Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/252

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V. Softening (Palatalization, &c). — Nothing has so much affected Slavonic speech as the effect of i, i, e, i, e and j on pre- ceding consonants, and the variations produced are among the chief points of difference between the languages.

(a) The gutturals felt this first of all, k, g, ch, become (I.) I, z, i and (II.) c, ds(z), s, and these changes are universal (see 10,

a, b above) except that after the separation of the Slavs the same process was continued in the S. and E. branches even when a 11 intervened, whereas the N.W. branch remained untouched. Proto-Sl. *kvetu, " flower," *gvezda, " star "(vulchvi), magi; O.S. cvetu, dzvesda, (vlHsvi); R. cveM, zvezda; but Cech kvet, hvhda; P. kwiat, gwiazda.

(b) The action of j was the most general, influencing the dentals in all languages and in some the labials as well, whereas

the narrow vowels act on the dentals only and that not in all languages. The results of Proto-Sl. tj, dj in O.S. and Bulg. are the most surprising, giving st' ' , id', by way of si and zdz (as is shown by their agreeing with the results of Proto-Sl.

</. 41.

VII. Common Slav je and ju beginning a word appear in R. as and u; O.S. jedinU, " one," jucha, " broth "; R. odinii, ucha.

VIII. Proto-Sl., as we have seen, had long, short and very short or half vowels and a musical accent with differing intonations. O.S. was probably similar, but we have no sufficient materials for determining its quantities or accents as quantity! systematic writing of the latter only came in from the

14th century. The fate of the half vowels we have seen (I.). Traces of former long vowels are very clearly to be seen in Sorb, Polish and Lit. R., and less clearly in Bulg. and Gt. R., all of which have lost distinctions of quantity; Slovene can have long vowels only under the accent. In Kasube, C., Slovak and Serbo- Cr. there are also unaccented long syllables. Russian has kept the place of the original accent best, next to it Bulgarian; conse- quently it seems very capricious, appearing on different syllables in different flexions, but it has become merely expiratory. In Slovene it is still musical, but is, so to speak, steadier. For the





Serbo-Croat and Slovene.




  • svetja, " candle " .
  • medja," boundary" .
  • peklj, " stove " .
  • moglj, " power " .

svest'a mezd'a pesti mosti

svesta mezda pesti mosti

svek'a meg'a

svijel'a svjeca svica med'a media meja pec pec moc moc

svlce meze pec moc

Swieca miedza piec moc

sveca m'eza p'eci


stj, skj, e.g. prelist'enu, " deceived," ist'a, " I seek," cf. R.liscenA, iscit). Some Macedonians have the strange result k' and g'. Among the Serbo-Croats we find every grade between /', d', and c',dz',orc, dz, the Slovenes having c' , j (our y), the Cechs and Sorbs c, z, the Poles and Polabs c, dz, and the Russians eandz; the fate of ktj and gtj has been the same as that of tj throughout. (c) Before the narrow sounds i, i, e, I and the descendants of e there has resulted a later softening which has gone farthest in - Low Sorb, producing S and z, and in High Sorb and

Polish, c and dz, not so far in Gt. R. where t' d' remain, Wh. R. is intermediate with now t, dz, now t' , d' ; in C. even t' d' only come before i, i and e. In S. Slavonic this effect is dialectical. C. tllo, " body," dilati, " make," deset, " ten "; P. cialo, dzielo, dziesiei; High Sorb, dzesac; Low Sorb, iaseS; Wh. R. celo, dielo, dzesac; Gt. R. t'elo, d'elo, d'es'ati.

{d) S, z, m, before j gave s, z, ri throughout (No. 10, c, d, above). Before the narrow vowels theygive $, z, n in Sorb, Polish, Slovak and Russian, but Cech has no s or z or ft before e nor always before i; S. Slavonic has »' before/. Other- wise in it such softening is only dialectical, but Bulgarian forms a transition to Russian.

(e) In Polish and Sorb we have the labials p', b' (f'),v',m' softening before j and the narrow vowels, in Cech only before $, in Slovak nowhere. In S. Slavonic they only soften p. b. f. v. b e f ore j anc j t j, en the/ appears as /' (pi', bl' , vl', ml'), invariably in Serb, generally in Slovene, generally too in Russian, but there before the narrow sounds of newer for- mation they can all be softened in the ordinary way (p', b', f, v', m'), in Bulgarian this / has disappeared and we have p' , b' , v' , m'. But O.S. followed the S. Slav, rule; and the I was probably once present in N.W. Slav. It remains everywhere in one or two roots — O.S. pl'uja (tttvco for sp}u}o), R. pl'uju, P. pluje, otherwise O.S. zeml'a, R. z'eml'a, P. ziemia, " humus."

On the whole the various languages do not differ much in principle in the treatment of j, but softening before i, i, e, e, e, seems to have its extreme point in P., Kas. and Polab, spreading from them to Sorb, White Russian and Gt. Russian; Cech, Slovak and Lit. Russian have it in a far less degree, and in S. Slavonic it is very little developed.

VI. Right across the Slavonic world from W. to E. g has become h, leaving the N. and the S. untouched. This change is found in Cech, Slovak, High but not Low Sorb, is traceable in Polish, and characteristic in White, South Gt. Russian and Lit. Russian, also in the Russian pronunciation of Ch. Slavonic. The h produced is rather the spirant gh than the true aspirate. Low Sorb, R., O.S., &c, gora, P. gdra, "mountain." C, Slovak, High Sorb, Wh. and Lit. R. hora.

intonations Serbo-Croat is the chief guide, but here the accent intonation is spread over two syllables, in Croatian (ca dialect), the main stress is usually on the old place, in Servian (sto dialect) it has shifted back one. In N.W. Slavonic, with the exception of Kasube in which it is free, the accent is fixed, in C., Slovak and Sorb on the first syllable of the word, in Polish on the penultimate.

On the whole it may be said that the geographical classification of the Slavs into N.W., S. and E. Slavs is justified linguistically, though too much stress must not be laid upon it as the lines of division are made less definite by the approximation of the languages which come next each other, the special characteristics of each group are generally represented in dialects of the others if not in the written languages; also some peculiarities (e.g. VL, g>h) run right across all boundaries, and secondary softening runs from N. to S., becoming less as it goes away from Poland (V., c) . In fact, the triple division might be purely arbitrary but for the fact that the belt of Germans, Magyars and Rumanians has made impossible the survival of transitional dialects con- necting up Cech with Slovene, Slovak with Servian, Russian with Bulgarian. Slovak, as it were, just fails to be a universal link : in the north Russian and Polish have much in common, but Lithuania made some sort of barrier and the difference of religion favoured separate development.

In the north Polish is closely connected with Kasube, and this with Polab, making the group of L'ach dialects in which the nasals survived (IV.). The two Sorb dialects link the L'achs on to the Cechs and Slovaks, the whole making the N.W. group with its preference for c, z, s as against c, z, f (which were perhaps unknown to Polab, V. b), its b' as against W (V. e), its keeping kv' and gv' (V. a), //and dl (III. c), its f (III. a, not in Slovak) and the fixed accent (VIII. not in Kas.). The whole group (except Sorb) agrees with R. in having lost the aor. and impf. Yet C. and Slovak agree with S. Slav, in trat, tret (III, /, ii.) in survival of r and I (III. d) and of quantity (VIII.). Again, Slovene has occasional //, dl (III. c), and its accent and quantity are not quite southerly, but its many dialects shade across to Croat and Servian, and they must all be classed together for the fate of tj, dj (V. b) and a, e (IV.). The Sopcy and Macedonians, among their numerous dialects, make a bridge between Servian and Bulgarian. The special mark of the latter is tj, dj>sl, zd, which is the main philological argument for making O.S. Bulgarian. In general S. Slav, shows less soft letters than N.W. and E. (V. c and d). It shares with Russian bl (V. a) and the general loss of <?, e (IV.), and is closer to it in the fate of tj, dj (V. b). Bulgarian, especially in some dialects, is, as it were, a transition to Russian, e.g. in accentuation.

Russian stands by itself by its torot, tolot (III. /, ii.) and its