Russian, Polish and Serbo-Croatian in Contrast


Sociolinguistic status; Phonology; Morphosyntax; the Lexicon

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No homework to allow you to prepare for the quiz.

Quiz - in class

Q # 3 (first 30 minutes of Week 13): Multiple choice on contrastive features.

Take a look at the UNC on-line grammars

Sociolinguistic Status

Primary language and etnicity: 1 ethnic group 1 language (Hungarian), 1 ethnic group 2+ languages (Norvegian), 2+ ethnic groups 1 language (Portuguese)

Polish, Russian: 1:1, Serbo-Croatian 2+:1

Lingua franca: Russian in the Soviet Union, Serbo-Croatian in Yugoslavia, Polish in the first and second republic

Script: Cyrillic (Russian), Latin (Polish, both Latin and Cyrillic (S-Cr); socio-political issues related to scripts

Language and political attitudes (the case of Russian in Poland)



Russian: free, dynamic, expiratory
Polish: bound (second-to-the-last syllable), static, expiratory
S-Cr: free (with restrictions), dynamic, musical (both length and tone)

Stress linked to the inherent features (Russian), no link (Polish, S-Cr)

Inherent phonemic features

Palatal oppositions: Polish (c:cz:ć, dz:dż:dź, s:sz:ś, z:ż:ź), S-Cr (c:č:ć, dž:đ, s:š, z:ž), Russian (ц:ч, дж, с:ш, з:ж)

Nasals: ę, ą (Polish), none (Russian, S-Cr)


Positional palatalization: full (Russian), partial (Polish), none (S-Cr).

Consonant clusters: more (Polish), less (Russian, S-Cr)


Morphonemic alternations: S-Cr (most), Polish (less), Russian (least)

Genders in plural: full paradigm (S-Cr), masculine personal vs. non-masculine personal (Polish), neutralized (Russian)

Plural declension ending: more distinct (Russian, Polish), less distinct (S-Cr)

Tenses: more complex (S-Cr), less complex (Russian, Polish)

Participles: more (Russian), less (Polish), least (S-Cr)

Enclitics: more (S-Cr), less (Polish), least (Russian)

Predicative instrumental: more (Polish, Russian), less (S-Cr)

The Lexicon

Patterns of borrowing: substantial Middle Eastern influences in S-Cr vs. sporadic influences in Polish and Russian

Northern vs. Southern lexical items, idioms, affixes (e.g., dem. -ka vs. -ica)