All Slavic languages: Slavic dialect continuum

jadeite_85

Senior Member
italian, slovene
Is the slavic dialect continuum something like that?: Russian to Belarussian and Ukrainian; Belarussian into Polish; Ukrainian into Rusyn, Polish and Slovak; Polish into Upper Sorbian (or Lower Sorbian ?) and Slovak; Upper Sorbian to Lower (or the other way around ?) into Czech; Czech into Slovak; Slovak into Slovenian then into Kajkavian, then Shtokavian, then Torlakian then Macedonian then Bulgarian and from Bulgarian back to Russian

Is it plausible?

It's not a theory just a question. I'm not an expert, I'm basing this on my knowledge of Slovenian, Slovenian dialects, Russian and Shtokavian and about other languages the info I've learned here.
 
  • Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    and from Bulgarian back to Russian
    Well, exactly this isn't true. Of course, Bulgarian and Russian are more or less mutually understandable (thanks to a great amount of common words), but their grammars differ drastically.
    Russian to Belarussian and Ukrainian
    Agree - through border dialects of Russian, of course, and mixed Russian-Ukrainian (surzhik) and Russian-Belarussian (trasyanka) dialects in Ukraine and Belarus respectively. So, among East Slavic languages such a continuum definitely exists.
    Slovak into Slovenian
    I'm not sure, but I doubt. Of course, Slovak and Slovenian have some similarities, but... Some time a continuum between West and South Slavic languages might exist, but it was destroyed a millennium ago by ancient Hungarians who just assimilated the Slavic population of Pannonia. And now it seems that South Slavic peoples mostly better understand East than West Slavic languages.
     

    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    And now it seems that South Slavic peoples mostly better understand East than West Slavic languages.

    I wouldn't say that. In my experience, most Slovenes have a considerably easier time understanding Czech and Slovak than Russian (assuming they don't have any prior familiarity with any of these languages). An average Slovene can probably read Czech news articles and understand them (spoken Czech is a different matter), whereas Russian news articles would almost certainly be a bit more of a challenge.

    But yes, a West Slavic / West Slavic continuum did exist at one time, even though it's gone now. Some transitional features remain, however, such as the presence of dl / tl clusters and the use of the prefix vy- (instead of iz-) in northern Slovenian dialects.

    Nowadays, there is only a Slovenian / Kajkavian dialect continuum.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I wouldn't say that. In my experience, most Slovenes have a considerably easier time understanding Czech and Slovak than Russian (assuming they don't have any prior familiarity with any of these languages).
    And is it true for written communication as well? Please, don't forget that Russian has extremely specific phonetics, which fact should make a verbal communication much more difficult.
    P.S.: http://forum.wordreference.com/showpost.php?p=8557393&postcount=13
     

    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    And is it true for written communication as well? Please, don't forget that Russian has extremely specific phonetics, which fact should make a verbal communication much more difficult.

    Most likely. I can't speak for all Slovenes, but in my experience, most Slovenes have an easier time with written Czech or Slovak that written Russian. I'm curious whether my fellow Slovenes can confirm this.

    (Of course, the fact that Russian uses Cyrillic would be a huge barrier for most Slovenes trying to read Russian, but that's another matter altogether.)


    This may be a difference between BCS and Slovenian because of the specific history and position (in the Slavic continuum) of Slovenian among the South Slavic languages.
     

    trance0

    Senior Member
    Slovene
    Difficult to answer. I would say I understand written Slovak a bit better than Russian, let`s say 60% of Slovak and 50% of Russian. But regarding Czech and Polish, I must say I agree with Awwal12, I have an easier time understanding written Russian(but on a side note, I can read Cyrillic script).
     

    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    Difficult to answer. I would say I understand written Slovak a bit better than Russian, let`s say 60% of Slovak and 50% of Russian. But regarding Czech and Polish, I must say I agree with Awwal12, I have an easier time understanding written Russian(but on a side note, I can read Cyrillic script).

    But wouldn't you say that the differences between Czech and Slovak are minimal? It's mostly case endings that are different. After all, they're among the most closely related Slavic languages. Again speaking only for myself, I can read Czech and Slovak news articles with an almost identical level of understanding.

    Polish, on the other hand, is a huge (usually insurmountable) challenge for me; it's certainly more difficult than Russian.
     

    trance0

    Senior Member
    Slovene
    Well, to me Slovak is easier to read, it has fewer 'weird' letters and that is probably the main reason I understand more of it.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Some has been said already - in this thread as well as others here on the forum. :)
    (The mutual intelligibility thread, with different focus of course, has some information on this; see also the CZ/PL/SVK thread, and many other pieces and snippets of information in plenty of other threads.)

    Of what I know, and what I've gathered from the forum here, I would describe the situation approximately as follows, beginning with:

    - Eastern Slavic:
    Russian seems to be only marginally split into regional dialects - despite (or because of!) its distribution over such a huge area.
    The transition to Belarusian and Ukrainian is - to my knowledge - rather smooth and not abrupt: many isoglosses are shared between those three languages.
    In spoken language the difference at least to my ear still seems to be quite significant (I can understand a little bit of spoken Russian when listening carefully but I hardly understand anything of spoken Belarusian and Ukrainian). In written language the similarities between those three are more obvious.
    I don't know whether Belarusian is significantly split into dialects - probably it isn't.
    About Ukrainian I only know that there's a split between Western Ukrainian (with a smooth transition to Rusyn - considered a language in its own right by some and an Ukrainian dialect by others - and Eastern Slovak dialects) on the one hand and Eastern Ukrainian on the other one.

    - Western Slavic:
    As said above, there seems to be a rather smooth transition from Ukrainian through Rusyn to Eastern Slovak; Slovak itself is divided into three main groups (east, central, west), and I think western dialects are transitional to Moravian.
    Czech mainly is split into Bohemian and Moravian dialects; the dialects of Bohemia are levelled out to "common Czech" colloquial speech, so the old dialect continuum to Moravian isn't as obvious as it once was, while Moravian seems to be transitional to Western Slovak and probably (?) Southern Polish dialects.
    (And yes, I do think that there are some significant differences between both Czech and Slovak. :) Of course they're closely related, as are Slovene and Kajkavian, but still. ;-)
    Polish to my knowledge is split into several rather distinct dialect groups ("Greater Polish" as it is called in German of central and northern regions, "Smaller Polish" of Kraków and surroundings, Masowian of Warszaw and north-eastern Poland, and some other groups). However I do not know to which degree the ancient dialect continuum to neighbouring Czech plus Slovak and Belarusian plus Ukrainian dialects is preserved: Polish has developed a few features setting them apart from their neighbours.

    - South Slavic:
    Slovene, the northernmost one of the (western) South Slavic group, shows especially in dialects (first and foremost Carinthian Slovene dialects) some features linking them to Western Slavic (preserved nasals, prefix "vy-" which don't exists in standard Slovene, preserved cluster -dl-, and some more). Also pronunciation of /v/ (depending on position as either fricative or semi-vowel, just like in Slovak) and some diphthongs (at dialect level especially; also similar to Slovak) obviously are remnants of a once existing dialect continuum between South and West Slavic languages.
    There's a more or less smooth transition from Slovene to Kajkavian Croatian and, to a lesser degree, to Chakavian Croatian, but the dialect continuum from Kajkavian and Chakavian to Shtokavian Croatian-Bosnian-Serbian-Montenegrin (roughly in geographical order) has been broken through migrations, for that see the thread on BCS dialects.
    Finally, in South Serbia there is a rather smooth translation from Torlakian to Macedonian and Bulgarian - and the Macedo-Bulgarian dialect continuum too is still intact: those represent the eastern group of South Slavic; Macedonian and Bulgarian have almost given up declension but fully retained the ancient system of tenses; Torlakian dialects are transitional between dialects with full declension in Serbian Šumadija and Macedonian/Bulgarian ones with hardly any declension left.
    Between Bulgarian and Ukrainian/Russian there must have been a dialect continuum once, but to my knowledge this has been thoroughly interrupted by Romanians; however, due to a good amount of Russian loans it looks to a naive observer as if there was a closer genetic relationship between Bulgarian and Russian - which to my knowledge is not the case.
    (Anyway, if then one should suppose that there transitional dialects between Bulgarian and Ukrainian - and not Russian.)

    So there is still a dialect continuum from Russian via Belarusian/Ukrainian to Polish and Slovak-Czech - smoother in some places and interrupted in others -, while the dialect continuum to South Slavic has been interrupted (by Austrians and Hungarians :)).
    Still, it is possible to reconstruct a West/South Slavic dialect continuum through some isoglosses crossing the Austrian/Hungarian territory (where native Slavs were assimilated already in the Middle Ages).
    And in South Slavic the dialect continuum again is very well preserved in some places but interrupted in others.
    But it does not look like if there's still much left of a once-existing dialect continuum between Bulgarian and Ukrainian/Russian.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Russian seems to be only marginally split into regional dialects - despite (or because of!) its distribution over such a huge area.
    Rather because of school education and mass-media. In the old days the difference in vocabulary between different dialects was at least noticeable. Could you understand the phrase "лонись мы с братаном сундулей тенигусом хлыном хлыняли"? I personally could not. :) But it is the old Siberian dialect (even if the dialect words were thoroughly selected there on purpose). In the normal Russian language it means "вчера мы с двоюродным братом неторопливо ехали в отлогую гору верхом, сидя вдвоем на одной лошади" (yesterday I and my cousin rode unhurried up the gently sloping hill being together on one horseback). Now mostly just minor phonetic differences have left. However, border West and South West Russian dialects still contain a noticeable amount of Belarusian and Ukrainian words, often distorted:
    "how": як instead of как (Ukr. як)
    "to hear": чуять instead of слышать (Ukr. чути; Rus. чуять - to feel, colloq.).
    "to do": робить instead of делать (Ukr. робити)
    "to see": бачить instead of видеть (Ukr. бачити)
    "to seek": шукать instead of искать (Ukr. шукати)
    "necessary", "one needs": треба instead of нужно, надо (Ukr. треба, Rus. formal требуется)
    etc. (heard on the border between Voronezh and Rostov Regions, near the Ukrainian border, from Russian peasants, in 2008)
     
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    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    No, Awwal, I didn't know that dialect differences have been levelled out in Russian (I asked once in Russian forum and was told firmly, and several times - as I was sceptic :D -, that there's hardly any dialectal variation in Russian).

    (And no, of course I didn't understand anything about the Siberian phrase - my Russian's not good at all, I'm struggling with the Russian standard language version, but of the Siberian one I got nothing.)

    Anyway, it is interesting to see that indeed there is still, by your reckoning, a dialect continuum between the East Slavic languages. :)
     

    mugibil

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    however, due to a good amount of Russian loans it looks to a naive observer as if there was a closer genetic relationship between Bulgarian and Russian - which to my knowledge is not the case.

    The Bulgarian point of view on this is that most of the words we borrowed from Russian were borrowed by Russian from Church Slavonic, i.e. from Old South-East-Slavic, i.e. from Old Bulgarian (or Old Macedo-Bulgarian if one prefers), so we were basically just reclaiming our own words. :) Russian was indeed very profoundly influenced by Old Church Slavonic, as obvious from the sound shape of many words. (Furthermore, many of the words shared by Bulgarian and Russian were simply borrowed by both from Church Slavonic rather than from each other; I guess for some reason Russian and Bulgarian have been more inclined to do this than Serbian and perhaps Ukrainian, despite the latter being Orthodox nations as well.)

    One crazy example that illustrates this mutual borrowing process is the history of the present active participle in Bulgarian and Russian. The Proto Slavic forms of the participle "who burns" must have been something like nominative masculine singular gorę (with a nasalized /e/), elsewhere gorętj- (with a palatalized /t/). These were inherited into Old Macedo-Bulgarian / Old South-East Slavic as nominative masculine singular гор-ѧ (still nasalized), elsewhere гор-ѧшт-. In Old Russian / Old East Slavic, on the other hand, the Proto-Slavic forms were inherited as nominative masculine singular гор-я, elsewhere гор-яч-. Old Russian used Old Macedo-Bulgarian as a sacred and literary language, but it did not consistently pronounce it in the original way: the ѧ was pronounced /ja/, because that was the corresponding Old Russian reflex of Proto-Slavic ę. Next, Russian lost its inherited present active participle; it reinterpreted its nominative masculine singular гор-я as a present active adverbial participle "while burning" and its "elsewhere form" as an adjective гор-ячий "hot". But life without an active present participle is meaningless, so Russian (re-)borrows the present active participle from Old Church Slavonic, i.e. from Old Macedo-Bulgarian, in the form гор-ящий (in the hybrid Russian pronunciation with я, of course, but with Bulgarian щ and not the original Russian reflex ч).
    In the meantime, Bulgarian itself has also lost its present active participle; the nominative masculine singular is gone without trace, and the accusative is preserved as an adjective гор-ещ, meaning guess what - "hot". Some Western dialects have instead re-interpreted the accusative as guess what - an adverbial participle гор-еки or гор-ейки "while burning" (this sound development is regular in Macedonian), and this is also adopted into standard Bulgarian. But still, life without an active present participle is meaningless, so we go to the Russians (and the Russian Church Slavonic speaking priests) and re-borrow our own original present active participle from them as гор-ящ! This form has the original Bulgarian щ, but it also has the Russian reflex of ę, namely я, which should have rendered е in Bulgarian! So we have Bulgarian borrowing from Russian borrowing from Bulgarian, and each stage leaves its traces in the choice of reflexes.

    As a side note, the letter я itself is actually a cursive form of the letter ѧ, which was originally developed for Old Macedo-Bulgarian to denote /ę/ (a nasalized /e/). The combination /ja/ was expressed as a ligature of i and а. But since Russian and the Russian pronunciation of Old Macedo-Bulgarian had /ja/ for original /ę/, the letter ѧ came to signify /ja/ and replaced the ligature. Subsequently Bulgarian also borrowed the cursive letter from Russia to signify /ja/, even though the sound it originally expressed had produced /e/ in Bulgarian.
     
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    I've been thinking about opening a thread about this matter below, but this thread seems close enough, especially given the posts regarding Slovak.

    A dissertation by Ronald Richards from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) regarding the reconstruction of the affiliation of Pannonian Slavic (the dialect(s) spoken in modern Hungary prior to the arrival of the Magyars).

    http://linguistlist.org/pubs/diss/browse-diss-action.cfm?DissID=819


    Our results suggest that, if Pannonian Slavic was linguistically homogeneous, then it is most likely that this dialect was associated with, or an extension of, the Proto-Serbocroatian (i.e. the Common Slavic dialect which developed into Chakavian and Shtokavian), while if it was heterogeneous, then it is most likely that this dialect was associated with, or an extension of, Proto-Serbocroatian and Proto-Czechoslovak, although association with the Proto-Sorbian or Proto-East Slavic dialect groups would remain within the realm of possibility. Our results do offer strong evidence against the proposition that Pannonian Slavic was associated with, or as an extension of, Proto-Slovene.
    And a review:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3763/is_200403/ai_n9363983/?tag=content;col1

    This I find most interesting:

    A crucial piece that fails to fit into this schema is the central Slovak dialect, spoken to the north of the Hungarian speech territory, which in a number of ways corresponds to features found in South Slavic dialects, today spoken to the south of Hungarian, and contrasts with both the Slovak dialect areas to the west and east of it, which are more like each other than like central Slovak. In addition to the arguably static list of "Yugoslavisms," South Slavic features left "stranded" in central Slovak (a review of these, with excellent maps, can be found in Krajcovic 1974: 142-149; 314-31
    glasses.gif
    , one can also observe innovations that continued in a parallel fashion even after a continuous Slavic speech territory between today's South Slavic and central Slovak ceased to exist.
    Are there any Slovaks that could comment on these peculiarities of central Slovak dialects vs other Slovak dialects?
     

    marco_2

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Some has been said already - in this thread as well as others here on the forum. :)
    (The mutual intelligibility thread, with different focus of course, has some information on this; see also the CZ/PL/SVK thread, and many other pieces and snippets of information in plenty of other threads.)

    Between Bulgarian and Ukrainian/Russian there must have been a dialect continuum once, but to my knowledge this has been thoroughly interrupted by Romanians; however, due to a good amount of Russian loans it looks to a naive observer as if there was a closer genetic relationship between Bulgarian and Russian - which to my knowledge is not the case.
    (Anyway, if then one should suppose that there transitional dialects between Bulgarian and Ukrainian - and not Russian.)

    But it does not look like if there's still much left of a once-existing dialect continuum between Bulgarian and Ukrainian/Russian.

    Well, I always suspected that there were some links between Bulgarians and Ukrainians in the past because when I was reading Ukrainian authors coming from Bucovina or Carpathian Ruthenia, I found lots of words existing in Bulgarian, like гердан, грижа, кирпа (Bulg. кърпа), пазити (Bulg. пазя), колиба, рікля (Bulg. рокля), спирати (Bulg. спирам) and many others. They have even similar wordloans from Romanian: копиль (Bulg. копеле) means "an illegitimate child, a bastard" although Romanian copil means just "a child."
     
    Well, I always suspected that there were some links between Bulgarians and Ukrainians in the past because when I was reading Ukrainian authors coming from Bucovina or Carpathian Ruthenia, I found lots of words existing in Bulgarian, like гердан, грижа, кирпа (Bulg. кърпа), пазити (Bulg. пазя), колиба, рікля (Bulg. рокля), спирати (Bulg. спирам) and many others. They have even similar wordloans from Romanian: копиль (Bulg. копеле) means "an illegitimate child, a bastard" although Romanian copil means just "a child."



    In BCMS, kopile is also an illegitimate child.
     

    indiegrl

    Member
    Romanian & Russian
    Well, I always suspected that there were some links between Bulgarians and Ukrainians in the past because when I was reading Ukrainian authors coming from Bucovina or Carpathian Ruthenia, I found lots of words existing in Bulgarian, like гердан, грижа, кирпа (Bulg. кърпа), пазити (Bulg. пазя), колиба, рікля (Bulg. рокля), спирати (Bulg. спирам) and many others.
    They have even similar wordloans from Romanian: копиль (Bulg. копеле) means "an illegitimate child, a bastard" although Romanian copil means just "a child."
    Those words already exist in Romanian,such as grija(care),pazi(to guard)pazea(beware! attention!),coliba(cottage) . I believe those authors from Bukovina took the words from Romanian(words which entered in the Romanian vocabulary from Bulgarian),given the fact that there is a strong Romanian-speaking minority in Bucovina(see Sofiya Rotaru),but also the fact that there are strong cultural-historical links between the South Bukovina(Norh-Eastern Romania) and Northern Bukovina(part of the Ukraine),not to mention the fact that the city of Черновцы(Romanian:Cernăuţi) used to belong to Romania. So the link between Ukrainian and Bulgarian was for certain via Romanian.

    as for copil,it also used to mean ''ilegitimate child'' in Romanian,because the old term for ''just a child'' in Romanian was plod. The word ''copil'' is 100% Romanian,since it is one of the word that were preserved from the old Dacian language, together with brinza(brynza)=cheese and so on. The fact that the word ''plod'' exists in languages such as Bulgarian,Serbian,Macedonian and even Albanian,proves that it used to be a Thracian word.
     
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    Those words already exist in Romanian,such as grija(care),pazi(to guard),coliba(cottage) . I believe those authors from
    as for copil,it also used to mean ''ilegitimate child'' in Romanian,because the old term for ''just a child'' in Romanian was plod. The word ''copil'' is 100% Romanian,since it is one of the word that were preserved from the old Dacian language, together with brinza(brynza)=cheese and so on. The fact that it exists in languages such as Bulgarian,Serbian,Macedonian and even Albanian,proves that it used to be a Thracian word.


    There seems to be an agreement that kopile etc. is a Paleo-Balkan word, but there seem to be different opinions regarding its exact origins. At least one version seems to have it being borrowed from Albanian into other Balkan languages, and carried by Romanians into modern Ukraine.

    Petar Skok, "ETIMOLOGIJSKI RJEČNIK HRVATSKOGA ILI SRPSKOGA JEZIKA" (DICTIONNAIRE ETYMOLOGIQUE DE LA LANGUE CROATE OU SERBE)


    Oštir i Jokl tumače postanje te balkanske riječi iz arbanaskoga. Oblik sa i potječe iz arbanskog akuzativa, dok vokal e mjesto г predstavlja arb. akuzativ. Ishodište bi bila ilirotračka riječ ie. podrijetla, koja se očuvala u originalnom obliku u arbanaskom. Odatle je prenesena u doba rumunjsko-arbanaskog nomadiziranja po katunima u balkanskim planinama u ostale balkanske jezike.
    Moderator note:
    I am very sorry but your original quote is by far exceeding our rules for quotes (4 sentences). I'm also aware that shortening this quote to 4 lines makes the quote almost irrelevant - sorry about that.


    Another source that states that BCMS kopile is of Albanian origin:

    http://hjp.srce.hr/index.php?show=search_by_id&id=elpvXBQ=
     
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    The fact that the word ''plod'' exists in languages such as Bulgarian,Serbian,Macedonian and even Albanian,proves that it used to be a Thracian word.

    The word plod is Common Slavic according both to Petar Skok's etymological dictionary of Croatian or Serbian, and the Croatian Language Portal site.

    Skok:

    plod, gen. ploda m, f (13. v., Vuk), ie.,
    sveslav. i praslav
    ., bez paralele u baltičkim
    jezicima, »fructus«.
    Croatian Language Portal:

    http://hjp.srce.hr/index.php?show=search_by_id&id=eV1uWBQ%3D

    prasl. i stsl. plodъ (rus. plod, polj. płód)
     
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    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    The fact that the word ''plod'' exists in languages such as Bulgarian,Serbian,Macedonian and even Albanian,proves that it used to be a Thracian word.
    That's very doubtful, I agree with DenisBiH. The word exists in Czech, Slovak (according to Vasmer's etymological dictiobary), Russian (plod/плод) and in Ukrainian (плiд), i.e. in many West and East Slavic languages.
     
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    Angelo di fuoco

    Senior Member
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    as for copil,it also used to mean ''ilegitimate child'' in Romanian,because the old term for ''just a child'' in Romanian was plod. The word ''copil'' is 100% Romanian,since it is one of the word that were preserved from the old Dacian language, together with brinza(brynza)=cheese and so on. The fact that the word ''plod'' exists in languages such as Bulgarian,Serbian,Macedonian and even Albanian,proves that it used to be a Thracian word.

    Плод in Russian just means "fruit", originally fruit to be eaten, but also like "fructus ventris tui" in the "Ave, Maria" prayer and as "result". "Приплод" means "progeny", and there are some other related words. However, nowadays we mostly say use the genuine Russian word for fruit only in figurative sens. Polish also has the word "płód" in the figurative meaning, like in Russian.
    So I strongly suppose that the word "plod" in Romanian is just another Slavism.
     

    indiegrl

    Member
    Romanian & Russian
    That's very doubtful, I agree with DenisBiH. The word exists in Czech, Slovak (according to Vasmer's etymological dictiobary), Russian (plod/плод) and in Ukrainian (плiд), i.e. in many West and East Slavic languages.
    I was refering to copil,and not to plod. I said that copil is likely to come from the old Dacian language. You guys got it wrong.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Mod note:
    Guys, if you want to discuss "plod" in yet more detail we definitely need to split the "plod" topic to a new thread (couldn't be Slavic - possibly Etymology).

    Anyway, if you want to split please say so (you can contact me through PM), but in this thread here please refer to the Slavic dialect continuum. :)
     

    jadeite_85

    Senior Member
    italian, slovene
    Is there also a Slovene-Chakavian transition?
    Here in Trieste people who speak Slovene use homo instead of gremo, meaning "we go", but just in imperative sentences. And also you can hear words such as puno instead of polno (full, a lot), puter instead of maslo (butter), čitati instead of brati (to read), čuti instead of slišati (to hear), šalca instead of skodelica (cup), sunce instead of sonce (sun), use of znati also when vedeti (to know) should be used, use of čem, češ, če instead of hočem, hočeš, hoče (to want)

    Are these features continuing in the Slovene Koper dialect and then into Chakavian, or are those just archaisms?
     

    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    Is there also a Slovene-Chakavian transition?
    Here in Trieste people who speak Slovene use homo instead of gremo, meaning "we go", but just in imperative sentences. And also you can hear words such as puno instead of polno (full, a lot), puter instead of maslo (butter), čitati instead of brati (to read), čuti instead of slišati (to hear), šalca instead of skodelica (cup), sunce instead of sonce (sun), use of znati also when vedeti (to know) should be used, use of čem, češ, če instead of hočem, hočeš, hoče (to want)

    Are these features continuing in the Slovene Koper dialect and then into Chakavian, or are those just archaisms?

    I don't know. Puter and šalca are Germanisms that are used colloquially throughout Slovenia. The great Slavic vedeti/znati isogloss crosses Slovenia; a number of southern and eastern Slovenian dialects use znati in place of vedeti. Čitati is an archaic form of brati and was, as far as I know, widespread throghout Slovenia. Čuti is also common in various dialects, including those of Štajerska (Slovenian Styria); I think it's considered transitional, but not specifically to Chakavian. Homo is probably derived from hojmo, a non-standard imperative of hoditi.

    Sunce and puno are interesting because the presence of u instead of o(l) indicates that they may be specifically transitional to Chakavian.

    Of course, I'm just guessing here. Does anyone know?
     
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    jadeite_85

    Senior Member
    italian, slovene
    Sunce and puno are interesting because the presence of u instead of o(l) indicates that they maybe specifically transitional to Chakavian.

    Also muči instead of molči (be quiet), tuči instead of tolči (to beat) and many other ol - u examples. But it's interesting that I've never heard vuk instead of volk (wolf). And that you can even hear murje instead of morje (sea), where the switch o(l) - u should not be present.
    We even use this very interesting expression: "kaj si munjen" (are you crazy?) from munja-molnja (thunder). This is an old slavic word, maybe used in Croatian but not in Slovene.

    In a small village called Ricmanje people even add a v before an o at the beggining of the word. So vopri vokno (open the window), vocet (vinaigre), von (out). I've heard this is a peculiarity of Czech. I wonder how it came so south?

    I know also that near Ilirska Bistrica they use jako, meaning a lot and to make comparatives instead of the standard zelo. Which Croatian dialect is spoken after the border near Bistrica? It is Kajkavian?
     
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    Guys, I'm the last person to want to nitpick in such an interesting discussion, but for the sake of clarity maybe we should stress again that chakavian, shtokavian, kajkavian and torlakian are not languages, but rather dialects / dialect groups. There can be no transition between Slovenian and chakavian, one is a standard literary language, the other is a dialect group within Croatian. There can be transition between some Slovene dialects and some Croatian dialects, whether chakavian, kajkavian or perhaps shtokavian.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    There can be transition between some Slovene dialects and some Croatian dialects, whether chakavian, kajkavian or perhaps shtokavian.
    It's good you mention this - I took it for granted that this discussion is about transitions between dialects (and certainly not Slovene standard language and neighbouring Croatian dialects - after all we're talking about a dialect continuum), but it doesn't do any harm to say this explicitly so that there couldn't be a mistake about this.

    About the situation on the coast: there are some transitional features between Slovenian Primorje and Istrian Čakavian dialects but they're probably rather Venetianisms than common Slavic ancestry - like especially the neutralisation of word-finla /-m -n/ into /-n/.

    The dialect situation on the Croatian side of the border on Istria are very complex, due to migrations - some Štokavian groups settled there, and there's also a mixed Čakavian-Štokavian dialect if I remember correctly

    Kajkavian is not spoken on Istria (to my knowledge at least), the nearest Kajkavian dialects are spoken in Gorski kotor - except for Buzet dialect which has been classified as "transitional" or "Čakavian", or even "Slovene", or "Kajkavian" (which in the case of Buzet really would be rather a political than a linguistic distinction - political in the sense that "everything south the border which isn't clearly Čakavian or Štokavian should be called Kajkavian").

    So probably the language border on the coast was relatively sharp, and those transitional features one can observe might be due to language mix rather than an ancient dialect continuum.
    To my knowledge, no genuine transitional dialects between Coastal Slovene and Čakavian are preserved, but even if this were the case it might still be that there once existed such "genuine" transitional dialects which have become extinct due to migration and assimilation.
     
    About the situation on the coast: there are some transitional features between Slovenian Primorje and Istrian Čakavian dialects but they're probably rather Venetianisms than common Slavic ancestry - like especially the neutralisation of word-finla /-m -n/ into /-n/.

    This is what the article below refers to as "adrijatizmi", I suppose?

    http://hr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%8Cakavsko_narje%C4%8Dje


    The dialect situation on the Croatian side of the border on Istria are very complex, due to migrations - some Štokavian groups settled there, and there's also a mixed Čakavian-Štokavian dialect if I remember correctly


    Here's the thing that has been bugging me ever since reading a discussion on chakavian on another forum. Now, I am not a linguist by profession, so I may be mistaken, but when I think of chakavian, I think of a dialect or a group of dialects. And when I think of dialects I think of isoglosses. When I think of an isogloss, I think of a certain genetic language feature, either grammatical or sound-shift related or lexical (though lexical comes in third), that is particular to a speech in a specific geographical area and not shared by people neighboring that area. A dialect is then a collection of isoglosses, that are unique or predominantly centered in some geographical area and at least partially uniform within that area.

    Now, supposing my definition is not incorrect, which it might well be, how many and which isoglosses are we talking about when discussing chakavian, that are unique or predominantly centered and at least partially uniform in the area that is usually depicted as being chakavian on dialect distribution maps?

    This discussion of mine might seem to some as slightly off topic here, but if we are talking about one, two or a few isoglosses that a particular dialect in Istria has that make it chakavian or shtokavian or kajkavian, we can't really argue about dialect boundaries being either sharp or fluid. What does it actually mean to have a sharp dialectal boundary if the dialect itself is defined by a single or a handful of isoglosses? What percentage of its features do these isoglosses represent? 1%? 2%?

    This is what I'm talking about:

    http://www.matica.hr/www/wwwizd2.ns...$File/Kapovic 101-111.pdf/Kapovic 101-111.pdf


    Srednjojužnoslavenski96 je neutralan naziv koji obuhvaća kompleks hrvatskoga, srpskoga, bošnjačkoga (bosanskoga) i crnogorskoga standardnoga jezika. Dijalektološki gledano on obuhvaća čakavsko, kajkavsko, štokavsko i torlačko narječje. Strukturalno gledano, svako od njih može biti smatrano i posebnim jezikom iako su i ta narječja u odredenoj mjeri znanstveni konstrukti. Teško je govoriti primjerice o jedinstvenom čakavskom s obzirom na to da se južnočakavski govori (koji su usko povezani sa zapadnoštokavskim nizom starih i novih izoglosa) prilično razlikuju od sjevernočakavskih govora (koji pak imaju neke stare izoglose koje ga vežu s kajkavskim i slovenskim).
     
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    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    This is what the article below refers to as "adrijatizmi", I suppose?

    http://hr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%8Cakavsko_narje%C4%8Dje
    Yes indeed, and "Adriatism" indeed is the correct term (and not "Venetianism" as I said above - I knew that something was wrong with this term when I used it, only couldn't put my finger on it :D).
    Here's the thing that has been bugging me ever since reading a discussion on chakavian on another forum. Now, I am not a linguist by profession, so I may be mistaken, but when I think of chakavian, I think of a dialect or a group of dialects. And when I think of dialects I think of isoglosses. When I think of an isogloss, I think of a certain genetic language feature, either grammatical or sound-shift related or lexical (though lexical comes in third), that is particular to a speech in a specific geographical area and not shared by people neighboring that area. A dialect is then a collection of isoglosses, that are unique or predominantly centered in some geographical area and at least partially uniform within that area.
    Not quite - but close.

    A dialect is defined by a specific combination of isoglosses. Take Torlakian: this Serbian dialect is transitional to Bulgarian and Macedonian - Serbian has retained full noun inflection while both Bulgarian and Macedonian have virtually abandoned it.
    So how could a dialect be "transitional" between those, concerning declension?
    The answer is: in the north-western Torlakian dialects declension is retained partially, from north-west to south-east instrumental begins merging into genitive, then locative and genitive merge into nominative (see Wiki where unfortunately not much about Torlakian isoglosses is said - I couldn't find a better online resource).

    In the case of Torlakian, there are several isoglosses marking the gradual loss of declension which cross the Torlakian dialect area in (roughly speaking) parallel lines from north-east to south-west - so actually isoglosses are crossing straight through Torlakian dialects.
    So Torlakian is defined as those dialects which are subjected to a gradual to almost complete loss of declension.

    So to your original question, I guess there are only a very few isoglosses which are characteristic only for Chakavian.
    Most will be shared either by dialects north and east of Chakavian (Slovene and Kajkavian ;-) or by dialects east and south-east of Chakavian (that is, Shtokavian ;-).
    And some, like those Adriatisms, are shared even by some Italian dialects.

    Concerning the dialect continuum in the coastal region (Slovene coast and Istria) I said above that I think that apart from those Adriatism isoglosses there might not be specific isoglosses shared by Kajkavian and Slovene.

    Now, let's take Kajkavian Croatian and Slovene dialects: they indeed share isoglosses not shared by either Chakavian and Shtokavian, and it seems to be clear that those isoglosses are due to common ancestry at a rather close level.
    Concerning Chakavian Croatian and Slovene dialects I said above that I think that no such isoglosses on a close genetic level exist (and again, I might be wrong); but both of course share a great many isoglosses marking them less specifically (but of course still genetically closely related) Western South Slavic.

    A very sharp dialect boundary occurs when many isoglosses separate two dialects; in German this is called "Isoglossenbündel" - in English "a bundle of isoglosses". And dialect boundaries appear to be extremely "soft" and transitional if isoglosses are spaced more or less evenly (that is, say, each isogloss is separated by the other by 10 or 20 kilometres distance, as opposed to 4 or 5 isoglosses being grouped together at the same point geographically which marks a sharp border).

    BCS dialects show both sharp and soft transitions.

    Take Torlakian - this dialect group is showing a smooth transition from dialects with full declension to dialects with hardly any declension left: so what an amateur would consider could only be a "sharp" dialect border (between declension and non-declension) actually is not a sharp border at all, except when finally the border between (Torlakian) Serbian and Bulgarian dialects is reached: in the south-easternmost part of Serbia (Dimitrovgrad/Caribrod and Bosilegrad) local people define themselves as "Bulgarian" because they were part of Bulgaria till 1918, and the nations of Serbians and Bulgarians already formed before 1918 - one couldn't "move" language borders so easily then. (Both towns were given to Yougoslavia through the peace treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine.)
    If the borders in this region would have been shifted long before a Serbian and Bulgarian nation became "established" there local dialect speakers might have accepted and adopted either nationality as their "own".

    (Well admittedly it is not quite as easy as church borders played an important role in this region too. But there are similar examples on the Dutch/German border where also only the political border lead to a development of new isoglosses which didn't exist beforehand.)

    A good example for sharp linguistic borders are Shtokavian migrant settlements in Kajkavian dialect regions (Bjelovar, to name the most prominent one), or in Slovenia (Bela Krajina).
    There, Sthokavian settlers (Serbian-Orthodox) live door-to-door with Croatian Kajkavian dialect speakers (Catholics). Due to the different confession there was very little intermarriage and both dialects kept separate - therefore, in this region there are very sharp isogloss bundles.

    Sharp isogloss bundles also may occur in regions where no significant migration happened - but they're more likely to occur in cases like this one.


    The Slavic dialect continuum, to cut the long story short, is full of sharper and smoother transitions between dialects. That's what this thread is about. :)
     

    werrr

    Senior Member
    Most likely there used to be a dialect continuum between Bohemian and Upper Sorbian thousand years ago, now lost due to the divergence between the languages.

    There is and always was a striking isogloss between Bohemian (spoken even in the most Western parts of Moravia) and Moravian dialects despite of strong convergence. In recent years, Common Czech (a Bohemian dialect) is spreading into Moravia, so for the first time in history Czech countries could evenentually turn into a dialect continuum.

    There was only weak convergence between Bohemian and Lechitic dialects, so there is hardly a continuum.

    There is a continuum between Moravian and Western Slovak dialects. It’s either an original continuum or a result of ancient convergence.

    There is strong, but relatively young, convergence between Moravian and Lechitic dialects. But I’m not sure whether one can speak about a continuum. There are definitely some bastard dialects (like ponašimu) which are hardly classable.

    The great Slavic vedeti/znati isogloss crosses Slovenia; a number of southern and eastern Slovenian dialects use znati in place of vedeti.
    What particular isogloss do you have in mind? There are many vedeti/znati isoglosses with respect to different meanings of the words.


    In a small village called Ricmanje people even add a v before an o at the beggining of the word. So vopri vokno (open the window), vocet (vinaigre), von (out). I've heard this is a peculiarity of Czech.
    It’s a feature shared by Bohemian and Upper Sorbian dialects.

    I wonder how it came so south?
    Prothetic v is common sound shift, it could exist in that village on its own.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Prothetic v is common sound shift, it could exist in that village on its own.
    Prothetic /v/ indeed is quite common and also known in Kajkavian and Eastern Slovene dialects (Prleško and also Prekmurje dialects if I remember correctly).

    The existence of prothetic /v/ in itself needn't be a sign of closer genetic relationships; of course it can be that (this is very likely the case with Kajkavian and Eastern Slovene) but as you are referring to coastal (Primorje) dialects of Slovene there is possibly no closer genetic connection with the same shift in Eastern Slovene - as to my knowledge the dialects in-between do not have it. But I think that some Carinthian Slovene dialects have it too (sorry but I've got no resources at hand and I keep forgetting this stuff) - and along with other links between Carinthian and Coastal dialects the feature could be connected from the coast over Carinthia into (Slovene) Styria = Eastern Slovene dialects.
     

    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    What particular isogloss do you have in mind? There are many vedeti/znati isoglosses with respect to different meanings of the words.

    Slovenian has the following verbs for "to know":

    Znati means "to be able to do something" (example: "Znam voziti avto" = "I know how to drive a car")

    Poznati means "to know someone or something" (example: "Poznam tega igralca" = "I know this actor")

    Vedeti means "to know" in virtually all other contexts (example: "Vem koliko je ura" = "I know what time it is")

    The isogloss for vedeti form cuts right through Slovenia. Standard Slovenian has it, as do most of its dialects, but it's entirely absent from several southern and eastern dialects (on the other side of the isogloss), where znati takes its place. This complete absence of vedeti continues towards the southeast; neither modern BCS nor modern Bulgarian have it.
     
    A very interesting example regarding Torlakian, sokol. Thanks.

    So Torlakian dialect grouping is then a more or less an artificial construct, formed in order to simplify the description of the transition from inflected to non-inflected dialects of Serbian and Bulgarian/Macedonian, respectively?

    It does not actually denote a single geographic space where declension is partially lost in a uniform way, but rather several areas with different levels of declension loss.

    But where I'm concerned is when someone takes this abstraction as an absolute and starts e.g. looking for transitional dialects between Serbian fully-inflected dialects and Torlakian, and Torlakian and Bulgarian/Macedonian non-inflected dialects. There is no such transitional area then, as Torlakian itself is transitional.

    Torlakian is then basically a cover-all term for a group of "unruly" transitional vernaculars from Serbian to Bulgarian / Macedonian.

    Is chakavian also a "cover-all" term for a group of "unruly" dialects that are basically either transitional or archaic "shtokavian" (albeit without što)?

    Let's see a description of chakavian featues:

    http://hr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%8Cakavsko_narje%C4%8Dje


    zamjenice ča i zač;
    From Proto-Slavic *čь. Same root is in što < čьto, with -to being a demonstrative pronoun to (< ie. *tod). From what I was told some time before, addition of this -to is not that uncommon (unfortunately I wasn't given other examples).


    stara akcentuacija (sustav tri naglaska, čuvanje praslavenskog mjesta naglaska)
    How does this compare to accentuation in non-neoshtokavian dialects?


    refleks tzv. jata (ě) (ikavski, ikavsko-ekavski);
    Shared by shtokavian ikavian dialects.


    čakavsko t’;prijelaz starohrv. ę > a iza j, č i ž;
    An example would be jazik instead of jezik from what I've read.


    prijelaz starohrv. d’ > j;
    An example would be meja instead of međa (boundary). Slovene also has meja I believe? And I can recall an example from old Bosnian charters with what seems to be the same (ot mee do mee i u niju dva grada Kluč' i Kotor' - from a charter by Bosnian ban Stephen II Kotromanić, issued around 1322-1324).

    Is this a transitional feature to Slovenian, possibly shared by some western shtokavian dialects, either present or past?


    kondicional bin-biš-bimo, bite;
    Ok. The final -n is obviously an Adriatism though.


    izostanak afrikate .
    In shtokavian dialects, it exists only in borrowed words if I remember correctly.


    Now what I'd love to see is where do isoglosses for those features above run exactly. After that I'd love to see where exactly these isoglosses below run (main features of shtokavian):

    zamjenica što
    prijelaz ǫ u u (put, ruka)
    prijelaz slogotvornog l u u (vuk, sunce)
    zamjena poluglasa s a (pas, magla)
    zamjena l s o (u nekim dijalektima a) na kraju sloga (pisal > pisao, govoril > govorio, govorija)
    većinom gubljenje h (oću,ajde)
    naglasak "pomaknut" s posljednjega sloga
    nenaglašene dužine i drugo.

    Or more to the point, what do chakavian dialects have for those shtokavian features above. :)
     
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    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    A very interesting example regarding Torlakian, sokol. Thanks.

    So Torlakian dialect grouping is then a more or less an artificial construct, formed in order to simplify the description of the transition from inflected to non-inflected dialects of Serbian and Bulgarian/Macedonian, respectively?
    In a nutshell, yes.

    (Technically speaking each dialect grouping is more or less an "artificial construct", and that one of Torlakian probably not at all more so than others. :) But the Torlakian group still is defined as that transitional group.)

    But where I'm concerned is when someone takes this abstraction as an absolute and starts e.g. looking for transitional dialects between Serbian fully-inflected dialects and Torlakian, and Torlakian and Bulgarian/Macedonian non-inflected dialects. There is no such transitional area then, as Torlakian itself is transitional.
    But of course there is a transitional region between Serbian of Serbia "proper" (Šumadija) and Torlakian, as well as between Torlakian and neighbouring Macedonian and Bulgarian dialects. :)

    Declension after all is not the only isogloss - there are plenty of other isoglosses, and the isogloss pattern in this region is like a checkered flag: due to political borders and languages teached in school isoglosses are "righting" themselves on the borders of Serbia, Macedonia and Bulgaria, but the ancient dialect continuum showed isoglosses going both (approximately) north-south and west-east - the further south you get in Torlakian the less declension you have, but there's a second pair of isoglosses going north-south where you go from the "most distinct" Macedonian dialects around Ochrid lake to less distinct ones near the Bulgarian border and beyond to get again to "most distinct" Bulgarian dialects.

    So the term "cover-all" for Torlakian also is not quite appropriate. I'd prefer to stick to the term "transitional" - it is not as if it were a "mixed" dialect (dialect mixing is yet another story), it is rather that at some point in time in some region of the southernmost Slavic dialects a loss of declension occured - an isogloss was developed; and this isogloss then travelled west and north and covered the whole of modern Macedonia and Bulgaria but slowly, gradually ebbed away in modern Serbia.

    Google for Benrath line (in German dialects): it was similar there - the change /p > pf/ emerged somewhere in the deep south and slowly travelled north until it finally was stopped at the Benrath line, but developped into a "fan" in the Rhinelands where it is "Appel" and "Dorf" deep in southern Rhinelands (shift with one word, no shift with the other), while further north more words are shifted - till shift occurs for all of them.
    Torlak dialects too represent such a "fan" of isoglosses. It does not mean necessarily that the dialect were "mixed", nor does it mean that it were a "heterogenous" group: neither is the case for the German dialects in the "Rhinelands fan". And I suppose that the same could be true for Torlak (though I'm not sure myself as I'm a bloody amateur concerning Torlak :)).

    Same then I would say for Chakavian - or probably even more so. :)
    Basically, it seems that Chakavian once was much more widespread over "mainland" Croatia and Bosnia - and that there was a very smooth dialect continuum to Shtokavian.

    From Proto-Slavic *čь. Same root is in što < čьto, with -to being a demonstrative pronoun to (< ie. *tod). From what I was told some time before, addition of this -to is not that uncommon (unfortunately I wasn't given other examples).
    This is only a single isogloss - one which is characteristic for BCS dialects but nevertheless chosen at random, more or less. As you said, it is the same root anyway, and the different development in itself is not too significant. :)

    How does this compare to accentuation in non-neoshtokavian dialects?
    Neoshtokavian has those four accents of standard language, they are the most characteristic innovation of Neoshtokavian.

    Chakavian accent is more ancient, and the same is the case for Staroshtokavian dialects, but both Chakavian and Staroshtokavian accents are different (e. g. Slavonia Staroshtokavian has 5 accents, Chakavian has 3). I'm however no expert on the accentuation system (I'm not even able to pronounce it correctly) so I can't help with a more detailed explanation here.

    Shared by shtokavian ikavian dialects.
    As I said in the other thread, both dialects might be related on an older genetic level.

    An example would be meja instead of međa (boundary). Slovene also has meja I believe? And I can recall an example from old Bosnian charters with what seems to be the same (ot mee do mee i u niju dva grada Kluč' i Kotor' - from a charter by Bosnian ban Stephen II Kotromanić, issued around 1322-1324).

    Is this a transitional feature to Slovenian, possibly shared by some western shtokavian dialects, either present or past?
    Yes, it is "meja" in standard Slovene.

    However, I don't know if the same is true for Coastal Slovene dialects (which would be the relevant reference point here :)).
    Also I'm not sure if "meja" could be considered being another Adriatism. (Of course it shouldn't be considered an Adriatism in Slovene.)
     

    werrr

    Senior Member
    The isogloss for vedeti form cuts right through Slovenia. Standard Slovenian has it, as do most of its dialects, but it's entirely absent from several southern and eastern dialects (on the other side of the isogloss), where znati takes its place. This complete absence of vedeti continues towards the southeast; neither modern BCS nor modern Bulgarian have it.
    In other words, you mean the isogloss formed by absence of vedeti.

    Slovenian has the following verbs for "to know":

    Znati means "to be able to do something" (example: "Znam voziti avto" = "I know how to drive a car")
    In Czech: uměti
    In Slovak: vedieť
    Poznati means "to know someone or something" (example: "Poznam tega igralca" = "I know this actor")
    In Czech: znáti
    In Slovak: poznať
    Vedeti means "to know" in virtually all other contexts (example: "Vem koliko je ura" = "I know what time it is")
    In Czech: věděti
    In Slovak: vedieť
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    In other words, you mean the isogloss formed by absence of vedeti.
    In Russian we normally use "znat'", but "vedat'" is still used as an archaic word and has a great amount of related words. Ukrainian also has the both verbs (знати, вiдати). So, where is the isogloss?.. :confused:
    In Czech: uměti
    In Slovak: vedieť
    In Russian: уметь (umet')
    In Czech: znáti
    In Slovak: poznať
    In Russian: знать (znat')
    In Czech: věděti
    In Slovak: vedieť
    In Russian: знать (znat')

    Also I should mention узнавать/узнать (uznavat'/uznat') - to recognize, to get to know, to experience, to find out.
    "Познать" /poznat'/ in Russian means "to cognize", "to get to know", "to experience"; sounds quite archaic or high, imperfective variant is "познавать" /poznavat'/.
     
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    But of course there is a transitional region between Serbian of Serbia "proper" (Šumadija) and Torlakian, as well as between Torlakian and neighbouring Macedonian and Bulgarian dialects. :)

    Declension after all is not the only isogloss - there are plenty of other isoglosses


    Yes, I can see now there are other things. Nice to know. :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torlak



    Torlak dialects too represent such a "fan" of isoglosses. It does not mean necessarily that the dialect were "mixed", nor does it mean that it were a "heterogenous" group: neither is the case for the German dialects in the "Rhinelands fan". And I suppose that the same could be true for Torlak (though I'm not sure myself as I'm a bloody amateur concerning Torlak :)).


    Very interesting. I'm sorry if you have answered this before - is there (I suppose there must be) a book or a journal article or even a web-site with the depiction of all the major isoglosses of south Slavic languages (present and/or historical) on a map, both the ones "fanning" and the isogloss bundles? Apart from being an amateur in linguistics I am also an amateur in history and I'd like to see if one could draw any conclusions based on matches (or lack thereof) between isoglosses and historical political/religious/other boundaries. I've always had a hunch that BCMS dialect boundaries could be exploited to get an overview of older ethnic/political/religious boundaries, but I've had no way of seriously using the dialectal variations without a more detailed map and if possible some historical context.


    Same then I would say for Chakavian - or probably even more so. :)
    Basically, it seems that Chakavian once was much more widespread over "mainland" Croatia and Bosnia - and that there was a very smooth dialect continuum to Shtokavian.


    Yes, I know of this theory. I'm not sure it makes much sense to me. Precursor(s) of modern chakavian dialects being more widespread in the coastal regions possibly ok, but a more likely candidate for me for the inland would be a dialect precursor to modern shtokavian bosansko-dalmatinski / mlađi ikavski. At least that one exists in sizeable chunks of the coast, western Herzegovina, central Bosnia, in the Bihać pocket and a number of smaller pockets in western and central Bosnia. The only plausible way to reconcile these two is to have bosansko-dalmatinski developing from a shtokavian dialect transitional to chakavian with modern chakavian preserving some of the features potentially lost in bosansko-dalmatinski.

    This is basically the main reason for my issue with chakavian, its definition inevitably leads to trying to trace some ancient boundaries between it and western shtokavian, which really might not have existed. Or to be clearer, if the dialect of much of western Bosnia and inland Dalmatia was a shtokavian transitional to what was to become known as chakavian, it was nevertheless shtokavian, and if modern chakavian preserves some of those archaic features lost in western shtokavian dialects, this does not make them historically chakavian. I guess the best thing here is to talk about concrete isoglosses and see what goes where.

    Of course, there would have been ample opportunities for restructuring of pre-Ottoman dialect borders during the time the front ran through Bosnia. Jajce fell to Ottomans in 1463, but was recaptured shortly thereafter, and only fell back to Ottomans in 1527. And Bihać was not taken until 1592. There would have been ample time during those 130 years for some major shifts in western and central Bosnia, either due to migrations or due to spreading of certain language features by soldiers and migrant populations (refugees etc).

    I guess one would have to carefully delimit which period in time is being analyzed when talking about ancient dialects in western Bosnia and Dalmatian inland.

    a) pre 1463
    b) 1463 - 1527 - 1592
    c) 1592 - 1699
    d) 1699 - 1992
    e) 1995 onwards





    Chakavian accent is more ancient, and the same is the case for Staroshtokavian dialects, but both Chakavian and Staroshtokavian accents are different (e. g. Slavonia Staroshtokavian has 5 accents, Chakavian has 3). I'm however no expert on the accentuation system (I'm not even able to pronounce it correctly) so I can't help with a more detailed explanation here.


    There seem to have been different accentual patterns in western vs eastern shtokavian. If this is correct, at least:

    http://www.hercegbosna.org/kultura/...tika-bosanski-jezikoslovni-karakazan-184.html

    Glavna se dijalekatska diferencijacija dogodila od 12. do 15. stoljeća, kada na tlu današnje BiH nalazimo dva narječja: štokavsko (dominantno) i čakavsko na krajnjem zapadu, u području koje je onda pripadalo ugarsko-hrvatskom kraljevstvu. Štokavsko je narječje pripadalo, po svojim fonološkim i drugim značajkama, zapadnoj štokavštini (koja je imala troakcenatski sistem dok je istočna štokavština bila dvoakcenatska)- jedini teritorij istočne štokavštine obuhvaćao je krajnji istočni rub Bosne oko rijeke Drine i dijelove povijesne pokrajine Travunje.
     

    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    In Russian we normally use "znat'", but "vedat'" is still used as an archaic word and has a great amount of related words. Ukrainian also has the both verbs (знати, вiдати). So, where is the isogloss?.. :confused:

    The isogloss crosses Slovenia; vedeti is entirely absent to the southeast (i.e. in some southern and eastern Slovenian dialects, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, in Macedonian, and in Bulgarian).
     
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    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    DenisBH - please try and read Asim Peco, especially his works on šćakavian Bosnian dialects. :)
    Unfortunately I don't know any online resources showing the main isoglosses in a way which makes the isogloss bundles (and fans) more easier to grasp for those who are new to this concept.
     
    DenisBH - please try and read Asim Peco, especially his works on šćakavian Bosnian dialects. :)
    Unfortunately I don't know any online resources showing the main isoglosses in a way which makes the isogloss bundles (and fans) more easier to grasp for those who are new to this concept.


    Thanks for the suggestion. :) I will try to find Peco's work, in the meantime I remembered having something else that might be of use. Dževad Jahić's "Jezik bosanskih muslimana". I'll just summarize the most important traits from his discussion on dialectal variations seen through sevdalinka songs:


    a) Zapadni (zapadnobosanski) jezički tip sevdalinke: 1. Ikavski refleks jata (bila, divojka), 2. Neizvršena nova jotovanja (pojdem), 3. Šćakavica (pušći)
    b) Središnji (srednjebosanski, istočnobosanski) jezički tip sevdalinke: 1. Ijekavski refleks jata (l'jepo, cvijeće, proljeće), 2. Neizvršena jekavska i nova jotovanja (potjera, pojdem), 3. Šćakavizam (pušći, jerišće)
    c) Jugoistočni (hercegovački) jezički tip sevdalinke: 1. Ijekavska zamjena jata (c'jelom, zapjevala), 2. Izvršena jekavska i nova jotovanja (ućeram, polećela; pođem) 3. Štakavizam (išti, pušti)

    Here, it seems to me from his description, a) rougly corresponds with the area of mlađi ikavski / bosansko-dalmatinski in Krajina, b) with istočnobosanski, c) with istočnohercegovački. There is also a fourth type, ikavsko-štakavski štokavski in western Herzegovina. The four zones are roughly divided by a vertical line/isogloss formed by Bosna and Neretva rivers, and a horizontal line/isogloss which roughly corresponds to the boundary of Bosnia with Herzegovina.


    Chak: jat > i (etc), *-stj- / *-skj- > šć
    BH:
    NW: jat > i, *-stj- / *-skj- > šć
    NE: jat > (i)je, *-stj- / *-skj- > šć
    SW: jat > i, *-stj- / *-skj- > št
    SE: jat > (i)je, *-stj- / *-skj- > št


    What is the reflex of *-stj- / *-skj- in Slavonian and Kajkavian Croatian, in Slovenian, and possibly some northern Serbian dialects? What is the reflex in Macedonian and Bulgarian?
     
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    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    What is the reflex of *-stj- / *-skj- in Slavonian and Kajkavian Croatian, in Slovenian, and possibly some northern Serbian dialects?

    In Slovenian, the reflex of *-stj- / *-skj- is šč according to reference books (iščem, slovenščina), but I'm a bit confused about *-stj, because words such as listje (= leaves) remain unchanged in Slovenian, whereas standard forms of BCS, with their šć reflex, change listje to lišće. Or is that something else entirely?
     
    In Slovenian, the reflex of *-stj- / *-skj- is šč according to reference books (iščem, slovenščina), but I'm a bit confused about *-stj, because words such as listje (= leaves) remain unchanged in Slovenian, whereas standard forms of BCS, with their šć reflex, change listje to lišće. Or is that something else entirely?


    Thanks for the info TriglavNationalPark. I assume these are two different developments.

    According to Frederik Kortlandt's "From Serbo-Croatian to Indo-European" which can be found here:

    http://www.kortlandt.nl/publications/art222e.pdf

    If am reading this correctly, concerning the original *-stj- it went

    stj > śtć (Kort. 6.7)
    śtć > ść (? Kort 7.6 is unclear whether this also is only Bulgarian)
    ść > šć (Kort 8.4)
    šć > št (Kort 8.6)

    The phase 8.6 is the most relevant here:

    8.6. Second simplification of palatals: ć > c, ʒ́ > ʒ in West Slavic, and subsequently ʒ > z in Czech and Sorbian; ć > č, ʒ́ > ǯ > ž in East Slavic. The clusters šć and žʒ́ were reduced to št and žd in Bulgarian and the eastern dialects of Serbo-Croatian, and later in Czecho-Slovak. Similarly, the clusters sc and zʒ became st and zd in a part of the Bulgarian dialects.
    A Slovenian example for a reflex of *-stj- would be puščati I suppose.

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pu%C5%A1%C4%8Dati

    I believe lišće might be a result of a later palatalization (called novo jotovanje in BCMS), after the loss of yers. But I may be mistaken. :) Here's something:

    www.ffzg.hr/dokument/doc_dl.cgi?007153_1.doc

    Kratka ali konzistentna kandidatova studija Collectives in –ьje in Slavic (Suvremena lingvistika 59-60/2005, 35-38) pobija mišljenje da bi se slavenski sufiks za zbirne (kolektivne) imenice –ьje...štoviše, čini se da je praslavenski jedini i-e. jezik u kojem je taj sufiks ostao barem djelomice produktivan. On služi za izvođenje apstraktnih imenica od pridjeva (npr. veselьje od veselъ), a osobito je produktivan za izvođenje abstracta od participa na *-l- i *-n- (npr. delanьje od delanь itd.). No s tim se sufiksom izvode i kolektivne imenice od imenica (npr. st.c.sl. kamenьje od kamy, listvie /hrv. lišće/ od listъ, korenьje od korenъ).
    Here listvie is OCS, not Common Slavic, which would be, what, *listьje? If so the ь would have prevente4d the -stj- cluster originally.





     
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    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    Thanks for the info TriglavNationalPark. I assume these are two different developments.

    According to Frederik Kortlandt's "From Serbo-Croatian to Indo-European" which can be found here:​


    If am a reading this correctly, concerning the original *-stj- it went​

    stj > śtć (Kort. 6.7)
    śtć > ść (? Kort 7.6 is unclear whether this also is only Bulgarian)
    ść > šć (Kort 8.4)
    šć > št (Kort 8.6)​

    The phase 8.6 is the most relevant here:​

    A Slovenian example for a reflex of *-stj- would be puščati I suppose.​


    I believe lišće might be a result of a later palatalization (called novo jotovanje in BCMS), after the loss of yers. But I may be mistaken. :) Here's something:​


    Here listvie is OCS, not Common Slavic, which would be, what, *listьje? If so the ь would have prevente4d the -stj- cluster originally.​

    Thanks you so much for your insight!
     

    trance0

    Senior Member
    Slovene
    As for meja in Slovene Istria, at least on the coast, the word is meja. Perhaps the only Slovene dialect that uses 'granica' instead would be in Bela Krajina (I am only guessing here)?
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    In Slovenian, the reflex of *-stj- / *-skj- is šč according to reference books (iščem, slovenščina), but I'm a bit confused about *-stj, because words such as listje (= leaves) remain unchanged in Slovenian, whereas standard forms of BCS, with their šć reflex, change listje to lišće. Or is that something else entirely?
    That's possibly because "listje" (leaves) is derived from "list" (leaf): the process wouldn't apply then because it is a more recent development (that is, in case "listje" was formed only after the sound change process happened then "listje" wouldn't be affected: the fact alone that "listje" is NOT affected suggests that this might have been the case - but I don't have relevant material on Slovene etymology at hand I can only list this as hypothesis. :) BCS /lišće/ in this case then should be a secondary palatalisation, just as Denis suggested. Only guesswork, but it sounds likely.)

    And you found out yourselves about the isoglosses :) - it is, from north-west (Slovene) down to south-east (Bulgarian), /šč/ > /šć/ > /št/.

    This is a very interesting isogloss of South Slavic actually :) (and also one of the arguments for those theories suggesting that Chakavian once was spoken widely on "mainland" Croatia and in Bosnia).
     
    Some more info regarding lišće. To sum up for non-BCMS speakers, it seems that this late palatalization in BCMS, called "novo jotovanje", was triggered / made possible by the loss of yers in groups like -Cьj- and it took place between 16th and 18th century. It seems that it has spread over the whole shtokavian area, and most of chakavian and kajkavian areas as well, though the degrees to which it has spread in various dialects are uneven.

    Thus, if I may suggest again:

    list-ьje (-ьje collective suffix, "leaves" < "leaf") > listьje > listje (loss of yers) > lisće (novo jotovanje) > lišće (assimilation)


    http://hrcak.srce.hr/file/55564

    P. Ivić u svom pregledu datira ovu glasovnu promjenu: “U grupama konsonant + j nastalim ispadanjem slabog poluglasa izvršilo se novo jotovanje, uglavnom od XVI do XVIII v., s varijacijom vezanom za dijalekte i za razlike među konsonantima.” (Brozović; Ivić 1988: 13) Ipak, nastavlja: “Područje novog jotovanja obuhvata celu štokavštinu i većinu čakavskih i kajkavskih govora, a obim same pojave nije svugdje jednak.” (Brozović; Ivić 1988: 13)
    This guy below (from what I understand, a once dean of the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade) has a somewhat different take, but I'd trust Ivić/Brozović duo a bit more.

    http://kovceg.tripod.com/srpski_medju_jezicima.htm
    (I have my reservations using links to tripod etc, but this seems to be the text of a genuine paper which I'm citing because of a different view regarding the spread of novo jotovanje. Be warned though, unlike the article from Hrčak above this is not from a well known repository)

    Srpski se u porodici slovenskih jezika izdvaja i sposobnošću regeneracije jotovanja kao praslovenske jezičke promjene. Pored opšteg ili (pra)slovenskog jotovanja — koje se u slučaju suglasnika t, d odvijalo samostalno u zasebnim slovenskim dijalektima, postoji novo ili srpsko jotovanje (braća, predgrađe) i najnovije ili jekavsko jotovanje (ćerati, đed itd). Prvo je nastalo poslije gubljenja poluglasnika ispred jote, koja se tako našla u neposrednom susjedstvu sa suglasnikom, a drugo — kad je kratko jat (ě) dalo alofon [je]. Zapadni srpski susjedi, hrvatski i slovinjski sa slovenačkim, ne znaju za novo jotovanje.
    Dževad Jahić on the other hand says novo jotovanje is not present in the sevdalinkas of western Bosnia/Krajina (bosansko-dalmatinski) and in istočnobosanski, but the examples he gives, pojdem/dojdeš, could well be a lack of metathesis rather than a lack of novo jotovanje, methinks.
     
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