailor”; nom. sg., gen. pl.), dъskǫ (“board”; acc. sg.), and vbrxъ (“top”; nom. and acc. sg., gen. pl.). Before a yod [j], back jer became [y̆] and front jer became [ῐ]; these vowels also could be in strong and weak positions.

In all the Slavic languages, the strong reduced vowels were changed to full vowels and the weak reduced vowels were lost.

REFERENCES

Meillet, A. Obshcheslavianskii iazyk. Moscow, 1951. (Translated from French.)
Vaillant, A. Rukovodstvo po staroslavianskomu iazyku. Moscow, 1952. (Translated from French.)
van Wijk, N. Istoriia slaroslavianskogo iazyka. Moscow, 1957. (Translated from German.)
Khaburgaev, G. A. Staroslavianskii iazyk. Moscow, 1974.

K. V. GORSHKOVA

References in periodicals archive ?
As the reduction of stem-final vowels other than a/a is not fully stable and sometimes there is no distinction of full and reduced vowels (see Section 4.
In Ethiopic, since these are original short vowels, reduced vowels are to be expected in the case of original /i/ and /u/; again the reduction of the vowel in verbs with an /a/ vowel would be explained by a similar analogy.
Reduced vowels in non-initial syllables are common in many Turkic languages.
The difference between *u and *u results from the consonant environment: Proto-Mari initial-syllable reduced vowels could only occur in pre-consonantal position, but in final position and before another vowel separated by a hiatus, a full vowel must occur (Itkonen 1954).
The full and reduced vowels were written differently in the traditional writing system and are assumed to have been pronounced differently.
Weak full vowels are those changing into reduced vowels before a suffix.
Short a appears for what are reduced vowels (schwa, hataph pathah) in Tiberian: ani and anahnu for ani and anahnu (p.
The three objectives of this experiment were (1) to ascertain whether the three so-called weak full vowels should be described as such or whether they are better described as reduced vowels, (2) to determine the quality of the central vowel, and (3) to measure the extent of roundedness of all vowels.
In slow and distinctive pronunciation the reduced vowels are pronounced as full, thus it is not yet justified to claim [?
The mobility of stress characteristic of all the language varieties was found to be higher in the idiolects lacking vowel reduction (Group 1), which correspond to the standards of literary Erzya, than in the idiolects exhibiting the occurrence of reduced vowels (Groups 3, 4).
Meadow Mari has full and reduced vowels; depending on the dialect, one or more reduced vowels are separate phonemes in the language, so that it is possible for a word to contain only reduced vowels, one of which will be stressed.
A study of alternations in the assignment of stress in Erzya spontaneous speech (Aasmae, Ross 2005) has revealed a relationship between the frequency of initial and non-initial stress and occurrence of full and reduced vowels.

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