Genesis of the Slovak Literary Language

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Wed Oct 3 16:32:53 UTC 2007

Genesis of the Slovak Literary Language
LINCOM Studies in Slavic Linguistics 21: 2007  Lincom GmbH

Author: Konstantin Vasilievich Lifanov


Contrary to Slovak historical linguistics, the Slovak Literary Language did
not arise in the 18th century as a result of Anton Bernolak's codification
of the West Slovak dialect. It developed gradually, over a much longer
period of time from the Old Czech Literary Language, which was adopted by
the Slovaks as their own written medium as early as by the end of the 14th
century. As a result of its interaction with mainly the West Slovak dialect,
its specific Slovak version arose in the 15th century. By the 1630s, this
written standard acquired the features of an original literary
language, separate from the literary language based on the Prague standard.

However, since the first decades of the 17th century, a further development
of this written standard was complicated by the Counter-Reformation. The use
of the literary language followed different paths among the Lutherans and
among the Catholics. The Old Slovak Literary Language attained a high degree
of development among the Catholics. Rich and varied spiritual literature was
written in this language, including a translation of the Bible in 1750,
high-quality secular baroque poetry, etc In the 1780s, this standard was
codified by Bernolak.

Diglossia emerged among the Lutherans. They used both the Czech Literary
Language and the Old Slovak Literary Language. However, they did not
perceive the latter one as a literary norm and considered it acceptable only
in the "low" kinds of literature - e.g. in popular poetry - and in
administrative and legal documents. This diglossia was not abolished until
the 1820s, which opened the way for Ludovit Stur's codification of the
Modern Slovak Literary Language based on the Central Slovak folklore koine.



Chapter 1. The main thesis of the general theory of literary language.

Chapter 2. The formation of specific idiom functioning in Catholic spiritual
literature of the XVIth - XVIIIth centuries and Bernolak's codification.

Chapter 3. Interrelation of Catholic "high" poetry language of the XVIIth -
XVIIIth centuries and the language of spiritual literature.

Chapter 4. The character of territorial differentiation and the evolution of
the language of Slovak administrative-legal documents.

Chapter 5. Central Slovak koine and the language of poetry from the end of
XVIIIth to the beginning of the XIXth centuries.

Chapter 6. A new concept of the genesis of the Slovak Literary language.


2nd printing 2007.

Subject Language(s): Slovak

Written In: Russian (rus )

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