I know Polish at a nearly-native level and Russian at a basic level.

Old Church Slavonic word meanings sound to me discordant with what I would we expect from those words' morphologies. Some prefixes sound wrongly added to verbs (with regard to the expected meaning), some compound words look over-engineered for everyday things. Some examples (I'm not writing yers):

'vsležeti' - sit down, lay down' 'vsdrjemati' - to fall asleep' 'vslievati' - to pour on.

In those meanings the prefix 'vs' just doesn't fit.

Blagoąhanjie - fragance, Blagodarenjie - thankfulness?

I feel they had to have short, old words for that, as Slavs have now.

It reminds me of Romance - speaking people nowadays when they try to learn Polish. They cannot quite use efficiently the language mechanisms for expressing simple ideas.

Could this be due to the possibility of Cyril and Methodius non being native-speakers of Common Slavic?

EDITED - added examples.

EDITED - the fact of Cyril and Methodius being "highly educated" or "bilingual" does not mean much, imho. Highly educated people can fail to speak correctly in a language that is not their native tongue. Bilingual people - it's up to the question of what 'bilingual' meant in their case.

  • 4
    Would you please give examples of those "discordant meanings" and prefixes that "sound wrongly added to verbs"? Without examples there's nothing to talk about and your question's going to be closed. Things "sound" something and "look" something to you which is a sign of your subjectivity in evaluating OCS, and that's a reason for the question to be closed. Also, remember that Cyril and Methodius were some of the finest educated people of their time born in the Slavic-speaking area, so their mother tongue doesn't matter much. – Yellow Sky Mar 2 at 21:25
  • 3
    At their time Slavic was spoken in Solun and they were bilingual. That said, their texts might seem “overengineered” because of many loanwords and calques and stylised grammar. – Atamiri Mar 2 at 22:24
  • Yellow Sky - added some examples. – AmazingWouldBeGreatBut Mar 3 at 5:11
  • 3
    @AmazingWouldBeGreatBut благоухание (blagouhanie) and благодарение (blagodarenie) are still actively used in contemporary Bulgarian and sound natural, without religious connotations. What are the old short Slavic words you have in mind? – ngn Mar 4 at 9:45
  • 3
    @AmazingWouldBeGreatBut - Wdzięczność (pol), podjaka (ukr), vdjaka (slovak) are not Slavic words, they are in fact borrowings from Old High German dankōn (German danken, English thank). Compound words "for universal concepts" were used already in Proto-Slavic, e.g. *medvědь "bear (animal)" is "honey" + "eat", *golgolъ "speech, word" (Czech hlahol "noise, speech (archaic)") is reduplication of *gol like in Polish głos "voice". Compond nouns were common in Proto-Indo-European. – Yellow Sky Mar 4 at 10:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.