Category Archives: Slovak

Slovak dabblings

Leafing through a few Slovak resources in the library yesterday evoked the image of a fractured landscape. The dialects considered Slovak actually differ on those specific phonological developments which usually define other Slavonic languages. In Rodolf Krajcovic’s A Historical Phonology of the Slovak Language (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1975) one reads:

Up to the present day we find roC-, loC-, and š in western and eastern Slovak for the CS oȓC-, ol̑C-, and x’, as well as the preservation of CS dl, tl, whereas in Central Slovak we have raC-, laC- and s respectively, and, with the exception of the verbal forms of the type padla, l for the CS dl, tl.

Nor is the lexicon of the language much standardized. In Beginning Slovak by Oscar E. Swan and Sylvia Gálová-Lorinc (Columbus: Slavica, 1992), the authors write:

A country where asking three different people how to say a “pack” of cigarettes may yield three different responses (škatuľka, krabička, balíček), or where two different informants will disagree vehemently about how to say “watch television,” presents special challenges both for the textbook writer and the student.