The Czech Languages Laura A. Janda UNC-CH

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Transcript The Czech Languages Laura A. Janda UNC-CH

The Czech Languages

Laura A. Janda UNC-CH

Pre-History  Original inhabitants were Celts  Slavs arrived in 6 th century  Legends of matriarchal rule, prophesy of Libuše, and “Girls’ War” in 7 th century  Creation of Greater Moravia in early 9 th century

Christianization of the Slavs    SS. Cyril and Methodius travel to Moravia in 863, invited by Prince Rostislav, first development of written language for Slavs 880 S. Ludmila is baptized by Methodius; Svatopluk blinds Rostislav, drives Methodius out, makes deal with Franks 924-935 Prince V áclav (“Good King Wenceslaus”) reigns briefly and is murdered like his grandmother Ludmila

Christianization of the Slavs

Charles IV 1346-1378, King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emporer  1348 founding of Charles U. in Prague, oldest university north of the Alps  Founding of New Town, construction of St.Vitus’ Cathedral, Charles Bridge, many monasteries and castles, golden age of Bohemian art  First complete translation of the Bible into Czech

Charles IV 1346-1378, King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emporer

Reformation and Early Habsburg Rule  1415 Jan Hus, preacher and inventor of diacritics burned at the stake    1419-1434 the Hussite wars 1526, Ferdinand I, a Habsburg, becomes King of Bohemia, and ultimately Austria and Hungary as well, ushering in 400 years of Habsburg rule in Bohemia 1579-1594 translation of Kralice Bible and golden age of Czech literature

Decline and Renewal  1618 Habsburg repressions incite Prague defenestration, initiating 30 Year War  1620 Defeat at White Mountain   Two centuries of decline and oppression 1809 Josef Dobrovský’s Czech grammar  Remainder of 19 th century: Czech National Revival

The Twentieth Century  1918 Dr. Tom áš Garrigue Masaryk becomes president of the “First Republic”  1938 Munich agreement signed by Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain, Daladier  1948 Communist party comes to power  1968 Prague Spring and August invasion  1989 Velvet Revolution  1993 Velvet Divorce


 When a population uses one language for high-brow purposes, such as written documents, but another language for all other purposes

King James > Scots English  Phonology (sounds)  Loss of final consonants  and > an; of > o; have > hae; with > wi  Diphthongization  to > tae; parts > pairts; dogs > dowgs; eating >aitin  Morphology (forms of words)  Verb endings  saying > sayin; the dogs get > the dowgs gets

King James > Scots English  Syntax (how words are combined)  Be it unto thee even as thou wilt > ye will een hae your will  Her daughter was made whole > her dachter cowred her ill  Lexicon (words)  Children’s > bairns’  Table > buird

Literary Czech > Spoken Czech  Phonology  é>í; ý>ej; o- > vo  Morphology  Endings are different for nouns, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, numerals, conjugated verb forms  Gerunds and participles are absent in the spoken language

Literary Czech > Spoken Czech  Syntax  Relative clauses are formed differently  Pronouns and cases are used differently  Lexicon  Hundreds of common words are different, such as the words for ‘father’, ‘house’, ‘money’, ‘mouth’, ‘few’, ‘much, many’

A true story…   Já mluvím úplně spisovně. Ty to ale slyšíš



“I speak in a completely literary fashion. You, however, hear it with



 The literary Czech version would be

nes pisovnýma