Slovianski

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Slovianski
Flag Slovjanskogo Jazika.svg
Created by Ondrej Rečnik, Gabriel Svoboda, Jan van Steenbergen, Igor Polyakov
Date 2006
Setting and usage Auxiliary language, intended for communication between or with speakers of different Slavic languages
Users (no estimate available)
Purpose
Latin, Cyrillic
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Slovianski (Словянски and Словјански in Cyrillic) is a Slavic interlanguage, created in 2006 by a group of language creators from different countries. Its purpose is to facilitate communication between representatives of different Slavic nations, as well as to allow people who don't know any Slavic language to communicate with Slavs. For the latter, it can fulfill an educational role as well. It is spoken by 2000 people.[1]

Slovianski can be classified as a semi-artificial language. It has its roots in the various improvised language forms Slavs have been using for centuries to communicate with Slavs of other nationalities, for example in multi-Slavic environments and on the Internet. The purpose of Slovianski is to provide these with a scientific base. Thus, both grammar and vocabulary are based on the commonalities between the Slavic languages, and artificial elements are avoided. Its main focus lies on instant understandability rather than easy learning, a balance typical for naturalistic (as opposed to schematic) languages.[2]

Slovianski can be written using the Latin and the Cyrillic alphabets.

Background[edit]

Over the centuries, numerous efforts have been made to create an umbrella language for the speakers of Slavic languages.[3] Most of these efforts were ideologically rooted in Pan-Slavism. Even though Pan-Slavism has not played a role of any significance since the collapse of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, adherents of it can still be found, predominantly in Slavic émigré circles and on the Internet, and the rise of the Internet has also led to the appearance of new Pan-Slavic languages.[4][5]

What these languages have in common is that they are based on the Slavic languages, in particular on the assumption that they are sufficiently similar to each other to allow for a compromise language that is roughly understandable to every Slav. However, opinions vary about the question how grammar should be dealt with. A high degree of simplification, characteristic for most international auxiliary languages, makes it easier to learn for non-Slavs, but widens the distance with the natural Slavic languages and give the language an overly synthetic character, which by many is considered a disadvantage.[6]

The Slovianski project was started in March 2006, when several people from different countries in the world felt the need for a simple and neutral Slavic language that the Slavs could understand without prior learning.[7] In part, it was also motivated by numerous non-Slavic elements (including a grammar that is largely based on Esperanto[8]) and the predominance of Russian-based words in Slovio, the best-known Slavic interlanguage those days.[9] The purpose of the authors was therefore to create a naturalistic language that would consist of material existing in most Slavic languages only, without adding any artificial elements.[6] As a result, Slovianski has three genders (masculine, feminine, neuter) and six cases, while verbs are fully conjugated. In spite of these features - usually avoided in international auxiliary languages - Slovianski has a high level of simplification anyway, because endings are simple and unambiguous, and irregularity is kept to a minimum. While according to its authors Slovio is the Slavic counterpart of Esperanto, Slovianski is the Slavic counterpart of Interlingua.[10] Another characteristic of Slovianski, which it shares with Interlingua, is that it is being developed by its own user base, instead of being regulated from above.[11]

The language is mostly used in Internet traffic and in a news letter, Slovianska Gazeta.[12][13]

Publicity[edit]

In February and March 2010 there was much publicity about Slovianski after articles had been dedicated to it on the Polish internet portal Interia.pl[14] and the Serbian newspaper Večernje Novosti.[15] The latter, an interview with one of the creators of Slovianski, was picked up by the news agency BalkanInsight,[7] and shortly after that articles appeared in the Slovak newspaper Pravda,[16] on the news site of the Czech broadcasting station ČT24,[17] in the Slovene newspaper Žurnal24,[18] as well as other newspapers and internet portals in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Ukraine.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29] Slovianski was also discussed in the Serbian edition of Reader's Digest.[30]

Variants[edit]

Before 2009, Slovianski existed in two variants. The current format of the language was previously known as Slovianski-N (initiated by Jan van Steenbergen and further developed by Igor Polyakov). A simplified form of it was known as Slovianski-P (initiated by Ondrej Rečnik and further developed by Gabriel Svoboda). The difference was that Slovianski-N had six grammatical cases, while Slovianski-P - like English, Bulgarian and Macedonian - used prepositions instead. Apart from these two variants (N stands for naturalism, P for pidgin or prosti "simple"), a schematic version, Slovianski-S, has been experimented with as well, but was abandoned in an early stage of the project.[31]

Slovianski has played a role in the development of other, related projects as well. Rozumio and Slovioski are both efforts to create a compromise between Slovianski and Slovio, which in the case of Slovioski led to the creation of a new language. In January 2010 a new language was published, Novosloviensky jezyk (New-Slavic), based on Old Church Slavonic grammar but using part of Slovianski's vocabulary.[32]

In 2011, Slovianski, Slovioski and Novosloviensky merged into one common project under the name Interslavic (Medžuslovjanski).[33]

Alphabet[edit]

One of the main principles of Slovianski is that it can be written on any Slavic keyboard.[34] The border between Latin and Cyrillic runs through the middle of Slavic territory, and therefore both alphabets can be used. Because of the differences between for example the Polish alphabet and other Latin alphabets, as well as between Serbian/Macedonian Cyrillic and other forms of Cyrillic, Slovianski has no official orthography. Instead, it uses a prototype orthography, stating that characters can be represented in various ways. Because Slovianski is not an ethnic language, there are no severe rules regarding pronunciation or accentuation either. Therefore, the pronunciation below is mostly a raw indication.

Slovianski alphabet
Latin A B C Č D Ď E F G H I J K L Ľ M N Ň O P R Ř S Š T Ť U V Y Z Ž
Cyrillic А Б Ц Ч Д Дь Е Ф Г Х И Ј К Л Ль М Н Нь О П Р Рь С Ш Т Ть У В Ы З Ж
pronunciation ɑ
a
b ts d dj

ɟ
ɛ
e
f ɡ
h
ɦ
x i
ɪ
ɨ
j
ʲ
k l lj

ʎ
m n nj

ɲ
o
ɔ
p r rj

s ʂ
ʃ
t tj

c
u v
ʋ
i
ɪ
ɨ
z ʐ
ʒ

Soft consonants[edit]

The consonants ľ, ň, ř, ť and ď are softened or palatalized counterparts of l, n, r, t and d. The latter are also pronounced like their softened/palatalized equivalents before i and possibly before e. This pronunciation is not mandatory, though: they may as well be pronounced hard.

Soft consonants are normally represented by a haček, but other ways of writing are possible as well: ń, nj, n', etc.

Grammar[edit]

Slovianski grammar is primarily the greatest common denominator of that of the natural Slavic languages, and partly also a simplification thereof. It consists of elements that can be encountered in all or at least most of them.

Nouns[edit]

Slovianski is an inflecting language. Nouns can have three genders, two numbers (singular and plural), as well as six cases (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, instrumental and locative). There is no article. The complicated system of noun classes in Slavic has been reduced to four declensions:

  • masculine nouns (ending in a - usually hard - consonant): dom "house"
  • feminine nouns ending in -a: žena "woman"
  • feminine nouns ending in a soft consonant: jednost' "unit, unity"
  • neuter nouns (ending in -o or -e): slovo "word"
case singular plural
Nom. dom žena jednosť slovo domy ženy jednosti slova
Acc. dom ženu jednosť slovo domy ženy jednosti slova
Gen. doma ženy jednosti slova domov žen jednosti slov
Dat. domu žene jednosti slovu domam ženam jednosťam slovam
Instr. domom ženoju jednosťju slovom domami ženami jednosťami slovami
Loc. dome žene jednosti slove domah ženah jednosťah slovah

Adjectives[edit]

Adjectives are always regular. They agree with the noun they modify in gender, case and number, and are usually placed before it. Example: dobry "good":

case m.sg. f.sg. n.sg. pl.
Nom. dobry dobra dobre dobre
Acc. dobru
Gen. dobrogo dobroj dobrogo dobryh
Dat. dobromu dobroj dobromu dobrym
Instr. dobrym dobroju dobrym dobrymi
Loc. dobrom dobroj dobrom dobryh

An adjective can be turned into an adverb with the ending -o: dobro "well".

The comparative is formed with the ending -(ej)ši: dobrejši "better". The superlative is formed by adding the prefix naj- to the comparative: najdobrejši "best".

Pronouns[edit]

The personal pronouns are: ja "I", ty "you, thou", on "he", ona "she", ono "it", my "we", vy "you" (pl.), oni "they". When a personal pronoun of the third person is preceded by a preposition, n- is placed before it.

Personal pronouns
singular plural
1st person 2nd person 3rd person 1st person 2nd person 3rd person
masculine neuter feminine
Nom. ja ty on ono ona my vy oni
Acc. mene (me) tebe (te) (n)jego (n)ju nas vas (n)ih
Gen. mene tebe (n)jego (n)jej
Dat. mne (mi) tobe (ti) (n)jemu (n)jej nam vam (n)im
Instr. mnoju toboju (n)im (n)ju nami vami (n)imi
Loc. mne tobe (n)im (n)jej nas vas (n)ih

Other pronouns are inflected as adjectives:

  • the possessive pronouns moj "my", tvoj "your, thy", naš "our", vaš "your" (pl.), svoj "my/your/his/her/our/their own", as well as čij "whose"
  • the demonstrative pronouns toj "this, that", tuttoj "this" and tamtoj "that"
  • the relative pronoun ktory "which"
  • the interrogative pronouns kto "who" and čo (also: što) "what"
  • the indefinite pronouns nekto "somebody", nečo "something", nikto "nobody", ničo "nothing", kto-buď "whoever, anybody", čo-buď "whatever, anything", vsekto "everybody", vsečo "everything", inokto "somebody else", inočo "something else"

Numerals[edit]

The cardinal numbers 1–10 are:

1 jedin једин
2 dva два
3 tri три
4 četyri четыри
5 peť петь
6 šesť шесть
7 sedm седм
8 osm осм
9 deveť деветь
10 deseť десеть

Higher numbers are formed by adding -nasť or -nadseť to the numbers 11–19, -deseť to the tens, and -sto to the hundreds.

Ordinal numbers are formed by adding the adjective ending -y to the cardinal numbers, except in the case of pervy "first", drugi "second", treti "third", četverty "fourth", stoty/sotny "hundredth", tisečny "thousandth".

Verbs[edit]

The Slavic languages are notorious for their complicated conjugation patterns. In Slovianski a system similar to De Wahl's rule has been applied to simplify them into a system of two verbal stems:

In most cases both stems are identical, and in most of the remaining cases the second stem can be derived regularly from the first. In particular cases they have to be learned separately.

The various moods and tenses are formed as follows:

  • the present tense endings are, depending on whether the stems ends in a vowel or a consonant: -(e)m/-u, -(e)š, -(e), -(e)mo, -(e)te, -(j)ut
  • in the past tense, endings are not determined by person, but by gender: -l (masculine singular), -la (feminine singular), -lo (neuter singular), -li (plural)
  • the future tense is formed by combining the verb byti' "to be" with the infinitive
  • the conditional is formed by combining the past tense with the particle by
  • the imperative is formed by the endings -(i)j (2nd person singular), -(i)jte (2nd person plural) en -(i)jmo (1st person plural)
  • the present active participle has the ending -(j)uč, followed by -i, -a, -e when it is used as an adjective
  • the past passive participle has the ending -(e)ny (sometimes -ty), and is declined as an adjective
  • the verbal noun has the ending -(e)nje (sometimes -tje)
Example: delati "to do"
present tense past tense future tense conditional imperative
1 sg. ja delam ja delal(a) ja budu delati ja by delal(a)
2 sg. ty delaš ty delal(a) ty budeš delati ty by delal(a) delaj
3 sg. on
ona dela
ono
on delal
ona delala
ono delalo
on
ona bude delati
ono
on by delal
ona by delala
ono by delalo
1 pl. my delamo my delali my budemo delati my by delali delajmo
2 pl. vy delate vy delali vy budete delati vy by delali delajte
3 pl. oni delajut oni delali oni budut delati oni by delali
infinitive delati
present active participle delajuč (-juči, -juča, -juče)
past passive participle delany (-na, -ne)
verbal noun delanje

Vocabulary[edit]

Words in Slovianski are based on comparison of the vocabulary of the modern Slavic languages. For this purpose, the latter are subdivided into six groups:

These groups are treated equally. Slovianski's vocabulary has been compiled in such way that words are understandable to a maximum number of Slavic speakers. The form in which a chosen word is adopted by Slovianski depends not only on its frequency in the modern Slavic languages, but also on Slovianski's inner logic, as well as its form in Proto-Slavic: to ensure coherence, a system of regular derivation is applied.[35]

Sample words in Slovianski, compared to other Slavic languages
English Slovianski Словјански Russian Ukrainian Belarusian Polish Czech Slovak Upper Sorbian Slovene Serbo-Croatian Macedonian Bulgarian
human being človek чловек человек людина чалавек człowiek člověk človek čłowjek človek čov(j)ek/човек човек човек
dog pes пес пёс, собака пес, собака сабака pies pes pes pos, psyk pes pas/пас пес, куче пес, куче
house dom дом дом дім дом dom dům dom dom dom, hiša dom/дом, kuća/кућа дом, куќа дом, къща
book kniga книга книга книга кніга książka kniha kniha kniha knjiga knjiga/књига книга книга
night noč ноч ночь ніч ноч noc noc noc nóc noč noć/ноћ ноќ нощ
letter pismo писмо письмо лист пісьмо, ліст list, pismo dopis list list pismo pismo/писмо писмо писмо
big, large veliki велики большой, великий великий вялікі wielki velký veľký wulki velik velik/велик голем голям
new novy новы новый новий новы nowy nový nový nowy nov nov/нов нов нов

Example[edit]

The Pater Noster:

Latin Cyrillic
Otče naš, ktory jesi v nebah,
Da svečeno je tvoje imeno,
Da prijde tvoje krolevstvo,
Da bude tvoja voľa, kak v nebah tak i na zemje,
Hleb naš vsekodenny daj nam tutdeň,
I izvinij nam naše grehi, tak kak my izviňamo naših grešnikov,
I ne vedij nas v pokušenje,
Ale spasij nas od zlogo.
Отче наш, кторы јеси в небах,
Да свеченo је твоје имено,
Да пријде твоје кролевство,
Да буде твоја вольа, как в небах так и на земје,
Хлеб наш всекоденны дај нам тутдень,
И извиниј нам наше грехи, так как мы извиньамо наших грешников,
И не ведиј нас в покушенје,
Але спасиј нас од злого.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Slovianski/107932102568734?ref=ts&fref=ts
  2. ^ http://steen.free.fr/slovianski/introduction.html - accessed 26 May 2010
  3. ^ Constructed Slavic languages - accessed 25 May 2010
  4. ^ Tilman Berger, "Vom Erfinden Slavischer Sprachen", in: M. Okuka & U. Schweier, eds., Germano-Slavistische Beiträge. Festschrift für P. Rehder zum 65. Geburtstag (München, 2004, ISBN 3-87690-874-4), p. 25. (German)
  5. ^ Tilman Berger, Panslavismus und Internet, 2009, p. 37. (German)
  6. ^ a b Трошки про штучні мови: панслов'янська мова. Narodna Pravda, 22 August 2009. (Ukrainian)
  7. ^ a b Bojana Barlovac, Creation of 'One Language for All Slavs' Underway. BalkanInsight, 18 February 2010.
  8. ^ Katherine Barber, "Old Church Slavonic and the 'Slavic Identity'". University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  9. ^ http://www.langmaker.com/db/Slovianski.
  10. ^ http://steen.free.fr/slovianski/introduction.html#schematicism_or_naturalism - accessed 11 December 2009
  11. ^ Панславизм не умер окончательно. CNews. (Russian)
  12. ^ Н. М. Малюга, "Мовознавство в питаннях і відповідях для вчителя й учнів 5 класу", in: Філологічні студії. Науковий вісник Криворізького державного педагогічного університету. Збірник наукових праць, випуск 1 (Kryvyj Rih 2008, ISBN 978-966-17-7000-2), p. 147. (Ukrainian)
  13. ^ Алина Петропавловская, Славянское эсперанто. Европейский русский альянс, 23 June 2007. (Russian)
  14. ^ Ziemowit Szczerek, Języki, które mają zrozumieć wszyscy Słowianie. Interia.pl, 13 February 2010. (Polish)
  15. ^ Marko Prelević, Словијански да свако разуме. Večernje Novosti, 18 February 2010. (Serbian)
  16. ^ Slovania si porozumejú. Holanďan pracuje na jazyku slovianski. Pravda, 20 February 2010. (Slovak)
  17. ^ "Slovianski jazik" pochopí každý. ČT24, 19 February 2010. (Czech)
  18. ^ En jezik za vse Slovane. Žurnal24, 18 February 2010. (Slovene)
  19. ^ V Nizozemsku vzniká společný jazyk pro Slovany. Deník.cz, 19 February 2010. (Czech)
  20. ^ Pět let práce na společném jazyku. Týdeník Školství, no. 2010/09, 3 March 2010. (Czech)
  21. ^ Klára Ward, „Kvik Kvik“ alebo Zvieracia farma po slovensky. Z Druhej Strany, 25 February 2010. (Slovak)
  22. ^ Péter Aranyi & Klára Tomanová, Egységes szláv nyelv születőben. Melano.hu, 23 February 2010. (Hungarian)
  23. ^ Холанђанин прави пансловенски језик. Serbian Cafe, 17 February 2010. (Serbian)
  24. ^ Holanđanin pravi slovijanski jezik. PCNEN.com, 17 February 2010. (Serbian)
  25. ^ Датчaнин създава общ славянски език. PlovdivMedia.com, 19 February 2010. (Bulgarian)
  26. ^ Датчанин твори общ славянски език. Vseki Den, 19 February 2010. (Bulgarian)
  27. ^ Готвят славянско есперанто. Marica, 19 February 2010. (Bulgarian)
  28. ^ Язык для всех славян на основе русинского. UA-reporter, 20 February 2010. (Russian)
  29. ^ Slaves de tous les pays, parlez donc le Slovianski !. Le Courrier des Balkans, 1 March 2010. (French)
  30. ^ Gordana Knežević, Slovianski bez muke. Reader's Digest Srbija, June 2010, pp. 13-15.
  31. ^ http://steen.free.fr/slovianski/index.html - accessed 14 December 2009
  32. ^ Vojtěch Merunka, Jazyk novoslovienskij (Prague 2010, ISBN 978-80-87313-51-0), pp. 15-16, 19-20. (Czech)
  33. ^ "A Short History of Interslavic". May 12, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  34. ^ http://steen.free.fr/slovianski/phono_ortho.html#orthography - accessed 14 December 2009
  35. ^ http://steen.free.fr/slovianski/design_criteria.html#vocabulary - accessed 14 December 2009

See also[edit]

External links[edit]