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  • Page extent: 660 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 1.13 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 491.8
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: PG41 .S85 2006
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Slavic languages

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521223157 | ISBN-10: 0521223156)

The Slavic Languages

Cambridge University Press
9780521223157 - The Slavic Languages - by Roland Sussex and Paul Cubberley


The Slavic group of languages – the fourth largest Indo-European sub-group – is one of the major language families of the modern world. With 297 million speakers, Slavic comprises 13 languages split into three groups: South Slavic, which includes Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian; East Slavic, which includes Russian and Ukrainian; and West Slavic, which includes Polish, Czech and Slovak. This book, written by two leading scholars in Slavic linguistics, presents a survey of all aspects of the linguistic structure of the Slavic languages, considering in particular those languages that enjoy official status. As well as covering the central issues of phonology, morphology, syntax, word-formation, lexicology and typology, the authors discuss Slavic dialects, sociolinguistic issues and the socio-historical evolution of the Slavic languages.

Accessibly written and comprehensive in its coverage, this book will be welcomed by scholars and students of Slavic languages, as well as by linguists across the many branches of the discipline.

ROLAND SUSSEX is Professor of Applied Language Studies at the University of Queensland, and formerly Professor of Russian at the University of Melbourne. He has taught a wide variety of courses in linguistics and applied language studies, including the linguistic description of the Slavic languages. He has previously published A Bibliography of Computer-Aided Language Learning (with David Bradley and Graham Scott, 1986), and Computers, Language Learning and Language Teaching (with Khurshid Ahmad, Margaret Rogers and Greville Corbett, Cambridge University Press, 1985).

PAUL CUBBERLEY was Senior Research Fellow in Linguistics at the University of Melbourne until 2001, and was previously Head of Russian there. He has also taught Czech, Polish, Old Church Slavonic, comparative Slavonic linguistics and the history of the Russian language. His previous publications include The Suprasegmental Features in Slavonic Phonetic Typology (1980), and most recently Russian: a Linguistic Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2002).


General editors

P. Austin (University of London)

J. Bresnan (Stanford University)

B. Comrie (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig)

S. Crain (University of Maryland)

W. Dressler (University of Vienna)

C. Ewen (University of Leiden)

R. Lass (University of Cape Town)

D. Lightfoot (University of Maryland)

K. Rice (University of Toronto)

I. Roberts (University of Cambridge)

S. Romaine (University of Oxford)

N. V. Smith (University College, London)

This series offers general accounts of the major language families of the world, with volumes organized either on a purely genetic basis or on a geographical basis, whichever yields the most convenient and intelligible grouping in each case. Each volume compares and contrasts the typological features of the languages it deals with. It also treats the relevant genetic relationships, historical development and sociolinguistic issues arising from their role and use in the world today. The books are intended for linguists from undergraduate level upwards, but no special knowledge of the languages under consideration is assumed. Volumes such as those on Australia and the Amazon Basin are also of wider relevance, as the future of the languages and their speakers raises important social and political issues.

Volumes already published include

Chinese Jerry Norman

The languages of Japan Masayoshi Shibatani

Pidgins and Creoles (Volume I: Theory and structure; Volume II: Reference survey) John A. Holm

The Indo-Aryan languages Colin Masica

The Celtic languages edited by Donald MacAulay

The Romance languages Rebecca Posner

The Amazonian languages edited by R. M. W. Dixon and Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald

The languages of Native North America Marianne Mithun

The Korean language Ho-Him Sohn

Australian languages R. M. W. Dixon

The Dravidian languages Bhadriraju Krishnamurti

The languages of the Andes Willem Adelaar with Pieter Muysken

The Slavic languages Roland Sussex and Paul Cubberley




Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo

Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York
Information on this title:

© Roland Sussex and Paul Cubberley 2006

This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and
to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,
no reproduction of any part may take place without
the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2006

Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN-13 978-0-521-22315-7 hardback

ISBN-10 0-521-22315-6 hardback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for
the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or
third-party internet websites referred to in this book,
and does not guarantee that any content on such
websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

For Bogusia and Gladys
Matthew and Joanna
Nadine and Michelle


   Preface   xvii
   Acknowledgments   xix
   Introduction   1
0.1Survey   1
0.2The Slavic languages in the world   1
0.3Languages, variants and nomenclature   2
0.3.1South Slavic   4
0.3.2East Slavic   5
0.3.3West Slavic   6
0.4Languages, polities and speakers   8
0.5Genetic classification and typology   9
0.6The linguistics of Slavic: empirical and theoretical characteristics   10
0.7Organization   13
0.7.1Transcription and transliteration   15
0.7.2Accent and stress   15
0.7.3Structure of the examples   17
0.7.4Abbreviations   17
0.8Outline   17
   Linguistic evolution, genetic affiliation and classification   19
1.1The Slavs: prehistory   19
1.2Slavic in Indo-European   21
1.2.1Slavic and Baltic   21
1.2.2Slavic and other Indo-European language families   24
1.3Proto-Slavic   25
1.3.1Phonology   26
1.3.2Morphology   40
1.3.3Syntax   41
1.4The sub-division of Slavic   42
1.5South Slavic   43
1.5.1Stage 1 features of South Slavic   43
1.5.2Stage 2 features of South Slavic   44
1.5.3Stage 3 features (individual South Slavic languages)   45
1.6East Slavic   46
1.6.1Stage 1 features of East Slavic   46
1.6.2Stage 2 features of East Slavic   48
1.6.3Stage 3 features (individual East Slavic languages)   50
1.7West Slavic   54
1.7.1Stage 1 features of West Slavic   54
1.7.2Stage 2 features of West Slavic   55
1.7.3Stage 3 features (individual West Slavic languages)   56
1.8Overview   58
   Socio-historical evolution   60
2.1The socio-historical context   60
2.1.1The external history of the Slavic languages   61
2.2South Slavic   62
2.2.1Old Church Slavonic and Church Slavonic   63
2.2.2Bulgarian   66
2.2.3Macedonian   69
2.2.4Serbo-Croatian, Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian   72
2.2.5Slovenian   76
2.3East Slavic   79
2.3.1Russian   81
2.3.2Ukrainian   84
2.3.3Belarusian (formerly Belorussian)   87
2.4West Slavic   89
2.4.1Polish   90
2.4.2Sorbian (Upper and Lower Sorbian)   93
2.4.3Kashubian and Slovincian   97
2.4.4Polabian   98
2.4.5Czech   98
2.4.6Slovak   101
2.5Overview   105
2.5.1Patterns of emergence of the standard languages   106
   Phonology   110
3.1Introduction   110
3.2Historical evolution and modern equivalences   110
3.2.1Development of the Proto-Slavic vowel system   111
3.2.2Development of the Proto-Slavic consonant system   137
3.2.3Development of Proto-Slavic sound combinations   149

© Cambridge University Press

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