Image:Meletius Smotrisky Cyrillic Alphabet.PNG

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This page from the Church Slavonic Grammar ( 1619) by Meletius Smotrisky (R Мелетий Смотриский /m'el'et'ij smotr'isk'ij/) gives the Cyrillic alphabet in the semi-uncial style (R полуустав /poluustav/) as it was used in Eastern Europe (Muscovy, Ukraine, parts of Poland or "Rzecz Pospolita") at the time.

Note how the ancient yuses, of which only the uniotated variants survive, are given as variants (или /il'i/ "or") of the non-nasal letters ю /ju/, я /ja/).

Meletius names the language he describes "Slavonic", indicating a deliberate attempt to standardise a common literary language for the Orthodox Slavs. As such, his attempt failed, for the vernacular East Slavic languages had already diverged. In Russia and Ukraine, however, the book was extremely influential, and served as a model for later grammarians (e.g. Lomonosov) who began, a century and a half later, to codify the vernacular, thus assisting in the creation of the literary.

The name Slavonic-Russian (R славяно-русский /slav'ano russk'ij/) continued to be used for the common language of the Russian Empire as late as by Pushkin.

See also

  • Cyrillic
  • Slavic languages
  • Old Church Slavonic
  • Church Slavonic language
  • Old Russian language
  • Russian language
  • Ukrainian language


Scanned from Грамматики Словенския правилное синтагма .. Мелетия Смотриского, Вильна, 1619. Soviet-era reproduction, Kiev? n.d.

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The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed):
  • Cyrillic alphabet
  • Russian language
  • Wikipedia:Today's featured article/August 2004
  • Wikipedia:Today's featured article/August 28, 2004
  • Meletius Smotrytsky
  • Portal:Language/Language of the month
  • Portal:Language/Language of the month/May 2006