Czech

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Description

Czech language or in abbreviation Czech (czesstina, czeskej gazyk) is a West Slavic language spoken in Bohemian Kingdom and in Republic of the Two Crowns in Lithuania.

The first notes on literary Czech is from 13th cc EC:

Pauel dal geſt ploſcoucih zemu Pavel dal jest Ploskovicích zem´u
Wlah dal geſt dolaſ zemu bogu Vlach dal jest Dolás zem´u bogu
i ſuiatemu ſcepanu ſe duema i sv´atému Ščepánu se dvěma
duſnicoma bogucea a ſedlatu dušníkoma, Bogučeja a Sedlatu.

Then, literary tradition went successfully on: Chronicle of so-called Dalimil, Alexandreis, Troian Chronicle etc. Very important was introduction of diacritics by Jan Hus. Czech literature had its peak in period of renaissance in person of Jan Ámos Komenský (lat. Iohannes Amos Comenius, boh. Höns Ámos Komniš, cz. Gan Aamos Komenskej), then it was slowly appalling in favour of German and later Bohemian.

The language became almost extinct in Bohemian Kingdom in late 18th cc EC; nowadays it has there only ca 20 000 speakers. Modern Czech was pronounced exclusively among the Czechs in Volhynia (500 000 ethnic Czechs) and therefrom transferred to Czechs in Bohemia, Qazaqstan (75 000 ), NAL (10 000) and Tejas (15 000).

The major effort was done by Josef Dobrowski (cz. Gosef Dobrowskej, boh. Jósef Toprofski) (* August 17, 1753 in Clin, BK; † January 6, 1829 in Pryn, BK), philologist, the father of Slavistics and Cechistics. He was a son of a soldier, travelling during his youth through the whole Bohemian Kingdom. He studied theology and became priest in Olmyc. In year 1779 he started to issue journal "Boiohämische Literatur". He was not exactly in a favour of Czech nationalism, but he also strongly opposed bohemicising. He wrote all his works in German or Latin (he was never fluent in Czech), he also invented German word "boiohämisch" and later "tschechisch" (lingua cecha in Latin) to make it different from "böhmisch". His major works are:

1809 - Ausführliches Lehrgebäude der tschechischen Sprache
first modern grammar of Czech (last was from 17th cc EC)
1813 - Entwurf zu einem allgemeinen Etymologicon der slawischen Sprachen
he briefly described the scientific way of Slavic etymology
1821 - Deutsch-tschechisches Wörtebuch
major effort to collect words, to clean the germanisms and to stop the chaotic "purists"
1822 - Institutiones linguae slavicae dialecti veteris

The next big character to him was Josef Jungmann (cz. Gosef Gunkman, boh. Jósef Junkmön) (* July 16, 1773 Chutlic/Hudlice, BK; November 14, 1847 Luck, Lithuania). He brought the study of Czech to scientific ground and he initiated so-called the first generation of revivalists. 1800, he emigrated with the wave of Czechs to Volhynia and he became the first teacher of Czech on grammar school in Luck. His greatest effort was re-introduction of digraphic orthography and completion of five-toms dictionary Slownjk czesko-niemeckej during 1834-39. The diacritics was repulsed by mostly Catholic Czechs because it built up ties to Bohemian language, Protestantism and to its author, Jan Hus, who was fully bohemicised and thus strongly hated.

long vowels - doubled grapheme ([a:] - aa, [e:] - ee), etymological digraphs ([u:] - au, uo, uow; [i:] of older _ý_ - ej) or single graphemes ([i:] - j)
palatal consonants - [S] - ss, [tS] - cz, [R] - rz, [Z] - sz; [D], [T], [N] - terminal: dj, tj, nj or other: diV, tiV, niV
special graphemes - [j] - g, [v] - w.

Czech language is now established quite well, there are indispensable number of books in Czech and among world-known writers we can count Garoslaw Sagfrt or prosaic Michal Agwaz.

Indo-European Languages
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Sorbian (Lusatian) Lekhitic Old Czech Western Subgroup Eastern Subgroup
Upper Sorbian
Lower Sorbian
Preimerian
Polabian
Old Czech

Czech
Slovene (aka Old Croatian)
Croatian
Serbian
(Sanjaki)
Old Church Slavonic †

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