The “Who is Who” in Matthew 14: 1-12

Jan 21, 2015 by

The Old Church Slavonic passage we are reading this week and the next, Matthew 14: 1-12 tells the story of the death of John the Baptist (in Russian: Иоанн Креститель),an itinerant preacher who is said to have baptized Jesus. Many...

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Is There a Vocative Case in Russian?

Jan 15, 2015 by

As we’ve discussed in class, Old Church Slavonic (OCS) had seven cases (cf. Lunt 2001: 52-54): the six cases familiar from modern Russian and the vocative, used to address someone. As noted in Lunt (2001: 52), “a separate vocative...

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“And He said, saying”?

Jan 13, 2015 by

[This post draws heavily on the work of Joel M. Hoffman.] In an earlier post, I have examined a millennium-long historical connection between Old Church Slavonic (OCS) and modern Russian. Here, I will look at another peculiarity of...

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The Influence of Old Church Slavonic on Russian

Jan 12, 2015 by

As mentioned in my earlier post, besides being the liturgical language used by the Russian Orthodox Church, Old Church Slavonic (OCS) played a pivotal role in the formation of the Russian literary language. In the Middle Ages, OCS...

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The Story of Jers

Jan 11, 2015 by

Let’s start with a puzzle that concerns not OCS directly but modern Russian. Consider the following nominative and genitive forms of nouns; in addition to the suffix –a for the genitive, something else happens here: kov’or...

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