Slavic second palatalization
Slavic second palatalization is a Proto-Slavic sound change, that manifested as a regressive palatalization of inherited Balto-Slavic velars and velar fricative, chronologically occurring after the first and the third palatalization.
The second palatalization of velars is a direct consequence of the monophthongization of diphthongs, or more precisely, the change *aj > ē. While the clusters *kaj, *gaj and *xaj were in accordance with the principle of so-called intrasyllabic synharmony that operated during the Common Slavic period, the clusters resulting from monophthongization *kē. *gē, *xē defied the intrasyllabic synharmony because the velar consonant was preceding the front vocalic, and that defied the Proto-Slavic phonotactical constraints.
That anomaly has been resolved by palatalization of velar consonant, just as it was done during the preceding first palatalization. Only the results of this new palatalization were different, and not completely uniform on all Slavic territory, indicating first dialectal differences. Usually this palatalization is described as gradual, first fronting of the velars to proper palatals occurred, and then (perhaps with those that were affected with the third palatalization) they were assibilated. Hence it's sometimes called sibilantization.
In addition, the same process operated before the new instances of *i deriving from *oj.
Inherited velars *k (< PIE *k, *kʷ) and *g (< PIE *g, *gʰ, *gʷ, *gʷʰ) change before the Proto-Slavic diphthong *aj/āj (< PIE *oy, *h₂ey/ay), which itself must have become *ē by the time the second palatalization started to occur:
- *k > *t' > c
- *g > *d' > dz > z
Proto-Slavic velar fricative *x that was absent in PIE, and which arose primarily from PIE *s by means of RUKI law, from word-initial PIE #sk- as well as from Germanic and Iranian borrowings, changed in the same environment as:
- *x > *ś > s/š
Ultimate output of the third palatalization is thus the same as that of the preceding second palatalization. The difference of the palatalization of *x is dependent upon chronology and the Slavic dialect in question: In East and South Slavic it's /s/, and in West Slavic languages it's /š/. Slovak tends to go with South Slavic in such instances, e.g. Čech "Czech", plural Česi "Czechs".
The intermediary /dz/ has been preserved only in the oldest Old Church Slavonic canon monuments, Lechitic languages, Slovak and the Ohrid dialects of Macedonian. Other Slavic languages have younger /z/.
Second palatalization alternates s consonant clusters specifically
In South Slavic languages the second palatalization operates even if medial *w (> OCS v) is present between the velar and the diphthong (or its reflex), whereas in West Slavic languages the original *kvě/gvě clusters are preserved. Although words with groups cv, zv resulting from the second palatalization are found in East Slavic languages, they are likely to be a consequence of the Church Slavonic influence, since there is evidence of preservation of original groups in Ukrainian and Belarusian languages and in Russian dialects. Compare:
- PSl. *gwajzdā 'star' > OCS zvězda, but Pol. gwiazda, Cz. hvězda
- PSl. *kwajtu 'flower' > OCS cvětъ, but Pol. kwiat, Cz. květ, Ukr. kvitka, Belarus. kvetka, Russ. dial. kvet
In natively coined and inherited Slavic words the second palatalization occurs only before the new *ě < *aj, because the first palatalization already operated before all the other front vowels, but in the loanwords it also operates before all front vowels. Compare:
- Latin acētum 'vinegar' > Goth. akit- > PSl. *akitu > OCS ocьtъ
- Germanic *kirikō 'church' > PSl. *kirkū > OCS crьky
The second palatalization has probably spread from Slavic south; it started to operate sometimes between the end of the sixth and the middle of the seventh century CE, and the environments where it operated vary. In Russian, Slovak and (in nouns) Slovene, results of the second palatalization later were removed at morpheme boundaries (i.e. before inflectional endings) due to paradigmatic leveling by analogy. In Ukrainian and Belarusian, however, the effect of second palatalization is still evident in such cases.
For Northwest Russian speeches (Novgorod, Pskov), according to Zaliznyak, the second palatalization has not taken place at all (E.g. Pskovian kev' : OESl. cěvь: Old Novgorod *kělъ : OCS cělъ). According to others, however, such apparent unchanged velars were actually palatalized dentals both in the older monuments and in modern speeches (so such #k- would in fact be [t']). So the only exception with these speeches would be of not carrying out the affrication with the second palatalization.
- Mihaljević 2002:157
- Matasović 2008:143
- Kapović 2008:169
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