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Slavic languages

Our native Russian belongs to slavic group of languages of an Indo-European family. Our travel also begins with this group on a language map of the world.

Slavic languages can be considered as the youngest language group among Indo-European languages. Their general ancestor whom linguists name preslavic language, has started to lose the unity very much late, only in the middle of I millenium d.C. Before ancestors of Slavs were one people, used very close dialects and lived somewhere in Central or the Eastern Europe.

Distribution of slavic languages

Experts - linguists and historians - argue till now, where all the same there was an ancestral home of Slavs, i.e. Territory on which they lived as the uniform people and whence have dispersed, having formed the separate people and languages. One scientists seat it between Vistula and a medium current of Dnepr, others - between Vistula in the east and Oder in the west. Now many experts consider that the ancestral home of Slavs was in Pannonii, on Medium Danube, whence they have transferred on the north and the east. As one of proofs of that Slavs were in the Central Europe, result, for example, lexical similarity between slavic languages and languages of the Western Europe. Compare Latin and Russian words bostis - "visitor", struere - to "build", fomus - "hearth", paludes - "high water". The problem of an ancestral home of Slavs is rather difficult, and its decision depends on efforts of scientific different specialities - historians, archeologists, linguists, ethnographers, specialists in folklore, anthropologists. The linguistics in these searches posesses a special role.

In the modern world total from 10 to 13 live slavic languages depending on what status is attributed by several of them, independent language or a dialect. p>

Among slavic languages is also dead on which already nobody speaks. The first literary language of Slavs was such. Russian name its old slavic, and Bulgarians - old Bulgarian. In its basis South slavic dialects of old Macedonia lie. On this language in IX century translated sacred texts the Greek monks - brothers Cyril and Mefody which have created the slavic alphabet. Their mission but to creation of a literary language for all Slavs became possible thanks to that in those days slavic speech was still concerning uniform. Old slavic language did not exist in the form of a live folk speech, it always remained language of Church, culture and writing.

However it not unique dead slavic language. In a West Slavic zone, in the north of modern Germany, there is no time there lived numerous and powerful slavic tribes. Subsequently they almost have been completely captured by the German ethnos. The disappeared tribes did not know writing. Only one of dialects - Polabian (the name is formed by name of the rivers of Elba, on-slavjanski Laba) - has reached us in small dictionaries and records of the texts made in the end of XVII - the beginning of XVIII century. It is valuable, though also poor enough source of knowledge of slavic languages of the past.

Among slavic languages Russian is the closest to Belarus and Ukrainian. Three together they form an East slavic subgroup. Russian falls into to the largest languages of the world: on number telling it takes the fifth place, conceding only Chinese, English, a Hindustani and to Spanish. The Ukrainian language in this hierarchy is included into first "twenty", i.e. Too belongs to very large languages.

Except an East slavic subgroup traditionally precipitate out West Slavic and South slavic. However if East slavic languages go back to the general for them to the ancestor - to drevne-Russian it it is impossible to tell about two other groups. Though languages of each of these subgroups have variety of features, subgroups some linguists are inclined to consider not as genetic, and first of all as geographical unities. When West Slavic and South slavic subgroups were formed, along with processes of a divergence of languages (as linguists speak, divergences) the big role played processes of their rapprochement (convergence).


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