Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 454 pages of information about Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic.

[Footnote 17:  With the exception of the Slovakish dialect.]

[Footnote 18:  Pronounce the i as in the word machine.]

[Footnote 19:  To make, in writing, the different shades in the pronunciation of the same letters in Polish, is absolutely impossible.  They must be caught with the ear; and, even then, cannot be imitated by the tongue of a foreigner.]

[Footnote 20:  The English a in father.]

[Footnote 21:  Like the English e in they.]

[Footnote 22:  Compare the smooth breathing of the Greeks, and the Shemitish Aleph or Elif.]

[Footnote 23:  There is e.g. a single letter in Old Slavonic and Russian for shish.  The Pole writes szez.]

[Footnote 24:  Schaffarik in his Geschichte, p. 40 sq.]

[Footnote 25:  We abstain here from giving any historical references, as it would swell the volume beyond all due proportion; and historical notices, with the exception of those circumstances in immediate connection with the language, cannot properly be expected.  All philological sources have been faithfully mentioned.]

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It can hardly be doubted that in very ancient times the whole Slavic race spoke only one language.  This seems however very early to have been broken up into several dialects; and such indeed must have been the natural result of the wide extension of the people.  Eginhard, the secretary and historian of Charlemagne, (ob. 839.) calls the Slavic nations, whom his hero subjugated, Veletabae, Sorabae, Obotrites, and Bohemians; and mentions expressly that they did not all speak the same, but a very similar language.  It would be difficult to decide what portion of the still existing Slavic tongue has kept itself the purest; the Old Slavic has its Graecisms, the Servian its Turcisms, the Polish and Bohemian their Germanisms, the Russian its Tartarisms, Germanisms, and Gallicisms.  No language in the world will ever resist the influence of the languages of its neighbours; and even the lofty Chinese wall cannot protect the inhabitants of that vast empire from corruptions in their language.  It was formerly the general view, that the ecclesiastical Slavonic was to be considered as the mother of all the living Slavic dialects; and there are indeed even now a few philologians and historians who still adhere to that opinion.  The deeper investigations of modern times, wherever an equal share of profound erudition and love of truth has happened to be united in the same persons, have sufficiently proved, that the church Slavonic is to be considered, not as the mother of all the other Slavic languages, but as standing to them only in the relation of an elder sister,—­a

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