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This Proto-Slavic entry contains reconstructed words and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.



Extending ending of archaic i-stem adjectives, from Proto-Indo-European *-is +‎ *-yós.

Old Church Slavonic preserved a few true i-stem adjectives, however, they were indeclinable for gender, case or number[1]: e.g. Old Church Slavonic исплънь (isplŭnĭ, full of), свободь (svobodĭ, free), различь (različĭ, different), ѹдобь (udobĭ, comfortable, easy), обиль (obilĭ, abundant). In parallel to these forms, there were declinable derivatives of theirs with o-stem declension: плънъ (plŭnŭ), свободьнъ (svobodĭnŭ), различьнъ (različĭnŭ), ѹдобьнъ (udobĭnŭ), обильнъ (obilĭnŭ).

All other i-stem adjectives were extended with secondary suffixes such as *-ьnъ, *-ьskъ, or *-ikъ by historical times. Nonetheless, in Old Church Slavonic, the comparative and superlative form of these adjectives was still formed from the earlier i-stem, e.g. *lišьnъ (deprive of, redundant) : *lišijь (devoid, more redundant) (instead of the later *lišьňьjь). For comparison, consider the o-stem *lixъ (superfluous) : *lišьjь (more superfluous).

Cognate with Latin third declension Latin -is, Germanic i-stem declension Proto-Germanic *-iz, and Greek third ι-stem declension.



  1. From titural nouns, forming adjectives
    *božьjь (divine)*bogъ (God)
    *čьlověčьjь (humane)*čьlověkъ (human)
    *orbьjь (labor (adj))*orbъ (servant)
    *voržьjь (hostile)*vorgъ (emeny)
  2. From animal or plant nouns, forming adjectives denoting pertainment to the respective animal
    Synonym: *-inъ
    *kozьjь (goaty)*koza (goat)
    *gǫšьjь (goosey)*gǫsь (goose)
    *myšьjь (mousy)*myšь (mouse)
    *lisьjь (foxy)*lisъ (fox)
    *vьlčьjь (lupine)*vьlkъ (wolf)
    *pьsьjь (doggy)*pьsъ (dog)
    *kučьjь (doggy)*kučę (dog cub) (only in South Slavic, originally meaning "ferocious spirit")
    *mеčьjь (beary)*mеčę (bear cub) (only in South Slavic, originally meaning "honey-eater")
    *rěpьjь (sticky)*rěpъ (burdock, spec. Arctium lappa)
    *gvozdьjь (piercing, naily)*gvozdь (nail)
  3. From collective nouns, forming expressive adjectives denoting excess of something
    *velьjь (great) (later replaced by *velikъ) ← *velь (greatness)
    *divьjь (marvelous, natural, freely growing)*divь (amazement, wild nature)
    *pročьjь (remaining, additional)*prokъ (remainder)


Related terms[edit]

  • *-ьje n (noun-forming, usually denoting manner or location as well as the standard ending for deverbial action nouns)
  • *-ьja m (noun-forming, denoting collectiveness)


  • East Slavic:
    • Russian: -ий (-ij) (respectively: -ий (m), -ья (f), -ье (n))
  • South Slavic:
    • Bulgarian: (-i) (respectively: -и (m), -(и)я (f), -(и)е (n))
  • West Slavic:


  1. ^ Duridinov et al. (1991) Граматика на старобългарския език (in Bulgarian) by Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, p. 202