Fleeting ‘a’

Fleeting ‘a’ is the sound change in Bosnian language in which vowel ‘a’ appears in some forms of the word but disappears in others. The fleeting ‘a’ is found between two vowels. Fleeting ‘a’ is present in all forms of words.

Fleeting ‘a’ can be found in the following examples:

In Nominativ plural of some masculine nouns:

  • nom. sing. momak — nom. pl. momci
  • nom. sing. čamac — nom. pl. čamci
  • nom. sing. lovac — nom. pl. lovci

In Genitive plural of some feminine nouns:

  • gen. sing. sestre — gen. pl. sestara
  • gen. sing. djevojke — gen. pl. djevojaka
  • gen. sing. olovke — gen, pl. olovaka

In Genitive plural of some neuter nouns:

  • gen. sing. pisma — gen. pl. pisama
  • gen. sing. stakla — gen. pl. stakala

Fleeting ‘a’ in pronouns where it exists for masculine pronouns and does not exist in feminine and neuter pronouns:

  • male: Kakav (what kind of) — fem. Kakva, neuter Kakvo
  • male: Onakav (that type of) — fem. Onakva, neuter Onakvo
  • male: Dobar — feminine Dobra, Neuter Dobro

Fleeting ‘a’ in adjectives where it exist in Nominative for certain masculine adj. but does not exist in female and neuter adjectives:

  • male: Dobar — feminine Dobra, Neuter Dobro
  • male: Pametan — feminine Pametna, Neuter Pametno
  • male: Zgodan — feminine Zgodna, Neuter Zgodno

Fleeting ‘a’ in verbs where it exists in masculine verbs (that end on — ći) but does not exist in feminine and neuter verbs.

  • male: Pošao — fem. Pošla, neuter Pošlo
  • male: Našao — fem. Našla, neuter Našlo
  • male: Stigao — fem. Stigla, Stiglo

Fleeting ‘a’ also does not exist in comparative or superlative for majority of adjectives:

  • hladan – hladniji – najhladniji; / cold – colder – coldest
  • pametan – pametniji – najpametniji; / smart – smarter – the smartest
  • zgodan – zgodniji – najzgodniji. / handsome – more handsome – the most handsome

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