How come that Bulgarians started to speak a Slavic language?

Apr 2015
451
Pyrinos Polemos
All Slavic languages have a common layer of ancient Germanic and Iranic loanwords
There are two kinds (some linguists distinguish three kinds, about which below) of linguistic relations between words from different languages - cognates and loanwords. Cognates are words of common origin (from times before languages diverged from each other) in two different languages, and loanwords are words borrowed from one language to another. Sometimes it is not so easy to distinguish a loanword from a cognate.

But some linguists instead of the category of loanwords use two categories - loanwords and linguistic infiltrations.

Viktor V. Martynov defined the difference between a loan and an infiltration as follows (in short):

Inflitration is when there already exists a native term for a thing in a language, but a foreign term which is its exact synonym infiltrates. After that some kind of "struggle" for domination between two exact synonyms starts, as the result of which one disappears or changes its meaning. Loans - unlike infiltrations - are when there is no native term for a given thing, and a foreign term is adopted to fill "empty space".

A loanword was for example Slavic word for "cross", as Slavs did not have any crosses before Christianization.

According to L. Godecki, loans do not require direct contact with speakers of a language from which a term originated. Loans can be passed indirectly from one linguistic groups to another, and so on, and so on. As the result of cultural exchange, spread of technology.

On the other hand, infiltration of terms from one group to another usually implies that the two groups were direct neighbours.

Infiltration may also indicate existence of a transitional bilingual region, where lived people who spoke both languages.

For example an infiltration (not a loan) was the replacement of Old English "leode" by Old French "peupel", which is now "people".
 
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Apr 2015
451
Pyrinos Polemos
North Carpathians are Slovakia, western Ukraine, southern Poland. South of Carpathians is Bulgaria.
Entire Poland is located north of the Carpathian mountains. Western Ukraine as well (the only region of western Ukraine which is located south of the Carpathian mountains is Transcarpathia, which was part of Czechoslovakia and then Hungary before WW2).
 
Apr 2015
451
Pyrinos Polemos
Proto-Germanic language also had ancient loanwords from Iranic languages:

Proto-Germanic language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And according to wikipedia these loans date to 6th - 5th centuries BC:

From East Iranian came *hanapiz ‘hemp’ (cf. Khotanese kaṃhā, Ossetian gæn(æ) ‘flax’),[18] *humalaz, humalǭ 'hops' (cf. Osset xumællæg), *keppǭ ~ skēpą 'sheep' (cf. Pers čapiš 'yearling kid'), *kurtilaz 'tunic' (cf. Osset kwəræt 'shirt'), *kutą 'cottage' (cf. Pers kad 'house'), *paidō 'cloak',[19] *paþaz 'path' (cf. Avestan pantā, g. pathō), and *wurstwa 'work' (cf. Av vərəštuua).[20] These words could have been transmitted directly by the Scythians from the Ukraine plain, groups of whom entered Central Europe via the Danube, and created the Vekerzug Culture in the Carpathian Basin (6th-5th centuries BC), or by later contact with Sarmatians, who followed the same route.[21] Unsure is *marhaz 'horse', which was either borrowed directly from Scytho-Sarmatian or through Celtic mediation.
So Iranic loanwords in PGmc long predate any possible Germanic expansion into Iranic neighbourhood.

Rather, these loans come from times when Iranic-speakers made incursions into Central Europe.

Or, they came through Celtic mediation. Various loans in Slavic could also come through intermediaries.
 
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Jan 2016
1,141
Collapsed wave
Hi,

There is a linguistic study of the double words - bulgar/slavic in the modern bulgarian language:

Double Slavic-Bulgar words and expressions

The bulgarian language preserved over 100 words from the old bulgar language and they are the most basic ones as you can see from the link: house, bread, healthy etc etc.

Probably the old church slavonic established as an official language by Boris I finalized the genesis of a common language.
 
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Afrasiyab

Ad Honorem
Sep 2007
6,378
Hi,

There is a linguistic study of the double words - bulgar/slavic in the modern bulgarian language:

Double Slavic-Bulgar words and expressions

The bulgarian language preserved over 100 words from the old bulgar language and they are the most basic ones as you can see from the link: house, bread, healthy etc etc.

Probably the old church slavonic established as an official language by Boris I finalized the genesis of a common language.
This study seems quite flawed.

First, it does not specify what it is meant by Old Bulgar. The Turkic one?
Second, the article must provide some phonology and the transliteration( romanization) of the Bulgarian words.
Third, the list includes recent Turkish loan words in Bulgarian and fails to give the dates of their first attestment in Bulgarian.
Fourth, some explanations are wrong. Obich is not Caucasian ( what is caucasian?) it is most likely from Turkish: öpüsh ( to kiss one another)
 
Last edited:
Jan 2016
1,141
Collapsed wave
This study seems quite flawed.

First, it does not specify what it is meant by Old Bulgar. The Turkic one?
Second, the article must provide some phonology and the transliteration( romanization) of the Bulgarian words.
Third, the list includes recent Turkish loan words in Bulgarian and fails to give the dates of their first attestment in Bulgarian.
Fourth, some explanations are wrong. Obich is not Caucasian ( what is caucasian?) it is most likely from Turkish: öpüsh ( to kiss one another)
Well, the study argues that the old bulgar wasn't quite turkish, but yes by old bulgar they mean the pre-slavic language of the Bulgars from the pontic steppes and Pamir (the Asparukh and Kuber bulgars).

Interestingly the Indians have a nordic god called Kuber, but that is another story.

there are lists with references to each word here:
Old Bulgar words - A-V
Old Bulgar words - G-E
Old Bulgar words - ZH-I
...
You can find them in the index page.

I didn't do the study :).
However it sounds pretty convincing to me.
 

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