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Original scientific paper

Analogical Spread of Vowel Fronting after Non-Palatal Consonants s, t and z in Croatian

Jurica Polančec orcid id ; Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu

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The paper presents a study of the phenomenon of the analogical spread of vowel fronting to nouns ending in consonants s, t and z. The analogical spread of vowel fronting concerns the forms of the instrumental singular and the suffix of the so-called long plural, in which their respective forms -om (Isg.) and -ov- (long plural) change the vowel o to e, resulting in fronted allomorphs -em and -ev-, respectively. Originally, the vowel fronting occurs only with nouns ending in palatal consonants (č, ć, š, ž, , đ, j, nj, lj). The research is carried out by means of the Croatian Internet corpus hrWac. The results of the study show that vowel fronting is common with the long plural suffix after consonants s and t. The phenomenon is not as common after the consonant z. Conversely, vowel fronting is rather unusual with the instrumental singular endings, with some easily explainable exceptions. These findings are used to corroborate the author’s hypothesis that the instrumental singular ending and the long plural suffix exhibit different properties with respect to vowel fronting. Specifically, the vowel fronting with the instrumental singular ending does not consistently occur with the nouns ending in a palatal sound and is hardly ever extended to nouns ending in a non-palatal sound. On the other hand, the vowel fronting with the long plural suffix is fairly consistent with nouns ending in a palatal sound, while also being prone to the analogical spread to nouns ending in a non-palatal sound, particularly those ending in s and t, as is demonstrated in this paper.


Croatian language; non-standard language; vowel fronting; morphonology; corpus-based study; frequency and language use

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