6

So the plural form of this is 'львы́'? Wikipedia does not indicate that this is irregular. Are there other nouns that follow this pattern, or some sort of rule to help me remember this?

  • 1
    I don't know any rule for this, probably one should memorize the declension for each word, but other examples of this pattern are numerous: сон — сны, ров — рвы, рот — рты, etc. – user907860 May 19 '17 at 17:53
  • 3
    Actually, if you are talking about the Bulgarian currency and not the animal, then the plural will still be "левы". I doubt that there is a fixed rule. – Vadim Landa May 19 '17 at 18:31
  • 2
    there's no need to stress the vowel - since it's a single-syllable word. – shabunc May 19 '17 at 21:14
5

It's not irregular. The mobile vowel is a typical phenomenon for [almost] any masculine singular, non-loan word consisting of two syllables, starting with a singular consonant and taking -и/-ы (and not / ) as a plural marker. The syllable structure is either CVC(ь), CVCVC(ь) or, as some user had put it above, CVCъ (historically).

The one-syllable words are tricky about mobile vowels to predict, but for most polysyllabic words of these types with -ок, -ень or -ец you can be 99% sure that they have a mobile vowel within.

That is, the following forms are rather 'usual' than 'exceptional'.

отец => отцы

ловец => ловцы

малец => мальцы

палец => пальцы

лоб => лбы

лёд => льды

огонь => огни

камень => камни

песок => пески

лоток => лотки

каток => катки

носок => носки

кусок => куски

селезень => селезни

слизень => слизни

The 'regular' forms are in fact more exceptional, cf:

пирог => пироги

порог => пороги

олень => олени

пароль => пароли

пол => полы

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    First time I see such vowels called "mobile". Such "disappearing" vowels are normally called "fleeting vowels". Google this and you'll find a lot of information on the topic. – Sergey Slepov May 19 '17 at 20:11
  • 2
    Or google "беглые гласные" in Russian. – V.V. May 20 '17 at 3:42
  • 1
    They are named e.i.t.h.e.r. 'fleeting vowels' o.r. 'mobile vowels'. I guess they could be named 'dropped vowels', 'shifting vowels', 'ghost vowels' or otherwise as well. – Manjusri May 20 '17 at 9:34
  • 1
    Well... actually there is an irregularity about "лев". Its nominative would be expected to be "лёв". There are only about three or four words where the stressed fleeting vowel is not o (orthographically о or ё) - лев, хребет, один and maybe I forgot one. – Viridianus Feb 6 '18 at 9:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.