Re: [tied] Re: Slavic peoples and places

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 7568
Date: 2001-06-11

Naturally, I was talking about the of possessive adjectives. The ending is a completely nother story. As Andrei says, *-ovU < *-ow-om was originally the historically regular ending of masculine -u-stems. In most other Slavic languages it has analogically spread to other masculines, whatever their historical stem class, thanks to its great transparency; in Sorbian, and to some extent in Belarusian, feminines and neuters have adopted it as well. It is not the only -u-stem ending to have been generalised in this way. Polish has a ending -owie used with a majority of [+ human] masculines (< *-ow-es) and a productive masculine ending -owi (< *-ow-ei). The original dative ending of -o-stems, -u (< *-o:i = *-o-ei), is nowadays used with just about a dozen nouns.
----- Original Message -----
From: Andrei Markine
Sent: Monday, June 11, 2001 11:28 AM
Subject: Re: [tied] Re: Slavic peoples and places

I am confused.

Nouns of both -o and -u stems reduced their final vowel to -U. -ov
belongs to -u stems only. -o stems seem to have had no problem in having same as - both "endingless".

Piotr's words about "masc. nom. sg. was -*ov-U" were about possessive
adjectives, weren't they?

As for modern Russian second noun declension (where all non -a masculines
belong), it is a mixture of former -o, -u, -i stems. Wouldn't it be simpler
to assume that "hard" masculines regularized in gen. pl. on ending of -u
declension than to bring possessive suffux in?


> ... I figured that somehow historically the gen. pl.
>had become endingless, thus making difficult to distinguish from
>the also endingless masc. nom. sg., wherefore -ov was dragged into
>service as a case ending. Fem. and neut. nom. sg. with their endings
>-a and -o had no such problems, so kept the null gen. pl.