In linguistics, Illič-Svityč's law refers to two Proto-Slavic
rules, named after Vladislav Illich-Svitych
who first identified and explained them.
Proto-Slavic neuter ''o''-stems with fixed accent on a non-acute root (accent paradigm b) become masculine, retaining the accent paradigm. Compare:
''n'' > OCS
* PIE *médʰu ''n'' 'mead' > PSl. *medu ''m'' (OCS ''medъ'')
This rule is important because it operated after the influx of Proto-Germanic/Gothic thematic neuters
, which all became masculines in Proto-Slavic. Late Proto-Germanic (after the operation of Verner's law
) had fixed accent on the first syllable. Compare:
*xlaiwu ''m'' 'pigsty' (OCS ''xlěvъ'' ) < PGm.
* PSl. *xūsu/xūzu ''m'' 'house' (OCS ''xyzъ'') < PGm. ''n''
* PSl. *pulku ''m'' 'folk, people' (OCS '' plъkъ'') < PGm. ''n''
Proto-Slavic masculine ''o''-stems with fixed accent on a non-acute root (accent paradigm b) become mobile-accent (accent paradigm c). This change is also termed "Holzer's metatony", after linguist Georg Holzer
who described it.
Older literature suggests that this was not a Common Slavic innovation, and that there are exceptions in some Croatian Čakavian
dialects of Susak
, which have retained the original accentuation. This has been recently disputed.
* Willem Vermeer (2001). ''Critical observations on the modus operandi of the Moscow Accentological School'', Werner Lehfeldt, Einführung in die morphologische Konzeption der slavischen Akzentologie, 2d edition, München: Sagner, pp. 131–161.