Old Church Slavonic

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Old Church Slavonic
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{{for|current liturgical language |Church Slavonic}}{{redirect|Old Bulgarian |the extinct Turkic language|Bulgar language}}{{short description |Medieval Slavic literary language}}

! Plosive! Affricate|! Fricative|! Nasal! Lateral|! Trill|! Approximant
name Old Church Slavonic| image = Old east slavic in manuscript.jpg| altname = Old Church Slavic

    Old Church Slavonic#Later recensions>recensions of Church Slavonic| familycolor = Indo-EuropeanBalto-Slavic languages>Balto-SlavicSlavic languages>SlavicSouth Slavic languages>SouthEastern South Slavic>EasternGlagolitic alphabet>Glagolitic, Cyrillic| iso1 = cu| iso2 = chu| iso3 = chuChurch Slavonic language> Church Slavonic)| glotto = chur1257| glottoname = Church Slavic| lingua = 53-AAA-a| notice = IPA{edih}Old Church Slavonic{{citation|last= Wells|first= John C.|year= 2008|title= Longman Pronunciation Dictionary|edition= 3rd|publisher= Longman|isbn= 9781405881180}} or Old Slavonic ({{IPAc-en|s|l|É™|ˈ|v|É’|n|ɪ|k}}, {{IPAc-en|s|l|æ|ˈ|-}}), also known as Old Church Slavic{{Citation |last= Jones |first= Daniel |author-link= Daniel Jones (phonetician) |title= English Pronouncing Dictionary |editor= Peter Roach |editor2= James Hartmann |editor3= Jane Setter |place= Cambridge |publisher= Cambridge University Press |orig-year= 1917 |year= 2003 |isbn= 978-3-12-539683-8 }}, or Old Slavic ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|s|l|ɑː|v|ɪ|k|,_|ˈ|s|l|æ|v|-}}), was the first Slavic literary language (autonym , ). It is also referred to as Paleo-Slavic (Paleoslavic) or Palaeo-Slavic (Palaeoslavic),{{sfn|Malkiel|1993|p= 10}} not to be confused with Proto-Slavic. It is often abbreviated to OCS.Historians credit the 9th-century Byzantine missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius with standardizing the language and using it in translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek ecclesiastical texts as part of the Christianization of the Slavs.{{Harvnb|Waldman|Mason|2006|p=752}}: "There is disagreement as to whether Cyril and his brother Methodius were Greek or Slavic, but they knew the Slavic dialect spoken in Macedonia, adjacent to Thessalonika."BOOK
    , Čiževskij
    , Dmitrij
    , Porter
    , Richard Noel
    , Rice
    , Martin P.
    , 1971
    , The Beginnings of Slavic Literature
    , Comparative History of Slavic Literatures
    , Vanderbilt University Press
    , 2000
    , 27
    , 9780826513717
    , 9 June 2019
    , The language of the translations was based on Old Bulgarian and was certainly close to the Old Bulgarian dialect spoken in the native region of the missionaries. At the same time, the brothers [Cyril and Methodius] probably used elements, particularly lexical, from the regions where they were working. [...] The Slavic language used in the translations was at the time intelligible to all Slavs.
    , It is thought to have been based primarily on the dialect of the 9th-century Byzantine Slavs living in the Province of Thessalonica (in present-day Greece).Old Church Slavonic played an important role in the history of the Slavic languages and served as a basis and model for later Church Slavonic traditions, and some Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches use this later Church Slavonic as a liturgical language to this day.As the oldest attested Slavic language, OCS provides important evidence for the features of Proto-Slavic, the reconstructed common ancestor of all Slavic languages.


    File:Triod' cvetnaja.jpg|thumb|upright|A page from the Flowery Triod (Triod' cvetnaja) from about 1491, one of the oldest printed Byzantine-Slavonic books, National Library of PolandNational Library of PolandThe language was standardized for the mission of the two apostles to Great Moravia (the territory of today's western Slovakia and Czech Republic; see Glagolitic alphabet for details). For that purpose, Cyril and his brother Methodius started to translate religious literature to Old Church Slavonic, allegedly based on the Slavic dialects spoken in the hinterland of their hometown, Thessaloniki,After the Slavs invaded it.{{Harvnb|Curta|2006|p=214}}: "At the emperor's request, Constantine and his brother started the translation of religious texts into Old Church Slavonic, a literary language most likely based on the Macedonian dialect allegedly used in the hinterland of their home-town, Thessalonica." in today's Greece.As part of the preparation for the mission, in 862/863, the Glagolitic alphabet was created and the most important prayers and liturgical books, including the Aprakos Evangeliar (a Gospel Book lectionary containing only feast-day and Sunday readings), the Psalter, and Acts of the Apostles, were translated. (The Gospels were also translated early, but it is unclear whether Sts. Cyril or Methodius had a hand in this.)The language and the alphabet were taught at the Great Moravian Academy () and were used for government and religious documents and books between 863 and 885. The texts written during this phase contain characteristics of the Slavic vernaculars in Great Moravia.In 885, the use of Old Church Slavonic in Great Moravia was prohibited by Pope Stephen V in favour of Latin.{{Harvnb|Alexander|2005|p=310}}.Students of the two apostles who were expelled from Great Moravia in 886, including Clement of Ohrid and Saint Naum, brought the Glagolitic alphabet to the First Bulgarian Empire and were received and accepted officially by Boris I of Bulgaria. He established the two literary schools: the Preslav Literary School and the Ohrid Literary School.BOOK,weblink Encyclopedia of the Languages of Europe, 9780631220398, Price, Glanville, 2000-05-18, BOOK,weblink The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity, 9781444333619, Parry, Ken, 2010-05-10, BOOK,weblink Interaction and Isolation in Late Byzantine Culture, 9781850439448, Rosenqvist, Jan Olof, 2004, The Glagolitic alphabet was originally used at both schools, though the Cyrillic script was developed early on at the Preslav Literary School, where it superseded Glagolitic as official in Bulgaria in 893.The texts written during this era exhibit certain linguistic features of the vernaculars of the First Bulgarian Empire. Old Church Slavonic spread to other South-Eastern, Central, and Eastern European Slavic territories, most notably Croatia, Serbia, Bohemia, Lesser Poland, and principalities of the Kievan Rus' while retaining characteristically South Slavic linguistic features.Later texts written in each of those territories then began to take on characteristics of the local Slavic vernaculars and, by the mid-11th century, Old Church Slavonic had diversified into a number of regional varieties (known as recensions). These local varieties are collectively known as the Church Slavonic language.BOOK,weblink Speech, Memory, and Meaning, 9783110219104, Gasparov, B, 2010, Apart from the Slavic countries, Old Church Slavonic has been used as a liturgical language by the Romanian Orthodox Church, as well as a literary and official language of the princedoms of Wallachia and Moldavia (see Old Church Slavonic in Romania), before gradually being replaced by Romanian during the 16th to 17th centuries.Church Slavonic maintained a prestigious status, particularly in Russia, for many centuries{{spaced ndash}}among Slavs in the East it had a status analogous to that of Latin in Western Europe, but had the advantage of being substantially less divergent from the vernacular tongues of average parishioners.Some Orthodox churches, such as the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church, Serbian Orthodox Church, Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric, as well as several Eastern Catholic Churches, still use Church Slavonic in their services and chants today.


    Initially Old Church Slavonic was written with the Glagolitic alphabet, but later Glagolitic was replaced by Cyrillic,{{Harvnb|Lunt|2001|pp=15–6}}. which was developed in the First Bulgarian Empire by a decree of Boris I of Bulgaria in the 9th century.The local Bosnian Cyrillic alphabet, known as Bosančica, was preserved in Bosnia and parts of Croatia, while a variant of the angular Glagolitic alphabet was preserved in Croatia. See Early Cyrillic alphabet for a detailed description of the script and information about the sounds it originally expressed.


    For Old Church Slavonic, the following segments are reconstructible.{{Harvnb|Huntley|1993|pp=126–7}}. A few sounds are given in Slavic transliterated form rather than in IPA, as the exact realisation is uncertain and often differs depending on the area that a text originated from.

    Consonants{| class"wikitable" style"text-align: center"

    !! Labial! Dental! Palatal! Velar
    p b}}t d}}|k É¡}}
    tÍ¡s dÍ¡z}}t͡ʃ}}|
    s z}}ʃ Ê’}}x}}
    • The letter щ denoted different sounds in different dialects and is not shown in the table. In Bulgaria, it represented the sequence {{IPA|/ʃt/}}, and it is normally transliterated as Å¡t for that reason. Farther west and north, it was probably {{IPA|/c(ː)/}} or {{IPA|/tÉ•/}} like in modern Macedonian, Torlakian and Serbian/Croatian{{Citation needed|date=October 2015}}.
    • {{IPA|/dz/}} appears mostly in early texts, becoming {{IPA|/z/}} later on.
    • The distinction between {{IPA|/l/}}, {{IPA|/n/}} and {{IPA|/r/}}, on one hand, and palatal {{IPA|/lʲ/}}, {{IPA|/nʲ/}} and {{IPA|/rʲ/}}, on the other, is not always indicated in writing. When it is, it is shown by a palatization diacritic over the letter: ⟨ л҄ ⟩ ⟨ н҄ ⟩ ⟨ Ñ€Ò„ ⟩ .
    {| class"wikitable" style"text-align: center"|+ Oral vowels">

    Vowels{|{| class"wikitable" style"text-align: center"|+ Oral vowels

    ! Frontunrounded! Backunrounded! BackRoundedi {{IPA>/i/}}y {{IPA>/ɯ/}}u {{IPA>/u/}}ÑŒ/Ä­ {{IPA>/ɪ/}}ÑŠ/Å­ {{IPA>/ɨ/}}|e {{IPA>/e/}}|o {{IPA>/o/}}Ä› {{IPA>/æ/}}a {{IPA>/a/}}|{| class="wikitable" style="text-align: center"|+ Nasal vowels! Front! BackÄ™ {{IPA>/ẽ/}}Ç« {{IPA>/õ/}}
    • Accent is not indicated in writing and must be inferred from later languages and from reconstructions of Proto-Slavic.
    • The pronunciation of yat (Ñ£/Ä›) differed by area. In Bulgaria it was a relatively open vowel, commonly reconstructed as {{IPA|/æ/}}, but further north its pronunciation was more closed and it eventually became a diphthong {{IPA|/je/}} (e.g. in modern standard Croatian) or even {{IPA|/i/}} in many areas (e.g. in Chakavian Croatian, Shtokavian Ikavian Croatian dialects or Ukrainian) or {{IPA|/e/}} (modern standard Serbian).
    • The yer (ÑŒ) and (ÑŠ) vowels Ä­ and Å­ are often called "ultrashort" and were lower, more centralised and shorter than their counterparts i and y/u. They disappeared in most positions in the word, already sporadically in the earliest texts but more frequently later on. They also tended to merge with other vowels, particularly Ä­ with e and Å­ with o, but differently in different areas.
    • The exact articulation of the nasal vowels is unclear because different areas tend to merge them with different vowels. Ä™ /ɛ̃/ is occasionally seen to merge with e or Ä› in South Slavic, but becomes ja early on in East Slavic. Ç« /ɔ̃/ generally merges with u or o, but in Bulgaria, Ç« was apparently unrounded and eventually merged with Å­.


    Several notable constraints on the distribution of the phonemes can be identified, mostly resulting from the tendencies occurring within the Common Slavic period, such as intrasyllabic synharmony and the law of open syllables. For consonant and vowel clusters and sequences of a consonant and a vowel, the following constraints can be ascertained:{{Harvnb|Huntley|1993|pp=127–8}}.
    • Two adjacent consonants tend not to share identical features of manner of articulation
    • No syllable ends in a consonant
    • Every obstruent agrees in voicing with the following obstruent
    • Velars do not occur before front vowels
    • Phonetically palatalized consonants do not occur before certain back vowels
    • The back vowels /y/ and /ÑŠ/ as well as front vowels other than /i/ do not occur word-initially: the two back vowels take prothetic /v/ and the front vowels prothetic /j/. Initial /a/ may take either prothetic consonant or none at all.
    • Vowel sequences are attested in only one lexeme (paǫčina 'spider's web') and in the suffixes /aa/ and /Ä›a/ of the imperfect
    • At morpheme boundaries, the following vowel sequences occur: /ai/, /au/, /ao/, /oi/, /ou/, /oo/, /Ä›i/, /Ä›o/

    Morphophonemic alternations

    As a result of the first and the second Slavic palatalizations, velars alternate with dentals and palatals. In addition, as a result of a process usually termed iotation (or iodization), velars and dentals alternate with palatals in various inflected forms and in word formation.{| class="wikitable" style="text-align: center"|+ Alternations in velar consonants! colspan="1"| original| /k/| /g/| /x/| /sk/| /zg/| /sx/!colspan="1" | first palatalization and iotation| /č/| /ž/| /Å¡/| /Å¡t/| /žd/| /Å¡/!colspan="1" | second palatalization| /c/| /dz/| /s/| /sc/, /st/| /zd/| /sc/{| class="wikitable"|+ Alternations in other consonants! colspan="1"| original| /b/| /p/| /sp/| /d/| /zd/| /t/| /st/| /z/| /s/| /l/| /sl/| /m/| /n/| /sn/| /zn/| /r/| /tr/| /dr/!colspan="1"| iotation| /bl'/| /pl'/|| /žd/| /žd/| /Å¡t/| /Å¡t/| /ž/| /Å¡/| /l'/| /Å¡l'/| /ml'/| /n'/| /Å¡n'/| /žn'/| /r'/| /Å¡tr'/| /ždr'/In some forms the alternations of /c/ with /č/ and of /dz/ with /ž/ occur, in which the corresponding velar is missing. The dental alternants of velars occur regularly before /Ä›/ and /i/ in the declension and in the imperative, and somewhat less regularly in various forms after /i/, /Ä™/, /ÑŒ/ and /rÑŒ/.Syllabic sonorant, written with jer in superscript, as opposed to the regular sequence of /r/ followed by a /ÑŒ/. The palatal alternants of velars occur before front vowels in all other environments, where dental alternants do not occur, as well as in various places in inflection and word formation described below.{{Harvnb|Huntley|1993|p=133}}.As a result of earlier alternations between short and long vowels in roots in Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Balto-Slavic and Proto-Slavic times, and of the fronting of vowels after palatalized consonants, the following vowel alternations are attested in OCS: /ÑŒ/ : /i/;   /ÑŠ/ : /y/ : /u/;   /e/ : /Ä›/ : /i/;   /o/ : /a/;   /o/ : /e/;   /Ä›/ : /a/;   /ÑŠ/ : /ÑŒ/;   /y/ : /i/;   /Ä›/ : /i/;   /y/ : /Ä™/.Vowel:∅ alternations sometimes occurred as a result of sporadic loss of weak yer, which later occurred in almost all Slavic dialects. The phonetic value of the corresponding vocalized strong jer is dialect-specific.


    As an ancient Indo-European language, OCS has a highly inflective morphology. Inflected forms are divided in two groups, nominals and verbs. Nominals are further divided into nouns, adjectives and pronouns. Numerals inflect either as nouns or pronouns, with 1-4 showing gender agreement as well.Nominals can be declined in three grammatical genders (masculine, feminine, neuter), three numbers (singular, plural, dual) and seven cases: nominative, vocative, accusative, instrumental, dative, genitive, and locative. There are five basic inflectional classes for nouns: o/jo-stems, a/ja-stems, i-stems, u-stems and consonant stems. Forms throughout the inflectional paradigm usually exhibit morphophonemic alternations.Fronting of vowels after palatals and j yielded dual inflectional class o : jo and a : ja, whereas palatalizations affected stem as a synchronic process (N sg. vlьkъ, V sg. vlьče; L sg. vlьcě). Productive classes are o/jo-, a/ja- and i-stems. Sample paradigms are given in the table below:{| class="wikitable"|+Sample declensional classes for nouns!colspan=2 |!colspan=7 | Singular!colspan=3 | Dual!colspan=6 | Plural!Gloss!Stem type!Nom!Voc!Acc!Gen!Loc!Dat!Instr!Nom/Voc/Acc!Gen/Loc!Dat/Instr!Nom/Voc!Acc!Gen!Loc!Dat!Instr|"city"|o m.|gradъ|grade|gradъ|grada|gradě|gradu|gradomь|grada|gradu|gradoma|gradi|grady|gradъ|graděxъ|gradomъ|grady|"knife"|jo m.|nožь|nožu|nožь|noža|noži|nožu|nožemь|noža|nožu|nožema|noži|nožę|nožь|nožixъ|nožemъ|noži|"wolf"|o m|vlьkъ|vlьče|vlьkъ|vlьka|vlьcě|vlьku|vlьkomь|vlьka|vlьku|vlьkoma|vlьci|vlьky|vlьkъ|vlьcěxъ|vlьkomъ|vlьky|"wine"|o n.|vino|vino|vino|vina|vině|vinu|vinomь|vině|vinu|vinoma|vina|vina|vinъ|viněxъ|vinomъ|viny|"field"|jo n.|polje|polje|polje|polja|polji|polju|poljemь|polji|polju|poljema|polja|polja|poljь|poljixъ|poljemъ|polji|"woman"|a f.|žena|ženo|ženǫ|ženy|ženě|ženě|ženojǫ|ženě|ženu|ženama|ženy|ženy|ženъ|ženaxъ|ženamъ|ženami|"soul"|ja f.|duša|duše|dušǫ|dušę|duši|duši|dušejǫ|duši|dušu|dušama|dušę|dušę|dušь|dušaxъ|dušamъ|dušami|"hand"|a f.|rǫka|rǫko|rǫkǫ|rǫky|rǫcě|rǫcě|rǫkojǫ|rǫcě|rǫku|rǫkama|rǫky|rǫky|rǫkъ|rǫkaxъ|rǫkamъ|rǫkami|"bone"|i f.|kostь|kosti|kostь|kosti|kosti|kosti|kostьjǫ|kosti|kostьju|kostьma|kosti|kosti|kostьjь|kostьxъ|kostъmъ|kostъmi|"home"|u m.|domъ|domu|domъ/-a|domu|domu|domovi|domъmь|domy|domovu|domъma|domove|domy|domovъ|domъxъ|domъmъ|domъmiAdjectives are inflected as o/jo-stems (masculine and neuter) and a/ja-stems (feminine), in three genders. They could have short (indefinite) or long (definite) variants, the latter being formed by suffixing to the indefinite form the anaphoric third-person pronoun jь.Synthetic verbal conjugation is expressed in present, aorist and imperfect tenses while perfect, pluperfect, future and conditional tenses/moods are made by combining auxiliary verbs with participles or synthetic tense forms. Sample conjugation for the verb vesti "to lead" (underlyingly ved-ti) is given in the table below.{| class="wikitable"|+Sample conjugation of the verb vesti "to lead"!person/number!Present!Asigmatic (simple, root) aorist!Sigmatic (s-) aorist!New (ox) aorist!Imperfect!Imperative|1 sg.|vedǫ|vedъ|věsъ|vedoxъ|veděaxъ||2 sg.|vedeši|vede|vede|vede|veděaše|vedi|3 sg.|vedetъ|vede|vede|vede|veděaše|vedi|1 dual|vedevě|vedově|věsově|vedoxově|veděaxově|veděvě|2 dual|vedeta|vedeta|věsta|vedosta|veděašeta|veděta|3 dual|vedete|vedete|věste|vedoste|veděašete||1 plural|vedemъ|vedomъ|věsomъ|vedoxomъ|veděaxomъ|veděmъ|2 plural|vedete|vedete|věste|vedoste|veděašete|veděte|3 plural|vedǫtъ|vedǫ|věsę|vedošę|veděaxǫ|

    Basis and local influences

    {{Eastern Orthodox sidebar}}Written evidence of Old Church Slavonic survives in a relatively small body of manuscripts, most of them written in First Bulgarian Empire during the late 10th and the early 11th centuries. The language has a Southern Slavic basis with an admixture of Western Slavic features inherited during the mission of Saints Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia (863–885).The only well-preserved manuscript of the Moravian recension, the Kiev Folia, is characterised by the replacement of some Southern Slavic phonetic and lexical features with Western Slavic ones. Manuscripts written in the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185-1396) have, on the other hand, few Western Slavic features.Old Church Slavonic is valuable to historical linguists since it preserves archaic features believed to have once been common to all Slavic languages such as these:
    • Most significantly, the yer (extra-short) vowels: {{IPA|/Ä­/}} and {{IPA|/Å­/}}
    • Nasal vowels: {{IPA|/ɛ̃/}} and {{IPA|/ɔ̃/}}
    • Near-open articulation of the yat vowel ({{IPA|/æ/}})
    • Palatal consonants {{IPA|/ɲ/}} and {{IPA|/ÊŽ/}} from Proto-Slavic ň and ľ
    • Proto-Slavic declension system based on stem endings, including those that later disappeared in attested languages (such as u-stems)
    • Dual as a distinct grammatical number from singular and plural
    • Aorist, imperfect, Proto-Slavic paradigms for participles
    Old Church Slavonic is also likely to have preserved an extremely archaic type of accentuation (probably{{citation needed|date=August 2014}} close to the Chakavian dialect of modern Serbo-Croatian), but unfortunately, no accent marks appear in the written manuscripts.The Southern Slavic nature of the language is evident from the following variations:
    • Phonetic:
      • ra > {{IPA|/la/}} by means of liquid metathesis of Proto-Slavic or, ol clusters
      • sÄ› from Proto-Slavic xÄ› < xai
      • cv, (d)zv from Proto-Slavic kvÄ›, gvÄ› < kvai, gvai
    • morphosyntactic use of the dative possessive case in personal pronouns and nouns: 'рѫка ти' (rÇ«ka ti, "your hand"), 'отъпоущенье грѣхомъ' (otÅ­puÅ¡tenÄ­je grÄ›xomÅ­, "remission of sins"); periphrastic future tense using the verb 'хотѣти' (xotÄ›ti, "to want"); use of the comparative form 'мьнии' (mÄ­niji, "smaller") to denote "younger".
      • morphosyntactic use of suffixed demonstrative pronouns 'Ñ‚ÑŠ, та, то' (tÅ­, ta, to). In Bulgarian and Macedonian these developed into suffixed definite articles.
    Old Church Slavonic has some extra features in common with Bulgarian:
    • Near-open articulation {{IPA|[æ]}} of the Yat vowel (Ä›); still preserved in the Bulgarian dialects of the Rhodope mountains;
    • The existence of {{IPA|/ʃt/}} and {{IPA|/Ê’d/}} as reflexes of Proto-Slavic Å¥ (< tj and gt, kt) and ď (< dj).
    • Use of possessive dative for personal pronouns and nouns, as in 'братъ ми' (bratÅ­ mi, "my brother"), 'рѫка ти' (rÇ«ka ti, "your hand"), 'отъпоущенье грѣхомъ' (otÅ­puÅ¡tenÄ­je grÄ›xomÅ­, "remission of sins"), 'храмъ молитвѣ' (xramÅ­ molitvÄ›, 'house of prayer'), etc.
    • Periphrastic compound future tense formed with the auxiliary verb 'хотѣти' (xotÄ›ti, "to want"), for example 'хоштѫ писати' (xoÅ¡tÇ« pisati, "I will write").
    {| class="wikitable"! Proto-Slavic! OCS! Bulg.! Czech! Maced.! Pol.! Rus.! Slovak! Sloven.! Cro./Serb.class=IPA*dʲ}} {{IPAʒd}} {{IPAɟ}} {{IPAʑ}} {{IPAj}} {{IPA|dʑ}}class=IPA*ɡt/kt}}, {{IPAʃt}} {{IPAts}} {{IPAts}} {{IPAts}} {{IPAtɕ}}

    Great Moravia

    The language was standardized for the first time by the mission of the two apostles to Great Moravia from 863. The manuscripts of the Moravian recension are therefore the earliest dated of the OCS recensions.{{clarify|date=October 2012}} The recension takes its name from the Slavic state of Great Moravia which existed in Central Europe during the 9th century on the territory of today's western Slovakia and Czech Republic.

    Moravian recension

    In the Prague fragments the only Moravian influence is replacing {{IPA|/ʃt/}} with {{IPA|/ts/}} and {{IPA|/ʒd/}} with {{IPA|/z/}}. This recension is exemplified by the Kiev Folia. Certain other linguistic characteristics include:
    • Confusion between the letters Big yus (Ѫ) and Uk (оу) - this occurs once in the Kiev Folia, when the expected form въсоудъ vÑŠsudÑŠ is spelled въсѫдъ vÑŠsÇ«dÑŠ
    • {{IPA|/ts/}} from Proto-Slavic tj, use of {{IPA|/dz/}} from dj, {{IPA|/ʃtʃ/}} skj
    • Use of the words mьša, cirky, papežь, prÄ›facija, klepati, piskati etc.
    • Preservation of the consonant cluster {{IPA|/dl/}} (e.g. modlitvami)
    • Use of the ending â€“ÑŠmÑŒ instead of â€“omÑŒ in the masculine singular instrumental, use of the pronoun čьso

    First Bulgarian Empire

    Old Church Slavonic language is developed in the First Bulgarian Empire and was taught in Preslav (Bulgarian capital between 893 and 972), and in Ohrid (Bulgarian capital between 991/997 and 1015).BOOK,weblink Toward an Understanding of Europe, 9781599429830, Ertl, Alan W, 2008, BOOK,weblink Contested Ethnic Identity, 9783034301961, Kostov, Chris, 2010, BOOK,weblink The Poetics of Slavdom: Part III: Njego, 9780820481357, Zlatar, Zdenko, 2007, It did not represent one regional dialect but a generalized form of early eastern South Slavic, which cannot be localized. The existence of two major literary centres in the Empire led in the period from the 9th to the 11th centuries to the emergence of two recensions (otherwise called "redactions"), termed "Bulgarian" and "Macedonian" respectively.{{Harvnb|Vlasto|1970|p=174}}.BOOK,weblink Indo-European Language and Culture, 9781405188968, Fortson, Benjamin W, 2009-08-31, Some researchers do not differentiate between manuscripts of the two recensions, preferring to group them together in a "Macedo-Bulgarian"BOOK,weblink Ancient Indo-European Dialects, Birnbaum, Henrik, Puhvel, Jaan, 1966, or simply "Bulgarian" recension.{{Harvnb|Sussex|Cubberley|2006|p=43}}.WEB,weblink Razmyshlenija o makedonskom "sreze"... - I. Kaliganov,, Others, as Horace Lunt, have changed their opinion with time. In the mid-1970s, Lunt held that the differences in the initial OCS were neither great enough nor consistent enough to grant a distinction between a 'Macedonian' recension and a 'Bulgarian' one. A decade later, however, Lunt argued in favour of such a distinction, illustrating his point with paleographic, phonological and other differences.See: "American contributions to the Tenth International Congress of Slavists", Sofia, September 1988, Alexander M. Schenker, Slavica, 1988, {{ISBN|0-89357-190-3}}, p. 47. The development of Old Church Slavonic literacy had the effect of preventing the assimilation of the South Slavs into neighboring cultures, which promoted the formation of a distinct Bulgarian identity.{{Harvnb|Crampton|2005|p=15}}.

    Preslav recension

    The manuscripts of the Preslav recensionBOOK,weblink The Early Versions of the New Testament, 9780198261704, Metzger, Bruce Manning, Metzger, Collard Professor of New Testament Emeritus Bruce M, 1977, {{Harvnb|Sussex|Cubberley|2006|p=64}}.{{Harvnb|Kamusella|2008|p=??}}. or "Eastern" variant{{Harvnb|Birnbaum|1991|p=535}}. are among the oldest{{clarify|date=October 2012}} of the Old Church Slavonic language. This recension was centred around the Preslav Literary School. Since the earliest datable Cyrillic inscriptions were found in the area of Preslav, it is this school which is credited with the development of the Cyrillic alphabet which gradually replaced the Glagolic one.{{Harvnb|Curta|2006|p=??}}.BOOK,weblink The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire, 9780191614880, Hussey, J. M, 2010-03-25, A number of prominent Bulgarian writers and scholars worked at the Preslav Literary School, including Naum of Preslav (until 893), Constantine of Preslav, John Exarch, Chernorizets Hrabar, etc. The main linguistic features of this recension are the following:
    • The Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets were used concurrently.
    • In some documents the original supershort vowels ÑŠ and ÑŒ merged with one letter taking the place of the other.
    • The original ascending reflex (rÑŒ, lÑŒ) of syllabic {{IPA|/r/}} and {{IPA|/l/}} was sometimes metathesized to ÑŒr, ÑŒl; or a combination of the ordering was used.
    • The central vowel Ñ‹ y merged with ъи ÑŠi.
    • Sometimes the use of letter {{angle bracket|Ð…}} ({{IPA|/dz/}}) was merged with that of {{angle bracket|З}} ({{IPA|/z/}}).
    • The verb forms нарицаѭ, нарицаѥши (naricajÇ«, naricajeÅ¡i) were substituted or alternated with наричꙗѭ, наричꙗеши (naričjajÇ«, naričjajeÅ¡i).

    Ohrid recension

    The manuscripts of the Ohrid recension or "Western" variant{{Harvnb|Stolz|Titunik|Doležel|1984|p=111}}: "Specific phonological and lexical differences led Jagić (and many others after him, notably Vaillant) to distinguish carefully between the Western (or Macedonian) OCS of the glagolitic manuscripts and the Eastern (or Bulgarian) OCS of the Suprasliensis…" are among the oldest{{clarify|date=October 2012}} of the Old Church Slavonic language. The recension is sometimes named Macedonian because its literary centre, Ohrid, lies in the historical region of Macedonia. At that period, administratively Ohrid formed part of the province of Kutmichevitsa in the First Bulgarian Empire until the Byzantine conquest.{{Harvnb|Vlasto|1970|p=169}}. The main literary centre of this dialect was the Ohrid Literary School, whose most prominent member and most likely founder, was Saint Clement of Ohrid who was commissioned by Boris I of Bulgaria to teach and instruct the future clergy of the state in the Slavonic language. The language variety that was used in the area started shaping the modern Macedonian dialects.{{Harvnb|Lunt|2001|p=??}}.{{page needed|date=April 2016}}Macedonian, Victor Friedman, Facts about world's languages, 2001{{page needed|date=April 2016}} This recension is represented by the Codex Zographensis and Marianus, among others. The main linguistic features of this recension include:
    • Continuous usage of the Glagolitic alphabet instead of Cyrillic
    • A feature called "mixing (confusion) of the nasals" in which {{IPA|/ɔ̃/}} became {{IPA|[ɛ̃]}} after {{IPA|/rʲ lʲ nʲ/}}, and in a cluster of a labial consonant and {{IPA|/lʲ/}}. {{IPA|/ɛ̃/}} became {{IPA|[ɔ̃]}} after sibilant consonants and {{IPA|/j/}}
    • Wide use of the soft consonant clusters {{IPA|/ʃt/}} and {{IPA|/Ê’d/}}; in the later stages, these developed into the modern Macedonian phonemes {{IPA|/c/}} {{IPA|/ÉŸ/}}
    • Strict distinction in the articulation of the yers and their vocalisation in strong position (ÑŠ > {{IPA|/o/}} and ÑŒ > {{IPA|/e/}}) or deletion in weak position
    • Confusion of {{IPA|/ɛ̃/}} with yat and yat with {{IPA|/e/}}
    • Denasalization in the latter stages: {{IPA|/ɛ̃/}} > {{IPA|/e/}} and {{IPA|/ɔ̃/}} > {{IPA|/a/}}, оу, ÑŠ
    • Wider usage and retention of the phoneme {{IPA|/dz/}} (which in most other Slavic languages has dеaffricated to {{IPA|/z/}});

    Later recensions

    Later use of the language in a number of medieval Slavic polities resulted in the adjustment of Old Church Slavonic to the local vernacular, though a number of South Slavic and West Slavicn features also survived. Significant later recensions of Old Church Slavonic (referred to as Church Slavonic) in the present time include: Slovene, Croatian, Serbian and Russian. In all cases, denasalization of the yuses occurred; so that only Old Church Slavonic, modern Polish and some isolated Bulgarian dialects retained the old Slavonic nasal vowels.

    Serbian recension

    The Serbian recension{{Harvnb|Lunt|2001|p=4}}. was written mostly in Cyrillic, but also in the Glagolitic alphabet (depending on region); by the 12th century the Serbs used exclusively the Cyrillic alphabet (and Latin script in coastal areas). The 1186 Miroslav Gospels and 1189. Charter of Kulin ban of Bosnia belong to the Serbian recension. They feature the following linguistic characteristics:
    • Nasal vowels were denasalised and in one case closed: Ä™ > e, Ç« > u, e.g. OCS rÇ«ka > Sr. ruka ("hand"), OCS jÄ™zykÑŠ > Sr. jezik ("tongue, language")
    • Extensive use of diacritical signs by the Resava dialect
    • Use of letters i, y for the sound {{IPA|/i/}} in other manuscripts of the Serbian recension
    Due to the Ottoman conquest of Bulgaria in 1396, Serbia saw an influx of educated scribes and clergy who re-introduced a more classical form, closer resembling the Bulgarian recension.

    Russian recension

    The Russian recension emerged after the 10th century on the basis of the earlier Bulgarian recension, from which it differed slightly. Its main features are:
    • Substitution of {{IPA|[u]}} for the nasal sound {{IPA|/õ/}}
    • Merging of letters Ä™ and ja{{Harvnb|Cubberley|2002|p=44}}.

    Middle Bulgarian

    The line between OCS and post-OCS manuscripts is arbitrary, and terminology varies. The common term "Middle Bulgarian" is usually contrasted to "Old Bulgarian" (an alternative name for Old Church Slavonic), and loosely used for manuscripts whose language demonstrates a broad spectrum of regional and temporal dialect features after the 11th century.The definite article in contemporary standard Bulgarian, Gerald L. Mayer, Freie Universität Berlin. Osteuropa-Institut, Otto Harrassowitz, 1988, p. 108.

    Bosnian recension

    The Bosnian recension used the Bosnian Cyrillic alphabet (better known as Bosančica) and the Glagolitic alphabet.{{Harvnb|Marti|2012|p=275}}: "[T]he first printed book in Cyrillic (or, to be more precise, in Bosančica)…"BOOK,weblink Cyrillic books printed before 1701 in British and Irish collections: a union catalogue, Ralph, Cleminson, British Library, 2000, 9780712347099,

    Croatian recension

    The Croatian recension of Old Church Slavonic used only the Glagolitic alphabet of angular Croatian type. It shows the development of the following characteristics:
    • Denasalisation of PSl. Ä™ > e, PSl. Ç« > u, e.g. Cr. ruka : OCS rÇ«ka ("hand"), Cr. jezik : OCS jÄ™zykÑŠ ("tongue, language")
    • PSl. y > i, e.g. Cr. biti : OCS byti ("to be")
    • PSl. weak-positioned yers ÑŠ and ÑŒ in merged, probably representing some schwa-like sound, and only one of the letters was used (usually 'ÑŠ'). Evident in earliest documents like BaÅ¡ka tablet.
    • PSl. strong-positioned yers ÑŠ and ÑŒ were vocalized into a in most Å tokavian and ÄŒakavian speeches, e.g. Cr. pas : OCS pÑŒsÑŠ ("dog")
    • PSl. hard and soft syllabic liquids r and r′ retained syllabicity and were written as simply r, as opposed to OCS sequences of mostly rÑŒ and rÑŠ, e.g. krstÑŠ and trgÑŠ as opposed to OCS krÑŒstÑŠ and trÑŠgÑŠ ("cross", "market")
    • PSl. vÑŒC and vÑŠC > uC, e.g. Cr. udova : OCS. vÑŠdova ("widow")


    The core corpus of Old Church Slavonic manuscripts is usually referred to as canon. Manuscripts must satisfy certain linguistic, chronological and cultural criteria to be incorporated into the canon: they must not significantly depart from the language and tradition of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, usually known as the Cyrillo-Methodian tradition.For example, the Freising Fragments, dating from the 10th century, show some linguistic and cultural traits of Old Church Slavonic, but they are usually not included in the canon, as some of the phonological features of the writings appear to belong to certain Pannonian Slavic dialect of the period. Similarly, the Ostromir Gospels exhibits dialectal features that classify it as East Slavic, rather than South Slavic so it is not included in the canon either. On the other hand, the Kiev Missal is included in the canon even though it manifests some West Slavic features and contains Western liturgy because of the Bulgarian linguistic layer and connection to the Moravian mission.Manuscripts are usually classified in two groups, depending on the alphabet used, Cyrillic or Glagolitic. With the exception of the Kiev Missal and Glagolita Clozianus, which exhibit West Slavic and Croatian features respectively, all Glagolitic texts are assumed to be of the Macedonian recension: All Cyrillic manuscripts are of the Preslav recension (Preslav Literary School) and date from the 11th century except for the Zographos, which is of the Ohrid recension (Ohrid Literary School):
    • Sava's book (Sa, Sav), 126 folios
    • Codex Suprasliensis, (Supr), 284 folios
    • Enina Apostle (En, Enin), 39 folios
    • Hilandar Folios (Hds, Hil), 2 folios
    • Undol'skij's Fragments (Und), 2 folios
    • Macedonian Folio (Mac), 1 folio
    • Zographos Fragments (Zogr. Fr.), 2 folios
    • Sluck Psalter (Ps. Sl., Sl), 5 folios

    Sample text

    Here is the Lord's Prayer in Old Church Slavonic:{|! Cyrillic!IPA! Transliteration! Translation|{{slavonic|отьчє нашь·ижє ѥси на нєбєсѣхъ:да свѧтитъ сѧ имѧ твоѥ·да придєтъ цѣсар҄ьствиѥ твоѥ·да бѫдєтъ волꙗ твоꙗꙗко на нєбєси и на ꙁємл҄и:хлѣбъ нашь насѫщьнꙑидаждь намъ дьньсь·и отъпоусти намъ длъгꙑ нашѧꙗко и мꙑ отъпоущаѥмъдлъжьникомъ нашимъ·и нє въвєди насъ въ искоушєниѥ·нъ иꙁбави нꙑ отъ нєприꙗꙁни:ꙗко твоѥ ѥстъ цѣсар҄ьствиѥи сила и слава въ вѣкꙑ вѣкомъаминь჻}}|otɪtʃe naʃɪiʒe jesi na nebesaxɨda zvẽtitɨ sẽ imẽ dvojeda bridetɨ tsæsarʲɪzdvije dvojeda bɔ̃detɨ volʲa dvojajako na nebesi i na zemlʲi.ɣlæbɨ naʃɪ nasɔ̃ʃtɪnɯidaʒdɪ namɨ dɪnɪsɪi otɨpusti namɨ dlɨgɯ naʃẽjako i mɯ otɨpuʃtajemɨdlɨʒɪnikomɨ naʃimɨ.i ne vɨvedi nasɨ vɨ iskuʃenijenɨ izbavi nɯ otɨ nebrijazni,jako dvoje jestɨ tsæsarʲɪzdvijei sila i zlava vɨ vækɯ vækomɨaminɪ.|otĭče našĭIže jesi na nebesěxŭ.Da svętitŭ sę imę tvojeda pridetŭ cěsar'ĭstvije tvojeda bǫdetŭ volja tvojajako na nebesi i na zeml'i.hlěbŭ našĭ nasǫštĭnyidaždĭ namŭ dĭnĭsĭi otŭpusti namŭ dlŭgy našęjako i my otŭpuštajemŭdlŭžĭnikomŭ našimŭi ne vŭvedi nasŭ vŭ iskušenijenŭ izbavi ny otŭ neprijazni.jako tvoje jestŭ cěsar'ĭstvijei sila i slava vŭ věky věkomŭ.aminĭ.|Our fatherThou Who art in heaven.May hallowed be Thy Namemay come Thy empiremay become Thy willas in heaven, also on Earth.Our supersubstantial breadgive us this dayand release us of our debtsas we also releaseour debtors,and do not lead us to temptationbut free us from the evil.As Thine is the empireand the power and the glory unto the ages of ages.Amen.


    The history of Old Church Slavonic writing includes a northern tradition begun by the mission to Great Moravia, including a short mission in the Balaton principality, and a Bulgarian tradition begun by some of the missionaries who relocated to Bulgaria after the expulsion from Great Moravia.Old Church Slavonic's first writings, translations of Christian liturgical and Biblical texts, were produced by Byzantine missionaries Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, mostly during their mission to Great Moravia.The most important authors in Old Church Slavonic after the death of Methodius and the dissolution of the Great Moravian academy were Clement of Ohrid (active also in Great Moravia), Constantine of Preslav, Chernorizetz Hrabar and John Exarch, all of whom worked in medieval Bulgaria at the end of the 9th and the beginning of the 10th century. The Second Book of Enoch was only preserved in Old Church Slavonic, although the original most certainly had been Greek or even Hebrew or Aramaic.


    The name of the language in Old Church Slavonic texts was simply Slavic (словѣ́ньскъ ѩꙁꙑ́къ, slověnĭskŭ językŭ),{{Harvnb|Nandris|1959|p=2}}. derived from the word for Slavs (словѣ́нє, slověne), the self-designation of the compilers of the texts. This name is preserved in the modern names of the Slovak and Slovene languages. The language is sometimes called Old Slavic, which may be confused with the distinct Proto-Slavic language. Different strains of nationalists have tried to 'claim' Old Church Slavonic; thus OCS has also been variously called "Old Bulgarian", "Old Croatian", "Old Macedonian", or "Old Serbian", or even "Old Slovak", "Old Slovenian".{{Harvnb|Kamusella|2008|p=34}}. The commonly accepted terms in modern English-language Slavic studies are Old Church Slavonic and Old Church Slavic.The term Old BulgarianZiffer, Giorgio – On the Historicity of Old Church Slavonic UDK 811.163.1(091) {{webarchive|url= |date=2008-06-27 }} () is the only designation used by Bulgarian-language writers. It was used in numerous 19th-century sources, e.g. by August Schleicher, Martin Hattala, Leopold Geitler and August Leskien,A. Leskien, Handbuch der altbulgarischen (altkirchenslavischen) Sprache, 6. Aufl., Heidelberg 1922.A. Leskien, Grammatik der altbulgarischen (altkirchenslavischen) Sprache, 2.-3. Aufl., Heidelberg 1919. who noted similarities between the first literary Slavic works and the modern Bulgarian language. For similar reasons, Russian linguist Aleksandr Vostokov used the term Slav-Bulgarian. The term is still used by some writers but nowadays normally avoided in favor of Old Church Slavonic.The term Old MacedonianJ P Mallory, D Q Adams. Encyclopaedia of Indo-European Culture. Pg 301R. E. Asher, J. M. Y. Simpson. The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, pg. 429{{Harvnb|Cizevskij|2000|p=26}}.Benjamin W. Fortson. Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, pg. 374 is occasionally used by Western scholars in a regional context.The obsoleteBOOK,weblink On Medieval and Renaissance Slavic Writing, Birnbaum, Henrik, 1974, term Old Slovenian{{Harvnb|Lunt|2001|p=4}}.BOOK,weblink The Universal Cyclopaedia, 1900, was used by early 19th-century scholars who conjectured that the language was based on the dialect of Pannonia.

    Modern Slavic nomenclature

    Here are some of the names used by speakers of modern Slavic languages:
    • (starasÅ‚avianskaja mova), ‘Old Slavic language’
    • (starobălgarski), ‘Old Bulgarian’ and старославянски,Иванова-Мирчева 1969: Д. Иванова-Мнрчева. Старобългарски, старославянски и средно-българска редакция на старославянски. Константин Кирил Философ. Ð’ Юбилеен сборник по случай 1100 годишнината от смъртта му, стр. 45-62. (staroslavjanski), ‘Old Slavic’
    • , ‘Old Slavic’
    • (staroslovenski), ‘Old Slavic’
    • , ‘Old Church Slavic’
    • (staroslavjánskij jazýk), ‘Old Slavic language’
    • (), ‘Old Slavic’
    • , ‘Old Slavic’
    • , ‘Old Church Slavic’
    • (starotserkovnoslovjans'ka mova), ‘Old Church Slavic language’

    See also





    • BOOK

    , Alexander, June Granatir, 2005
    , Slovakia
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    , Birnbaum, Henrik, Henrik Birnbaum, 1991
    , Aspects of the Slavic Middle Ages and Slavic Renaissance Culture
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    , Comparative History of Slavic Literatures
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    , A Concise History of Bulgaria, 2nd
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    , Russian: A Linguistic Introduction
    , Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
    , 978-0-521-79191-5, harv
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    , Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500–1250
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    , Huntley, David, 1993
    , Old Church Slavonic
    , In Bernard Comrie and Greville G. Corbett, eds., The Slavonic Languages, pp. 125–187
    , London, Routledge
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    • BOOK

    , Kamusella, Tomasz, Tomasz Kamusella, 2008
    , The Politics of Language and Nationalism in Modern Central Europe
    , Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan
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    , Lunt, Horace G., Horace Lunt, 2001
    , Old Church Slavonic Grammar, 7th
    , Berlin, Mouton de Gruyter
    , 978-3-110-16284-4, harv
    • BOOK, harv, Malkiel, Yakov, 1993, Etymology, New York, Cambridge University Press,weblink 9780521311663,
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    , Marti, Roland, 2012
    , On the creation of Croatian: The development of Croatian Latin orthography in the 16th century
    , In Susan Baddeley and Anja Voeste, eds., Orthographies in Early Modern Europe, pp.269–320
    , Berlin, De Gruyter Mouton
    , 978-3-110-28817-9, harv
    , {{open access}}
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    , Nandris, Grigore, 1959
    , Old Church Slavonic Grammar
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    , harv
    • BOOK, harv, Richards, Ronald O., The Pannonian Slavic Dialect of the Common Slavic Proto-language: The View from Old Hungarian, 2003, Los Angeles, University of California,weblink
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    , Stolz, Benjamin A., Titunik, I. R., Doležel, Lubomír, 1984
    , Language and Literary Theory: In Honor of Ladislav Matejka
    , Ann Arbor, MI, University of Michigan Press
    , 978-0-930-04259-2, harv
    • BOOK

    , Sussex, Roland, Roland Sussex, Cubberley, Paul, 2006
    , The Slavic Languages, Cambridge Language Surveys
    , Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
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    • BOOK, harv, Tóth, Imre H., The Significance of the Freising Manuscripts (FM) for Slavic Studies in Hungary, Zbornik Brižinski spomeniki, 1996, Ljubljana, Slovenska akademija znanosti in umetnosti, 443–448,weblink
    • BOOK

    , Vlasto, A. P., Alexis P. Vlasto, 1970
    , The Entry of the Slavs into Christendom: An Introduction to the Medieval History of the Slavs
    , Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
    , 978-0-521-07459-9, harv
    • BOOK

    , Waldman, Carl, Mason, Catherine, 2006
    , Encyclopedia of European Peoples, Volume 2: M–Z, Facts On File Library of World History
    , New York, NY, Facts On File
    , 978-1-438-12918-1, harv

    External links

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