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Chapter 3 Balkan Aspects of Macedonian Grammar 1. The Balkan Sprachbund Features Clement and Naum, pupils of the Slavic apostles Cyril and Methodius, engaged in very productive religious and literary activity in the western Macedonian city of Ohrid. Their preaching and teaching, along with the inauguration of a patriarchate in Ohrid, during the rule of Czar Samuel (976–1014), are very significant for medieval Slavic cultural history and for the development of Old Church Slavonic. Even though, after the fall of the empire of Czar Samuel, the Ohrid church was demoted to the rank of archbishopric,1 the existence of an autonomous (autocephalous) ecclesiastical organization for eight centuries2 gave the entire region a special significance, regardless of the historical changes which took place during that period. Yet, at the present, as pointed out by Koneski (2001: 177), Macedonian occupies a peripheral position in the Slavic linguistic world. The reason for this is not only the relatively small number of speakers and recent standardization, but also, and more importantly, the multi-lingual environment on the Balkans, which caused Macedonian to drift away from Common Slavic more than any other Slavic language and develop features that have come to be referred to as Balkan Sprachbund features.3 Lindstedt (2000) singles out twelve grammatical Balkan Sprachbund features or Balkanisms and examines their attestation in five language groups of the Balkan Sprachbund: Greek, Albanian, Balkan Romance—including Romanian, Aromanian and Megleno-Romanian, Balkan Slavic—including Bulgarian, Macedonian and the Torlak Serbian dialects, and Balkan Romani. Giving one point for each “full” attesta1 The fact that the Ohrid archbishopric was headed by Greek archbishops and Greek was its official language contributed to the spread of Greek cultural and linguistic influence in Macedonia . Even after the establishment of the Ottoman Empire, Greek was the language of prestige, and along with Turkish—the language of the administration, and Aromanian and Albanian— languages with which the Macedonians in western Macedonia were in close contact, exercised a strong influence upon the phonology and structure of Macedonian. 2 The archbishopric was abolished in 1767. 3 The term Sprachbund was introduced by Trubetzkoy (1928: 17–18) who argued that the languages of a Sprachbund (a) are remarkably similar in sentence-structure and word-formation but show no systematic sound correspondences and (b) have a great number of common “cultural ” words, though their basic vocabularies may be diametrically different. Goląb (1956) defined the Balkan Sprachbund languages as a group of languages that have a large number of common calques and identical formal structure. 32 A GRAMMAR OF MACEDONIAN tion and half a point for a partial attestation, he calculates the Balkanization indices of the language groups discussed and receives the following scores: Balkan Slavic 11.5; Albanian 10.5; Balkan Romance and Greek 9.5 each; Romani 7.5. According to this “computation”, the Balkan Slavic languages are the most Balkanized ones and Macedonian actually scored 12. Thus, the peripheral position among the Slavic languages has been counterbalanced with a central place in the Balkan Sprachbund.4 1.1. Balkan Sprachbund Features of the Macedonian Verbal System A number of features characteristic for the Balkan Sprachbund verbal systems are very prominent in Macedonian; in particular: (a) loss of the infinitive and its replacement by structurally comparable subjunctive constructions, (b) ‘will’ future and future-in-the-past with tensed verbs, (c) ‘have’ present and past perfects, (d) evidentials. 1.1.1. The Macedonian subjunctive constructions are tensed verbs, preceded by the subjunctive marker da,5 occurring as (a) complements of modal verbs; (b) complements of a group of verbs that may go under the name “intentional verbs” and include control verbs, such as verbs with the meaning ‘try’, causatives, such as verbs with the meaning ‘force’, volitional verbs, such as verbs with the meaning ‘want’ or inchoatives , such as verbs with the meaning ‘start’; and (c) “bare subjunctives”, i.e., structures that do not occur in complement positions of main clauses. Examples:6 4 Though, throughout the period when the Balkan Sprachbund features were developing, Greek was most prestigious and most frequently used by speakers of the other languages in the area, it is not in Greek that the number of Balkan Sprachbund features is greatest, probably because, for the native speakers of Greek, the need of changes for the sake of communication has not been very urgent. Balkan Romani, on the other hand, has a relatively small number of Balkan Sprachbund features because it is spoken by a relatively small number...


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