17

First of all, it varies to some extent. People from Ural region, people from Rostov-on-Don, people from Vyatka region have quite recognisable pronunciation norms. The same with vocabulary, there's some words that are used only in a specific region, like "чкаться" in Bryansk. However if we'll come up with some contrive metrics of language homogeneity ...


11

Yes, Old Church Slavonic (OCS) was an artificial language, but just in a way. Firstly, in the 9th century, when Cyrill and Methodius devised the OCS, all the Slavic languages and dialects were so close, that they were closer to one another than the modern English dialects inside England. Secondly, Cyrill and Methodius did not create any new phonological ...


10

Bluntly, Slovak and Slovenian have nothing in common other than being both Slavic languages. No more than Slovak or Serbian or Slovak and Ukrainian. This is a question driven by superficial similarity in their names which I'm sure members of both nations are thoroughly sick of. On the other hand, it is true that Czechs and Slovaks will perceive Slovenian as ...


10

The letter <j> is really used in some Cyrillic-based alphabets, all of them were once created either by a certain person or by a group of people, that is, these alphabets aren't a product of natural evolution of script. The ones you're interested in are the oldest ones, the Serbian and Macedonian alphabets, Macedonian is actually an adaptation of the ...


10

You've mixed a bunch of words of very different origin with a bunch of quite weak and poorly defined assumptions (like no considerable interactions between Russians and Swedes). It comes as no surprise that Swedish två and Russian two both have PIE origin deriving from dwóh root. If you think about it, English two looks pretty much similar to "два&...


10

No, it is not acceptable and it is never done. It used to be done before the changes that appeared gradually in the 15th century, inspired by a paper most likely written by Jan Hus around 1400. Before that the orthography did indeed use these digraphs, although somewhat differently. cz meant c, not č chz meant č zz meant s ss meant š ... in the older form. ...


9

Nothing specific. When linguists started working with Old Church Slavonic, they weren't sure exactly how the yat was pronounced (since it had shifted in different directions in different daughter languages). But they also needed some way to represent it in their transcriptions. The same happened for the "shortened vowels" that are now known as &...


9

@shabunc has treated the other examples already, so I will say something about the bear's service: The same idiom is also present in German Bärendienst and it is traced to a fable by La Fontaine titled 'The bear and the garden lover' (my translation of the title) where the bear accidentally kills the garden lover when trying to chase off a fly.


8

I agree with czypsu that the two roots are probably not identical (though there is a theory that Proto-Germanic *staljan is not cognate with Greek stellō, but derives from *st(e)h₂- with the suffix *-dhlo-, in which case the Germanic and Slavic roots would in fact be related). However this may be, the prefixed forms in Czech are evidently calqued on the ...


8

The words utrom, morgen, mañana don't all derive from the same word in Proto-Indo-european, so that is why they are pronounced differently. As to why "morning" and "tomorrow" are sufficiently similar in semantics that they can be the same word, this is a reasonably common fact across languages (very common in Bantu, for example). If you're going to develop ...


8

Definitely not. The similarity of the Glagolitic glyphs is directly inherited from the similarity of the Greek letters Delta (Δ) and Lambda (Λ). Also for the Greek letter shapes there is no apparent linguistic motivation, they are just arbitrary and inherited themselves from the Phenician alphabet. For some details see Wikipedia


8

The best answer is: There is no consensus about this. In the big tree of Indogermanic languages there are only two intermediate groupings that are generally accepted: Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic. The support of Italo-Celtic became weaker with the discovery of Tocharian: Some of the common features of Italo-Celtic also occur there and are now considered ...


7

In the old Slavic languages, the sound [o] could never follow the palatalized consonants (which in those times also included the hushing consonants Ш [ʃ], Ж [ʒ], Ч [tʃ], Щ [ʃtʲ], and also Ц [tsʲ]), since in the Proto-Slavic language [o] in this position had changed into [e]. In the 12th-16th centuries in the Russian language, the pronunciation of the ...


7

You are absolutely right, the change N > M is due to the influence of Michael. That happened not only in Polish, but also in Ukrainian: Микола, Миколай (Mykola, Mykolaj) Belarusian: Мікалай (Mikalaj) Czech and Slovak: Mikuláš Upper Sorbian: Mikławš Lower Sorbian: Miklawš Slovenian: Miklavž. UPD: Best wishes on Saint Nicholas' Day, which is celebrated ...


7

Your compound examples are mostly calques, usually from German into Slavic but in fact often ultimately from Latin or French or Italian into both German and Slavic, in the middle ages. The calques use translated elements, not necessarily cognate elements, although in some cases it was mixed, for example entreprendre become unternehmen, and interdire became ...


6

The question is why you would need to learn just any Slavic language? Generally, people have a reason they want to learn the language. But if any language will do without regard to usefulness, then I'd recommend starting with a language written in Latin alphabet. In that case, I think Slovak may be slightly more approachable than the others. Both because of ...


6

The adjective systems in Balto-Slavic and German languages are similar only from a very broad typological and historical point of view. Most Slavic languages — I can speak about Russian, but it must not be too different elsewhere — have a special morphological paradigm (i.e. a set of endings) for the adjectives when they stand in the modifier position with ...


6

I grew up the in the former Yugoslavia, and the language I studied in school was called Serbocroatian, which was spoken in four out of the six republics of the union. You were basically studying the standard, 'literary' language. And then, you were mostly focused on your version of Serbo-Croatian [SC]. There were at least 4 versions. They were called '...


6

It is worth noting, that before the Cyrillic script there was the Glagolitic script used to write Old Church Slavonic. This is the script devised by Cyrill and Method, the Cyrillic script is a reform of the Glagolitic script. The Glagolitic script survived longest in Croatia where it was used for liturgical purposes. Whether there was a pre-Christian ...


6

You missed Belarusian, where is it ў, pronounced /w/. This is significant as it is the common intermediate between /v/ and /u/. But I'm not sure how to answer you, because I'm not sure what your question means. Certainly /u/, /w/, and /v/ can replace each other between languages, or even within a language in different phonological contexts. For example, in ...


6

In the Old Church Slavonic language (OCS), the little yus Ѧ represented a nasalized front vowel, possibly [ɛ̃], and is traditionally transliterated as <ę>, while the little iotified yus Ѩ, as it is clearly seen from its name, is [j] + Ѧ, that is [jɛ̃], <ję> and is a ligature of I and Ѧ. The little iotified yus Ѩ was written in the beginning of ...


6

The question would be better asked as “When did the OCS ЪИ become ЪІ and when did ЪІ become Ы?” The three variants were originally used interchangeably, but later Ы took over, the most obvious reasons being it had the simplest shape of the three and since the yers disappeared as sounds it became irrelevant which one to use, ЪІ or Ы. The first dated Cyrillic ...


6

Balto-Slavic languages developed their own way to decline adjectives, by combining the nominal forms with the forms of personal pronouns (In Slavic *jъ, ja, je). Many Slavic languages (e.g., Russian) still allow the old nominal declension, but Czech mostly allows only the modern compound declension. Wikipedia calls these short and long https://en.wikipedia....


5

The suffix *-isk- is Indo-European. It has offspring in Greek, Germanic, Baltic and Slavic, and also in Romance, where it seems to be borrowed from Germanic.


5

Slavic verbs in past tense are simply periphrastic participle constructions. Našel jsem literally (etymologically) means "the-one-who-found-it I-am". And as any normal particple, it agrees in gender with subject. In Russian, the copula is omitted usually; in Polish, it was fused with the verb (suffix -em for 1p sg.), in languages like Czech or Serbian, the ...


5

I am Slovenian, and here's my perspective: To me, Slovak and Czech languages are very similar - in fact, I wouldn't be able to tell them apart. Among all the Slavic languages, the one that's the easiest to understand for a Slovenian is Croatian language. Not Slovak! Are they mutually intelligible? To which degree? Only to the degree that all Slavic ...


5

If you look at the aspect system of Baltic and Slavonic languages, Baltic systems actually resemble the earlier stages of Slavonic systems (Comrie, 1976). In Lithuanian, adding a prefix to a verb root renders it Perfective, sometimes resulting also in some other semantic change. There is also a suffix -inè, albeit with limited productivity, which changes ...


5

An old question, but perhaps the answer might still be useful. First, I believe that regarding Slavic languages, iotation is considered a feature of vowels (iotated vowels are preceded by [j]), while palatalisation is a feature of consonants (during their articulation, the tongue is raised towards the speaker's hard palate). Of course, the terminology may ...


5

From the linguistic point, distinguishing languages vs. dialects can be tricky. There are quite a few posts on this site about this very problem: How are languages and dialects distinguished from one another? How do linguists differentiate a dialect from a language? What's the difference between a form of a language and a dialect of a language? I would ...


5

First note that German Welle and English wave aren't cognates. Grimm derive German Welle from a verb walen "to writhe, to wallow, to roll" that is traced to Indogermanic *vel (in their notation, identical to your *wel). There is another German word for "wave", Woge (< wage) that derives from Indogermanic *wegh and that is related to English wave. French ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible