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Lecture 15

SLAVC 90 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: South Slavic Languages, Caron, Grammatical Aspect

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Roman Koropeckyj

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Slavic 90
Lecture 15: Slavic Languages
- language connects all Slavs, despite other historical/religious differences
- language is carrier of fundamental socio-cultural categories
- Lübeck in Germany indicative of historical Slavic presence in city (“lub” has Slavic root)
- beech trees must not have existed in city during Slavic presence, because Slavic word
for “beech tree” is foreign loanword
- language carries ideas, beyond just words
- language’s intrinsic factors:
- phenology = sounds (consonants and vowels)
- finite and limited sets of vowels (treated differently in different languages--
- consonants treated the same in all Slavic languages
- binary differences between consonants that are voiced and
consonants that are unvoiced
- soft and hard consonants can change meaning of word
- alphabet sound
- alphabets represent sound in intelligible manner, but ultimately are
arbitrary symbols
- sounds and letters usually correspond (Poland is notable exception--
do not use hacek)
- morphology = how words are constructed to mean something and to be used in a
- includes roots, prefixes, suffixes
- Southeast Slavic languages (Bulgarian and Macedonian) different from other
Slavic languages
- loss of word endings
- addition of articles
- verb aspects (denote whether action done once or continually)
- syntax = relationship between words in a sentence
- etymology = origin of words that is affected by external factors
- south Slavic languages have lot of Turkic influence and loanwords
- Czech most impacted by German and Polish (despite efforts during national
revival to cleanse Czech of German influence)
- dialectology/dialects
- dialect = variant of a language that can be understood by speakers of
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