Read more...1. The Problem
The final syllable is a phonological domain in which the traditional comparative method of invoking regular sound correspondences and predictable sound changes often encounters trouble. Within the Indo-European (IE) language family, a number of branches display phonological developments in word-final position that diverge from the developments in initial and medial syllables. One such branch is Slavic.
Slavic is characterized by multiple special phonological treatments of word-final segments, each standing in contrast to a generally valid rule. Most of the Slavic Auslautgesetze constitute a diachronic problem still awaiting a generally accepted solution ― assuming, of course, that phonological processes in all domains, including the auslaut, are rule-governed and regular (the “Neogrammarian Hypothesis”). The famously problematic auslaut treatments in Slavic include the following: