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Old 06-21-2011, 12:46 PM   #101
Delodephius
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To illustrate. The Law of the open syllable means that a syllable can only end with a vowel, not a consonant*. When this law came into being, for whatever purpose it might have been, nonetheless it existed, words like "melko" (milk) or "galva" (head), had to change. The consonants L and K or L and V could not stand next to eachother, so the L switched its place with the preceding vowel, E and A respectively. This then produced "mleko" and "glava". The consonantal conjuncts like ML and GL are allowed at beginning of syllables. East Slavic languages however solved this by inserting a vowel between L and the following consonant, producing "moloko" and "golova", thus preserving the Law of the open syllable. This law gradually disappeared somewhere in the late Middle Ages in all Slavic languages. This had effect on the entire grammar of all Slavic languages, for example words that today end in consonants used to end on the back half-vowel Ъ (like medъ, synъ) or front half-vowel Ь (dьnь, estь), but these were lost.

*The only exception in written OCS were the prepositions iz and bez, but these were written separately only to distinguish them from prefixes iz- and bez-.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:56 PM   #102
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Slovak, thanks for the information, I have a more detailed response which I am preparing, but would like to ask something in relation to the below:
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Originally Posted by Delodephius
There is a dialect of Old East Slavic called Old Novgorodian. This dialect was uninfluenced by Old Slavonic/Old Macedonian and therefore is quite unique. Some even theorise it should be group into a separate, North Slavic group.
In your opinion, which other Slavic languages were influenced by Old Macedonian, and to what extent?

Also, what sort of influence are we talking about with regard to the below:
Is the below a loanword or a genuine Slavic word? Because Greeks also use the word 'omilia' for 'talk'.
Quote:
This dialect however had the metathesis (mlъviti not mъlviti - to talk) but also pleophony (mъlъviti) in some cases.
And I also think the below explanation is very plausible:
Quote:
This dialect shows several common features with West Slavic, while Old East Slavic/Old Ruthenian show more common features with South Slavic, even if we disregard the influence of OCS. What this might indicate, in my opinion, is the origin from where the original Slavic settlers arrived. What is today's Russia was actually uninhabited by Slavic speakers. The most eastern point where original Slavic speakers lived was at the edge of the Gothic realm, somewhere on the river Dnepr, in modern Ukraine. Since the European part of Russia was quite uninhabited in general, with only scattered Uralic speaking tribes living on the banks of its great rivers and impassable forests, I believe that the original settlers of Russia were colonists, merchants and soldiers who established a trade network on the great rivers like Dnepr, Don and Volga and managed trade between the Baltic and the Black and the Caspian seas. The settlers in the north, in Novgorod, originally came from the Baltic coast, modern day Poland, and so their language was more similar to West Slavic, while the settlers in the south, in Kiev, came from the Black Sea coast, so their language was more similar to South Slavic. The southern settlers must have came sooner however, but also the oldest remains of Novgorod actually only date to the 10th century. Most early medieval Russian cities were established only in the 11th century.
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:21 AM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon
In your opinion, which other Slavic languages were influenced by Old Macedonian, and to what extent?
The most influenced was Russian and Ukrainian. After them Bulgarian, Serbian and Croatian. West Slavic languages were almost uninfluenced, Polish wasn't at all, though through Russian and other Slavic languages perhaps indirectly. I know that Russian was influenced not only in vocabulary but also in grammar, that there are some suffixes that were taken from OCS rather than from Old East Slavic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon
Also, what sort of influence are we talking about with regard to the below:
Literary influence most likely. Don't know about the language.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon
Is the below a loanword or a genuine Slavic word? Because Greeks also use the word 'omilia' for 'talk'.
In Scandinavian language the word for language is mál or mĺl, it derives from Proto-Germanic *maţlan, so in Anglo-Saxon it was mahal, in Gothic maţl. If in in Proto-Slavic the verb was mъlviti then a noun should have been mъlva or something similar. Ukrainian and Belarusian to this day use the word mova (from molva) for language. I think perhaps the word originated in Proto-Germanic and then through Gothic to Slavic, and through Slavic to Greek. The reason for this would be that in Germanic there still was the sound ţ which was lost in Slavic. But maybe it existed in Proto-Balto-Slavic and was lost then. I don't know.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:07 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delodephius View Post
The most influenced was Russian and Ukrainian. After them Bulgarian, Serbian and Croatian. West Slavic languages were almost uninfluenced, Polish wasn't at all, though through Russian and other Slavic languages perhaps indirectly. I know that Russian was influenced not only in vocabulary but also in grammar, that there are some suffixes that were taken from OCS rather than from Old East Slavic.
Delodephius, Thanks for this. I have always wanted to know.

Why was Polish uninfluenced, yet the patron saints of Poland are Cyril and Methodius?

I find this interesting because I believe it is uninfluenced too as it is the most difficult of the Slavic language group.

Could it be a result that Poland (due to their Catholic faith and strong allegiance with the Vatican) wanted so eagerly to be considered a part of Western Europe?

Were the Poles ever Orthodox in faith?
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:36 PM   #105
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Cyril and Methodius never went to Poland on a mission. I believe Methodius only visited the southern part of Poland that was part of Great Moravia, but Christianization of Poland began only a century later and it was done by western clergy. It was a forced Christianization, the population was mostly pagan up until 1030's when they revolted against the king, but they were defeated.

Poland was never Orthodox, Old Slavonic was never used in Poland, except in the eastern part when Poland conquered Ukraine and Belarus and made them part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, but that was centuries later, in the 16th century onwards. The only reason Cyril and Methodius are considered saints in Poland is because they are Pan-Slavic saints, but they had nothing to do with Poland or it being Christian.


Polish is easier than Russian actually, their orthography is more consistent and grammar much simpler. From what I experienced while talking to westerners who tried learning both Polish and Russian is that Polish is quite easier to learn. To me it is easy simply because my native Slovak is similar to it and I can understand Polish without translation.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:37 AM   #106
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Thanks for that, Delodephius.

Interesting concept about westerners understanding Polish more than Russian.
I still think Polish is harder (to me) because I am fluent in my mother tongue, being Macedonian but I am also fluent in Serbian and Croatian. I get a reasonably good understanding of spoken Czech and Slovak (particularly Slovak) but Polish stumps me. I must admit on a personal level that Polish is not pleasant on the ear to me as I dont like the overly busy sounding flow of the language.

Out of curiosity (with your experience), why would this be the case?
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:43 AM   #107
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Polish has a different phonological system, it preserved some features of Proto-Slavic that almost all other Slavic languages lost, like the nasal ę and ą (ǫ). But it also has some peculiar sounds that don't exist in South Slavic languages. Once you learn how to pronounce them its quite easy to learn the language. The orthography is a bit non-transparent (like the name of the city of Łódź which in Macedonian would be pronounced as Вуќ and not Лоѓ as most people would think) which may cause problems when you first encounter it, but it's very consistent, and so its easier to learn than Russian.

I personally don't like the sound of Macedonian, or Bulgarian, but Polish sounds very beautiful to me, as well as Czech.
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:09 PM   #108
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Slovak, is Common Slavic (which is what I have been calling the tongue that was developed north of the Danube before the 6th century) closer to West Slavic languages than the rest, in terms of phonology? As an example I am referring to the below development of the word for 'head':

PBSl. *galwā́ 'head' > Lith. galvŕ, Old Pr. galwo, Latv. galva; PSl. *galwā́ > Common Slavic *golvŕ (OCS glava, Russ. golová, Pol. głowa)

The reason I ask is because the vowel in South Slavic glava is closer to Proto Slavic galwā́ than it is to Common Slavic golvŕ, whereas Polish owa appears to be closer to Common Slavic, and Russian. So I am wondering if it has anything to do with the below explanation you provided previously:
Quote:
The settlers in the north, in Novgorod, originally came from the Baltic coast, modern day Poland, and so their language was more similar to West Slavic, while the settlers in the south, in Kiev, came from the Black Sea coast, so their language was more similar to South Slavic. The southern settlers must have came sooner however, but also the oldest remains of Novgorod actually only date to the 10th century. Most early medieval Russian cities were established only in the 11th century.
Would this suggest that Common Slavic emanated from the dialects that were spoken in present-day Poland sometime prior to the 6th century? Interested in your thoughts.
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:15 AM   #109
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The Proto-Slavic and even OCS a was much more closer to the back of the throat than a in modern South Slavic languages and Czech and Slovak. In Polish and East Slavic languages it is still pronounced further in the throat. On the other hand, Slavic o is much higher, in all Slavic languages than in other European languages (but not Indo-Iranian). The very reason why in foreign languages the native Slověni was pronounced Sclaveni is due to Slavic o and a being very similar. So in my opinion both galva and golva could have been used in Common Slavic, keeping in mind that such language was never recorded and is only reconstructed and thus only hypothetical. Overall however, Polish has certain features that it preserved from Common Slavic that no other Slavic language has, but so have all Slavic languages.

I don't think that Common Slavic originated in Poland. To be frank I am unsure where it originated. The entire area from both sides of the Carpathian mountains is a possible homeland of that particular dialect, although I think that Common Slavic evolved as a mixture of dialects from the entire area that was under Gothic, Hunnic and Avar rule where it served as a Lingua Franca.
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This is mine or (somebody) else’s (is the way) narrow minded people count.
But for broad minded people, (whole) earth is (like their) family.

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Old 07-05-2011, 02:47 AM   #110
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Here is also something that many people have been pondering about and giving many fanciful explanations: why did Romans and Greeks called the Slověni as Sclavi/Sclaveni. Why did they say CL instead of just L. Well to understand this you should know two things: Common Slavic and Belarusian phonology. You see, unlike in all other modern Slavic languages, Common Slavic (and also Old Church Slavonic) had and modern Belarusian still has a consonant sound called the "black L". In Polish and Belarusian transcription into Latin it is written as Ł ł. In Polish however it is pronounced like w in modern days, though some dialects preserve the old pronunciation. This "black L" was pronounced pretty much like a regular L, except it was much deeper in the throat, it was a velar (like k, g) liquid. In Common Slavic and OCS it appeared only before back vowels (a, o, u, ŭ, ɨ), just like in the word Slověni. So when the Romans and Greeks wrote down the name of the Slavs they wrote it how they heard it: an L pronounced back in the throat as if it was preceeded by a K or G, and an A which was really an O though they didn't know that as it sounded the same to them. Hope this makes sense.
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This is mine or (somebody) else’s (is the way) narrow minded people count.
But for broad minded people, (whole) earth is (like their) family.

Last edited by Delodephius; 07-05-2011 at 02:49 AM.
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