Slovak (/ˈsloʊvæk, -vɑːk/) or less frequently Slovakian is a West Slavic language (together with Czech, Polish, and Sorbian). It is called slovenský jazyk (pronounced [ˈslɔʋɛnskiː ˈjazik] ) or slovenčina ([ˈslɔʋɛntʃina]) in the language itself.
Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by approximately 5.51 million people (2014). Slovak speakers are also found in the United States, the Czech Republic, Argentina, Serbia, Ireland, Romania, Poland, Canada, Hungary, Germany, Croatia, Israel, the United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, Ukraine, Norway and many other countries worldwide.
he earliest written records of Slovak are represented by personal and place names, later by sentences, short notes and verses in Latin and Czech documents. Latin documents contain also mentions about a cultivation of the vernacular language. The complete texts are available since the 15th century. In the 15th century, Latin began to lose its privileged position in favor of Czech and cultural Slovak.
The Old Church Slavonic became the literary and liturgical language, and the Glagolitic alphabet, the corresponding script in Great Moravia until 885. Latin continues to be used in parallel. Some of the early Old Church Slavonic texts contain elements of the language of the Slavic inhabitants of Great Moravia and Pannonia, which were called the Sloviene by Slavic texts at that time. The use of Old Church Slavonic in Great Moravia was prohibited by Pope Stephen V in 885; consequently, Latin became the administrative and liturgical language again. Many followers and students of Constantine and Methodius fled to Bulgaria, Croatia, Bohemia, the Kievan Rus' and other countries.
From the 10th century onward, Slovak began to develop independently. Very few written records of Old Slovak remain, mainly from the 13th century onwards, consisting of groups of words or single sentences. Fuller Slovak texts appeared starting from 15th century. The old Slovak language and its development can be research mainly through old Slovak toponyms, petrificated within Latin texts. Examples include crali (1113) > kráľ, king; dorz (1113) > dvorec; grinchar (1113) > hrnčiar, potter; mussenic (1113) > mučeník, martyr; scitar (1113) > štítar, shieldmaker; zaltinc (1156) > zlatník, goldmaker; duor (1156) > dvor, courtyard; and otroč (1156) > otrok, slave, servant. In 1294, the monk Ivanka from Kláštor pod Znievom wrote: "ad parvam arborem nystra slowenski breza ubi est meta". It is important mainly because it contains the oldest recorded adjective Slovak in the Slovak language, whose modern form is slovensky. Up until this point, all adjectives were recorded mainly in Latin, including sclavus, slavus and sclavoniae.
Anton Bernolák, a Catholic priest (1762-1813), published the Dissertatio philologico-critica de litteris Slavorum in 1787, in which he codifies a Slovak language standard that is based on the Western Slovak language of the University of Trnava but contains also some central Slovak elements, e.g. soft consonants ď, ť, ň, ľ and many words. The orthography is strictly diacritical. The language is often called the Bernolák language. Bernolák continued his codification work in other books in the 1780s and 1790s and especially in his huge six-volume Slovak-Czech-Latin-German-Hungarian Dictionary, in print from 1825-1927. In the 1820s, the Bernolák standard was revised, and Central Slovak elements were systematically replaced by their Western Slovak equivalents.
This was the first successful establishment of a Slovak language standard. Bernolák's language was used by Slovak Catholics, especially by the writers Juraj Fándly and Ján Hollý, but Protestants still wrote in the Czech language in its old form used in Bohemia until the 17th century.
In 1843, young Slovak Lutheran Protestants, led by Ľudovít Štúr, decided to establish and discuss the central Slovak dialect as the new Slovak language standard instead of both Bernolák's language used by the Catholics and the Czech language used by older Slovak Lutheran Protestants. The new standard was also accepted by some users of the Bernolák language led by Ján Hollý, but was initially criticized by the older Lutheran Protestants led by Ján Kollár (died 1852). This language formed the basis of the later literary Slovak language that is used today. It was officially declared the new language standard in August 1844. The first Slovak grammar of the new language will be published by Ľudovít Štúr in 1846.
With the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918, Slovak became an official language for the first time in history along with the Czech language. The Czechoslovak Constitution of 1920 and the constitutional law on minorities which was adopted alongside the constitution on the same day established the Czechoslovak language as an official language Since the Czechoslovak language did not exist, the law recognized its two variants, Czech and Slovak. Czech was usually used in administration in the Czech lands; Slovak, in Slovakia. In practice, the position of languages was not equal. Along with political reasons, this situation was caused by a different historical experience and numerous Czech teachers and clerks in Slovakia, who helped to restore the educational system and administration because Slovaks educated in the Slovak language were missing.
Czechoslovakia split into Slovakia and Czechia in 1992. The Slovak language became the official language of Slovakia.
An Indo-European language, Slovak is closely related to other languages such as Czech. It is more distantly related to languages as far apart as English and Ancient Hittite.
Slovak's full classification is as follows:
Indo-European > Balto-Slavic > Slavic > West Slavic > Czech–Slovak > Slovak
Slovak has five (or six) short vowel phonemes. These five can also be distinguished by length, giving a total of 10 contrastive vowel phonemes. There are four diphthongs in the language.
Slovak has 29 consonant phonemes, however. These phonemes are contrasted by place of articulation as well as voicing. Voiceless stops and affricates are made without aspiration.
In the standard language, the stress is always on the first syllable of a word (or on the preceding preposition, see below). This is not the case in certain dialects. Eastern dialects have penultimate stress (as in Polish), which at times makes them difficult to understand for speakers of standard Slovak. Some of the north-central dialects have a weak stress on the first syllable, which becomes stronger and moves to the penultimate in certain cases. Monosyllabic conjunctions, monosyllabic short personal pronouns and auxiliary verb forms of the verb byť (to be) are usually unstressed.
Prepositions form a single prosodic unit with the following word, unless the word is long (four syllables or more) or the preposition stands at the beginning of a sentence.
Word order in Slovak is relatively free, since strong inflection enables the identification of grammatical roles (subject, object, predicate, etc.) regardless of word placement. This relatively free word order allows the use of word order to convey topic and emphasis.
Slovak nouns are inflected for case and number. There are six cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, locative, and instrumental. The vocative is no longer morphologically marked. There are two numbers: singular and plural. Nouns have inherent gender. There are three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Adjectives and pronouns must agree with nouns in case, number, and gender.
Slovak has 9 different personal pronouns, which can also appear in the various cases. The 9 pronouns are given in the nominative case in the table below.
|2p (2s formal)||vy|
|3p (masculine animate, or mixed genders)||oni|
Verbs have three major conjugations. Three persons and two numbers (singular and plural) are distinguished. Several conjugation paradigms exist as follows: Slovak is a pro-drop language, which means the pronouns are generally omitted unless they are needed to add emphasis. Historically, two past tense forms were utilized. Both are formed analytically. The second of these, equivalent to the pluperfect, is not used in the modern language, being considered archaic and/or grammatically incorrect. One future tense exists. For imperfective verbs, it is formed analytically, for perfective verbs it is identical with the present tense. Two conditional forms exist, both formed analytically from the past tense. Most Slovak verbs can have two forms: perfective (the action has ended or is complete) and imperfective (the action has not yet ended).
Slovak uses the Latin script with small modifications that include the four diacritics (ˇ, ´, ¨, ˆ) placed above certain letters (a-á,ä; c-č; d-ď; dz-dž; e-é; i-í; l-ľ,ĺ; n-ň; o-ó,ô; r-ŕ; s-š; t-ť; u-ú; y-ý; z-ž)
The primary principle of Slovak spelling is the phonemic principle. The secondary principle is the morphological principle: forms derived from the same stem are written in the same way even if they are pronounced differently. An example of this principle is the assimilation rule (see below). The tertiary principle is the etymological principle, which can be seen in the use of i after certain consonants and of y after other consonants, although both i and y are usually pronounced the same way.
Finally, the rarely applied grammatical principle is present when, for example, the basic singular form and plural form of masculine adjectives are written differently with no difference in pronunciation (e.g. pekný = nice – singular versus pekní = nice – plural).
Všetci ľudia sa rodia slobodní a sebe rovní, čo sa týka ich dostôjnosti a práv. Sú obdarení rozumom a majú navzájom jednať v bratskom duchu.
Sources & Further reading
Wikipedia articles on Slovak
This thread is foremost a place for discussion. Are you a native speaker? Share your culture with us. Learning the language? Tell us why you chose it and what you like about it. Thinking of learning? Ask a native a question. Interested in linguistics? Tell us what's interesting about it, or ask other people. Discussion is week-long, so don't worry about post age, as long as it's this week's language.
German | Icelandic | Russian | Hebrew | Irish | Korean | Arabic | Swahili | Chinese | Portuguese | Swedish | Zulu | Malay | Finnish | French | Nepali | Czech | Dutch | Tamil | Spanish | Turkish | Polish | Frisian | Navajo | Basque | Zenen| Kazakh | Hungarian | Greek | Mongolian | Japanese | Maltese | Welsh | Persian/Farsi | ASL | Anything | Guaraní | Catalan | Urdu | Danish | Sami | Indonesian | Hawaiian | Manx | Latin | Hindi | Estonian | Xhosa | Tagalog | Serbian | Māori | Mayan | Uyghur | Lithuanian | Afrikaans | Georgian | Norwegian | Scots Gaelic | Marathi | Cantonese | Ancient Greek | American | Mi'kmaq | Burmese | Galician | Faroese | Tibetan | Ukrainian | Somali | Chechen | Albanian | Yiddish | Vietnamese | Esperanto | Italian | Iñupiaq | Khoisan | Breton | Pashto | Pirahã | Thai | Ainu | Mohawk | Armenian | Uzbek| Nahuatl | Ewe | Romanian | Kurdish | Quechua | Cherokee |Kannada | Adyghe | Hmong | Inuktitut | Punjabi | Slovenian | Guaraní II | Hausa | Basque II| Georgian II| Sami II | Kyrgyz | Samoan | Latvian | Central Alaskan Yup'ik | Cape Verdean Creole | Irish II | Amharic | Cebuano | Akkadian | Bengali | Rohingya | Okinawan | Ojibwe | Assyrian Neo-Aramaic | Tahitian | Greenlandic | Kalmyk | Coptic | Tsez | Warlpiri | Carib | Hopi | Gothic | Ugaritic | Jarawa | German II | Bilua | Scots | Hokkien | Icelandic II | Sranan Tongo | Punjabi II | Burushaski | Dzongkha | Russian II | Hebrew II |Tundra Nenets | Korean II | Oneida | Arabic II | Telugu | Swahili II | Aymara | Standard Chinese | Cheyenne | European Portuguese | Kalaw Lagaw Ya | Swedish II | Pali | Zulu II| Paiwan | Malay II | Finnish II | French II | Nepali II | Lepcha | English | Czech II | Central Atlas Tamazight | Dutch II | Alabama | Tamil II | Chukchi | Turkish II | Sign Language Special | Spanish II | Tuvan | Polish II | Yakkha | Frisian II | Moloko | Navajo II | Palula | Kazakh II | Chakali | Hungarian II | Greek II | Mongolian II | Japanese II | Maltese II | Mende | Welsh II | Tulu | Gibberish | Persian II | Anything II | Konkani | Azerbaijani | Mam | Catalan II | Barry Olsen, interpreter, AMA | Ket | Urdu II | Danish II | Indonesian II | Hawaiian II
from Aloha | Languagelearning https://ift.tt/30mlFtm
via Learn Online English Speaking