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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 234 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CYRILLIC Num. Russ. 5 6 Aa B6 2 Bn 3 rr (4 An 5 ulg.i a) Ee )Kac 6 Old 4 A B r A 7K • S ^ Z3 LATIN PHONETIC Serb. CroatCech&c,Polish VALUES 7 8 9 10 I, Aa a a a a 1;6 b b b b BB V V W V Fr g g g g An d d d d e E e e e e (je,e)je,le enrye )I{ac i i zh-Frj (dz) dz hard dz (dz) dz soft mute bet,veen iau y ct: Eng. rhythm 6o 700 9 He •400 V'Y 4 5 6 IA tifs Ea* Ps Ps V 8 9 (o .8r Y being hostility to Rome, whereas in Orthodox countries this caution was soon seen to be unnecessary. The Glagolitic alphabets in the table are copied from Codex Marianus (11th century) and the Reims gospel, an O.S. MS. of the 14th century, on which the kings of France took their coronation oath. As to the special sounds which these various scripts expressed, we may notice in the vocalism a tendency to broaden the short vowels and to narrow the long ones, a process which has left results even where distinctions of quantity no longer exist; further, the many changes which can be followed in historic time and are due to the destruction of the old rule of open syllables by the disappearance of the half vcwels i and is, or to their developing into full vowels where indispensable for pronunciation (No. I. inf.). But the ruling principle which has determined the physiognomy of Slavonic speech is the degree in which consonants have been affected by the following vowel. Where this has been broad a, o, u, y, q, u, this has resulted only in an occasional labialization most noticeable in the case of 1; where it has been narrow, i, e, e, (once ea or e), g, I, and i, the result has been palatalization or " softening " in various degrees, ranging from a slight change in the position of the tongue producing a faint j sound in or just after the consonant—expressed in column 9 by the sign', and in Cyrillic by the pre-iotizing of the following vowel—to the development out of straightforward mutes and sibilants of the sibilants, palato-sibilants and affricates z, s, 6, , r, dz, c, dz, c, Ic, &c. (see No. 9 and V. inf.). Slavonic Languages.—The Slavonic languages belong to the Indo-European (I.E.) family. Within that family they are very closely connected with the Baltic group, Old Prussian, Lithuanian (Lithu.) and Lettish, and we must regard the linguistic ancestors of both groups as having formed one for some time after they had become separated from their neighbours. If the original home of the I.E. family is to be set in Europe, we may take the Balto-Slays to have represented the north-eastern extension of it. The Balto-Slays have much in common with the northerly or German group, and with the easterly or Aryan group, their next neighbours on each side. The Aryans likewise split into two divisions, Iranian and Indian, whereof the former, in the Sarmatians, remained in contact with the Slays until after the Christian era, and gave them some loan words, e.g. Bogii—Pers. Baga (god) ; Russian, Sobaka; Median, cpaka (dog). The south-eastern or Thracian group (Armenian) and beyond it the Illyrian (Albanian) made up the four groups which have sibilants for I.E. non-velar gutturals (see inf. No. 9), and in this stand apart from most European groups, but in other respects the Balto-Slays were quite European. The Baltic group and the Slays were separated by the marshes of White Russia, and after their early oneness did not have much communication until the Slays began to spread. Since then the Baltic languages have borrowed many Slavonic words. After the Aryans had moved eastwards Slavonic was left in contact with Thracian, but we know so little about it that we cannot measure their mutual influence. On the other side the Germans, beginning as the next group to the Balto-Slays, and having thereby much in common with them (so much so that Schleicher wanted to make a Germano-Slavo-Baltic group), have never ceased to influence them, have given them loan words at every stage and have received a few in return. After the Baltic group had separated from the Slavonic, we must imagine a long period when Slavonic (S1.) was a bundle of dialects, showing some of the peculiarities of the future languages, but on the whole so much alike that we may say that such and such forms were common to them all. This stage may be called Proto-Slavonic. Except for' the few cases where Old Church Slavonic (O.S.) has either definitely South Slavonic characteristics or peculiar characteristics of its own, as written down by Cyril it represents with wonderful completeness Proto-Slavonic at the moment of its falling apart, and words cited below may be taken to be O.S. unless otherwise designated. Some of the main characteristics of the Slavonic languages as a whole in relation to I.E. are indicated below ; restrictions and secondary factors are necessarily omitted. As a rule O.S.represents the Slavonic languages fairly well, while Latin or Greek equivalents are given as the most familiar examples of I.E. Hypothetical forms are starred. 1. I.E. i becomes (>) i, gosti: hostis (ace. pl.); I.E. 1>1, vidova: vidua; I.E. j >j, jucha : jus (broth). 2. I.E. e becomes e, sew: semen; I.E. e> d, berg: fero. 3. I.E. d and u are alike o in SI., orati: arare; osmi: octo; I.E. n in end syllables, >A; vozu: 6 os; I.E. a and o are alike a, bratru: frater; duva: duo. 4. I.E. a becomes y, ty: tu; I.E. a>ii, snucha: nurus, Sanskr. snna : I.E. u>v, vezg: veho. 5. I.E. y and l both long and short survived as vowels, *vlku written Sanskr. vrkas, " wolf "; consonantal r and 1 survived unchanged. 6. I.E. m and n both long and short: the former gave tor ii; suto: centum; the latter g or q, desgti: decem. Consonantal m and n mostly survived before a vowel, after it they coalesced with it to make the nasal vowels q and g; pgti: pontis; pgtu: 7rEtdirros. 7. I.E. Aspirates are represented by corresponding sonants, berg: fero; medu (" honey," " mead ") : p.iOv; migla: oµLXXn. 8. I.E. s often becomes ch; vetuchu: vetus; not always, synu: Lithu. suniis, " son "; otherwise ch generally renders Gothic h in loan words; chlebu: hlaibs, " loaf "; chyzh: hus, " house." 9. I.E. velar gutturals k, g, gh and labio-velars, q, g, gh become in Sl. k, g, g, kljucl: clavis; gglii: angelus; migla: 6.dxXn; kuto: quis, govedo: (3ovs, Sanskr. gala; snegii: nix, nivem, but the Palato-gutturals k, g, gh become Sl. s, z, z; desgtl: decem; zrino: granum; zima: hiems; Lithu..f, 6, z; deszimtis, zirnis, zema. 1o. (a) Gutturals k, g, ch (for s) before e, e (for e), i, I, g and j early in the Proto-Sl. period became e, z, .1, vllee, voc. of vlikii: Mice; zelgdi: glandis; plusg,3rd pl. fr. pluchic: E7rXevoay. (b) Later k, g, ch before e, i (for of or ai), and sometimes after 1,i, g, > c, dz (z), s. Vllce loc. cf. oieoc; lgzi, imperat. of lggg, " lie ": X yoes; dusi, dusechii, nom. loc. pl. of duchu, " spirit "; kiiingzl: Ger. kuning: " king." (c) I.E. or Proto-Sl. sj, zj became s5, Lithu. siuti, Lat. suo, " sew "; nozi for *nozjo, " knife." (d) Non-guttural consonants followed by j (tj, dj, nj; pj, bj, vj, mj) gave different results (except nj) in different languages (see below No. V.), but in Proto-S1. there was already a :tendency for the j to melt into and so change the consonant. 1 r. Proto-Sl. gradually got rid of all its closed syllables, hence (a) Final consonants were dropped- Domu: domus. (b) Diphthongs became simple vowels ai, oi> e; levii: laevus; We: otba; ei > i; vide: eiSos; au, eu, ou > u; echo: auris. 12. Proto-Slavonic had long, short and very short or half vowels (those expressed above by I and A). It had a musical accent, free in its position with different intonations when it fell upon long syllables. (For the fate of these in different modern languages see below, No. VIII.) 13. The phenomena of vowel gradation (Ablaut) as presented by Slavonic are too complicated to be put shortly. In the main they answer to the I.E., e.g. O.S. birati, berg, sac boric: Sl-epos, (Npw, cbbpos. In their morphology the Sl. languages have preserved or developed many interesting forms. Nouns have three genders, three numbers in O.S., Slovene, Serbo-Croat and Sorb (other tongues have more or less numerous traces of the Dual), and, except Bulgarian, seven cases—Nom., Voc. (not in Gt. Russian or Slovene), Ace., Gen., Dat., Instrumental and Locative. The Abl. has coincided with the Genitive. The -o, -a and -i declensions have gained at the expense of the consonantal stems, and phonetic change has caused many cases to coincide especially in the -i decl. The comparative of the Adj. is formed on I.E. models with s < sj corresponding to Latin r < s, mini, gen. minlsa, cf. minus, minoris. The pro-nominal declension is less well preserved. There is no article, but i (os) has been added to the adj. to make it definite; also in Bulgarian and in some dialects of Russian to is postfixed as a real article. The SI. verb has lost most of the I.E. voices, moods and tenses. The passive only survives in the pres. and past participles; of the finite moods there are but the ind. and opt, (almost always used as an imperat.) left; its only old tenses are the pres. and the aor., to which it has added an impf. of its own. ' There is an inf. (in -ti, being an old slat.) and a supine in -tit, an accusative. Of active participles there are a pres. and a past and a second past part. used in making compound tenses. There are a solitary perfect form, vede: oiia, and a solitary fut. part. bysg, gen. bysgsia: Ouvwv, 4 oovros. The verb has two stems; from the pres. stem is formed the ind. pres. and impf., the imperat. and the act. and pass. pres. participles. All other forms are based upon the infinitive stem. Personal Endings:
End of Article: CYRILLIC
CYRIL (c. 315–386)

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