Are Languages of “Primitive Peoples” Primitive?

Jul 28, 2015 by

A recent discussion of Toki Pona, a conlang dubbed “the world’s smallest language” by Roc Morin on Business Insider Australia website, prompted me to write again on the issue of the so-called “primitive languages” (for my earlier...

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The Anatomy of “Touching”

Mar 20, 2015 by

The verb ‘to touch’ in Russian—kasat’sja and its perfective counterpart kosnut’sja—is a very peculiar one, in several respects. To begin with, it is unusual in having the clitic –sja, without any of the meanings typically...

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As Easy as ‘One’, ‘Two’, ‘Three’?—The Morphology and Syntax of “Numera...

Jan 29, 2015 by

“Numerals”, that is words designating cardinal numbers, in Old Church Slavonic (OCS) and Old Russian (OR) were nouns or pronouns rather than a separate morphosyntactic category, as they are in modern Russian. Hence, for OCS and OR, I...

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Overview of the Case System in Old Church Slavonic

Jan 27, 2015 by

Old Church Slavonic (OCS) had six cases, plus the vocative form. For the endings in the various cases, declensions, genders, stem types and parts-of-speech, consult “OCS Declension Tables” or Lunt (2001: 52-80). When is each case...

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Introduction to Old Church Slavonic Declension

Jan 25, 2015 by

In Old Church Slavonic (OCS), as in modern Russian, nouns have inherent gender (masculine, feminine, or neuter) and change for case and number, while adjectives and participles agree with the nouns they modified, or are predicated...

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Dative Absolute Demystified

Jan 23, 2015 by

The Old Church Slavonic (OCS) passage from Matthew 14:6, contains a phrase whose structure may not be immediately clear: dьni že byvъšu roždьstva irodova, translated in the King James Version as “But when Herod’s birthday was...

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