Old Romance place names in early South Slavic and late Proto-Slavic sound changes

  • Matej Šekli University of Ljubljana, ZRC SAZU
Keywords: Old Romance geographical names, Old Romance, South Slavic, Proto-Slavic, Proto-Slavic sound changes

Abstract

The analysis of Old Romance geographical names in early South Slavic confirms that the majority of late Proto-Slavic sound changes were still operative in the period of the earliest Old Romance-Slavic language contacts in the Balkan Peninsula and eastern Alps from the second half of the 6th century and the beginning of the 7th century onwards. Phonetic substitutions of the type Rom. *kE, *gE → Sl. *c, (Balk. Rom. *Kersu → Sl. *Cersъ, Balk. Rom. *Gīla → Sl. *Ʒiĺa) and Rom. *auC → Sl. *ovC (Balk. Rom. *Laurentiu > *Laurenču → Sl. *Lovręčь) point to the fact that the first palatalization of velars as well as the monophthongization of the inherited diphthongs were no longer among the ongoing processes. All other late Proto-Slavic sound changes were either still operative or only took place after the borrowing. This is confirmed by the relative chronology of the following set of Romance-Slavic correspondences: simplification of consonant clusters: Rom. *ps → Sl. *s (Balk. Rom. *Apsaru → Sl. *Osorъ), development of prothetic consonants: Rom. *ū- → Sl. *uū- > *vy- (Alp. Rom. *Ūdẹnu → Sl. *(V)ydьnъ), simplification of j-clusters: Rom. *Ci → Sl. *Cʹ (Balk. Rom. *Arsia → Sl. *Orša), delabialization of *o after *r: Rom. *ro → Sl. *ry > *ri (Rom. *Roma → Sl. *Rymъ > *Rimъ), second regressive palatalization of velars (see above Sl. *Cersъ, *Ʒiĺa), rise of nasal vowels: Rom. *ENC, *ONC → Sl. *ęC, *ǫC (Balk. Rom. *Parentiu > *Parenču → Sl. *Poręčь, Balk. Rom. *Karantānu → Sl. *Korǫtanъ), progressive palatalization of velars: Rom. *Ek, *Eg → Sl. *c, (Balk. Rom. *Longātẹku → Sl. *Lǫgatьcь), delabialization of 1 > *y: Rom. *ū/*o → Sl. *y (Balk. Rom. *Allūviu → Sl. *Olybъ), labialization of *a > *o: Rom. *a → Sl. *o (Balk. Rom. *Kapra → Sl. *Koprъ), vowel reduction of *i, *u > , : Rom. *ẹ, *ọ → Sl. , (Balk. Rom. *Kọrẹku → Sl. *Kъrьkъ, Balk. Rom. *Tọrre → Sl. *Tъrъ).

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Published
2015-12-31
How to Cite
Šekli, M. (2015). Old Romance place names in early South Slavic and late Proto-Slavic sound changes. Linguistica, 55(1), 103-114. https://doi.org/10.4312/linguistica.55.1.103-114