Macedonian case endings

dihydrogen monoxide

Senior Member
Slovene, Serbo-Croat
Is there a theory as how Macedonian lost its case endings? When was the last time Macedonian had inherited case endings in use or are there some remnants of those case endings
still present in Macedonian?
 
  • nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    Influenced by its neighboring languages: Albanian, Greek, and Aromanian, the Macedonian language began to lose its grammatical cases around the 11th century, and by the 15th century the Macedonian language to a large extent became an analytic language. At the beginning the Locative was replaced by the Accusative, and step by step the Accusative replaced the Instrumental, and later with the help of the Dative it replaced the Genitive too. The most resistant was the Dative, used for the direct object and for possessiveness.

    During the same period developed the post-positive definite articles too.

    It was a long and complex process, and the lose of the grammatical cases didn't finish then. Some simplified or modified synthetic constructions continued to be in use during the next centuries in different dialects. Today remnants of the old cases can be found in the Standard Macedonian language (Vocative, and also Dative and Accusative forms of the pronouns etc.), and especially in some Macedonian dialects (Dative, Accusative, Genitive, Vocative).

    Standard Macedonian language:
    1. Vocative (мајка > мајко; Македонија > Македонијо; човек > човеку; професорка > професорке etc.)
    2. Accusative (pronouns: мене, ме, тебе, те, него, го, неа, ја, себе, се...)
    3. Dative (pronouns: мене, ми, тебе, ти, нему, му, нејзе, ѝ, себе, си...)

    Some Northern and Western Macedonian dialects spoken today:
    1. Dative:
    • Some older generations still use it (example: Му реков Стојану.). Younger generations replace it with preposition plus Accusative (Му реков на Стојана.). In Standard Macedonian it is: Му реков на Стојан. - "I told Stojan.".
    2. Genitive-Accusative:
    • Куќата од Стојана. or Куќата на Стојана. Standard Macedonian: Куќата на Стојан. - "Stojan's house."
    • Бев со Стојана. Standard Macedonian: Бев со Стојан. - "I was with Stojan."
    • Пред његову куќу. Standard Macedonian: Пред неговата куќа. - "In front of his house."
    • pronouns: овега, овојга, онега, онојга...
    • etc.
     
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    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    Influenced by its neighboring languages: Albanian, Greek, and Aromanian, the Macedonian language began to lose its grammar cases around the 11th century
    Modern Greek has lost only one (the dative) of the five Attic cases; it is actually one of the more archaic IE languages in this regard.

    Otherwise, a very interesting contribution.
     

    Olaszinhok

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Modern Greek has lost only one (the dative) of the five Attic cases; it is actually one of the more archaic IE languages in this regard.
    Sorry for adding my two cents, but even Albanian and Romanian still have cases, at least vocative, dative and accusative. As for personal pronouns, plenty of Indo-European Languages still retain some cases, amongst them the Romance languages.
     

    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    Yes, you are right. No one said that Albanian, Aromanian, Romanian, and Greek lost all of their grammatical cases, they still preserve 3-5 cases. But these languages have some analytic declension too. Their grammatical constructions influenced the development of the Macedonian dialects (they had similar influence on the Bulgarian and South-Serbian dialects too), and they were an incentive to transform and eliminate the old Slavic 7-cases synthetic declension and to develop new prepositional constructions. Step by step it resulted in losing of almost all grammatical cases.

    On the other hand, some linguists believe that these Balkan languages didn't influence the cases lose in Macedonian and Bulgarian languages, but that these changes were due to certain phonetic changes which contributed for the elimination of some grammatical cases and this led to the need of creating new analytic constructions...
     
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    danielstan

    Senior Member
    Romanian - Romania
    Influenced by its neighboring languages: Albanian, Greek, and Aromanian, the Macedonian language began to lose its grammatical cases around the 11th century, and by the 15th century the Macedonian language to a large extent became an analytic language.
    Your explanation induces the idea that Macedonian had a parallel evolution from Bulgarian.
    I would like to know if you consider Macedonian and Bulgarian as 2 dialects which evolved from a common ancestor (thus they have some affinity) or 2 separate languages which arrived at the same result (analytic languages with fewer cases, but similar) by hazard.

    Many Romanian linguists believe the Bulgarian declension system as being influenced by the Romanized population they found in Balkans (most of this population was assimilated, while Aromanians have been pushed South in a Greek speaking territory, in the 10th century).
    Thus the Vlach population speaking a Romance language named by convention "proto-Romanian" (ancestor of Daco-Romanian and Aromanian) have learnt Bulgarian as second language and they promoted the reduction of cases as in their mother tongue.

    There are no written sources for these conjecture, but there is an argument sustaining it:
    There was a Bulgaro-Romanian bilinguism during the Middle Ages, which is sustained by linguistic calques.
    One example:
    Bulgarian дървено масло cf. Romanian unt-de-lemn (literally "butter of tree", meaning "oil (for cooking)")
    The matter of this bilinguism was discussed by Miklosich in Die slavischen Elemente im Rumunischen - page 5 (unfortuntely I don't have a link or pdf) and Rosetti in Al-Rosetti-Istoria-Limbii-Romane-1986.pdf - pages 269 and next.

    The reduction of cases system is a noticeable feature of the Balkan Sprachbund, but I don't find decisive the influence of Albanian and Greek on Bulgarian in this matter.

    The reduced case system in Macedonian is very similar with the one in Bulgarian, thus I think its source is the same - a phenomenon that originated in some area where Vlachs and Bulgarians coexisted and later spread in the entire Bulgaro-Macedonian territory.
     
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    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    Your explanation induces the idea that Macedonian had a parallel evolution from Bulgarian.
    I was just answering the OP's question which is about the Macedonian language.
    Furthermore, even the Macedonian dialects had some kind of parallel evolution from each other, that's why even today there are significant differences among some of them.

    I would like to know if you consider Macedonian and Bulgarian as 2 dialects which evolved from a common ancestor...
    Do you mean Standard Macedonian and Standard Bulgarian languages, or Macedonian and Bulgarian in general?
    You cannot say Macedonian and Bulgarian are 2 "dialects" because within Macedonian and within Bulgarian there are many dialects. Additionally, in the dialects affected by the Balkan Sprachbund there belong some South Serbian dialects too.

    I think you noticed that I wrote Aromanian, not Romanian, because I think that besides Albanian and Greek it was the Aromanian language which had influence over the Macedonian dialects. Romanian probably had more influence over the Bulgarian and Serbian dialects.

    Greek and Albanian dialects had a big influence over the Macedonian dialects, especially over the Southern and Western Macedonian dialects. Part of these dialects today are the base of the Standard Macedonian language.
     
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    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    ...are there some remnants of those case endings still present in Macedonian?
    Here are some more remnants of the old Locative and Instrumental in the Standard Macedonian language. Some of them used as adverbs today:
    • лете "in summer; during summer"; зиме "in winter; during winter"; ноќе "at night; during the night"...
    • молкум "silently; with silence"; редум "in rows"; кришум "secretly"...
    • шолја кафе "a cup of coffee"; чаша вода "a glass of water"; вреќа брашно "a sack with flour"...
     

    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    Are there manuscripts in Macedonian language of that period?
    Most likely there are, because what I wrote in my post #2 is based on the researches and analyses made by Professor Blaze Koneski and explained in his books, where he analyzes manuscripts from different centuries written in different Macedonian dialects.
     
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