North Slavic languages

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North Slavic languages

The North Slavic language group is one of the language branches in which the Proto-Slavic has been separated. Today, this group is represented by Nassian, Vozgian and Skuodian.


Historically, Skuodian is the langauge of the remigrant Pomorian Slavs. It isn't really West Slavic based (except perhaps in lexicon), but rather part of a homogenous pre-proto-Slavic-as-we-know-it entity. The East Baltic precursor of Skuodian (and hence modern) shares some important features with *here*'s NW Old Russian dialects (eg. in -e), but it is npot quite clear how this could come about.

If it is inherited, how do we deal with the fact that the other NS languages lacks these characteristics? Were there two incoming Slavic populations in the Pskov/Novgorod region (i. e. East Slavic and Nassian)? (I rather think so)

Overall, how close genetically are the Noth Slavic languages? My impression is that S and V are pretty close, but not too much. N seems quite aberrant in many respects.


Separated from Proto-Slavic approx. in 1st - 2nd cc EC (the state of divergence is the final stage of Early Proto-Slavic), influenced by Baltic and Finno-Ugric languages, isolated for cca 250 years from other Slavic langs. main tendencies are Slavic (progressive sonority, tendency to palatalisation), but realised in a different way. tendency to palatalisation is quite weak. main features: early deyodisation, non-existence of glides (and thus in later stages also of consonant v), vowel harmonisation, over-long vowels, long consonants, some agglutination.


Early history hasn't been worked out in detail yet, but it probably separated from Proto-Slavic later than Nassian did. Like the Nassians, the Vozgians are descendants of the Ilmenian Slavs. It could very well be that Vozgian separated from Proto-Slavic along with Nassian, but remained closer to the rest of the Slavic languages under the influence of its (mostly Russian) neighbours. There is no sign of Baltic influence, but the language has been under a strong influence from the Uralic languages, mainly Finnish and Komi. Russian influence is strong as well.

Main features: harmonisation of vowels, palatalisation of consonants (but, like in the case of Nassian, in a different way than usual), voicing and/or fricativisation of consonants before stressed syllables, some agglutination.

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