SLAVIC CORNER

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Re: SLAVIC CORNER

Postby Sobekhotep » Mon 25 May 2009 4:21 am

rickardspaghetti wrote:Wich Slavic language do you think has the nicest orthography?

I like Cyrillic, so I'm going with Serbian Cyrillic.
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Re: SLAVIC CORNER

Postby linguoboy » Mon 25 May 2009 4:46 am

"Nicest" doesn't really say anything to me. I think Polish certainly has the most distinctive orthography. Whenever I see something written in Polish, I know instantly what language it is, and this was the case long before I learned to say two words of it. On the other hand, it is a "deep" orthography in the sense that one has to follow a number of rules to get from written form to spoken. The rules are regular, which is good, but they are obscure to most people, which causes confusion.

I'll give an example of what I mean. One of my all time favourite placenames is "Łódź". The reason being that not one letter in the word has the value one would expect based on familiarity with most other implementations of the Latin alphabet. Until relatively recently, the slash-l indicated velarisation, but now has the value of [w]. The o-acute was probably once a long, close [o] but now represents [u]. And the d+z-acute normally has a voiced palatal pronunciation, but at the end of a word this is regularly devoiced to [t​͡ɕ]. So a naïve non-Pole would say "lodz", when the actual pronunciation would best be rendered in English spelling as "wootch".

Another example would be the name of Nobel Peace Prize Awardee Lech Wałęsa. Someone must've told American news anchors that the ogonek indicated "an 'n' sound" but forgot to say anything about the slash-l, because the pronunciations I heard growing up were "vaLENsuh" and "waLENsuh", when the real deal is closest to "vaWENGsah". By contrast, the usual pronunciation of former Czech president Václav Havel's name was much near the mark.
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Re: SLAVIC CORNER

Postby Delodephius » Wed 08 Jul 2009 2:06 am

The only Cyrillic I like is the Early Cyrillic used for Old Church Slavonic and the later unreformed Cyrillic versions that were used by for example Ruthenians, Serbs (before Vuk Karadžić), Bulgarians and Macedonians, but not Russian after it was reformed by Peter the Great. In time all the Cyrillic versions were reformed and I personally don't like any modern Cyrillic.

I of course love Glagolitic, although it can get boring sometimes since it is not very practical and I have a very bad handwriting so it gets exhausting for me to write it.

It is interesting that Slavic languages as a whole were written with many different scripts: Latin, Glagolitic, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Arabic and Greek. Besides Latin and Cyrillic the other scripts didn't stick for long, except maybe Glagolitic which was used in Croatia on some Adriatic islands until the beginning of the 20th century and it is very popular all around Croatia even today. Hebrew was used for writing Knaanic in Czechia by Czech Jews. Arabic was independently used in Belarus by the Muslim Tatars and in Bosnia. Greek is in a way used today by the Macedonians living in Greece since the Cyrillic scripts would go noticed, however in the past the Bible in the Aegean Macedonian dialects was also written in the Greek script.
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Re: SLAVIC CORNER

Postby Sobekhotep » Fri 10 Jul 2009 3:43 am

Delodephius wrote:Arabic was independently used in Belarus by the Muslim Tatars

But Tatar is a Turkic language.
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Re: SLAVIC CORNER

Postby linguoboy » Fri 10 Jul 2009 4:30 am

Sobekhotep wrote:
Delodephius wrote:Arabic was independently used in Belarus by the Muslim Tatars

But Tatar is a Turkic language.

I assumed he meant "when writing Slavic". Hebrew is a Semitic language, but eventually most European Jews began writing in the local vernaculars, and they adapted the Hebrew script for this purpose. It should be no surprise that Muslim minorities of Europe would end up doing the same (mutatis mutandis). The Lipka Tatars in the part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania which was Polish- rather than Belarusian-speaking adapted Arabic script to write Polish.
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Re: SLAVIC CORNER

Postby Delodephius » Fri 10 Jul 2009 11:11 am

Sobekhotep wrote:
Delodephius wrote:Arabic was independently used in Belarus by the Muslim Tatars

But Tatar is a Turkic language.

Do you always have to nitpick? Try to figure out what I meant if I made a mistake, because I don't always pay that much attention to what I write. Just so we are clear from now on.
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Re: SLAVIC CORNER

Postby Talib » Fri 10 Jul 2009 8:17 pm

I always thought the different scripts used for Slavic languages were the result of religious differences. Ie. the Catholic Poles use the Latin alphabet and the Orthodox Russians use Cyrillic. I'm assuming cultural and geographic concerns are involved as well - aren't Czechs and Slovaks both Protestant, at least in theory?
linguoboy wrote:Another example would be the name of Nobel Peace Prize Awardee Lech Wałęsa. Someone must've told American news anchors that the ogonek indicated "an 'n' sound" but forgot to say anything about the slash-l, because the pronunciations I heard growing up were "vaLENsuh" and "waLENsuh", when the real deal is closest to "vaWENGsah".
When I was a kid I asked my mother how his name was pronounced (having seen it in print) and she said /lɛtʃ wɑˈlɛnsə/ which goes to show how intuitive Polish orthography is. Close but no kielbasa.

Another political figure who was a Slav, Slobodan Milošević wasn't so lucky. I have heard every possible permutation of his name ranging from /miloʊˈsɛvɪtʃ/ to /mɨlɑsəvɪk/ but never anything approaching the original /miloʃevitɕ/. Granted, that's hardly a guy who deserved a Nobel Peace Prize so I don't mind so much that his name got butchered.
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Re: SLAVIC CORNER

Postby Delodephius » Fri 10 Jul 2009 9:34 pm

aren't Czechs and Slovaks both Protestant, at least in theory?

Far from it. Granted, almost every single great Slovak intellectual in the past was a protestant, only about 5-10% of Slovaks are protestants (almost all are of the Evangelic Church of Augsburg Affiliation).
http://sk.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evanjelick ... evanjelici
Virtually every classical work of Slovak literature was written by a Protestant and the bulk of the intellectual force for Slovak independence was made of Protestants. Me myself being a Protestant, in my family we always had a theory that Catholics were too lazy and uninterested in anything for them to achieve something worth remembering and were content with the situation in the Slovak country. In a way, it was always the Protestants who rebelled and spoke their minds and work hard to gain higher education.

As for the Czechs, about 27% are Roman Catholics while the rest are either atheists or agnostic (about 60%).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographi ... c#Religion

Roman Catholics in Slovakia are about 70% and only some 15% of Slovaks are atheists, agnostics or irreligious. So the situation is quite different in the two countries.
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Re: SLAVIC CORNER

Postby Talib » Sat 11 Jul 2009 12:05 am

Delodephius wrote:Far from it. Granted, almost every single great Slovak intellectual in the past was a protestant
I was thinking of Jan Hus actually (I'm aware he was a Czech).
As for the Czechs, about 27% are Roman Catholics while the rest are either atheists or agnostic (about 60%).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographi ... c#Religion

Roman Catholics in Slovakia are about 70% and only some 15% of Slovaks are atheists, agnostics or irreligious. So the situation is quite different in the two countries.
I did know quite a large proportion of Czechs are irreligious which is why I said "in theory."
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Re: SLAVIC CORNER

Postby Delodephius » Sat 11 Jul 2009 12:49 am

Sobekhotep wrote:
Delodephius wrote:Arabic was independently used in Belarus by the Muslim Tatars

But Tatar is a Turkic language.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQqPf6Dm ... BA&index=5
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