The so called “fleeting A” or “movable A” refers to the phonetic alternation in which short a makes appearance and loss in certain inflected forms of nouns.

Historically, Montenegrin did not tolerate any final consonantal clusters except: st, zd, št, žd, šć, žđ, šč, and dž, as they were often difficult to pronounce in the final position. Thus, in order to facilitate pronunciation a fleeting a was inserted. The following suffixes are especially prone to the rule – ac, ak, an, ar, at, anj, alj, ao, ac.


In Nominative, Accusative and Genitive singular and Genitive plural of masculine nouns:

A writer – pisac >pisca > pisaca

A young man – momak > momka > momaka

A dream – san > sna > snova

In Genitive plural forms of feminine nouns ending in a consonant cluster:

A sister – sestra > sestara

A notebook – sveska > svesaka

In Nominative singular indefinite masculine forms of adjectives and pronouns:

Short – kratak > kratki

Entire – sav > svi


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *