Old Church Slavonic, Phonotactics

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Summary

Old Church Slavonic, also known as Old Church Slavic (often abbreviated to OCS; self-name , slověnĭskŭ językŭ) was the first Slavic literary language. The 9th century Byzantine Greek missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius are credited with standardizing the language and using it in translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek ecclesiastical texts as part of the Christianisation of the Slavic peoples. It is thought to have been based primarily on the dialect of the 9th century Byzantine Slavs living in the Province of Thessalonica (now in Greek Macedonia). It played an important role in the history of the Slavi

Details

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 for sequences of a consonant and a vowel, the following constraints can be ascertained:

  • 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 /ъ/ 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 /ěa/ of the imperfect
  • at morpheme boundaries, the following vowel sequences occur: /ai/, /au/, /ao/, /oi/, /ou/, /oo/, /ěi/, /ěo/

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External Links

  • WikipediaOld Church Slavonic OnlineMedieval Slavic FontsOld Slavic data entry applicationCorpus Cyrillo-Methodianum Helsingiense: An Electronic Corpus of Old Church Slavonic Texts

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