Old Church Slavonic

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Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavic
ⰔⰎⰑⰂⰡⰐⰠⰔⰍⰟ ⰧⰈⰟⰊⰍⰟ
словѣ́ньскъ ѩꙁꙑ́къ
slověnĭskŭ językŭ
Old east slavic in manuscript.jpg
Native toFormerly in Slavic areas under the influence of Byzantium (both Catholic and Orthodox)
Region
Era9th–11th centuries; then evolved into several variants of Church Slavonic
Glagolitic, Cyrillic
Language codes
ISO 639-1 cu
ISO 639-2 chu
ISO 639-3 chu (includes Church Slavonic)
Glottolog chur1257  Church Slavic [1]
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. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Old Church Slavonic [2] or Old Slavonic ( /sləˈvɒnɪk/ , /slæˈ-/ ), also known as Old Church Slavic [2] [3] , or Old Slavic ( /ˈslɑːvɪk, ˈslæv-/ ), was the first Slavic literary language (autonym словѣ́ньскъ ѩꙁꙑ́къ, slověnĭskŭ językŭ). It is also referred to as Paleo-Slavic (Paleoslavic) or Palaeo-Slavic (Palaeoslavic), [4] not to be confused with Proto-Slavic. It is often abbreviated to OCS.

Slavic languages languages of the Slavic peoples

The Slavic languages are the Indo-European languages spoken by the Slavic peoples. They are thought to descend from a proto-language called Proto-Slavic, spoken during the Early Middle Ages, which in turn is thought to have descended from the earlier Proto-Balto-Slavic language, linking the Slavic languages to the Baltic languages in a Balto-Slavic group within the Indo-European family.

A literary language is the form of a language used in its literary writing. It can be either a non-standard dialect or standardized variety of the language. It can sometimes differ noticeably from the various spoken lects, but difference between literary and non-literary forms is greater in some languages than in others. Where there is a strong divergence between a written form and the spoken vernacular, the language is said to exhibit diglossia.

Proto-Slavic proto-language

Proto-Slavic is the unattested, reconstructed proto-language of all the Slavic languages. It represents Slavic speech approximately from the 2nd millennium B.C. through the 6th century A.D. As with most other proto-languages, no attested writings have been found; scholars have reconstructed the language by applying the comparative method to all the attested Slavic languages and by taking into account other Indo-European languages.

Contents

Historians credit the 9th-century Byzantine missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius with standardizing the language and using it in translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek ecclesiastical texts as part of the Christianization of the Slavs. [5] [6] It is thought to have been based primarily on the dialect of the 9th-century Byzantine Slavs living in the Province of Thessalonica (in present-day Greece).

Byzantine Empire Roman Empire during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural and military force in Europe. "Byzantine Empire" is a term created after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire simply as the Roman Empire, or Romania (Ῥωμανία), and to themselves as "Romans".

Saints Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Slavic brothers

Saints Cyril and Methodius were two brothers who were Byzantine Christian theologians and Christian missionaries. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they received the title "Apostles to the Slavs". They are credited with devising the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe Old Church Slavonic. After their deaths, their pupils continued their missionary work among other Slavs. Both brothers are venerated in the Orthodox Church as saints with the title of "equal-to-apostles". In 1880, Pope Leo XIII introduced their feast into the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1980, Pope John Paul II declared them co-patron saints of Europe, together with Benedict of Nursia.

A standard language is defined either as a language variety employed by a population for public communications, or as the variety of language that has undergone codification of grammar and usage. The term standard language occasionally refers to a language that includes a standardized form as one of its varieties, referring to the entirety of the language rather than a single, codified form. Typically, the language varieties that undergo substantive standardization are the dialects spoken and written in centers of commerce and government; which, by the process that linguistic anthropologists call "referential displacement" and that sociolinguists call "elaboration of function", acquire the social prestige associated with commerce and government, the speakers thus believe that the standard language is inherently superior, or believe it the linguistic baseline, by which to judge other language varieties.

Old Church Slavonic 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.

Eastern Orthodox Church Christian Church

The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 260 million baptised members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods. Roughly half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest surviving religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East.

Eastern Catholic Churches Autonomous, self-governing particular Churches in full communion with the Pope

The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, and in some historical cases Uniate Churches, are twenty-three Eastern Christian autonomous particular churches in full communion with the Pope in Rome, as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. They are united with one another and with the Latin or Roman Church. In particular, they recognize the central role of the Bishop of Rome within the College of Bishops and his infallibility when speaking ex cathedra. The majority of the Eastern Catholic Churches are groups from the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, and the historic Church of the East that have returned to communion with the Bishop of Rome, either due to theological concerns or due to understanding the role of the Bishop of Rome as head of church. As such the five liturgical traditions of the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, including the Alexandrian Rite, the Armenian Rite, the Byzantine Rite, the East Syriac Rite, and the West Syriac Rite, are shared with other Eastern Christian churches. Consequently, the Catholic Church consists of six liturgical rites; including the aforementioned five liturgical traditions of the Eastern Catholic Churches along with the Latin liturgical rites of the Latin Church.

As the oldest attested Slavic language, OCS provides important evidence for the features of Proto-Slavic, the reconstructed common ancestor of all Slavic languages.

History

A page from the Flowery Triodion (Triod' cvetnaja) from about 1491, one of the oldest printed Byzantine-Slavonic books, National Library of Poland. Triod' cvetnaja.jpg
A page from the Flowery Triodion (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 (the territory of today's western Slovakia and Czech Republic; 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 the Slavic dialects spoken in the hinterland of their hometown, Thessaloniki, [7] in today's Greece.

Great Moravia 9th century Slavic state

Great Moravia, the Great Moravian Empire, or simply Moravia, was the first major state that was predominantly West Slavic to emerge in the area of Central Europe, chiefly on what is now the territory of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Serbia (Vojvodina). The only formation preceding it in these territories was Samo's Empire known from between 631 and 658 AD. Great Moravia was thus the first joint state of the Slavonic tribes that became later known as Czechs and Slovaks and that later formed Czechoslovakia.

Thessaloniki City in Macedonia, Greece

Thessaloniki, also known as Thessalonica, Saloniki or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece, with over 1 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, and the capital of the geographic region of Macedonia, the administrative region of Central Macedonia and the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace. It is also known in Greek as η Συμπρωτεύουσα, literally "the co-capital", a reference to its historical status as the Συμβασιλεύουσα (Symvasilévousa) or "co-reigning" city of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, alongside Constantinople.

Greece republic in Southeast Europe

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.

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.)

Liturgical book Christian prayer book

A liturgical book, or service book, is a book published by the authority of a church body that contains the text and directions for the liturgy of its official religious services.

Gospel Book shorter collection of Bible verses divided after the Sundays and holidays of the lithurgical calendar

The Gospel Book, Evangelion, or Book of the Gospels is a codex or bound volume containing one or more of the four Gospels of the Christian New Testament – normally all four – centering on the life of Jesus of Nazareth and the roots of the Christian faith. The term is also used of the liturgical book, also called the Evangeliary, from which are read the portions of the Gospels used in the Mass and other services, arranged according to the order of the liturgical calendar.

Lectionary book of scripture readings for a particular day or occasion

A lectionary is a book or listing that contains a collection of scripture readings appointed for Christian or Judaic worship on a given day or occasion. There are sub-types such as a "gospel lectionary" or evangeliary, and an epistolary with the readings from the New Testament Epistles.

The language and the alphabet were taught at the Great Moravian Academy (Slovak : 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 Pope Stephen V in favour of Latin. [8]

Students of the two apostles who were expelled from Great Moravia in 886, including Clement of Ohrid and Saint Naum, brought the Glagolitic alphabet to the First Bulgarian Empire and were received and accepted officially by Boris I of Bulgaria. He established the two literary schools: the Preslav Literary School and the Ohrid Literary School. [9] [10] [11]

The Glagolitic alphabet was originally used at both schools, though the Cyrillic script was developed early on at the Preslav Literary School, where it superseded Glagolitic as official in Bulgaria in 893.

The texts written during this era exhibit certain linguistic features of the vernaculars of the First Bulgarian Empire. Old Church Slavonic spread to other South-Eastern, Central, and Eastern European Slavic territories, most notably 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 (known as recensions). These local varieties are collectively known as the Church Slavonic language. [12]

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 the 16th to 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 Latin 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 – Ohrid Archbishopric, as well as several Eastern Catholic Churches, still use Church Slavonic in their services and chants today.

Script

Initially Old Church Slavonic was written with the Glagolitic alphabet, but later Glagolitic was replaced by Cyrillic, [13] which was developed in the First Bulgarian Empire by a decree of Boris I of Bulgaria in the 9th century.

The local Bosnian Cyrillic alphabet, known as Bosančica, was preserved in Bosnia and parts of Croatia, while a variant of the angular Glagolitic alphabet was preserved in Croatia. See Early Cyrillic alphabet for a detailed description of the script and information about the sounds it originally expressed.

Phonology

For Old Church Slavonic, the following segments are reconstructible. [14] A few sounds are given in Slavic transliterated form rather than in IPA, as the exact realisation is uncertain and often differs depending on the area that a text originated from.

Consonants

Labial Dental Palatal Velar
Plosive p bt dk ɡ
Affricate t͡s d͡zt͡ʃ
Fricative s zʃ ʒx
Nasal mn
Lateral l
Trill r
Approximant vj

Vowels

Oral vowels
Front
unrounded
Back
unrounded
Back
Rounded
i/i/y/ɯ/u/u/
ь/ĭ/ɪ/ъ/ŭ/ɨ/
e/e/o/o/
ě/æ/a/a/
Nasal vowels
Front Back
ę/ẽ/ǫ/õ/

Phonotactics

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 sequences of a consonant and a vowel, the following constraints can be ascertained: [15]

Morphophonemic alternations

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/. [16] 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. [17]

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/. [17]

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

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 1-4 showing gender agreement as well.

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
SingularDualPlural
GlossStem typeNomVocAccGenLocDatInstrNom/Voc/AccGen/LocDat/InstrNom/VocAccGenLocDatInstr
"city"o m.gradъgradegradъgradagraděgradugradomьgradagradugradomagradigradygradъgraděxъgradomъgrady
"knife"jo m.nožьnožunožьnožanožinožunožemьnožanožunožemanožinožęnožьnožixъnožemъnoži
"wolf"o mvlьkъvlьčevlьkъvlьkavlьcěvlьkuvlьkomьvlьkavlьkuvlьkomavlьcivlьkyvlьkъvlьcěxъvlьkomъvlьky
"wine"o n.vinovinovinovinaviněvinuvinomьviněvinuvinomavinavinavinъviněxъvinomъviny
"field"jo n.poljepoljepoljepoljapoljipoljupoljemьpoljipoljupoljemapoljapoljapoljьpoljixъpoljemъpolji
"woman"a f.ženaženoženǫženyženěženěženojǫženěženuženamaženyženyženъženaxъženamъženami
"soul"ja f.dušadušedušǫdušędušidušidušejǫdušidušudušamadušędušędušьdušaxъdušamъdušami
"hand"a f.rǫkarǫkorǫkǫrǫkyrǫcěrǫcěrǫkojǫrǫcěrǫkurǫkamarǫkyrǫkyrǫkъrǫkaxъrǫkamъrǫkami
"bone"i f.kostьkostikostьkostikostikostikostьjǫkostikostьjukostьmakostikostikostьjьkostьxъkostъmъkostъmi
"home"u m.domъdomudomъ/-adomudomudomovidomъmьdomydomovudomъmadomovedomydomovъdomъxъdomъmъdomъmi

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/numberPresentAsigmatic (simple, root) aoristSigmatic (s-) aoristNew (ox) aoristImperfectImperative
1 sg.vedǫvedъvěsъvedoxъveděaxъ
2 sg.vedešivedevedevedeveděaševedi
3 sg.vedetъvedevedevedeveděaševedi
1 dualvedevěvedověvěsověvedoxověveděaxověveděvě
2 dualvedetavedetavěstavedostaveděašetaveděta
3 dualvedetevedetevěstevedosteveděašete
1 pluralvedemъvedomъvěsomъvedoxomъveděaxomъveděmъ
2 pluralvedetevedetevěstevedosteveděašeteveděte
3 pluralvedǫtъvedǫvěsęvedošęveděaxǫ

Basis and local influences

Written evidence of Old Church Slavonic survives in a relatively small body of manuscripts, most of them 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 (1185-1396) 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 such as these:

Old Church Slavonic is also likely to have preserved an extremely archaic type of accentuation (probably[ citation needed ] 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:

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

Proto-SlavicOCSBulg.CzechMaced.Pol.Rus.SlovakSloven.Cro./Serb.
*dʲʒdʒdzɟdzʑdzj
*ɡt/kt, *tʲʃtʃttsctsts

Great Moravia

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

Moravian recension

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 include:

  • Confusion between the letters Big yus (Ѫ) and Uk (оу) - this 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

Old Church Slavonic language is 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). [18] [19] [20] It did not represent one regional dialect but a generalized form of early eastern South Slavic, which cannot be localized. [21] 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. [22] [23] Some researchers do not differentiate between manuscripts of the two recensions, preferring to group them together in a "Macedo-Bulgarian" [24] or simply "Bulgarian" recension. [25] [26] Others, as Horace Lunt, have changed their opinion with time. In the mid-1970s, Lunt held that the differences in the initial OCS were neither great enough nor consistent enough to grant a distinction between a 'Macedonian' recension and a 'Bulgarian' one. A decade later, however, Lunt argued in favour of such a distinction, illustrating his point with paleographic, phonological and other differences. [27] 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. [28]

Preslav recension

The manuscripts of the Preslav recension [29] [30] [31] or "Eastern" variant [32] are among the oldest[ clarification needed ] of the Old Church Slavonic language. This recension 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. [33] [34] 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).

Ohrid recension

The manuscripts of the Ohrid recension 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, lies in the historical region of Macedonia. At that period, administratively Ohrid formed part of 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. [21] [ page needed ] [37] [ page needed ] This recension is represented by the Codex Zographensis and Marianus, among others. The main linguistic features of this recension include:

  • Continuous usage of the Glagolitic alphabet instead of Cyrillic
  • A feature called "mixing (confusion) of the nasals" in which /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

Later use of the language in a number of medieval Slavic polities resulted in the adjustment of Old Church Slavonic to the local vernacular, though a number of Southern Slavic, Moravian or Bulgarian features also survived. Significant later recensions of Old Church Slavonic (referred to as Church Slavonic) in the present time include: Slovene, Croatian, Serbian and Russian. In all cases, denasalization of the yuses occurred; so that only Old Church Slavonic, modern Polish and some isolated Bulgarian dialects retained the old Slavonic nasal vowels.

Serbian recension

The Serbian recension [38] was written mostly in Cyrillic, but also in 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 belong to the Serbian recension. They feature the following linguistic characteristics:

  • 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 the Ottoman conquest of Bulgaria in 1396, Serbia saw an influx of educated scribes and clergy who re-introduced a more classical form, closer resembling the Bulgarian recension.

Russian recension

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 [u] for the nasal sound /õ/
  • Merging of letters ę and ja [39]

Middle Bulgarian

The line between OCS and post-OCS manuscripts is arbitrary, and terminology varies. 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. [40]

Bosnian recension

The Bosnian recension used the Bosnian Cyrillic alphabet (better known as Bosančica) and the Glagolitic alphabet. [41] [42]

Croatian recension

The Croatian recension of Old Church Slavonic used only the Glagolitic alphabet of angular Croatian type. It shows the development of the following characteristics:

  • Denasalisation 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

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: they must not significantly depart from the language and tradition of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, usually known as the Cyrillo-Methodian tradition.

For example, the Freising Fragments, dating from the 10th century, show some linguistic and cultural traits of Old Church Slavonic, but they 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 because of 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 Preslav recension (Preslav Literary School) and date from the 11th century except for the Zographos, which is of the Ohrid recension (Ohrid Literary School):

Sample text

Here is the Lord's Prayer in Old Church Slavonic:

CyrillicIPATransliterationTranslation

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჻

otɪtʃe naʃɪ
iʒe jesi na nebesaxɨ
da svẽtitɨ sẽ imẽ tvoje
da pridetɨ tsæsarʲɪzdvije tvoje
da bɔ̃detɨ volʲa dvoja
jako na nebesi i na zemlʲi.
ɣlæbɨ naʃɪ nasɔ̃ʃtɪnɯi
daʒdɪ namɨ dɪnɪsɪ
i otɨpusti namɨ dlɨgɯ naʃẽ
jako i mɯ otɨpuʃtajemɨ
dlɨʒɪnikomɨ naʃimɨ.
i ne vɨvedi nasɨ vɨ iskuʃenije
nɨ izbavi nɯ otɨ neprijazni,
jako tvoje jestɨ tsæsarʲɪzdvije
i sila i slava vɨ vækɯ vækomɨ
aminɪ.

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.
hlěbŭ 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
Thou Who art in heaven.
May hallowed be Thy Name
may come Thy empire
may become Thy will
as in heaven, also on Earth.
Our supersubstantial bread
give us this day
and release us of our debts
as we also release
our debtors,
and do not lead us to temptation
but free us from the evil.
As Thine is the empire
and the power and the glory unto the ages of ages.
Amen.

Authors

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

The name of the language in Old Church Slavonic texts was simply Slavic (словѣ́ньскъ ѩꙁꙑ́къ, slověnĭskŭ językŭ), [43] 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. Different strains of nationalists have tried to 'claim' Old Church Slavonic; thus OCS has also been variously called "Old Bulgarian", "Old Croatian", "Old Macedonian", or "Old Serbian", or even "Old Slovak", "Old Slovenian". [44] 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 [52] [53] [54] [31] was used by early 19th-century scholars who conjectured that the language was based on the dialect of Pannonia.

Modern Slavic nomenclature

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

See also

Related Research Articles

Glagolitic script Oldest known Slavic alphabet

The Glagolitic script is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. It is generally agreed to have been created in the 9th century by Saint Cyril, a Byzantine monk from Thessaloniki. He and his brother, Saint Methodius, were sent by the Byzantine Emperor Michael III in 863 to Great Moravia to spread Christianity among the West Slavs in the area. The brothers decided to translate liturgical books into the Old Slavic language that was understandable to the general population, but as the words of that language could not be easily written by using either the Greek or Latin alphabets, Cyril decided to invent a new script, Glagolitic, which he based on the local dialect of the Slavic tribes from the Byzantine theme of Thessalonica.

Early Cyrillic alphabet Writing system developed in 9th century Bulgaria

The Early Cyrillic alphabet is a writing system that was developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the late 9th century on the basis of the Greek alphabet for the Slavic peoples living near the Byzantine Empire in South East and Central Europe. The objective was to make it possible to have Christian service in Slavic tongue, instead of in Greek, which locals did not understand, and to bring Bulgarian subjects closer to the cultural influence of Christianity, the official religion of the Byzantine Empire. It was used by Slavic peoples in South East, Central and Eastern Europe.

Church Slavonic language Liturgical language of the Orthodox Church in Slavic countries

Church Slavonic, also known as Church Slavic, New Church Slavonic or New Church Slavic, is the conservative Slavic sacred language used by the Orthodox Church in Bulgaria, Russia, Belarus, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia. The language appears also in the services of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese and occasionally in the services of the Orthodox Church in America. It was also used by the Orthodox Churches in Romanian lands until the late 17th and early 18th centuries as well as by Roman Catholic Croats in the Early Middle Ages. It is also co-used by Greek Catholic Churches, which are under Roman communion, in Slavic countries, for example the Croatian, Slovak and Ruthenian Greek Catholics, as well as by the Roman Catholic Church.

Yat or jat is the thirty-second letter of the old Cyrillic alphabet.

A yer is one of two letters in Cyrillic alphabets: ъ and ь. The Glagolitic alphabet used, as respective counterparts, the letters and . They originally represented phonemically the "ultra-short" vowels in Slavic languages, including Old Church Slavonic, and are collectively known as the yers.

Bulgarian alphabet alphabet of the Bulgarian language

The Bulgarian alphabet, a version of Cyrillic, is used to write the Bulgarian language.

Yus archaic letters of the Cyrillic script

Little yus (Ѧ ѧ) and big yus (Ѫ ѫ), or jus, are letters of the Cyrillic script representing two Common Slavonic nasal vowels in the early Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets. Each can occur in iotified form, formed as ligatures with the decimal i (І). Other yus letters are blended yus (Ꙛ ꙛ), closed little yus (Ꙙ ꙙ) and iotified closed little yus (Ꙝ ꙝ).

Soft sign Cyrillic letter

The soft sign also known as the front yer or front er, is a letter of the Cyrillic script. In Old Church Slavonic, it represented a short front vowel. As with its companion, the back yer ⟨ъ⟩, the vowel phoneme that it designated was later partly dropped and partly merged with other vowels.

Yery Cyrillic letter

Yery, Yeru, Ery or Eru is a letter in the Cyrillic script. It represents the phoneme after non-palatalised (hard) consonants in the Belarusian and Russian alphabets.

In Slavic languages, iotation is a form of palatalization that occurs when a consonant comes into contact with a palatal approximant from the succeeding phoneme. The is represented by iota (ι) in the Cyrillic alphabet and the Greek alphabet on which it is based. For example, ni in English onion has the sound of iotated n. Iotation is a distinct phenomenon from Slavic first palatalization in which only the front vowels are involved, but the final result is similar.

The history of the Slavic languages stretches over 3000 years, from the point at which the ancestral Proto-Balto-Slavic language broke up into the modern-day Slavic languages which are today natively spoken in Eastern, Central and Southeastern Europe as well as parts of North Asia and Central Asia.

History of the Bulgarian language

The History of the Bulgarian language can be divided into three major periods:

Hard sign Cyrillic letter

The letter Ъ of the Cyrillic script is known as er goljam in the Bulgarian alphabet, as the hard sign in the modern Russian and Rusyn alphabets, and as debelo jer in pre-reform Serbian orthography. The letter is called back yer or back jer in the pre-reform Russian orthography, in Old East Slavic, and in Old Church Slavonic. Originally the yer denoted an ultra-short or reduced middle rounded vowel. It is one of two reduced vowels that are collectively known as the yers in Slavic philology.

Codex Marianus

The Codex Marianus is an Old Church Slavonic fourfold Gospel Book written in Glagolitic script, dated to the beginning of the 11th century, which is, one of the oldest manuscript witnesses to the Old Church Slavonic language, one of the two fourfold gospels being part of the Old Church Slavonic canon.

The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet is an adaptation of the Cyrillic script for Serbo-Croatian, developed in 1818 by Serbian linguist Vuk Karadžić. It is one of the two alphabets used to write standard modern Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin, the other being Latin.

Cyrillic alphabets Related alphabets based on Cyrillic scripts

Numerous Cyrillic alphabets are based on the Cyrillic script. The early Cyrillic alphabet was developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 9th century AD at the Preslav Literary School by Saint Clement of Ohrid and Saint Naum and replaced the earlier Glagolitic script developed by the Byzantine theologians Cyril and Methodius. It is the basis of alphabets used in various languages, past and present, in parts of Southeastern Europe and Northern Eurasia, especially those of Slavic origin, and non-Slavic languages influenced by Russian. As of 2011, around 252 million people in Eurasia use it as the official alphabet for their national languages. About half of them are in Russia. Cyrillic is one of the most-used writing systems in the world.

The Slavic liquid metathesis refers to the phenomenon of metathesis of liquid consonants in the Common Slavic period in the South Slavic and West Slavic area. The closely related corresponding phenomenon of pleophony occurred in parallel, in the East Slavic languages.

Kiev Missal

The Kiev Missal is a seven-folio Glagolitic Old Church Slavonic canon manuscript containing parts of the Roman-rite liturgy. It is usually held to be the oldest and the most archaic Old Church Slavonic manuscript, and is dated at no later than the latter half of the 10th century. Seven parchment folios have been preserved in small format of easily portable book to be of use to missionaries on the move.

Codex Assemanius is a rounded Glagolitic Old Church Slavonic canon evangeliary consisting of 158 illuminated parchment folios, dated to early 11th century. The manuscript is of Macedonian provenience of the First Bulgarian Empire.

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