Macedonian Language - Vocabulary

Vocabulary

As a result of the close relatedness with Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian shares a considerable amount of its lexicon with these languages. Other languages which have been in positions of power, such as Ottoman Turkish and increasingly English also provide a significant proportion of the loan words. Prestige languages, such as Old Church Slavonic, which occupies a relationship to modern Macedonian comparable to the relationship of medieval Latin to modern Romance languages, and Russian also provided a source for lexical borrowings.

During the standardization process, there was deliberate care taken to try and purify the lexicon of the language. Serbisms and Bulgarisms, which had become common due to the influence of these languages in the region were rejected in favor of words from native dialects and archaisms. One example was the word for "event", настан, which was found in certain examples of folk poetry collected by the Miladinov Brothers in the 19th century, while the Macedonian writer Krste Misirkov had previously used the word собитие . This is not to say that there are no Serbisms, Bulgarisms or even Russianisms in the language, but rather that they were discouraged on a principle of "seeking native material first".

The language of the writers at the turn of 19th century abounded with Russian and, more specifically, Old Church Slavonic lexical and morphological elements which in the contemporary norm are substituted with more current models. Thus, the now slightly archaized forms with suffixes –ние and –тел, adjectives with the suffixes –телен and others, are now constructed following patterns more typical of Macedonian morphology. For example, дејствие corresponds to дејство, лицемериелицемерство, развитиеразвиток, определениеопределба, движениедвижење, продолжителпродолжувач, победителпобедник, убедителенубедлив, etc. Many of these words are now synonymous or have taken on a slightly different nuance in meaning.

New words were coined according to internal logic and others calqued from related languages (especially Serbo-Croatian) to replace those taken from Russian, which include известиеизвештај, количествоколичина, согласиеслога, etc. This change was aimed at bringing written Macedonian closer to spoken language, effectively distancing it from the Bulgarian language which has kept its numerous Russian loans, and represents a successful puristic attempt at abolishing a lexicogenic tradition once common in written literature.

Read more about this topic:  Macedonian Language

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