Old Church Slavonic

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Old Church Slavonic
ⰔⰎⰀⰂⰑⰐⰊⰍ
словѣ́ньскъ ѩзꙑ́къ
slověnĭskŭ językŭ
Native to formerly in Slavic areas, under the influence of Byzantium (both Catholic and Orthodox)
Region Eastern Europe
Era 9th–11th centuries; then evolved into several variants of Church Slavonic.
Indo-European
Glagolitic, Cyrillic
Language codes
ISO 639-1 cu (with Church Slavonic)
ISO 639-2 chu
ISO 639-3 chu (with Church Slavonic)
Linguasphere 53-AAA-a
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Old Church Slavonic, also known as Old Church Slavic (often abbreviated to OCS; self-name словѣ́ньскъ ѩзꙑ́къ, slověnĭskŭ językŭ) was the first Slavic literary language. The 9th century Byzantine Greek missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius are credited with standardizing the language and using it in translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek ecclesiastical texts as part of the Christianisation of the Slavic peoples.[1] It is thought to have been based primarily on the dialect of the 9th century Byzantine Slavs living in the Province of Thessalonica (now in Greek Macedonia). It played an important role in the history of the Slavic languages and served as a basis and model for later Church Slavonic traditions, and some Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches use this later Church Slavonic as a liturgical language to this day. As the oldest attested Slavic language, OCS provides important evidence for the features of Proto-Slavic, the unattested common ancestor of all Slavic languages.

History[edit]

A page from the Flowery Triod (Triod' cvetnaja) from about 1491, one of the oldest printed Byzantine-Slavonic books, National Library of Poland.

The language was standardized for the mission of the two apostles to Great Moravia in 863 (see Glagolitic alphabet for details). For that purpose, Cyril and his brother Methodius started to translate religious literature to Old Church Slavonic, allegedly based on Slavic dialects spoken in the hinterland of their home-town, Thessaloniki,[2] in the region of Macedonia.

As part of the preparation for the mission, in 862/863, the Glagolitic alphabet was created and the most important prayers and liturgical books, including the Aprakos Evangeliar (a Gospel Book lectionary containing only feast-day and Sunday readings), the Psalter, and Acts of the Apostles, were translated. (The Gospels were also translated early, but it is unclear whether Sts. Cyril or Methodius had a hand in this). The language and the alphabet were taught at the Great Moravian Academy (Veľkomoravské učilište) and were used for government and religious documents and books between 863 and 885. The texts written during this phase contain characteristics of the Slavic vernaculars in Great Moravia.

In 885, the use of Old Church Slavonic in Great Moravia was prohibited by the Pope in favour of Latin. Students of the two apostles, who were expelled from Great Moravia in 886, brought the Glagolitic alphabet to Bulgaria. There it was taught at two literary schools: the Preslav Literary School and the Ohrid Literary School.[3][4][5] The Glagolitic script was originally used at both schools, though the Cyrillic script was developed early on at the Preslav Literary School where it superseded Glagolitic. The texts written during this era exhibit certain linguistic features of the vernaculars of the First Bulgarian Empire (see Basis and local influences below). Old Church Slavonic spread to other South-Eastern and Eastern European Slavic territories, most notably to Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Bohemia, Lesser Poland, and principalities of the Kievan Rus' while retaining characteristically South Slavic linguistic features. Later texts written in each of those territories then began to take on characteristics of the local Slavic vernaculars and, by the mid-11th century, Old Church Slavonic had diversified into a number of regional varieties. These local varieties are collectively known as the Church Slavonic language.[6]

Apart from the Slavic countries, Old Church Slavonic has been used as a liturgical language by the Romanian Orthodox Church, as well as a literary and official language of the princedoms of Wallachia and Moldavia (see Old Church Slavonic in Romania), before gradually being replaced by Romanian during 16th-17th centuries. Church Slavonic maintained a prestigious status, particularly in Russia, for many centuries – among Slavs in the East it had a status analogous to that of the Latin language in western Europe, but had the advantage of being substantially less divergent from the vernacular tongues of average parishioners. Some Orthodox churches, such as the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church, Serbian Orthodox Church, Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Macedonian Orthodox Church, as well as several Eastern Catholic churches, still use Church Slavonic in their services and chants today.

Script[edit]

Initially Old Church Slavonic was written with the Glagolitic alphabet, but later Glagolitic was replaced by Cyrillic,[7] which was developed in the First Bulgarian Empire by a decree of Boris I of Bulgaria in the 9th century. In Bosnia was preserved the local Bosnian Cyrillic alphabet, while in Croatia a variant of the Glagolitic alphabet was preserved. See Early Cyrillic alphabet for a detailed description of the script and information about the sounds it originally expressed.

Phonology[edit]

For Old Church Slavonic the following segments are reconstructible.[8] The sounds are given in Slavic transliterated form rather than in IPA, as the exact realisation is uncertain and often differed depending on the area that a text originated from.

Consonants[edit]

Labial Dental Palatal Velar
Plosive p b t d k g
Affricate c dz č
Fricative s z š ž x
Nasal m n n'
Lateral l l'
Trill r r'
Approximant v j
  • The letter щ denoted different sounds in different dialects and is not shown in the table. In Bulgaria, it represented the sequence /ʃt/, and it is normally transliterated as št for that reason. Further west and north, it was probably /c(ː)/ or /tɕ/ like in modern Macedonian, Torlakian and Serbian/Croatian.
  • /dz/ appears mostly in early texts, becoming /z/ later on.
  • The distinction between l, n and r on one hand, and palatal l', n' and r' on the other is not always indicated in writing. When it is, it is shown by a "kamora" diacritic over the letter.

Vowels[edit]

Oral vowels
Front
unrounded
Back
unrounded
Back
Rounded
i y u
ь/ĭ ъ/ŭ
e o
ě a
Nasal vowels
Front Back
ę ǫ
  • Accent is not indicated in writing and must be inferred from later languages and from reconstructions of Proto-Slavic.
  • The pronunciation of yat ě differed by area. In Bulgaria it was a relatively open vowel, commonly reconstructed as /æ/, but further north its pronunciation was more closed and it eventually became a diphthong /je/ or even /i/ in many areas.
  • The yer vowels ĭ and ŭ are often called "ultrashort" and were lower, more centralised and shorter than their counterparts i and y/u. They disappeared in most positions in the word, already sporadically in the earliest texts but more frequently later on. They also tended to merge with other vowels, particularly ĭ with e and ŭ with o, but differently in different areas.
  • The exact articulation of the nasal vowels is unclear because different areas tend to merge them with different vowels. ę is occasionally seen to merge with e or ě in South Slavic, but becomes ja early on in East Slavic. ǫ generally merges with u or o, but in Bulgaria, ǫ was apparently unrounded and eventually merged with ŭ.

Phonotactics[edit]

Several notable constraints on the distribution of the phonemes can be identified, mostly resulting from the tendencies occurring within the Common Slavic period, such as intrasyllabic synharmony and the law of open syllables. For consonant and vowel clusters and for sequences of a consonant and a vowel, the following constraints can be ascertained:[9]

  • two adjacent consonants tend not to share identical features of manner of articulation
  • no syllable ends in a consonant
  • every obstruent agrees in voicing with the following obstruent
  • velars do not occur before front vowels
  • phonetically palatalized consonants do not occur before certain back vowels
  • the back vowels /y/ and /ъ/ as well as front vowels other than /i/ do not occur word-initially: the two back vowels take prothetic /v/ and the front vowels prothetic /j/. Initial /a/ may take either prothetic consonant or none at all.
  • vowel sequences are attested in only one lexeme (paǫčina 'spider's web') and in the suffixes /aa/ and /ěa/ of the imperfect
  • at morpheme boundaries, the following vowel sequences occur: /ai/, /au/, /ao/, /oi/, /ou/, /oo/, /ěi/, /ěo/

Morphophonemic alternations[edit]

As a result of the first and the second Slavic palatalizations, velars alternate with dentals and palatals. In addition, as a result of a process usually termed iotation (or iodization), velars and dentals alternate with palatals in various inflected forms and in word formation.

Alternations in velar consonants
original /k/ /g/ /x/ /sk/ /zg/ /sx/
first palatalization and iotation /č/ /ž/ /š/ /št/ /žd/ /š/
second palatalization /c/ /dz/ /s/ /sc/, /st/ /zd/ /sc/
Alternations in other consonants
original /b/ /p/ /sp/ /d/ /zd/ /t/ /st/ /z/ /s/ /l/ /sl/ /m/ /n/ /sn/ /zn/ /r/ /tr/ /dr/
iotation /bl'/ /pl'/ /žd/ /žd/ /št/ /št/ /ž/ /š/ /l'/ /šl'/ /ml'/ /n'/ /šn'/ /žn'/ /r'/ /štr'/ /ždr'/

In some forms the alternations of /c/ with /č/ and of /dz/ with /ž/ occur, in which the corresponding velar is missing. The dental alternants of velars occur regularly before /ě/ and /i/ in the declension and in the imperative, and somewhat less regularly in various forms after /i/, /ę/, /ь/ and /rь/.[10] The palatal alternants of velars occur before front vowels in all other environments, where dental alternants do not occur, as well as in various places in inflection and word formation described below.[11]

As a result of earlier alternations between short and long vowels in roots in Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Balto-Slavic and Proto-Slavic times, and of the fronting of vowels after palatalized consonants, the following vowel alternations are attested in OCS: /ь/ : /i/;   /ъ/ : /y/ : /u/;   /e/ : /ě/ : /i/;   /o/ : /a/;   /o/ : /e/;   /ě/ : /a/;   /ъ/ : /ь/;   /y/ : /i/;   /ě/ : /i/;   /y/ : /ę/.[11]

Vowel:∅ alternations sometimes occurred as a result of sporadic loss of weak yer, which later occurred in almost all Slavic dialects. The phonetic value of the corresponding vocalized strong jer is dialect-specific.

Grammar[edit]

As an ancient Indo-European language, OCS has a highly inflective morphology. Inflected forms are divided in two groups - nominals and verbs. Nominals are further divided into nouns, adjectives and pronouns. Numerals inflect either as nouns or pronouns, with one through four also showing gender agreement.

Nominals can be declined in three grammatical genders (masculine, feminine, neuter), three numbers (singular, plural, dual) and seven cases: nominative, vocative, accusative, instrumental, dative, genitive, and locative. There are five basic inflectional classes for nouns: o/jo-stems, a/ja-stems, i-stems, u-stems and consonant stems. Forms throughout the inflectional paradigm usually exhibit morphophonemic alternations. Fronting of vowels after palatals and j yielded dual inflectional class o : jo and a : ja, whereas palatalizations affected stem as a synchronic process (N sg. vlьkъ, V sg. vlьče; L sg. vlьcě). Productive classes are o/jo-, a/ja- and i-stems. Sample paradigms are given in the table below.

Sample declensional classes for nouns
Singular Dual Plural
Gloss Stem type Nom Voc Acc Gen Loc Dat Instr Nom/Voc/Acc Gen/Loc Dat/Instr Nom/Voc Acc Gen Loc Dat Instr
"city" o m. gradъ grade gradъ grada gradě gradu gradomь grada gradu gradoma gradi grady gradъ graděxъ gradomъ grady
"knife" jo m. nožь nožu nožь noža noži nožu nožemь noža nožu nožema noži nožę nožь nožixъ nožemъ noži
"wolf" o m vlьkъ vlьče vlьkъ vlьka vlьcě vlьku vlьkomь vlьka vlьku vlьkoma vlьci vlьky vlьkъ vlьcěxъ vlьkomъ vlьky
"wine" o n. vino vino vino vina vině vinu vinomь vině vinu vinoma vina vina vinъ viněxъ vinomъ viny
"field" jo n. polje polje polje polja polji polju poljemь polji polju poljema polja polja poljь poljixъ poljemъ polji
"woman" a f. žena ženo ženǫ ženy ženě ženě ženojǫ ženě ženu ženama ženy ženy ženъ ženaxъ ženamъ ženami
"soul" ja f. duša duše dušǫ dušę duši duši dušejǫ duši dušu dušama dušę dušę dušь dušaxъ dušamъ dušami
"hand" a f. rǫka rǫko rǫkǫ rǫky rǫcě rǫcě rǫkojǫ rǫcě rǫku rǫkama rǫky rǫky rǫkъ rǫkaxъ rǫkamъ rǫkami
"bone" i f. kostь kosti kostь kosti kosti kosti kostьjǫ kosti kostьju kostьma kosti kosti kostьjь kostьxъ kostъmъ kostъmi
"home" u m. domъ domu domъ/-a domu domu domovi domъmь domy domovu domъma domove domy domovъ domъxъ domъmъ domъmi

Adjectives are inflected as o/jo-stems (masculine and neuter) and a/ja-stems (feminine), in three genders. They could have short (indefinite) or long (definite) variants, the latter being formed by suffixing to the indefinite form the anaphoric third-person pronoun .

Synthetic verbal conjugation is expressed in present, aorist and imperfect tenses, while perfect, pluperfect, future and conditional tenses/moods are made by combining auxiliary verbs with participles or synthetic tense forms. Sample conjugation for the verb vesti "to lead" (underlyingly ved-ti) is given in the table below.

Sample conjugation of the verb vesti "to lead"
person/number Present Asigmatic (simple, root) aorist Sigmatic (s-) aorist New (ox) aorist Imperfect Imperative
1 sg. vedǫ vedъ věsъ vedoxъ veděaxъ
2 sg. vedeši vede vede vede veděaše vedi
3 sg. vedetъ vede vede vede veděaše vedi
1 dual vedevě vedově věsově vedoxově veděaxově veděvě
2 dual vedeta vedeta věsta vedosta veděašeta veděta
3 dual vedete vedete věste vedoste veděašete
1 plural vedemъ vedomъ věsomъ vedoxomъ veděaxomъ veděmъ
2 plural vedete vedete věste vedoste veděašete veděte
3 plural vedǫtъ vedǫ věsę vedošę veděaxǫ

Basis and local influences[edit]

Old Church Slavonic is evidenced by a relatively small body of manuscripts, most of which were written in First Bulgarian Empire during the late 10th and the early 11th centuries. The language has a Southern Slavic basis with an admixture of Western Slavic features inherited during the mission of Saints Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia (863–885). The only well-preserved manuscript of the Moravian recension, the Kiev Folia, is characterised by the replacement of some Southern Slavic phonetic and lexical features with Western Slavic ones. Manuscripts written in the Second Bulgarian Empire have, on the other hand, few Western Slavic features.

Old Church Slavonic is valuable to historical linguists since it preserves archaic features believed to have once been common to all Slavic languages. Some of these features are:

  • Most significantly, the yer (extra-short) vowels: /ĭ/ and /ŭ/;
  • Nasal vowels: /ɛ̃/ and /ɔ̃/;
  • Near-open articulation of the yat vowel (/æ/);
  • Palatal consonants /ɲ/ and /ʎ/ from Proto-Slavic *ň and *ľ;
  • Proto-Slavic declension system based on stem endings, including those that later disappeared in attested languages (e.g. u-stems);
  • Dual as a distinct grammatical number from singular and plural;
  • Aorist, imperfect, Proto-Slavic paradigms for participles.

Old Church Slavonic is also likely to have preserved an extremely archaic type of accentuation (probably close to the Chakavian dialect of modern Serbo-Croatian), but unfortunately no accent marks appear in the written manuscripts.

The Southern Slavic nature of the language is evident from the following variations:

  • Phonetic:
    • ra > /la/ by means of liquid metathesis of Proto-Slavic *or, *ol clusters
    • sě from Proto-Slavic *xě < *xai
    • cv, (d)zv from Proto-Slavic *kvě, *gvě < *kvai, *gvai
  • morphosyntactic use of the dative possessive case in personal pronouns and nouns: 'рѫка ти' (rǫka ti, "your hand"), 'отъпоущенье грѣхомъ' (otŭpuštenĭje grěxomŭ, "remission of sins"); periphrastic future tense using the verb 'хотѣти' (xotěti, "to want"); use of the comparative form 'мьнии' (mĭniji, "smaller") to denote "younger".
    • morphosyntactic use of suffixed demonstrative pronouns 'тъ, та, то' (tŭ, ta, to). In Bulgarian and Macedonian these developed into suffixed definite articles.

Old Church Slavonic has some extra features in common with Bulgarian:

  • Near-open articulation [æ] of the Yat vowel (ě); still preserved in the Bulgarian dialects of the Rhodope mountains;
  • The existence of /ʃt/ and /ʒd/ as reflexes of Proto-Slavic *ť (< *tj and *gt, *kt) and *ď (< *dj).
  • Use of possessive dative for personal pronouns and nouns, as in 'братъ ми' (bratŭ mi, "my brother"), 'рѫка ти' (rǫka ti, "your hand"), 'отъпоущенье грѣхомъ' (otŭpuštenĭje grěxomŭ, "remission of sins"), 'храмъ молитвѣ' (xramŭ molitvě, 'house of prayer'), etc.
  • Periphrastic compound future tense formed with the auxiliary verb 'хотѣти' (xotěti, "to want"), for example 'хоштѫ писати' (xoštǫ pisati, "I will write").
Proto-Slavic OCS Bulg. Czech Maced. Pol. Rus. Slovak Sloven. Cro./Serb.
*dʲ ʒd ʒd z ɟ dz ʑ dz j
*ɡt/kt, *tʲ ʃt ʃt ts c ts ts

Great Moravia[edit]

The language was standardized for the first time by the mission of the two apostles to Great Moravia in 863. The manuscripts of the Moravian recension are therefore the earliest dated of the OCS recensions.[clarification needed] It is named after a Slavic state that existed in Central Europe during the 9th century on the territory of today's western Slovakia and Czech Republic.

Moravian recension[edit]

While in the Prague fragments the only Moravian influence is replacing /ʃt/ with /ts/ and /ʒd/ with /z/. This recension is exemplified by the Kiev Folia. Certain other linguistic characteristics are the following:

  • Confusion between the letters Big yus (Ѫ) and Uk (оу) occurs once in the Kiev Folia, when the expected form въсоудъ vъsudъ is spelled въсѫдъ vъsǫdъ
  • /ts/ from Proto-Slavic *tj, use of /dz/ from *dj, /ʃtʃ/ *skj
  • use of the words mьša, cirky, papežь, prěfacija, klepati, piskati etc.
  • preservation of the consonant cluster /dl/ (e.g. modlitvami)
  • use of the ending –ъmь instead of –omь in the masculine singular instrumental, use of the pronoun čьso.

First Bulgarian Empire[edit]

Map of the First Bulgarian Empire with its literary centres, the places where the two earliest revisions of Old Church Slavonic were developed along with Cyrillic

Old Church Slavonic was developed in the First Bulgarian Empire and was taught in Preslav (Bulgarian capital between 893 and 972), and in Ohrid (Bulgarian capital between 991/997 and 1015).[12][13][14] It didn't represent one regional dialect but a generalized form of early eastern South Slavic, which cannot be localized.[15] The existence of two major literary centres in the Empire led in the period from the 9th to the 11th centuries to the emergence of two recensions (otherwise called "redactions"), termed "Bulgarian" and "Macedonian" respectively.[16][17] Some researchers do not differentiate between manuscripts of the two recensions, preferring to group them together in a "Macedo-Bulgarian"[18] or simply "Bulgarian" recension.[19][20] Others, as Horace Lunt, have changed their opinion with time. Initially Lunt (1974:5-6) stated that the differences in the initial OCS were neither great, nor consistent to oppose the Macedonian from the Bulgarian recension. However, a decade later Lunt (1985:202) seems to conceive OCS and its "adjustments" in somewhat different terms, that a Macedonian and a Bulgarian variety of OCS existed, illustrating his point with paleographic, phonological and other differences.[21] The development of Old Church Slavonic literacy had the effect of preventing the assimilation of the South Slavs into neighboring cultures, which promoted the formation of a distinct Bulgarian identity.[22][23][24]

Bulgarian recension[edit]

The manuscripts of the Bulgarian recension[25][26][27] or "Eastern" variant[28] are among the oldest[clarification needed] of the Old Church Slavonic language. This recension, referred to by some linguists as Bulgarian from modern perspective because of its geographic relation to present-day Bulgaria, was centred around the Preslav Literary School. Since the earliest datable Cyrillic inscriptions were found in the area of Preslav, it is this school which is credited with the development of the Cyrillic alphabet which gradually replaced the Glagolic one.[29][30] A number of prominent Bulgarian writers and scholars worked at the Preslav Literary School, including Naum of Preslav (until 893), Constantine of Preslav, John Exarch, Chernorizets Hrabar, etc. The main linguistic features of this recension are the following:

  • The Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets were used concurrently.
  • In some documents the original supershort vowels ъ and ь merged with one letter taking the place of the other.
  • The original ascending reflex (, ) of syllabic /r/ and /l/ was sometimes metathesized to ьr, ьl; or a combination of the ordering was used.
  • The central vowel ы y merged with ъи ъi.
  • Sometimes the use of letter Ѕ (/dz/) was merged with that of З (/z/).
  • The verb forms нарицаѭ, нарицаѥши (naricajǫ, naricaješi) were substituted or alternated with наричꙗѭ, наричꙗеши (naričjajǫ, naričjaješi).

Macedonian recension[edit]

The manuscripts of the Macedonian recension[31][32][33][34] or "Western" variant[35] are among the oldest[clarification needed] of the Old Church Slavonic language. The recension is sometimes named Macedonian because its literary centre, Ohrid, is located in the historical region of Macedonia. At that period, administratively Ohrid was in the province of Kutmichevitsa in the First Bulgarian Empire until the Byzantine conquest.[36] The main literary centre of this dialect was the Ohrid Literary School, whose most prominent member and most likely founder, was Saint Clement of Ohrid who was commissioned by Boris I of Bulgaria to teach and instruct the future clergy of the state in the Slavonic language. The language variety that was used in the area started shaping the modern Macedonian dialects.[37][38] This recension is represented by the Codex Zographensis and Marianus, among others. The main linguistic features of this recension are the following:

  • Continuous usage of the Glagolitic alphabet instead of Cyrillic;
  • A feature called "mixing (confusion) of the nasals" so that /ɔ̃/ became [ɛ̃] after /rʲ lʲ nʲ/, and in a cluster of a labial consonant and /lʲ/. /ɛ̃/ became [ɔ̃] after sibilant consonants and /j/.
  • Wide use of the soft consonant clusters /ʃt/ and /ʒd/; in the later stages, these developed into the modern Macedonian phonemes /c/ /ɟ/
  • Strict distinction in the articulation of the yers and their vocalisation in strong position (ъ > /o/ and ь > /e/) or deletion in weak position;
  • Confusion of /ɛ̃/ with yat and yat with /e/;
  • Denasalization in the latter stages: /ɛ̃/ > /e/ and /ɔ̃/ > /a/, оу, ъ;
  • Wider usage and retention of the phoneme /dz/ (which in most other Slavic languages has dеaffricated to /z/);

Later recensions[edit]

Main article: Church Slavonic

Later use of the language in a number of medieval Slavic states resulted in the adjustment of Old Church Slavonic to the local vernacular, though a number of Southern Slavic, Moravian or Bulgarian features were also preserved. Some of the significant later recension of Old Church Slavonic (referred to as Church Slavonic) in the present time are: Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Russian. In all cases, denasalization of the yuses occurred; so that only Old Church Slavonic and modern Polish retained the old Slavonic nasal vowels.

Serbian recension[edit]

The Serbian recension[39] was written in mostly Cyrillic, but also the Glagolitic alphabet depending on region, by the 12th century the Serbs used exclusively the Cyrillic alphabet (and Latin script in coastal areas). The 1186 Miroslav Gospels belongs to the Serbian recension. The linguistic characteristics are as follows:

  • nasal vowels were denasalised and in one case closed: *ę > e, *ǫ > u, e.g. OCS rǫka > Sr. ruka ("hand"), OCS językъ > Sr. jezik ("tongue, language")
  • extensive use of diacritical signs by the Resava dialect
  • use of letters i, y for the sound /i/ in other manuscripts of the Serbian recension.

Due to Bulgaria becoming annexed in 1396, and the Ottoman conquering of Serbia in 1459, Serbia saw an influx of educated refugee-scribes who re-introduced a more classical form as in manuscripts of the Bulgarian recension.

Russian recension[edit]

The Russian recension emerged after the 10th century on the basis of the earlier Bulgarian recension, from which it differed slightly. Its main features are:

  • substitution of the nasal sound /õ/ with [u]
  • merging of letters ę and ja[40]

Middle Bulgarian[edit]

The line between OCS and post-OCS manuscripts is arbitrary and terminology is varied. The common term "Middle Bulgarian" is usually contrasted to "Old Bulgarian" (an alternative name for Old Church Slavonic), and loosely used for manuscripts whose language demonstrates a broad spectrum of regional and temporal dialect features after the 11th century.[41]

Bosnian recension[edit]

The Bosnian recension used the Bosnian Cyrillic alphabet better known as Bosančica, and Glagolitic alphabet.[42][43]

Croatian recension[edit]

The Croatian recension of Old Church Slavonic is one of the earliest known today.[citation needed] It only used the Glagolitic alphabet of angular Croatian type. It is characterized by the following developments:

  • de-nasalisation of PSl. *ę > e, PSl. *ǫ > u, e.g. Cr. ruka : OCS rǫka ("hand"), Cr. jezik : OCS językъ ("tongue, language")
  • PSl. *y > i, e.g. Cr. biti : OCS byti ("to be")
  • PSl. weak-positioned yers *ъ and *ь in merged, probably representing some schwa-like sound, and only one of the letters was used (usually 'ъ'). Evident in earliest documents like Baška tablet.
  • PSl. strong-positioned yers *ъ and *ь were vocalized into a in most Štokavian and Čakavian speeches, e.g. Cr. pas : OCS pьsъ ("dog")
  • PSl. hard and soft syllabic liquids *r and r′ retained syllabicity and were written as simply r, as opposed to OCS sequences of mostly rь and rъ, e.g. krstъ and trgъ as opposed to OCS krьstъ and trъgъ ("cross", "market")
  • PSl. #vьC and #vъC > #uC, e.g. Cr. udova : OCS. vъdova ("widow")

Canon[edit]

The core corpus of Old Church Slavonic manuscripts is usually referred to as canon. Manuscripts must satisfy certain linguistic, chronological and cultural criteria to be incorporated into the canon, i.e. they must not significantly depart from the language and tradition of Constantine and Methodius, usually known as the Cyrillo-Methodian tradition.

For example, the Freising Fragments, dating from the 10th century, do show some linguistic and cultural traits of Old Church Slavonic, but are usually not included in the canon as some of the phonological features of the writings appear to belong to certain Pannonian Slavic dialect of the period. Similarly, the Ostromir Gospels exhibits dialectal features that classify it as East Slavic, rather than South Slavic, so it is not included in the canon either. On the other hand, the Kiev Missal is included in the canon, even though it manifests some West Slavic features and contains Western liturgy, due to the Bulgarian linguistic layer and connection to the Moravian mission.

Manuscripts are usually classified in two groups, depending on the alphabet used, Cyrillic or Glagolitic. With the exception of the Kiev Missal and Glagolita Clozianus which exhibit West-Slavic and Croatian features respectively, all Glagolitic texts are assumed to be of the Macedonian recension:

All Cyrillic manuscripts are of the Bulgarian recension and date from the 11th century, except for Zographos Fragments which is of the Macedonian recension:

  • Sava's book (Sa, Sav), 126 folios
  • Codex Suprasliensis, (Supr), 284 folios
  • Enina Apostle (En, Enin), 39 folios
  • Hilandar Folios (Hds, Hil), 2 folios
  • Undol'skij's Fragments (Und), 2 folios
  • Macedonian Folio (Mac), 1 folio
  • Zographos Fragments (Zogr. Fr.), 2 folios
  • Sluck Psalter (Ps. Sl., Sl), 5 folios

Example text[edit]

The Lord's prayer in Old Church Slavonic:

Cyrillic Transliteration Translation

Отьчє нашь·
ижє ѥси на нєбєсѣхъ:
да свѧтитъ сѧ имѧ Твоѥ·
да придєтъ цѣсар҄ьствиѥ Твоѥ·
да бѫдєтъ волꙗ Твоꙗ
ꙗко на нєбєси и на ꙁємл҄и:
хлѣбъ нашь насѫщьнꙑи
даждь намъ дьньсь·
и отъпоусти намъ длъгꙑ нашѧ
ꙗко и мꙑ отъпоущаѥмъ
длъжьникомъ нашимъ·
и нє въвєди насъ въ искоушєниѥ·
нъ иꙁбави нꙑ отъ нєприꙗꙁни:
ꙗко твоѥ ѥстъ цѣсар҄ьствиѥ
и сила и слава въ вѣкꙑ вѣкомъ
Аминь჻

Otĭče našĭ
iže jesi na nebesěxŭ.
da svętitŭ sę imę Tvoje
da pridetŭ cěsar'ĭstvije Tvoje
da bǫdetŭ volja Tvoja
jako na nebesi i na zeml'i.
xlěbŭ našĭ nasǫštĭnyi
daždĭ namŭ dĭnĭsĭ
i otŭpusti namŭ dlŭgy našę
jako i my otŭpuštajemŭ
dlŭžĭnikomŭ našimŭ
i ne vŭvedi nasŭ vŭ iskušenije
nŭ izbavi ny otŭ neprijazni.
jako tvoje jestŭ cěsar'ĭstvije
i sila i slava vŭ věky věkomŭ
Aminĭ.

Our father
he who art in heaven.
may hallowed be Thy name
may come Thy empire
may become Thy will
as in heaven and on earth.
our daily bread
give us daily
and release us of our debts
as we also release
our debtors
and do not lead us to temptation
but free us from evil.
as yours is the empire
and the power and the glory for all time
Amen.

Authors[edit]

The history of Old Church Slavonic writing includes a northern tradition begun by the mission to Great Moravia, including a short mission in the Balaton principality, and a Bulgarian tradition begun by some of the missionaries who relocated to Bulgaria after the expulsion from Great Moravia.

Old Church Slavonic's first writings, translations of Christian liturgical and Biblical texts, were produced by Byzantine missionaries Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, mostly during their mission to Great Moravia.

The most important authors in Old Church Slavonic after the death of Methodius and the dissolution of the Great Moravian academy were Clement of Ohrid (active also in Great Moravia), Constantine of Preslav, Chernorizetz Hrabar and John Exarch, all of whom worked in medieval Bulgaria at the end of the 9th and the beginning of the 10th century. The Second Book of Enoch was only preserved in Old Church Slavonic, although the original most certainly had been Greek or even Hebrew or Aramaic.

Nomenclature[edit]

The name of the language in Old Church Slavonic texts was simply Slavic (словѣ́ньскъ ѩзꙑ́къ, slověnĭskŭ językŭ),[44] derived from the word for Slavs (словѣ́нє, slověne), the self-designation of the compilers of the texts. This name is preserved in the modern names of the Slovak and Slovene languages. The language is sometimes called Old Slavic, which may be confused with the distinct Proto-Slavic language. The commonly accepted terms in modern English-language Slavic studies are Old Church Slavonic and Old Church Slavic.

The term Old Bulgarian[45] (German: Altbulgarisch) is the only designation used by Bulgarian-language writers. It was used in numerous 19th-century sources, e.g. by August Schleicher, Martin Hattala, Leopold Geitler and August Leskien,[46][47] who noted similarities between the first literary Slavic works and the modern Bulgarian language. For similar reasons, Russian linguist Aleksandr Vostokov used the term Slav-Bulgarian. The term is still used by some writers but nowadays normally avoided in favor of Old Church Slavonic.

The term Old Macedonian[48][49][50][51] is occasionally used by Western scholars in a regional context.

The obsolete[52] term Old Slovenian[53][52][54][55] was used by early 19th century scholars who conjectured that the language was based on the dialect of Pannonia.

Modern Slavic nomenclature[edit]

Here are some of the names used by speakers of modern Slavic languages:

  • Belarusian: старажытнаславянская мова (staražytnasłavianskaja mova), ‘Old Slavic’
  • Bulgarian: старобългарски (starobălgarski), ‘Old Bulgarian’, старославянски (staroslavjanski), ‘Old Slavic’
  • Croatian: staro(crkveno)slavenski, ‘Old (Church) Slavic’
  • Czech: staroslověnština, ‘Old Slavic’
  • Macedonian: старо(црковно)словенски (staro(crkovno)slovenski), ‘Old (Church) Slavic’
  • Polish: staro-cerkiewno-słowiański, ‘Old Church Slavic’
  • Russian: старославянский язык (staroslavjánskij jazýk), ‘Old Slavic language’
  • Serbian: старо(црквено)словенски, ‘Old (Church) Slavic’
  • Slovak: (staro)slovienčina, ‘(Old) Slavic’
  • Slovene: stara cerkvena slovanščina, ‘Old Church Slavic’
  • Ukrainian: старослов’янська мова (staroslovjans'ka mova), ‘Old Slavic’

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dmitrij Cizevskij. Comparative History of Slavic Literatures, Vanderbilt University Press (2000) p. 27
  2. ^ after the Slavs invaded it. Florin Curta & Paul Stephenson, Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1250, Cambridge University Press, 2006, p 214: "At the emperor’s request, Constantine and his brother started the translation of religious texts into Old Church Slavonic, a literary language most likely based on the Macedonian dialect allegedly used in the hinterland of their home-town, Thessalonica."
  3. ^ Encyclopedia of the languages of Europe, Glanville Price, Wiley-Blackwell, 2000, ISBN 0-631-22039-9, pp. 42-43.
  4. ^ The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity, Ken Parry, John Wiley and Sons, 2010, ISBN 1-4443-3361-5, pp. 50-51.
  5. ^ Interaction and isolation in late Byzantine culture, Jan Olof Rosenqvist, I.B.Tauris, 2004, ISBN 1-85043-944-3, p. 58
  6. ^ Speech, Memory, and Meaning: Intertextuality in Everyday Language, Studies and Monographs by Boris Gasparov,, Walter de Gruyter, 2010, ISBN 3-11-021910-7, p. 185.
  7. ^ Horace Gray Lunt, Old Church Slavonic Grammar, Berlin(2001) p.15
  8. ^ cited after Huntley (1993, pp. 126–127)
  9. ^ Huntley (1993, pp. 127–128)
  10. ^ Syllabic sonorant, written with jer in superscript, as opposed to the regular sequence of /r/ followed by a /ь/.
  11. ^ a b Huntley (1993, p. 133)
  12. ^ Toward an Understanding of Europe: A Political Economic Précis of Continental Integration, Alan W. Ertl, Universal-Publishers, 2008, ISBN 1-59942-983-7, p. 436.
  13. ^ Contested Ethnic Identity: The Case of Macedonian Immigrants in Toronto, 1900-1996, Nationalisms Across the Globe, Chris Kostov, Publisher Peter Lang, ISBN 3-0343-0196-0, p. 50.
  14. ^ The poetics of Slavdom: the mythopoeic foundations of Yugoslavia, Zdenko Zlatar, Peter Lang, 2007, ISBN 0-8204-8135-1, pp. 532-533.
  15. ^ Old Church Slavonic grammar, Horace Gray Lunt, Walter de Gruyter, 2001, ISBN 3-11-016284-9, p. 1.
  16. ^ The entry of the Slavs into Christendom: an introduction to the medieval history of the Slavs, A. P. Vlasto, CUP Archive, 1970, ISBN 0-521-07459-2, pp. 174-176.
  17. ^ Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, Blackwell textbooks in linguistics, Benjamin W. Fortson, John Wiley and Sons, 2009, ISBN 1-4051-8896-0, p. 431.
  18. ^ Ancient Indo-European Dialects, University of California Press, 1966, p. 154.
  19. ^ The Slavic languages, Roland Sussex, Paul V. Cubberley, Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-521-22315-6, pp. 64-65.
  20. ^ Македония, проблемы истории и културы, Институт славяноведения, Российская Академия Наук, Москва, 1999, Размышления о македонском "срезе" палеоболгаристики – И. И. Калиганов. (Russian)
  21. ^ See: "American contributions to the Tenth International Congress of Slavists", Sofia, September 1988, Alexander M. Schenker, Slavica, 1988, ISBN 0-89357-190-3, p. 47.
  22. ^ Who are the Macedonians? Hugh Poulton, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2000, ISBN 1-85065-534-0, pp. 19-20.
  23. ^ Средновековни градови и тврдини во Македонија, Иван Микулчиќ, Македонска академија на науките и уметностите – Скопје, 1996, стр. 72.
  24. ^ A short history of modern Bulgaria, R. J. Crampton, CUP Archive, 1987, ISBN 0521273234, p. 5.
  25. ^ Bruce Manning Metzger. The early versions of the New Testament: their origin, transmission, and limitations. P. 409
  26. ^ Roland Sussex, Paul V. Cubberley. The Slavic languages. Pp. 64-65
  27. ^ Tomasz Kamusella. The Politics of Language and Nationalism in Modern Central Europe. Pp. 276-277, 279
  28. ^ "...A similar point of view was also voiced by H. G. Lunt in 1974 when, after suggesting that the Cyrillic texts show more specifically eastern Bulgarian dialectal features of OCS..." Aspects of the Slavic Middle Ages and Slavic Renaissance culture, American University Studies, Henrik Birnbaum, Lang, 1991, ISBN 0820410578, p. 535.
  29. ^ Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500–1250, Cambridge Medieval Textbooks, Florin Curta, Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN 0521815398, pp. 221–222.
  30. ^ The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire, Oxford History of the Christian Church, J. M. Hussey, Andrew Louth, Oxford University Press, 2010, ISBN 0191614882, p. 100.
  31. ^ Henry R. Cooper. Slavic Scriptures: The Formation of the Church Slavonic Version of the Holy Bible, pg. 86
  32. ^ Roomsch-Katholieke Universiteit, et al. Polata Knigopisnaja: An Information Bulletin Devoted to the Study of Early Slavic Books, Texts and Literatures, pg. 70
  33. ^ Roman Jakobson, P Weinrich. Slavic languages: Distribution of Slavic languages in present day Europe, pg. 7
  34. ^ Yuriy Sherekh, George Y. Shevekov. A prehistory of Slavic: the historical phonology of common Slavic
  35. ^ "...Specific phonological and lexical differences led Jagic and many others after him, to distinguish carefully between the Western or Macedonian OCS of the glagolithic manuscripts and the Eastern or Bulgarian OCS of the Suprasliensis...": Language and literary theory: in honor of Ladislav Matejka, Benjamin A. Stolz, I. R. Titunik, Lubomír Doležel, University of Michigan, 1984, p. 111.
  36. ^ The entry of the Slavs into Christendom: an introduction to the medieval history of the Slavs, A. P. Vlasto, CUP Archive, 1970, ISBN 0-521-07459-2, p. 169.
  37. ^ Old Church Slavonic, Horace Lunt
  38. ^ Macedonian, Victor Friedman, Facts about world's languages, 2001
  39. ^ Old Church Slavonic grammar
  40. ^ Paul Cubberley Russian: A Linguistic IntroductionCambridge University Press (2002), p.44
  41. ^ The definite article in contemporary standard Bulgarian, Gerald L. Mayer, Freie Universität Berlin. Osteuropa-Institut, Otto Harrassowitz, 1988, p. 108.
  42. ^ Susan Baddeley, Anja Voeste (2012). Orthographies in Early Modern Europe. Walter de Gruyter. p. 275. "[...] the first printed book in Cyrillic (or, to be more precise, in Bosančica)" 
  43. ^ Cleminson, Ralph (2000). Cyrillic books printed before 1701 in British and Irish collections: a union catalogue. British Library. 
  44. ^ Nandris, Grigore (1959). Old Church Slavonic Grammar, p. 2 (London: University of London Athlone Press).
  45. ^ Ziffer, Giorgio – On the Historicity of Old Church Slavonic UDK 811.163.1(091)
  46. ^ A. Leskien, Handbuch der altbulgarischen (altkirchenslavischen) Sprache, 6. Aufl., Heidelberg 1922.
  47. ^ A. Leskien, Grammatik der altbulgarischen (altkirchenslavischen) Sprache, 2.-3. Aufl., Heidelberg 1919.
  48. ^ J P Mallory, D Q Adams. Encyclopaedia of Indo-European Culture. Pg 301
  49. ^ R. E. Asher, J. M. Y. Simpson. The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, pg. 429
  50. ^ Dmitrij Cizevskij. Comparative History of Slavic Literatures, pg. 26
  51. ^ Benjamin W. Fortson. Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, pg. 374
  52. ^ a b Walter de Gruyter. On Medieval and Renaissance Slavic Writing. P. 15
  53. ^ Horace Gray Lunt. Old Church Slavonic grammar. Pg 4
  54. ^ D. Appleton. The universal cyclopaedia. Pp. 436, 561-562
  55. ^ Tomasz Kamusella. The Politics of Language and Nationalism in Modern Central Europe. Pp. 35, 291, 294

External links[edit]