From the history of Russian stress: accentual shift in uncovered vowels

2016. № 2 (32), 55-70

Andrey A. Zaliznyak, Institute of Slavic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences


The article considers an insufficiently known phenomenon from the history of Russian stress: the accentual evolution of Old Russian stressed vowels i and u immediately following another vowel. It is established that these vowels underwent a tendency to lose their stress, shifting it to the left or to the right. The shift was directed to the left if both í (ú) and the precedent vowel were within the same word, and to the right if í (ú) was word initial. This tendency did not attain the status of a full-scale phonetic change; it only changed the stress of some words or forms, producing mostly a facultative variant but sometimes a new norm.