Horace G. Lunt. Old Church Slavonic Grammar. Berlin; New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 2001


This description of the structure of Old Church Slavonic is intended to present fully the important data about the language, without citing all the minutiae of attested variant spellings. The facts have been treated from the point of view of structural linguistics, but pedagogical clarity has taken precedence over the conciseness required for elegant formal description.
Old Church Slavonic was used over a period of some two hundred years and in various geographical parts of the Slavic world precisely at the time when the Slavic languages were undergoing rapid, fundamental, divergent changes. Some of these changes are doubtless reflected in the variant spellings in the few texts which have survived from this period, so that while most variations in grammar and vocabulary are the sorts of stylistic and idiosyncratic differences that are found in the standard or literary language of any single epoch, some important variant details result from different regional dialectal history. It has thus been necessary to include occasional references to historical and comparative linguistics in the first half of this book, although in principle these problems do not fall within the scope of a strictly descriptive, synchronic grammar.
It is necessary to normalize forms to present the grammatical structure as a consistent whole, and the normalization inevitably obscures the differences in the language of the various manuscripts. A clear picture of the different combinations of linguistic elements making up each of the texts is not to be achieved by lists of spelling variants or tables of percentages, but it is worth while to point out some of the striking variations. First-hand acquaintance with the texts and constant comparison of variant readings is the only way to arrive at an understanding both of the underlying unity of the texts as a whole and of the major and minor differences between them.
Little mention is made here of another type of comparison—the relationship of the OCS translated texts to the Greek originals. And yet it is in the Greek and in the translation technique that the explanations of hundreds of tiny problems (expecially of syntax) are to be found, and certain major structural problems need to be posed in terms of the influence of Greek on OCS. However, so few students have enough Greek to profit by such comparisons that it did not seem worth the considerable space that would be required. Excellent work in this field is available, though some scholars tend to forget that even a poor translator is governed by the structure of the language into which he is translating. The “Notes on Syntax” in Chapter Six are offered on the premise that something is better than nothing. It is particularly in this area that translation techniques need to be analyzed.
After forty years of teaching OCS and related topics in the history and structure of modem Slavic languages, my views on the nature of language and the models for describing language have evolved away from the Bloomfieldian structuralism of my training. The data of OCS have not changed importantly from the material described by scholars a century ago, although some details from imprecise editions have been discarded and a few new details must be accounted for. I continue to believe that every language is a coherent structure, and that each language can be described in terms of static and dynamic elements and learned by novices who do not have the slightest knowledge of its history.
Departures from tradition in classifying the data in no way change the facts themselves. The OCS verb, for example, is complicated, and classification will not make it less so. хвалити, велѣти, and желѣти do belong to different paradigms, whether one labels them IV A, IV B, and III 2 with Leskien, or IV, III 1 and III 2 with Diels, or II.8k, II.8e,Ik, and I.4a,2b with Koch. I believe that it is most efficient simply to encourage students to learn the form from which the rest of the paradigm can be generated according to rules (хвали-ти, велѣ-ти, but желѣ-ти) and leave them to study the tables on pp. 114-117 and 136-137 for similarities and differences between paradigms. The present form of description is based on my belief that it is the morpheme that is the basic unit of communication.
A comparison of Old Church Slavonic—a language I believe to be a partially standardized written form of Late Common Slavic—with either its hypothetical ancestors or the descendants or collateral descendants of other forms of LCoS—is not the task of the synchronic description that takes up the first five chapters of this book. In the 1974 edition, I presented an epilogue (“Toward a generative phonology of OCS”) that was based on a generative theory that proved to be too ambitious. Chapter Six in this book is an entirely new and relatively traditional sketch of the genesis of OCS (as a representative of Late Common Slavic). This work was influenced by my teachers of long ago and by the students and colleagues I encountered during my years of teaching. I will not attempt to list them here. I can only express general thanks to the students who asked challenging questions and to their fellow-students and the colleagues throughout the scholarly world who helped me (in direct or indirect ways) find some of the answers. Special gratitude is due to Thomas J. Butler for his help in reading proof.
This edition too I dedicate to the memory of Professor S. H. Cross of Harvard, who introduced me to the study of Slavic, and to Professor G. R. Noyes of the University of California, who gave me my first lessons in Old Church Slavonic.

Horace G. Lunt

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Table of Contents

 Preface    -12
Table of Contents    -8
Abbreviations    -2
0. Introduction    1
0.0 Definition of OCS    1
0.1 Cyril and Methodius    1
0.2 Manuscripts    3
0.3 Sources    4
1. Writing Systems    15
1.0 Glagolitic and Cyrillic    15
1.1 The letters, general    18
1.2 The use of individual letters    19
1.3 Diacritics and other signs    26
1.4 Punctuation    28
1.5 Numerals    28
2. Phonemics    29
3. Morphophonemics    42
4. Declension    52
4.0 Fundamental notions    52
4.1 The twofold nominal declension    54
4.2 Pronominal declension    62
4.3 Compound declension    64
4.4 Simple nominal declension    71
4.5 Mixture of nominal declension types    75
4.6 Declension of personal pronouns    76
4.7 Formation of the Comparative    77
4.8 Formation of Adverbs    79
5. Fundamental notions    81
6. The present tense    95
7. The imperative    98
8. The present participles    99
9. The imperfect    100
10. Aorists    102
11. Past participles    108
12. Verbal substantive    111
13. Infinitive and Supine    112
14. Compound tenses    112
15. The Individual Classes of Verbs    114
15.1 Verbs with basic stems in -i+    114
15.2 Verbs with basic stems in -e+    116
15.3 Verbs with basic stems in -a+ preceded by a soft consonant other than j    118
15.4 Verbs with basic stems in -j-a+    119
15.5 Verbs with basic stems in -ova+ or -eva+    121
15.6 Verbs with basic stems in -a+ preceded by a hard consonant other than v    123
15.7 Verbs with the classifier -no+    127
15.8 Verbs with zero classifier, stems ending in a consonant other than j    131
15.9 Verbs with basic stems in aj+, -ej+, or -j-O+    135
16. Irregular verbs    137
17. On adjectives    142
18. On the use of the cases    143
19. On the use of the prepositions    151
20. On the syntax of the numerals    153
21. On the use of the verbal forms    153
22. Some other parts of speech    161
23. On negation    163
24. Vocabulary and the structure of words    166
25. Indo-European and Slavic    181
26. Methodology    185
27. Early IE to Pre-Balto-Slavic    190
28. Vowels    192
29. Changes    193
30. Word-initial constraints    203
31. Second regressive palatalization, KAI    205
32. Examples of derivation    206
33. Pre-Balto-Slavic compared with earliest Common Slavic    208
34. Examples    209
35. Specific problems    214
36. Initial vowels    217
37. IE and OCS morphology    221
38. Difficulties in history    224
39. Case-forms    228
40. Pronominal forms    230
41. Numerals    233
42. Conjugation in IE    235
43. Present system    236
44. Present markers    239
45. Nasal suffix    244
46. Imperative    246
47. Imperfect tense    246
48. Aorist    246
49. Infinitive and supine    247
50. Apophony    247
51.-52. On Slavic accent    248
53.-65. On the Slavic lexicon    250
Verb Index    259
Untitled    262

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