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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Syntactic feature or scribal convention?

Apr 18, 2012 by

In an earlier post, discussing the birch bark document 607/562 (see image on the left), I mentioned a peculiarity of word order in this brief crime report: the appositive phrase (=extra description) NOVGORODSKE SMЬRDE appears not...

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What’s in a (Russian) name?

Nov 23, 2011 by

[All names below are presented in the transliteration, rather than the more traditional English spelling] This post is in response to a question by John Cowan in connection with an earlier post that mentioned the Russian system of...

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Birch Bark Letters and the Second Slavic Palatalization, part 3

Sep 14, 2011 by

At the end of the previous posting, we’ve reached a conundrum: the Old Novgorod dialect must have diverged from the rest of the Slavic family early enough to avoid the application of the Second Slavic Palatalization, yet not...

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Birch Bark Letters and the Second Slavic Palatalization, part 2

Sep 13, 2011 by

At the end of the previous posting, I said that the Old Novgorod KѢLЪ, the Modern Russian CELYJ and the English whole are all cognates, but how are they related to each other? This is where the Second Slavic Palatalization comes in....

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