Linguistic studies on Macedonia

Ivan Kochev (compiler)





The collection "Linguistic Studies on Macedonia" published as No 36 from the series "Macedonian Library" is the second collective work by the Bulgarian linguists working with the Macedonia Scientific Institute, following the No 21 Collection from the same Library which was published in 1993 under the title "Problems of the Language in Macedonia". Certain part of the studies included m the new book are sequels of papers included in the previous volume which is testified both by the names of some authors and by the titles of some studies, too.


The studies published are of two types mainly: linguistic-historical and dialectological. The former type is closely related to Acad. Prof.. D. Angelov's historical survey "The Bulgarian Monasteries in Macedonia in the 9th—14th cc."; the second type is represented by Corresponding Member Ivan Duridanov's toponymic study "The Significance of Toponymy for the Ethnical Appurtenance of the Macedonian Dialects".


Acad. Prof. D. Angеlov's paper from the first topical range discusses the role of Bulgarian monasteries in Macedonia as an expression of the self-awareness of the Bulgarian people not only when they were free but also under a foreign domination. An appraisal of Bulgarian saints found an expression in the names of the monasteries. During the 9th-14th cc., the monasteries in Macedonia were centres of enlightenment and letters, where services in Bulgarian were done and books in Bulgarian were written and copied.


Some important terminological problems of a linguistic-historical nature are posed by Corresp. Mem. Prof. D. Ivanova-Mirchеva in the paper "Printed Books from the 16th c. and the So-Called "Serbian Edition" (Problems and Tasks of Future Studies)". A comprehensive survey should be undertaken on the so-called "Slavonic books in Cyrillic Script", "Serbian printed books", "rare Church Slavonic books", or "Macedonian books": these should be studied in their linguistic, genre, and textological aspects, and not only orthographically (as it used to be so far) in order to establish their proper place in the history of the Bulgarian language.


The study of Prof. Dr. V. Kjuvliеva-Mishajkova "Neophyte of Rila - Founder of Bulgarian Lexicography" discusses comprehensively the manuscript explanatory and translational "Bulgarian-Greek Dictionary" which has revealed for the first time various aspects of the use of Bulgarian word sfock: everyday life, science, art, business, church matters, etc., on the basis of dictionary materials from the whole language territory — Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia.


The paper by T. Nikolova, "Variant Forms in the Works of Jordan Hadjikonstantinov-Djinot" studies one type of syntagmatic constructions characterized by a common formal feature: the immediate placement in brackets





of one word after another in order to clarify the meaning: емишъ (овощія), ухае (мирише), гой се (дебели). This trend was typical of Bulgarian National Revival press when the lack of normative dictionaries used to be compensated for in the above-mentioned way.


Profound evidence material is to be found in Assoc. Prof. Dr. D. Ivanova's paper "Grigor Purlichev and the Bulgarian Lexical System in the 1860's1880's". An emphasis is laid on the contribution of that man-of-letters from Macedonia to the development of the Bulgarian literary language and particularly to the unification of the lexical norms in the stylistic differentiation of speech, as well as to the enrichment of the word stock with units both from the Southwestern Bulgarian dialects and from some foreign languages.


The dialеctological section of studies opens up with a survey of certain phonetic phenomena. Here belongs the above-mentioned study by Acad. Prof. I. Duridanov. On the basis of 128 toponymes, of them 108 being with the sounds шт (шч) and 20 with жд (ж) (not including the microtoponymic material), the conclusion is drawn that in the past the Macedonian dialects have possessed (and not a small part of them are still possessing) the most typical feature of the Bulgarian language: the sound groups шт (шч) and жд (ж) in the place of the Proto-Slavonic tj, kt’ and dj, i. e. toponymy yields most valuable evidence about the indivisibility of Macedonian dialects from the rest ol Bulgarian dialects — in Thrace and Moesia.


A specific sequel of the problem studied is the paper by Prof. Dr. I. Kochеv "The Combinations шт, жд in the Salonica Dialect", in which the various intercessors шт, шк', шч, к', ч and жд, жг', жџ, жж, ж, г' in Bulgarian, respectively, are deduced from the older forms ш'т', ж'д' which are typical for the Salonica dialect even nowadays.


Another big section comprises the studies discussing the phonetics and phonology of Bulgarian dialects from Macedonia.


A particular analysis is undertaken by Dr. L. Antonova-Vasileva, Ph D, in her study "Phonetic System of the Dialect of the Village of Volak, Drama Region". On the basis of the historic development of vocalism and consonantism, the conclusion is drawn that the Drama dialect is a typical representative of the western - most part of the Ruptzi (southeastern) dialects which share the common paths of development of the Bulgarian language.


The Southwestern Blagoevgrad dialect is presented by the speech of the village of Leshko (consonantism) by Assist. Prof. Dr. Е. Hristova. Using the structural approach from Trubetskoy's classical phonological theory, the author stresses the typical west-Bulgarian nature of the consonant system with its autonomous palatal order of consonants ќ, ѓ, л́, н́ й and with correlation on the principle of voicedness-voicelessness of the consonants alone.





The problems of dialect morphology of a single dialect are treated in a paper by В. Tsanov, Ph D, entitled "Morphological System of the Dialect of Petrich". The study is a descriptive one (accounting for all parts of speech) and is supported by examples from everyday speech.


The morphological specificities of the Macedonian dialects are the subject of analysis in two papers: "The South-Bulgarian Ending(а)м for the First Person, Sg, Present Tense, for Verbs of the 1st and 2nd Conjugation" by Dr. S. Keremedchieva, Ph D, and "Adverbs of Time in the Bulgarian Dialects from Macedonia" by Dr. M. Vitanova, Ph D.


Three comprehensive studies deal with the problems of dialect word formation: "Attributive Personal Names in the Bulgarian Dialects from Macedonia" by Assoc. Prof. Dr. M. Tеtovska-Troеva; "The Word Formative Category of nomina essendi in the Bulgarian Dialects from Macedonia (a Comparative Survey) by Dr. E. Kjaeva, PhD; and "Compounds for nomina agentis in the Southwestern Bulgarian Dialects (a Comparative Survey)" by Dr. L. Domuschiеva, PhD. On the basis of a unified (structural) methodology related to synchronous word formation, the three papers point out the all-Bulgarian models and types on which the respective names in the Macedonian dialects are formed.


The last paper in the collection, "Ethnonymes with deethnonymic Meanings in the Bulgarian Dialects (Moesia, Thrace, Macedonia)" by Dr. S. Tеllalova, is of an ethnolinguistic character. It discusses the secondary meanings of ethnonymes and of the derivatives linked in a word-formative relation with them.


Apart from their impressive abundance of materials, the papers included in the present collection have a methodological feature in common: they are all based on a wide comparison between the dialects from the whole Bulgarian linguistic territory.


Prof. Dr. I. Kochev



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