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The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are
Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech and gesture (spoken language), Signed language, sign, or o ...
spoken primarily by the
Slavic peoples Slavs are an ethno-linguistic group of people who speak the various Slavic languages of the larger Balto-Slavic language, Balto-Slavic linguistic group of the Indo-European languages. They are native to Eurasia, stretching from Central Europe, ...

Slavic peoples
or their descendants. They are thought to descend from a
proto-language In the tree model In historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change over time. Principal concerns of historical linguistics include: # to describe and accou ...
called
Proto-Slavic Proto-Slavic is the unattested, reconstructed Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new company *''Perestroika'' (Russian for ...
, spoken during the
Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages ...
, which in turn is thought to have descended from the earlier
Proto-Balto-Slavic language Proto-Balto-Slavic (PBS) is a reconstructed proto-language descending from Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family. Its proposed features have been derived by ling ...
, linking the Slavic languages to the
Baltic languages The Baltic languages belong to the Balto-Slavic The Balto-Slavic languages are a branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It traditionally comprises the Baltic languages, Baltic and Slavic languages. Baltic and Slavic languages sha ...

Baltic languages
in a Balto-Slavic group within the Indo-European family. The Slavic languages are conventionally (that is, also on the basis of extralinguistic features) divided into three subgroups: East,
South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germa ...
, and
West 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A co ...
, which together constitute more than 20 languages. Of these, 10 have at least one million speakers and official status as the
national language A national language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed o ...
s of the countries in which they are predominantly spoken:
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
,
Belarusian Belarusian may refer to: * Something of, or related to Belarus * Belarusians, people from Belarus, or of Belarusian descent * A citizen of Belarus, see Demographics of Belarus * Belarusian language * Belarusian culture * Belarusian cuisine * Byeloru ...
and
Ukrainian Ukrainian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Ukraine * Something relating to Ukrainians an East Slavic people from Eastern Europe * Something relating to Demographics of Ukraine, in terms of demography: population of Ukraine * Somethi ...
(of the East group),
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
,
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A countr ...
and
Slovak Slovak may refer to: * Something from, related to, or belonging to Slovakia (''Slovenská republika'') * Slovaks, a Western Slavic ethnic group * Slovak language, an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages * Slovak, Arkans ...
(of the West group) and
Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulgarians, a South Slavic ethnic group * Bulgarian language, a Slavic language * Bulgarian alphabet * A citizen of Bulgaria, see Demographics of Bulgaria * Bulg ...

Bulgarian
and
Macedonian Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
(eastern dialects of the South group), and
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
and
Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
(western dialects of the South group). In addition,
Aleksandr Dulichenko Aleksandr Dmitrievich Dulichenko (alternatively Alexander Duličenko; russian: Александр Дмитриевич Дуличенко) (born 1941) is a Russians in Estonia, Russian-Estonian Esperantist, linguist, and an expert in Slavic microla ...
recognizes a number of
Slavic microlanguages Slavic microlanguages are literary linguistic varieties that exist alongside the better-known Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a lang ...
: both isolated ethnolects and peripheral dialects of more well-established Slavic languages. The current geographical distribution of natively spoken Slavic languages includes the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
,
Central and Eastern Europe Central and Eastern Europe is a term encompassing the countries in Central Europe, the Baltic states, Baltics, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Europe (also called the Balkans), usually meaning former communist states from the Eastern Bloc and War ...
, and all the way from
Western Siberia Western Siberia or West Siberia (russian: Западная Сибирь, Zapadnaya Sibir') is a part of the greater Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region spa ...
to the
Russian Far East The Russian Far East ( rus, Дальний Восток России, r=Dal'niy Vostok Rossii, p=ˈdalʲnʲɪj vɐˈstok rɐˈsʲiɪ) is a region in Northeast Asia Northeast Asia or Northeastern Asia is a geographical subregion of Asia ...

Russian Far East
. Furthermore, the diasporas of many Slavic peoples have established isolated minorities of speakers of their languages all over the world. The number of speakers of all Slavic languages together was estimated to be 315 million at the turn of the twenty-first century. It is the largest ethno-linguistic group in Europe.


Branches

Since the interwar period, scholars have conventionally divided Slavic languages, on the basis of geographical and genealogical principle, and with the use of the extralinguistic feature of script, into three main branches, that is, East, South, and West (from the vantage of linguistic features alone, there are only two branches of the Slavic languages, namely North and South). These three conventional branches feature some of the following sub-branches: ;
East Slavic East Slavic may refer to: * East Slavic languages, one of three branches of the Slavic languages * East Slavs, a subgroup of Slavic peoples who speak the East Slavic languages See also

* Old East Slavic, a language used during the 10th–15th ...
:*
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
:*
Ukrainian Ukrainian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Ukraine * Something relating to Ukrainians an East Slavic people from Eastern Europe * Something relating to Demographics of Ukraine, in terms of demography: population of Ukraine * Somethi ...
:* Rusyn (often seen as a dialect of Ukrainian) :*
Belarusian Belarusian may refer to: * Something of, or related to Belarus * Belarusians, people from Belarus, or of Belarusian descent * A citizen of Belarus, see Demographics of Belarus * Belarusian language * Belarusian culture * Belarusian cuisine * Byeloru ...
; South Slavic :* Eastern :**
Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulgarians, a South Slavic ethnic group * Bulgarian language, a Slavic language * Bulgarian alphabet * A citizen of Bulgaria, see Demographics of Bulgaria * Bulg ...

Bulgarian
:**
Macedonian Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
:**
Old Church Slavonic Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic () was the first Slavic literary language A literary language is the form of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (S ...
:* Western :**
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
:***
Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refer to: ** Serbian language ...
:***
Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also

* Croatia (disambiguation) * Serbo-Croatian (di ...
:***
Bosnian Bosnian may refer to: *Anything related to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina or its inhabitants *Anything related to Bosnia (region) or its inhabitants * Bosniaks, an ethnic group mainly inhabiting Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of three Ethnic gr ...
:*** Montenegrin :***
Burgenland Croatian Burgenland Croatian (''gradišćanskohrvatski jezik''; German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see al ...
:**
Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
; West Slavic :* Czech–Slovak :**
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A countr ...
:**
Slovak Slovak may refer to: * Something from, related to, or belonging to Slovakia (''Slovenská republika'') * Slovaks, a Western Slavic ethnic group * Slovak language, an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages * Slovak, Arkans ...
:* Lechitic :**
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
:** Silesian (often seen as a dialect of Polish) :** Pomeranian :** Kashubian :** Polabian :* Sorbian :** Upper Sorbian :**
Lower Sorbian Lower may refer to: *Lower (surname)Lower is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: * Arthur R. M. Lower (1889–1988) Canadian historian * Britt Lower (born 1985), American actress * Cyrus B. Lower (1843–1924), American Civil War ...
Some linguists speculate that a
North Slavic
North Slavic
branch has existed as well. The
Old Novgorod dialectOld Novgorod dialect (russian: древненовгородский диалект, translit=drevnenovgorodskiy dialekt; also translated as Old Novgorodian or Ancient Novgorod dialect) is a term introduced by Andrey Zaliznyak to describe the dialect ...
may have reflected some idiosyncrasies of this group.
Mutual intelligibility In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include p ...
also plays a role in determining the West, East, and South branches. Speakers of languages within the same branch will in most cases be able to understand each other at least partially, but they are generally unable to across branches (which would be comparable to a native
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
speaker trying to understand any other
Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian su ...

Germanic languages
besides Scots). The most obvious differences between the East, South, and West Slavic branches are in the orthography of the standard languages: West Slavic languages (and Western South Slavic languages –
Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also

* Croatia (disambiguation) * Serbo-Croatian (di ...
and
Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
) are written in the
Latin script Latin script, also known as Roman script, is an alphabetic An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequ ...

Latin script
, and have had more
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical r ...

Western Europe
an influence due to their proximity and speakers being historically
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...

Roman Catholic
, whereas the East Slavic and Eastern South Slavic languages are written in
Cyrillic The Cyrillic script ( ) is a writing system used for various languages across Eurasia and is used as the national script in various Slavic languages, Slavic, Turkic languages, Turkic, Mongolic languages, Mongolic, Uralic languages, Uralic, Caucas ...
and, with
Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also cal ...
or
Uniate The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, Eastern Rite Catholicism, or simply the Eastern Churches, are twenty-three Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christi ...
faith, have had more
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
influence. East Slavic languages such as Russian have, however, during and after
Peter the Great Peter the Great ( rus, Пётр Вели́кий, Pyotr Velíkiy, ˈpʲɵtr vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪj), Peter I ( rus, Пётр Первый, Pyotr Pyervyy, ˈpʲɵtr ˈpʲɛrvɨj) or Pyotr Alekséyevich ( rus, Пётр Алексе́евич, p=ˈp ...

Peter the Great
's Europeanization campaign, absorbed many words of Latin, French, German, and Italian origin. The tripartite division of the Slavic languages does not take into account the spoken
dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , 'discourse', from , 'through' and , 'I speak') can refer to either of two distinctly different types of Linguistics, linguistic phenomena: * One usage refers to a variety (linguis ...
s of each language. Of these, certain so-called transitional dialects and hybrid dialects often bridge the gaps between different languages, showing similarities that do not stand out when comparing Slavic literary (i.e. standard) languages. For example, Slovak (West Slavic) and Ukrainian (East Slavic) are bridged by the
Rusyn language The Rusyn language (; Carpathian Rusyn: rue, label=none, русиньскый язык, rusîn'skyj jazyk, Pannonian Rusyn Image:Novi Sad mayor office.jpg, 250px, Mayor office written in four official languages used in the City of Novi Sa ...
/dialect of Eastern Slovakia and Western Ukraine. Similarly, the Croatian
Kajkavian Kajkavian (Kajkavian noun: ''kajkavščina''; Shtokavian adjective: ''kajkavski'' , noun: ''kajkavica'' or ''kajkavština'' ) is a South Slavic languages, South Slavic regiolect or language spoken primarily by Croats in much of Central Croatia, G ...
dialect is more similar to
Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
than to the standard Croatian language. Although the Slavic languages diverged from a common
proto-language In the tree model In historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change over time. Principal concerns of historical linguistics include: # to describe and accou ...
later than any other groups of the
Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...
, enough differences exist between the various Slavic dialects and languages to make communication between speakers of different Slavic languages difficult. Within the individual Slavic languages, dialects may vary to a lesser degree, as those of Russian, or to a much greater degree, like those of Slovene.


History


Common roots and ancestry

Slavic languages descend from
Proto-Slavic Proto-Slavic is the unattested, reconstructed Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new company *''Perestroika'' (Russian for ...
, their immediate
parent language In the tree model of historical linguistics, a proto-language is a postulated once-spoken ancestral language from which a number of Attested language, attested languages are believed to have descended by evolution, forming a language family. Prot ...
, ultimately deriving from
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
, the ancestor language of all
Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech and gesture (spoken language), Signed language, sign, or o ...
, via a
Proto-Balto-Slavic Proto-Balto-Slavic (PBS) is a linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed proto-language descending from Proto-Indo-European language, Proto-Indo-European (PIE). From Proto-Balto-Slavic, the later Balto-Slavic languages are thought to have developed ...
stage. During the Proto-Balto-Slavic period a number of exclusive
isogloss An isogloss, also called a heterogloss (see Etymology Etymology ()The New Oxford Dictionary of English ''The'' () is a grammatical article Article often refers to: * Article (grammar) An article is any member of a class of dedicate ...
es in phonology, morphology, lexis, and syntax developed, which makes Slavic and
Baltic Baltic may refer to: Geography Northern Europe * Baltic Sea, a sea in Europe * Baltic region, an ambiguous term referring to the general area surrounding the Baltic Sea * Baltic states (also Baltics, Baltic nations, Baltic countries or Baltic rep ...

Baltic
the closest related of all the Indo-European branches. The secession of the Balto-Slavic dialect ancestral to Proto-Slavic is estimated on archaeological and glottochronological criteria to have occurred sometime in the period 1500–1000 BCE. A minority of Baltists maintain the view that the Slavic group of languages differs so radically from the neighboring Baltic group (
Lithuanian Lithuanian may refer to: * Lithuanians Lithuanians ( lt, lietuviai, singular ''lietuvis/lietuvė'') are a Balts, Baltic ethnic group. They are native to Lithuania, where they number around 2,561,300 people. Another million or more make up the Lith ...
, Latvian, and the now-extinct
Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a language f ...
), that they could not have shared a parent language after the breakup of the
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
continuum about five millennia ago. Substantial advances in Balto-Slavic
accentology Accentology involves a systematic analysis of word or phrase stress. Sub-areas of accentology include Germanic accentology, Balto-Slavic accentology, Indo-European accentology, and Japanese accentology. References Prosody (linguistics) Phon ...
that occurred in the last three decades, however, make this view very hard to maintain nowadays, especially when one considers that there was most likely no "Proto-Baltic" language and that West Baltic and East Baltic differ from each other as much as each of them does from Proto-Slavic.


Evolution

The imposition of
Old Church Slavonic Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic () was the first Slavic literary language A literary language is the form of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (S ...
on Orthodox Slavs was often at the expense of the
vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people that are inhabiting a particular country or region. The vernacular is typically the native language, normally Spoken language, spoken informally rath ...
. Says WB Lockwood, a prominent Indo-European linguist, "It ( O.C.S) remained in use to modern times but was more and more influenced by the living, evolving languages, so that one distinguishes Bulgarian, Serbian, and Russian varieties. The use of such media hampered the development of the local languages for literary purposes, and when they do appear the first attempts are usually in an artificially mixed style." (148) Lockwood also notes that these languages have "enriched" themselves by drawing on Church Slavonic for the vocabulary of abstract concepts. The situation in the Catholic countries, where Latin was more important, was different. The Polish Renaissance poet
Jan Kochanowski Jan Kochanowski (; 1530 – 22 August 1584) was a Polish Renaissance List of Polish language poets, poet who established poetic patterns that would become integral to the Polish Polish literature, literary language. He is commonly regarded as th ...

Jan Kochanowski
and the
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
n
Baroque The Baroque (, ; ) is a style Style is a manner of doing or presenting things and may refer to: * Architectural style, the features that make a building or structure historically identifiable * Design, the process of creating something * Fashi ...

Baroque
writers of the 16th century all wrote in their respective vernaculars (though Polish itself had drawn amply on Latin in the same way Russian would eventually draw on Church Slavonic). Although Church Slavonic hampered
vernacular literature Vernacular literature is literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recen ...
s, it fostered Slavonic literary activity and abetted linguistic independence from external influences. Only the Croatian vernacular literary tradition nearly matches Church Slavonic in age. It began with the
Vinodol Codex Law code of Vinodol or Vinodol statute ( hr, Vinodolski zakonik) is one of the oldest law texts written in the Chakavian dialect of Croatian language and is among the oldest Slavic Code (law), codes. It was written in the Glagolitic alphabet. It was ...
and continued through the Renaissance until the codifications of
Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also

* Croatia (disambiguation) * Serbo-Croatian (di ...
in 1830, though much of the literature between 1300 and 1500 was written in much the same mixture of the vernacular and Church Slavonic as prevailed in Russia and elsewhere. The most important early monument of Croatian literacy is the
Baška tablet
Baška tablet
from the late 11th century. It is a large
stone A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its chemical composition and the way in which it is formed. Rocks form the Earth's outer solid layer, th ...

stone
tablet found in the small Church of St. Lucy, Jurandvor on the Croatian
island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, i ...

island
of
Krk Krk (; german: link=no, Vegl; la, Curicta; it, Veglia; Vegliot Dalmatian: ''Vikla''; grc, Κύρικον, ''Kyrikon'') is a Croatia :* french: link=no, République de Croatie :* hu, Horvát Köztársaság :* it, Repubblica di Croazi ...

Krk
, containing text written mostly in Čakavian dialect in angular Croatian
Glagolitic The Glagolitic script (, ''glagolitsa''; Bulgarian and Macedonian: глаголица, romanized as ''glagolitsa'' and ''glagolica'' respectively; Croatian: ; Czech: ; Slovak: ''hlaholika'') is the oldest known Slavic alphabet An a ...
script. The independence of
Dubrovnik Dubrovnik (), historically known as Ragusa (#Names, see notes on naming), is a city on the Adriatic Sea in southern Croatia. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean Sea, a Port, seaport and the centre of Dubrovn ...

Dubrovnik
facilitated the continuity of the tradition. More recent foreign influences follow the same general pattern in Slavic languages as elsewhere and are governed by the political relationships of the Slavs. In the 17th century, bourgeois Russian (''delovoi jazyk'') absorbed German words through direct contacts between Russians and communities of German settlers in Russia. In the era of
Peter the Great Peter the Great ( rus, Пётр Вели́кий, Pyotr Velíkiy, ˈpʲɵtr vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪj), Peter I ( rus, Пётр Первый, Pyotr Pyervyy, ˈpʲɵtr ˈpʲɛrvɨj) or Pyotr Alekséyevich ( rus, Пётр Алексе́евич, p=ˈp ...

Peter the Great
, close contacts with
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
invited countless
loan word A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguis ...
s and
calque In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the me ...

calque
s from
French
French
, many of which not only survived but also replaced older Slavonic loans. In the 19th century, Russian influenced most literary Slavic languages by one means or another.


Differentiation

The
Proto-Slavic language Proto-Slavic is the Attested language, unattested, linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed proto-language of all the Slavic languages. It represents Slavic speech approximately from the 2nd millennium B.C. through the 6th century A.D. As with m ...
existed until around AD 500. By the 7th century, it had broken apart into large dialectal zones. There are no reliable hypotheses about the nature of the subsequent breakups of West and South Slavic. East Slavic is generally thought to converge to one
Old East Slavic Old East Slavic (traditionally also: Old Russian, be, старажытнаруская мова; russian: древнерусский язык; uk, давньоруська мова) was a language used during the 10th–15th centuries by East ...
language, which existed until at least the 12th century. Linguistic differentiation was accelerated by the dispersion of the Slavic peoples over a large territory, which in
Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of with both ...

Central Europe
exceeded the current extent of Slavic-speaking majorities. Written documents of the 9th, 10th, and 11th centuries already display some local linguistic features. For example, the
Freising manuscripts The Freising manuscriptsAlso ''Freising folia'', ''Freising fragments'', or ''Freising monuments''; german: Freisinger Denkmäler, la, Monumenta Frisingensia, sl, Brižinski spomeniki or are the first Latin-script continuous text in a Slavic l ...
show a language that contains some phonetic and lexical elements peculiar to
Slovene dialects Image:Map of Slovenian dialects.svg, 400px, Map of regional groups of Slovene dialects Slovene dialects ( sl, slovenska narečja) are the regional spoken variety (linguistics), varieties of Slovene language, Slovene, a South Slavic language. ...
(e.g. rhotacism, the word ''krilatec''). The Freising manuscripts are the first
Latin-script
Latin-script
continuous text in a Slavic language. The migration of Slavic speakers into the Balkans in the declining centuries of the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
expanded the area of Slavic speech, but the pre-existing writing (notably Greek) survived in this area. The arrival of the
Hungarians Hungarians, also known as Magyars ( ; hu, magyarok ), are a nation and ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has ...
in
Pannonia Pannonia (, ) was a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as ...

Pannonia
in the 9th century interposed non-Slavic speakers between South and West Slavs.
Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by Graeco-Roman author ...

Frankish
conquests completed the geographical separation between these two groups, also severing the connection between Slavs in
Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawa; la, Moravia) is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geography, geographical areas which at some point in time had a cult ...

Moravia
and
Lower Austria Lower Austria (german: Niederösterreich; Austro-Bavarian Austro-Bavarian (also known as Austrian or Bavarian; or ; german: Bairisch ) is a West Germanic language spoken in parts of Bavaria and most of Austria. Before 1945, Austro-Bavarian w ...
(
Moravians Moravians (''Czech language, Czech: Moravané'' or Colloquialism, colloquially ''Moraváci'', outdated ''Moravci'') are a West Slavs, West Slavic ethnographic group from the Moravia region of the Czech Republic, who speak the Moravian dialects ...
) and those in present-day
Styria Styria (german: Steiermark ; Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also * Croat ...
,
Carinthia Carinthia (german: Kärnten ; sl, Koroška ) is the southernmost Austrian state or ''Land''. Situated within the Eastern Alps Eastern Alps is the name given to the eastern half of the Alps, usually defined as the area east of a line from L ...
,
East Tyrol East Tyrol, occasionally East Tirol (german: Osttirol), is an exclave of the Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East A ...
in
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
, and in the provinces of modern
Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, l ...

Slovenia
, where the ancestors of the
Slovenes The Slovenes, also known as Slovenians ( sl, Slovenci ), are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), cust ...
settled during first colonisation. In September 2015, Alexei Kassian and
Anna Dybo Anna Vladimirovna Dybo (russian: Анна Владимировна Дыбо, born June 4, 1959) is a Russian linguist, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and co-author (with Sergei Starostin) of the ''Etymological Dictionary of the Altaic L ...
published, as a part of interdisciplinary study of Slavic ethnogenesis, a lexicostatistical classification of Slavic languages. It was built using qualitative 110-word Swadesh lists that were compiled according to the standards of the Global Lexicostatistical Database project and processed using modern phylogenetic algorithms. The resulting dated tree complies with the traditional expert views on the Slavic group structure. Kassian-Dybo's tree suggests that Proto-Slavic first diverged into three branches: Eastern, Western and Southern. The Proto-Slavic break-up is dated to around 100 A.D., which correlates with the archaeological assessment of Slavic population in the early 1st millennium A.D. being spread on a large territory and already not being monolithic. Then, in the 5th and 6th centuries A.D., these three Slavic branches almost simultaneously divided into sub-branches, which corresponds to the fast spread of the Slavs through Eastern Europe and the Balkans during the second half of the 1st millennium A.D. (the so-called Slavicization of Europe). The Slovenian language was excluded from the analysis, as both Ljubljana koine and Literary Slovenian show mixed lexical features of Southern and Western Slavic languages (which could possibly indicate the Western Slavic origin of Slovenian, which for a long time was being influenced on the part of the neighboring Serbo-Croatian dialects), and the quality Swadesh lists were not yet collected for Slovenian dialects. Because of scarcity or unreliability of data, the study also did not cover the so-called Old Novgordian dialect, the Polabian language and some other Slavic lects. The above Kassian-Dybo's research did not take into account the findings by Russian linguist Andrey Zaliznyak who stated that in the 11th century Novgorod language differed from Kiev language as well as from all other Slavic languages much more than in later centuries, meaning that there was no common
Old East Slavic Old East Slavic (traditionally also: Old Russian, be, старажытнаруская мова; russian: древнерусский язык; uk, давньоруська мова) was a language used during the 10th–15th centuries by East ...
language of Kievan Rus' from which Ukrainian, Russian and Belorussian languages diverged, but that the Russian language developed as the convergence of Novgorod language and other Russian dialects, whereas Ukrainian and Belorusian were continuation of the development of respective Kiev and Polotsk dialects of Kievan Rus'. Also Russian linguist Sergey Nikolaev, analysing historical development of Slavic dialects’ accent system, concluded that a number of other tribes in Kievan Rus came from different Slavic branches and spoke distant Slavic dialects. Zaliznyak and Nikolaev's points mean that there was a convergence stage before the divergence or simultaneously, which was not taken into consideration by Kassian-Dybo's research. Ukrainian linguists (Stepan Smal-Stotsky, Ivan Ohienko, George Shevelov, Yevhen Tymchenko, Vsevolod Hantsov, Olena Kurylo) deny the existence of a common Old East Slavic language at any time in the past. According to them, the dialects of East Slavic tribes evolved gradually from the common Proto-Slavic language without any intermediate stages.


Linguistic history

The following is a summary of the main changes from
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
(PIE) leading up to the Common Slavic (CS) period immediately following the
Proto-Slavic language Proto-Slavic is the Attested language, unattested, linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed proto-language of all the Slavic languages. It represents Slavic speech approximately from the 2nd millennium B.C. through the 6th century A.D. As with m ...
(PS). # Centum and satem languages, Satemisation: #* PIE *ḱ, *ǵ, *ǵʰ → *ś, *ź, *źʰ (→ CS *s, *z, *z) #* PIE *kʷ, *gʷ, *gʷʰ → *k, *g, *gʰ # Ruki sound law, Ruki rule: Following *r, *u, *k or *i, PIE *s → *š (→ CS *x) # Loss of voiced aspirates: PIE *bʰ, *dʰ, *gʰ → *b, *d, *g # Merger of *o and *a: PIE *a/*o, *ā/*ō → PS *a, *ā (→ CS *o, *a) # Law of open syllables: All closed syllables (syllables ending in a consonant) are eventually eliminated, in the following stages: ## Nasalization: With *N indicating either *n or *m not immediately followed by a vowel: PIE *aN, *eN, *iN, *oN, *uN → *ą, *ę, *į, *ǫ, *ų (→ CS *ǫ, *ę, *ę, *ǫ, *y). (NOTE: *ą *ę etc. indicates a nasalized vowel.) ## In a cluster of obstruent (stop or fricative) + another consonant, the obstruent is deleted unless the cluster can occur word-initially. ## (occurs later, see below) Monophthongization of diphthongs. ## (occurs much later, see below) Slavic liquid metathesis and pleophony, Elimination of liquid diphthongs (e.g. *er, *ol when not followed immediately by a vowel). # Slavic first palatalization, First palatalization: *k, *g, *x → CS *č, *ž, *š (pronounced , , respectively) before a front vocalic sound (*e, *ē, *i, *ī, *j). # Iotation: Consonants are Palatalization (phonetics), palatalized by an immediately following *j: #** sj, *zj → CS *š, *ž #** nj, *lj, *rj → CS *ň, *ľ, *ř (pronounced or similar) #** tj, *dj → CS *ť, *ď (probably palatal stops, e.g. , but developing in different ways depending on the language) #** bj, *pj, *mj, *wj → *bľ, *pľ, *mľ, *wľ (the lateral consonant *ľ is mostly lost later on in West Slavic) # Vowel fronting: After *j or some other palatal sound, back vowels are fronted (*a, *ā, *u, *ū, *ai, *au → *e, *ē, *i, *ī, *ei, *eu). This leads to hard/soft alternations in noun and adjective declensions. # Prothesis: Before a word-initial vowel, *j or *w is usually inserted. # Monophthongization: *ai, *au, *ei, *eu, *ū → *ē, *ū, *ī, *jū, *ȳ # Slavic second palatalization, Second palatalization: *k, *g, *x → CS *c , *dz, *ś before new *ē (from earlier *ai). *ś later splits into *š (West Slavic), *s (East/South Slavic). # Progressive palatalization (or "third palatalization"): *k, *g, *x → CS *c, *dz, *ś ''after'' *i, *ī in certain circumstances. # Vowel quality shifts: All pairs of long/short vowels become differentiated as well by vowel quality: #** a, *ā → CS *o, *a #** e, *ē → CS *e, *ě (originally a low-front sound but eventually raised to in most dialects, developing in divergent ways) #** i, *u → CS *ь, *ъ (also written *ĭ, *ŭ; lax vowels as in the English words ''pit, put'') #** ī, *ū, *ȳ → CS *i, *u, *y # Slavic liquid metathesis and pleophony, Elimination of liquid diphthongs: Liquid diphthongs (sequences of vowel plus *l or *r, when not immediately followed by a vowel) are changed so that the syllable becomes open syllable, open: #** or, *ol, *er, *el → *ro, *lo, *re, *le in West Slavic. #** or, *ol, *er, *el → *oro, *olo, *ere, *olo in
East Slavic East Slavic may refer to: * East Slavic languages, one of three branches of the Slavic languages * East Slavs, a subgroup of Slavic peoples who speak the East Slavic languages See also

* Old East Slavic, a language used during the 10th–15th ...
. #** or, *ol, *er, *el → *rā, *lā, *re, *le in South Slavic. #* Possibly, *ur, *ul, *ir, *il → syllabic *r, *l, *ř, *ľ (then develops in divergent ways). # Development of phonemic tone and vowel length (independent of vowel quality): Complex developments (see History of the Slavic languages#Accentual developments, History of accentual developments in Slavic languages).


Features

The Slavic languages are a relatively homogeneous family, compared with other families of
Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech and gesture (spoken language), Signed language, sign, or o ...
(e.g. Germanic languages, Germanic, Romance languages, Romance, and Indo-Iranian languages, Indo-Iranian). As late as the 10th century AD, the entire Slavic-speaking area still functioned as a single, dialectally differentiated language, termed ''Common Slavic''. Compared with most other Indo-European languages, the Slavic languages are quite conservative, particularly in terms of morphology (linguistics), morphology (the means of inflecting nouns and verbs to indicate grammatical differences). Most Slavic languages have a rich, fusional language, fusional morphology that conserves much of the inflectional morphology of
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
.


Consonants

The following table shows the inventory of consonants of Late Common Slavic: 1The sound did not occur in West Slavic, where it had developed to . This inventory of sounds is quite similar to what is found in most modern Slavic languages. The extensive series of palatal consonants, along with the affricates *ts and *dz, developed through a series of Palatalization (sound change), palatalizations that happened during the
Proto-Slavic Proto-Slavic is the unattested, reconstructed Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new company *''Perestroika'' (Russian for ...
period, from earlier sequences either of velar consonants followed by front vowels (e.g. *ke, *ki, *ge, *gi, *xe, and *xi), or of various consonants followed by *j (e.g. *tj, *dj, *sj, *zj, *rj, *lj, *kj, and *gj, where *j is the palatal approximant (, the sound of the English letter "y" in "yes" or "you"). The biggest change in this inventory results from a further History of the Slavic languages#General palatalization, general palatalization occurring near the end of the Common Slavic period, where ''all'' consonants became palatalized before front vowels. This produced a large number of new palatalized (or "soft") sounds, which formed pairs with the corresponding non-palatalized (or "hard") consonants and absorbed the existing palatalized sounds . These sounds were best preserved in Russian but were lost to varying degrees in other languages (particularly Czech and Slovak). The following table shows the inventory of modern Russian: This general process of palatalization did not occur in Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian. As a result, the modern consonant inventory of these languages is nearly identical to the Late Common Slavic inventory. Late Common Slavic tolerated relatively few consonant clusters. However, as a result of the loss of certain formerly present vowels (the weak yers),


Vowels

A typical vowel inventory is as follows: The sound occurs only in some languages (Russian and Belarusian), and even in these languages, it is unclear whether it is its own phoneme or an allophone of /i/. Nonetheless, it is a quite prominent and noticeable characteristic of the languages in which it is present. * Russian and Polish "mouse" Common Slavic also had two nasal vowels: *ę and *ǫ . However, these are preserved only in modern Polish (along with a few lesser-known dialects and microlanguages; see Yus for more details). * Polish and "snake, snakes" Other phonemic vowels are found in certain languages (e.g. the schwa in Bulgarian and Slovenian, distinct high-mid and low-mid vowels in Slovenian, and the lax front vowel in Ukrainian).


Length, accent, and tone

An area of great difference among Slavic languages is that of prosody (linguistics), prosody (i.e. syllabic distinctions such as vowel length, accent (phonetics), accent, and tone (linguistics), tone). Common Slavic had a complex system of prosody, inherited with little change from
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
. This consisted of phonemic vowel length and a free, mobile pitch accent: * All vowels could occur either short or long, and this was phonemic (it could not automatically be predicted from other properties of the word). * There was (at most) a single accented syllable per word, distinguished by higher pitch (as in modern Japanese language, Japanese) rather than greater dynamic stress (as in English). * Vowels in accented syllables could be pronounced with either a rising or falling tone (i.e. there was ''pitch accent''), and this was phonemic. * The accent was ''free'' in that it could occur on any syllable and was phonemic. * The accent was ''mobile'' in that its position could potentially vary among closely related words within a single paradigm (e.g. the accent might land on a different syllable between the nominative and genitive singular of a given word). * Even within a given inflectional class (e.g. masculine ''i''-stem nouns), there were multiple accent patterns in which a given word could be inflected. For example, most nouns in a particular inflectional class could follow one of three possible patterns: Either there was a consistent accent on the root (pattern A), predominant accent on the ending (pattern B), or accent that moved between the root and ending (pattern C). In patterns B and C, the accent in different parts of the paradigm shifted not only in location but also type (rising vs. falling). Each inflectional class had its own version of patterns B and C, which might differ significantly from one inflectional class to another. The modern languages vary greatly in the extent to which they preserve this system. On one extreme, Serbo-Croatian preserves the system nearly unchanged (even more so in the conservative Chakavian dialect); on the other, Macedonian has basically lost the system in its entirety. Between them are found numerous variations: * Slovenian preserves most of the system but has shortened all unaccented syllables and lengthened non-final accented syllables so that vowel length and accent position largely co-occur. * Russian and Bulgarian have eliminated distinctive vowel length and tone and converted the accent into a stress (linguistics), stress accent (as in English) but preserved its position. As a result, the complexity of the mobile accent and the multiple accent patterns still exists (particularly in Russian because it has preserved the Common Slavic noun inflections, while Bulgarian has lost them). * Czech and Slovak have preserved phonemic vowel length and converted the distinctive tone of accented syllables into length distinctions. The phonemic accent is otherwise lost, but the former accent patterns are echoed to some extent in corresponding patterns of vowel length/shortness in the root. Paradigms with mobile vowel length/shortness do exist but only in a limited fashion, usually only with the zero-ending forms (nom. sg., acc. sg., and/or gen. pl., depending on inflectional class) having a different length from the other forms. (Czech has a couple of other "mobile" patterns, but they are rare and can usually be substituted with one of the "normal" mobile patterns or a non-mobile pattern.) * Old Polish had a system very much like Czech. Modern Polish has lost vowel length, but some former short-long pairs have become distinguished by quality (e.g. > ), with the result that some words have vowel-quality changes that exactly mirror the mobile-length patterns in Czech and Slovak.


Grammar

Similarly, Slavic languages have extensive morphophonemic alternations in their derivational and inflectional morphology, including between velar and postalveolar consonants, front and back vowels, and a vowel and no vowel.


Selected cognates

The following is a very brief selection of cognates in basic vocabulary across the Slavic language family, which may serve to give an idea of the sound changes involved. This is not a list of translations: cognates have a common origin, but their meaning may be shifted and loanwords may have replaced them.


Influence on neighboring languages

Most languages of the former Soviet Union and of some neighbouring countries (for example, Mongolian language, Mongolian) are Russianism, significantly influenced by Russian, especially in vocabulary. The Romanian language, Romanian, Albanian language, Albanian, and Hungarian language, Hungarian languages show the influence of the neighboring Slavic nations, especially in vocabulary pertaining to urban life, agriculture, and crafts and trade—the major cultural innovations at times of limited long-range cultural contact. In each one of these languages, Slavic lexical borrowings represent at least 15% of the total vocabulary. This is potentially because Slavic tribes crossed and partially settled the territories inhabited by ancient Illyrians and Vlachs on their way to the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
.


Germanic languages

Max Vasmer, a specialist in Slavic etymology, has claimed that there were no Slavic loans into Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germanic. However, there are isolated Slavic loans (mostly recent) into other Germanic languages. For example, the word for "border" (in modern German language, German , Dutch language, Dutch ) was borrowed from the Common Slavic . There are, however, many cities and villages of Slavic origin in Eastern Germany, the largest of which are Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden. English derives ''Quark (cheese), quark'' (a kind of cheese and Quark, subatomic particle) from the German , which in turn is derived from the Slavic , which means "curd". Many German surnames, particularly in Eastern Germany and Austria, are Slavic in origin. The Nordic languages also have /''torv'' (market place) from Old Russian () or Polish , (hops), /''reke''/''reje'' (shrimp, prawn), and, via Middle Low German (interpreter) from Old Slavic , and /''pram'' (barge) from West Slavonic .


Finnic languages

Finnic languages, Finnic and Slavic languages have many words in common. According to Petri Kallio, this suggests Slavic words being borrowed into Finnish languages, as early as Proto-Finnic. Many loanwords have acquired a Finnicized form, making it difficult to say whether such a word is natively Finnic or Slavic.


Other

The
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A countr ...
word is now found in most languages worldwide, and the word ''pistol'', probably also from Czech, is found in many European languages. A well-known Slavic word in almost all European languages is vodka, a borrowing from Russian () – which itself was borrowed from Polish (lit. "little water"), from common Slavic ("water", cognate to the English word) with the diminutive ending "". Owing to the medieval fur trade with Northern Russia, Pan-European loans from Russian include such familiar words as ''sable''. The English word "vampire" was borrowed (perhaps via ) from German language, German , in turn derived from Serbian (), continuing
Proto-Slavic Proto-Slavic is the unattested, reconstructed Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new company *''Perestroika'' (Russian for ...
, although Poland, Polish scholar K. Stachowski has argued that the origin of the word is early Slavic , going back to Turkic . Several European languages, including
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
, have borrowed the word (meaning "large, flat plain") directly from the former Yugoslavia, Yugoslav languages (i.e.
Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
,
Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also

* Croatia (disambiguation) * Serbo-Croatian (di ...
, and
Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refer to: ** Serbian language ...
). During the heyday of the USSR in the 20th century, many more Russian words became known worldwide: , ''Soviet Union, Soviet'', , , , , etc. Another borrowed Russian term is (lit. "self-boiling").


Detailed list

The following tree for the Slavic languages derives from the Ethnologue report for Slavic languages. It includes the ISO 639-1 and ISO 639-3 codes where available. East Slavic languages: * Ruthenian language, Ruthenian section **
Belarusian Belarusian may refer to: * Something of, or related to Belarus * Belarusians, people from Belarus, or of Belarusian descent * A citizen of Belarus, see Demographics of Belarus * Belarusian language * Belarusian culture * Belarusian cuisine * Byeloru ...
: ISO 639-1 code: be; ISO 639-3 code: bel; **
Ukrainian Ukrainian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Ukraine * Something relating to Ukrainians an East Slavic people from Eastern Europe * Something relating to Demographics of Ukraine, in terms of demography: population of Ukraine * Somethi ...
: ISO 639-1 code: uk; ISO 639-3 code: ukr ** Rusyn: ISO 639-3 code: rue; *
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
: ISO 639-1 code: ru; ISO 639-3 code: rus South Slavic languages: * Western Section **
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
***
Bosnian Bosnian may refer to: *Anything related to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina or its inhabitants *Anything related to Bosnia (region) or its inhabitants * Bosniaks, an ethnic group mainly inhabiting Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of three Ethnic gr ...
: ISO 639-1 code: bs; ISO 639-3 code: bos ***
Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also

* Croatia (disambiguation) * Serbo-Croatian (di ...
: ISO 639-1 code: hr; ISO 639-3 code: hrv ***
Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refer to: ** Serbian language ...
: ISO 639-1 code: sr; ISO 639-3 code: srp *** Montenegrin: ISO 639-3 code: cnr **
Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
: ISO 639-1 code: sl; ISO 639-3 code: slv * Eastern Section **
Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulgarians, a South Slavic ethnic group * Bulgarian language, a Slavic language * Bulgarian alphabet * A citizen of Bulgaria, see Demographics of Bulgaria * Bulg ...

Bulgarian
: ISO 639-1 code: bg; ISO 639-3 code: bul **
Macedonian Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
: ISO 639-1 code: mk; ISO 639-3 code: mkd **
Old Church Slavonic Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic () was the first Slavic literary language A literary language is the form of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (S ...
—extinct: ISO 639-1 code: cu; ISO 639-3 code: chu West Slavic languages: * Sorbian section (also known as Wends, Wendish): ISO 639-3 code: wen **
Lower Sorbian Lower may refer to: *Lower (surname)Lower is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: * Arthur R. M. Lower (1889–1988) Canadian historian * Britt Lower (born 1985), American actress * Cyrus B. Lower (1843–1924), American Civil War ...
(also known as ''Lusatian''): ISO 639-3 code: dsb; ** Upper Sorbian: ISO 639-3 code: hsb * Lechitic section **
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
: ISO 639-1 code: pl; ISO 639-3 code: pol *** Silesian (see footnote above): ISO 639-3 code: szl ** Pomeranian *** Kashubian: ISO 639-2 code: csb; **** Slovincian language, Slovincian (a language or a dialect of Kashubian)—extinct ** Polabian—extinct: ISO 639-3 code: pox * Czech-Slovak section **
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A countr ...
: ISO 639-1 code: cs; ISO 639-3 ces ** Knaanic language, Knaanic or Judeo Slavic—extinct: ISO 639-3 code: czk **
Slovak Slovak may refer to: * Something from, related to, or belonging to Slovakia (''Slovenská republika'') * Slovaks, a Western Slavic ethnic group * Slovak language, an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages * Slovak, Arkans ...
: ISO 639-1 code: sk; ISO 639-3 code: slk Para- and supranational languages * Church Slavonic, Church Slavonic language, variations of Old Church Slavonic with significant replacement of the original vocabulary by forms from the
Old East Slavic Old East Slavic (traditionally also: Old Russian, be, старажытнаруская мова; russian: древнерусский язык; uk, давньоруська мова) was a language used during the 10th–15th centuries by East ...
and other regional forms. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church, Polish Orthodox Church, Macedonian Orthodox Church, Serbian Orthodox Church, and even some Roman Catholic Churches in Croatia continue to use Church Slavonic as a liturgical language. While not used in modern times, the text of a Church Slavonic Roman Rite Mass survives in
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
and the Czech Republic, which is best known through Leoš Janáček, Janáček's musical setting of it (the ''Glagolitic Mass''). * Interslavic, Interslavic language, a modernized and simplified form of Old Church Slavonic, largely based on material that the modern Slavic languages have in common. Its purpose is to facilitate communication between representatives of different Slavic nations and to allow people who do not know any Slavic language to communicate with Slavs. Because Old Church Slavonic had become too archaic and complex for everyday communication, Pan-Slavic language projects have been created from the 17th century onwards in order to provide the Slavs with a common literary language. Interslavic in its current form was standardized in 2011 after the merger of several older projects..
Język międzysłowiański jako lingua franca dla Europy Środkowej
'. Ilona Koutny, Ida Stria (eds.): Język / Komunikacja / Informacja nr XIII (2018). Poznań: Wydawnictwo Rys, 2018. , ISSN 1896-9585, pp. 52–54.


See also

* Language family *
Slavic microlanguages Slavic microlanguages are literary linguistic varieties that exist alongside the better-known Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a lang ...
* Slavic names * Slavic studies


Citations


General references

* * Lockwood, W.B. ''A Panorama of Indo-European Languages''. Hutchinson University Library, 1972. hardback, paperback. * Marko Jesensek, The Slovene Language in the Alpine and Pannonian Language Area, 2005. * * * * * * *


External links


Slavic dictionaries on Slavic Net


The Slavistics Portal (Germany) * {{DEFAULTSORT:Slavic Languages Slavic languages, Fusional languages Indo-European languages