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A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

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A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of LithuaniaThe article critically assesses the theory of communicative networks and its applicability in the study of multilingualism as found in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL). The author analyzes foundations for postulating the existence of a speech community in the GDL and adduces counterarguments against viewing this community as a linguistic alliance of the Balkan type. The article offers new sociolinguistic and areal-typological methods of the study of language contacts. The author substantiates a systematic approach toward the problem of the ethnic attribution of Ruthenian. Based on the literary, linguistic, and cultural parameters, the author offers to drop the term ‘Old (Middle) Belarusian’ or ‘Old (Middle) Ukrainian’ in reference to this language. Brakujące ogniwo? Wielkie Księstwo Litewskie w świetle socjolingwistykiW artykule poddano krytycznej analizie teorię sieci komunikacyjnych i jej zastosowanie w badaniach nad wielojęzycznością na terenie Wielkiego Księstwa Litewskiego (dalej WKL). Autor rozpatruje podstawy zarówno postulowania istnienia wspólnoty językowej w WKL, jak i kontrargumenty przemawiające przeciwko postrzeganiu tej wspólnoty jako sojuszu językowego na wzór bałkański. Artykuł podaje nowe metody socjolingwistyczne i przestrzenno-typologiczne w badaniach kontaktu języków. Autor uzasadnia systemiczne podejście do zagadnienia etnicznej atrybucji języka rusińskiego. Na podstawie wskazań literaturoznawczych, językoznawczych i kulturowych postuluje zaniechanie posługiwania się w odniesieniu do tego języka terminami ‘staro-(średnio-) białoruski’ lub ‘staro-(średnio-)ukraiński’.
Acta Baltico‑Slavica, 41
Warszawa 2017
is is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 PL
License (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/pl/), which permits redistribution, commercial and non-
-commercial, provided that the article is properly cited. © e Author(s) 2017.
Publisher: Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences
[Wydawca: Instytut Slawistyki Polskiej Akademii Nauk]
DOI:
10.11649/abs.2017.002
Andrii Danylenko
Pace University
New York, NY
adanylenko@pace.edu
A missing chain?
On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
1. Introduction
It is no exaggeration to say that Leszek Bednarczuk (1993, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2010a,
2013) made a pioneering contribution to the study of multilingualism in the Grand
Duchy of Lithuania (GDL). In particular, his research has been concerned with struc-
tural anities in the languages used in the GDL due to heavy contact in the years
between the Union of Lublin (1569) and the Moscovite invasion of 1655 (Bednar-
czuk, 1994, p. 109). Based on the theory of communicative networks as elaborated by
Zabrocki (1963), Bednarczuk resorted in his study of multilingualism in the GDL to
the concept of communicative (speech) community (“współnota komunikatywna”).
e existence of this community, according to Bednarczuk (1994, p. 110, 1997), deter-
mined the formation of Lithuanian and Belarusian, northeastern borderland Polish,
From the Editors of Acta Baltico-Slavica: is article was reviewed by a historian with some res-
ervations. In view of the scholarly signicance of t he problem of the Ruthenian () language in
the chancellery of the Great Duchy of Lithuania and a positive review of the second reviewer, a linguist,
the proposed text is published with the author’s corrections made in accordance with the reviewers’
comments.
Andrii Danylenko A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
32
the languages of the Lithuanian Tatars, Karaites, Jews as well as the local variety of
Roma. Subsequently, Bednarczuk (2013, pp. 30–31) added to the aforementioned com-
munity of major and secondary languages the dialects of the Narew river (see Dini,
1997, pp. 214–217, 2014, pp. 299–306; Zinkevičius, 1992) and, latest of all, the dialects
of Russian Old Believers who appeared in Lithuania in the late 17th century (see
Čekmonas, 2001; Grek-Pabisowa, 1999). In this respect, one should also give credit to
Reczek (1989) who drew a clear distinction between the autochthonous and colonial
languages (“języki ludności napływowej”). Among the autochthonous languages,
this scholar named Slavic, including Polish, Belarusian, and Ukrainian, and Baltic,
i.e., Old Prussian, extinct before the 18th century, Latvian and Lithuanian, although
a list of the latter languages is far from exhaustive (Dini, 2014, pp. 290–320); Reczek
also mentioned a number of smaller communal languages such as German, Yiddish,
Romani, Tatar, Karaite, and Armenian all accounted for by Bednarczuk in his sub-
sequent studies dealing with the multilingualism of the GDL.
In this paper I review the concept of communicative networks as applied in
the study of multilingualism of the GDL (see Bednarczuk, 1999, pp. 113–114; Marcin-
kiewicz, 2000) during the period of relatively stable language contacts and cultural
tolerance in the state of the two nations (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) (Ochmań-
ski, 1990, pp. 136–137; Topolsk a, 2002, pp. 11–123). In particular, my study is concerned
with the place of Belarusian and Ukrainian in the system of linguistic interrelations
in the GDL. I determine reasons behind the misleading use of the term Belarusian
in scholarly literature in reference to the East Slavic language (Ruthenian) employed
in the administration of the GDL. I rst dwell on some methodological shortcom-
ings of the communicative networks approach to the study of multilingualism and,
by default, multiculturalism in the GDL (Section 2). In Section 3.1 both linguistic and
philological arguments are adduced with an eye to refuting the aforementioned concept
as obscuring our understanding of the sociolinguistics of the GDL. Section 3.2 oers
a critical assessment of the current state of the study of multilingualism in the GDL
as reected in the nomenclature of the designations of the East Slavic language and
the respective ethnic components, including the Ukrainian one. In Section 4, I provide
In the course of his research Bednarczuk changed his interpretation of the speech (communica-
tive) community in terms of convergences leading ultimately to the emergence of a linguistic league like
the Balkan Sprachbund. At the outset, Bednarczuk (1994, p. 110) argued that the nature of such a com-
munity in the GDL did not achieve the level of this “classical ” linguistic alliance. As late as 2013, however,
he admitted that one could speak about the GDL “as a multilingual system of communication – not unlike
the Balkan Sprachbund and other linguistic communities in some respect” (Bednarczuk, 2013, p. 21; for
a critical discussion, see Danylenko, 2011).
Actually, the GDL was a kind of dual Lithuanian-Ruthenian, or even a Ruthenian-Lithuanian
polity before becoming a Polish-Lithuanian-Ruthenian federation in 1569, with the mass arrival of Pol-
ish landowners and clergy in the territories of the GDL (Danylenko, 2011, p. 145; Plokhy, 2006, p. 87).
Andrii Danylenko A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
33
general conclusions and possible ways out of the methodological impasse in the study
of the sociolinguistics of the GDL, thus restoring one missing chain in the “mosaic”
of the early modern alliance of dierent peoples and languages co-existing in this
political entity.
2.
e theory of communicative networks and the multilingualism
of the GDL
e theory of communicative networks, rst elaborated by Zabrocki in 1963, has
been, most explicitly, applied to the study of multilingualism in the GDL by Marcin-
kiewicz (1997, 2000; see Bednarczuk, 1994, 1999, 2010a). In order to critically assess
the theoretical premises of this approach, I discuss in this section the sociolinguistic
scenario of multilingualism, as outlined by Marcinkiewicz who based his reasoning
on the following two postulates.
First, any communicative network, including that within the GDL, should be viewed
as an autonomous structure whose binding forces are the need to communicate and
a shared code of communication. A particular communicative network, constrained
by certain social and psychological laws and historical processes, produces a means
of communication, that is, a dialect or a language to fulll concrete social functions
(Marcinkiewicz, 2000, p. 48).
Second, such a language may undergo changes as dierent communicative networks
come into contact; it may eventually succumb to assimilation processes and suer
complete replacement by the language of another communicative network. According
to Marcinkiewicz (2000, p. 48) it is only by examining the history of communicative
networks and the principles governing their development that we can gain insight into
the reasons why languages appear and disappear, or why they change.
Changes of the communicative networks (for instance, wars, migrations, coloniza-
tion, appearance/disappearance of tribal, cultural, political or religious associations,
and the like) can be described in terms of social integration and disintegration, and
consequently must lead to linguistic integration and disintegration (Marcinkiewicz,
2000, p. 49). Moreover, two speech communities within a single communicative net-
work are typically antagonistic with respect to each other and will ght to preserve
their own integrity and to strengthen their own position. One of them will gradually
dominate the other to become the superior speech community and will try to eliminate
the rival (inferior) community (Marcinkiewicz, 2000, p. 50).
All the above allowed Marcinkiewicz (2000) to argue that the integrational pro-
cesses within the communicative networks in the GDL might have taken place in two
stages. During the rst stage the Ruthenian language was dominant, while the second
stage was marked by the domination of the Polish language. During the rst centuries
Andrii Danylenko A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
34
of the existence of the GDL whose territory had been heterogeneous and organized
around distinct language centers, Ruthenian, called by Marcinkiewicz “(Old) Belo-
russian”, served as a lingua franca. It helped not only in communicating with eastern
princes but also proved indispensable in collecting taxes, recruiting soldiers, and
the like. It is not surprising that the Lithuanian code of laws (Lithuanian statutes)
of 1529, 1566 and even 1588 was compiled in chancellery Ruthenian.
Deserving of attention is the status of chancellery Ruthenian. Based on the Old
Eastern Slavic tradition, this language of administration showed, in fact, largely Belaru-
sian features (see , 1965, p. 39). To take phonetic features as an example,
one can mention a rare use of the letter ě, sometimes in the place of the etymologi-
cal e; the use of unstressed e instead of the etymological ja (< ę); the dispalataliza-
tion of , although krivda ‘a wrong deed’; the intermittent use of hard and so l
and n in the environment before consonants and aer vowel (see a, 1989).
Yet some of those features were also attested in the proto-Ukrainian-speaking ter-
ritories, although the consistent use of these and other features in Belarusian might
speak about the Belarusian dialectal basis of this language during the rst period of
the linguistic integration in the GDL.
e Polish language took over the processes of linguistic integration inuencing
the nobility of the GDL aer a slow demise of Ruthenian already in the late 16th century
aer a series of decrees and unions (Marcinkiewicz, 2000, pp. 56–60) and its nal disap-
pearance as a lingua franca in Lithuania-Poland in the late 17th century. In fact, there
are several well-known reasons behind the increase of the inuence of Polish, especially
in the 16th century. Kurzowa (1991, p. 34) mentioned, in particular, a series of decrees
starting with the Union of 1386 to the Hrodno Union of 1400 as well as the 1401 Union
of Vilnius and the 1413 Pact of Horodło leading in the long run to the assimilation of
Lithuania at the cost of the Ruthenian element and Orthodoxy. Additionally, one should
bear in mind the predominant role of landed gentry (“szlachta”) who enjoyed a politi-
cally and economically privileged position as compared with the local Lithuanian and
Ruthenian population. Investigators agree that the Lithuanian and Ruthenian gentry
Clearly, the dominance of Ruthenian was less pronounced among the Lithuanians. Suce it to
mention here Erasmus Vitellius, a secretary to Grand Duke Alexander and his envoy to Pope Alexan-
der VI, speaking about the Lithuanians: “Linguam propriam observant. Verum quia Rutheni medium
fere ducatum incolunt, illorum loquela dum gracilis et facilior sit, utuntur communius” (ey stick to
their language. Yet, as almost one half of the Duchy was populated by the Ruthenians, they use their
language more oen because it is a sophisticated and simple language) (einer, 1861, p. 278; see Mar-
cinkiewicz, 2000, pp. 55–56; Totoraitis, 1938, p. 256).
 In a 1569 charter reassessing the privileges given to the Kyiv palatinate, it was proposed to limit
the role of Ruthenian and expand t he use of Polish as compared with the 1529 and 1569 Lithuanian Statutes
(Volumina legum, 1859, pp. 86, 83); the Ruthenian language was subsequently abandoned in all the ter-
ritories of the GDL and the Polish Crown in 1697 (Volumina legum, 1860, p. 83; see Gordziejev, 2004).
Andrii Danylenko A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
35
who were assimilating en masse to Polish culture and language, were a very important
driving force for the spread of Polish and the ultimate polonization of the social life
and language(s) in the GDL (Kurzowa, 1991, pp. 30–31; Topolska, 2002, pp. 195–206;
Zielińska, 2002, pp. 361–365). e strife between Polish, on the one hand, and Lithu-
anian and Ruthenian, on the other, slowly decreased since the landed gentry became
in the 15th – 16th centuries particularly supportive of the union of the two nations
(Ochmański, 1990, p. 131). Arguably, the Lithuanian and Ruthenian landowners who
constituted the ruling elite of the GDL were reluctant to adopt the Polish-Latin order
in the newly formed federation. It is not surprising then that it was the local nobility in
the GDL who petitioned the local parliament (Sejmik) of Navahrudak (Polish Nowo-
gródek) to make the Polish language ocial. As early as 4 September 1696 the Sejmik of
Navahrudak approved a resolution according to which, on 5 February 1697, all the local
representatives had to vote for such a reform in the parliament (Sejm) of the Polish-
Lithuanian Commonwealth (Sliesoriūnas, 2002).
Finally, the growing role of Polish in the GDL, and especially in its Ruthenian ele
-
ment, was triggered by the conversion of Lithuania to Catholicism in 1387 by Jogaila,
Grand Duke of Lithuania and, later, King of Poland; as history has it, he established
the cathedral church in Vilnius and also built rst seven churches in such localities
as Ukmergė, Maišiagala, Nemenčinė, Medininkai (in eastern Lithuania), Krėva,
Oboltsy, and Haina (in what is now Belarus) (Turkowsk a, 1985, p. 163). All this lead
to the appearance of two Churches in a nascent conict, the Catholic one enjoying all
kinds of privileges and the Orthodox one deprived of its previous auent status. Yet,
as early as 1434, Grand Duke Sigismund Kęstutaitis (Zygmunt Kejstutowicz) changed
this situation by bestowing the same rights and privileges upon the Ruthenian Ortho-
dox and Lithuanian Catholic nobility (Kurzowa, 1991, p. 33). However, the arrival
of Reformation in the rst part of the 16th century mostly from the Polish Crown
changed the socio-linguistic and cultural environment by strengthening the status
of Polish culture and, especially, language which was introduced into the liturgy of
It should be borne in mind, however, that speakers of the communal languages, less integrated
in the social life, were not that much open to the new Polish-Latin order. Of interest is the reaction of
the Lithuanian Jews of Vladimir (Ludmir) who found themselves aer the Union of Lublin in the new
Polish-Lithuanian state. Having received a privilege charter issued by King Stefan Batory in Latin, the Jews
asked that the charter be translated rst into Polish and copied into the town records in Ruthenian. A year
later, the Jews of Trakai (Polish Troki) petitioned King Stefan Batory to reissue the privilege charter of
King Sigismund II in Ruthenian instead of Latin “for better understanding” (, 1909, p. 25; see
Martel, 1938, pp. 33–66).
e fact that Długosz invented this ideologica l program, or rather tenet long aer Jogaila was dead
does not change either the line of the chronology of argumentation with regard to t he role of Catholicism
in the spread of Polish culture and language. And indeed, as Baronas (2007) showed, reliable sources a llow
us to suppose that the establishment of churches started in Lithuania in 1387 and it evolved as a con-
tinuous undertaking, which took place for centuries to come (see Baronas & Rowell, 2015, pp. 261–326).
Andrii Danylenko A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
36
a new Church, scriptural translations, and religious polemical literature on the whole.
Counterreformation also contributed to a factual fusion of the Polish-Lithuanian-
Ruthenian society by the foundation of colleges and similar institutions with Polish
as the language of instruction and the expansion of Latinitas as a scholarly discourse
(Augustyniak, 2008, pp. 192–199, 215–220; Ulčinajtė, 2004). Aer the union of Brest
in 1596 as a result of which the Orthodox Church entered into communion with, and
placed itself under the authority of, the Pope of Rome, Polish became a second lan-
guage of Latinitas in the interconfessional polemic between the Orthodox Ruthenians
and the Catholic/Uniate Church, thus resembling the function of Latin in the Arian-
Calvin-Catholic debate (Niedźwiedź, 2012, p. 305).
3. Revising multilingualism
e aforegoing scenario is well known in Polish scholarly tradition. Yet, explicated
with the help of the theory of communicative networks only, this scenario needs
revision. e point is that the idea of linguistic strife between stronger and weaker
linguistic stuctures fails to provide insight into the socio- and ethno-linguistic nature
of the multilingualism and multiculturalism of the GDL. is idea becomes less
convincing if confronted with the thesis of Walczak (2004, p. 27) who maintained
that the Polish acculturation had never removed from the language map of Poland-
Lithuania any other language.
Arguably, the communicative networks approach concentrates not on multi-
lingualism (and multiculturalism) as a system of interrelations but on a variety (or
a number of certain varieties) of separate langauges and their feaures. Remarkably,
this approach does not fully account for the role of Latin and Church Slavonic and
Of interest here is the case of Krzysztof Radziwiłł (1585–1640), a notable magnate, politician
and military commander, who considered learning foreign languages an important part of the educa-
tion of his son Janusz (1612–1655). However, among those languages, save for Hungarian as a language
of a neighboring political power, Krzysztof Radziwiłł did not mention either Lithuanian or Ruthenian
which seemed to him to be redundant (Niendorf, 2006, p. 113; see Wisner, 1969).
Before the Union of Lublin (1569) an important discussion began among the humanists of
the Vilnius court. is discussion included two opposing tendencies: on the one hand, the exalted role
of the native language as the sole basis of Lithuanianness, and, on the other hand, a tendency represented
by those who, through such ideas, preferred to speak rather about the anity of Latin and Lithuanian.
e latter group of thinkers, in particular Michalo Lituanus and Augustinus Rotundus, argued that
the link with a classical language like Latin, unreservedly a language of dignitas, guaranteed a more
favorable comparison in competition with other languages of high culture used in the GDL, especially
Ruthenian (Lituanus, 1615, pp. 21–26). According to Augustinus Rotundus, Latin in the GDL must have
been used more oen than Ruthenian, in all spheres of social life, public and private. In letters, prefer-
ence should be given to Latin letters over Ruthenian, and State laws should be published in Latin (Dini,
2014, pp. 421, 425; Jurkiewicz, 2005).
Andrii Danylenko A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
37
their relationships with Polish and Ruthenian as secular counterparts as well as
respective vernaculars. As Wiemer (2003, p. 106) stated, and rightly so, many descrip-
tions are provided on the background of some contact varieties rather on the latter’s
structure and relationships. It should be added that, more oen than not, analyses
of separate varieties, primarily of Ruthenian and Polish heralding the consecutive
stages in the linguistic integration in the GDL, are conducted almost exclusively
from the perspective of standard languages. e fact that non-standard varieties are
sometimes mentioned on a par with standard varieties does not change the overall
picture. e impact of dialects on Polish and Ruthenian and the impact of spoken
vernaculars on Latin and Old Church Slavonic, as well as the communal languages,
are accounted for only fragmentarily.
As a result of viewing the speech community of the GDL as a sum of languages
and convergent features, the students do not look into the mechanisms of stuctural
anities, if any, while choosing them randomly and out of the contact situation.
In Section 3.1 I discuss several structural anities which can hardly be determined
by contacts within the GDL speech community. Even more so, the approach based on
the theory of communicative networks does not help explain away some controversial
issues of the ethno-linguistic nature. us, Section 3.2 is concerned with the problem
of the identication of the East Slavic language employed in the GDL; this issue has
long been a true bone of contention in ethno-linguistic literature and can hardly be
resolved with the help of the current understanding of the multilingualism in the GDL.
3.1. Structural anities
Bednarczuk (1994, pp. 118–119, 1999, pp. 67–74, 81–86) cited eight phonological
and morphosyntactic features which allegedly attest to the existence of a separate
speech community in the GDL. e features, shared by all (?) the communal lan-
guages, including the pagan dialects of the Narew river are the following: (1) the
expansion, under Polish inuence, of palatalization in Belarusian (cf. dzekanne and
cekanne) and in Lithuanian, especially in Dzūkian; this feature is “occasionally
found in Tatar, Karaite, and northwestern Yiddish; (2) unication of the vocalic
structure as reected in the expansion of a at the cost of o and e, e.g., the change of
ŏ into a and the front vocalization of ě in Baltic, the Belarusian akanne, and similar
phenomena in northeastern borderland Polish and “sporadically” in other com-
munal languages; (3) change of v into in the environment before a consonant or
at the end of the morpheme/word, especially in Lithuanian and Ruthenian; (4) the
 As an instance of such an impact, though in the lands of the Crown, one can mention
the Peresopnycja Gospel (1556–1561) whose authors aimed to combine Church Slavonic with Ruthenian
rather than with the Ukrainian vernacular.
Andrii Danylenko A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
38
loss of the neuter gender, partly realized in East Baltic and under way in Belarusian,
northeastern borderland Polish, and Yiddish; (5) the use of derivative formants,
including numerous diminutive, personal, and agentive suxes of the type -ek,
-(č)uk, -ko, -š-ko and the like in Baltic, Slavic, and peripheral oriental languages;
(6) inuence of the Slavic aspectual system on Lithuanian (e.g., prexed perfectives
like pa-darýti ‘to do’), as well as on Yiddish and Lithuanian Tatar; (7) the u + geni-
tive possessive construction which is commonplace in East Baltic, northern East
Slavic, and northeastern borderland Polish; (8) the use of the past active anteriority
participles in resultative constructions.
Following Bednarczuk’s reconstruction, Wiemer (2003, p. 109) assumed that
the aforementioned eight structural convergences in eastern and southern Lithuania
and northern Belarus resulted from intensive language contacts particularly dur-
ing the existence of the GDL and in the preceding centuries. On closer inspection,
however, not a single feature from those proposed by Bednarczuk and accepted by
Wiemer may be treated as a solid contact-induced one (Danylenko, 2011, pp. 157–167).
In the remainder of this section, due to space constraints, I limit myself to the argu-
ments related to feature (6).
To begin with, synchronically, there is a great number of perfective / imperfec-
tive looking pairs of prexed vs. unprexed verbs in Lithuanian like darýti : padarýti
‘to do’, although dierent prexes always modify only the lexical meaning of the verb
and are not a grammatical feature in Lithuanian. Representative lexical modica-
tion of this kind is observed in the lengthened zero-grade -ū- root vowel of the type
pa-lūk-ti ‘to wait a little bit’. e pattern with the prex pa-, the lengthened grade
of the root, and present conjugation in -i (with a diminutive attenuation) has been
extended to other verbs, whence pa-bėg-ti ‘to run a little bit’, pa-ėj-ti ‘to walk a little
bit’, pa-kyl-ti ‘to rise a little bit’, pa-nėš-ti ‘to carry a little bit’. Leaving aside certain
aspectual phenomena in Lithuanian, the dierence between the prexed derivatives
and their unprexed counterparts in Lithuanian is not in the Slavic sense aspectual,
but lexical (Danylenko, 2011, pp. 162–164). In sum, the prexes in verbal derivatives
play in Lithuanian an important role in conveying various ne semantic distinctions
of circumstantial and procedural nature (see Stang, 1966, p. 309).
 Bednarczuk (2013) has recently added two more anities which are the following: (1) the use of
cases (semantic functions, use of prepositions, lack of a vocative) and (2) the use of nite verb (tendency
to zero-copula in the present tense and lack of a number distinction in the 3rd person of nite verbs).
Together with numerous borrowings, all the ten (eight + two) features provide, according to Bednarczuk
(2013, p. 35), extra evidence in support of the claim for a linguistic, cultural and ethno-psychological
communit y of the GDL (Sprachbund), which has sur vived to some degree to t his day. Yet this claim is a far-
fetched hypothesis, and the last two anities are par ticularly resistant to the contact-related explanation.
Moreover, the author does not elaborate on the mechanisms of the alleged contact-induced changes leadi ng
purportedly to the formation of a speech community compatible with that of the Balkan Sprachbund.
Andrii Danylenko A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
39
Danylenko (2015b, pp. 536–537) demonstrated that the prex pa-, coupled with
the iconic lengthening, conveys an iterative and/or distributive meaning. A similar
iterative meaning, sometimes with an iconic (expressive) tinge, is encountered in
Belarusian, Ukrainian, and, to a lesser extent, in Russian formations with the doubled
prex po-po- (Lithuanian pa-): Ukrainian po-po-xodyty, Belarusian pa-pa-xadzic´,
Russian (dialectal) po-po-xodit´ ‘to walk a little bit’ (Lithuanian pa-ėj-ti). Such
double-prexed derivatives in Ukrainian and Belarusian can render contextually
various degrees of multiplicative action, e.g., Ukrainian po-po-jisty ‘to eat a little bit
(picking many small pieces of food)’ next to Belarusian pa-pa-jёdac´ ‘to eat much
(Danylenko, 2011, pp. 167–168); in Lithuanian, one comes across dialectal forms tend-
ing sporadically to have the doubled prex pa-pa- with an iconic (expressive) element
in their meaning, e.g., pa-pa-riñkti (= suránkioti) ‘to choose’.
us, the pattern with the (doubled) prex pa-pa- and the lengthened (iconic)
grade in Lithuanian conveys a twofold quantifying procedural of a particular action
that may be conceived as multiplicative with a certain degree of intensity but not
“completed” in the Slavic aspect sense (Danylenko, 2015b, p. 537). All this speaks of
parallel rather than contact-induced processes of the development of aspect in Lithu-
anian and East Slavic. Leaving aside the core vocabulary and derivational patterns
that have a minimum impact on the delimitation of the GDL as a linguistic area,
the question arises as to what mechanisms can be responsible for possible convergences
in the languages used in the territories of the GDL.
Quantitative methods only can hardly be helpful in determining the connes of
a respective speech community. I argue that the emergence of Sprachbund-forming
convergences is not immediately dependent on the areal diusion of the features
either via borrowing proper or replication, which presupposes acquiring some
new grammatical features (structures) on the model of another language (Heine
& Kuteva, 2006, pp. 48–96). However, even these mechanisms, – let alone lexical
borrowing, grammatical interference or “inter-lingual transposition” in Bed-
narczuk (2013, pp. 32–35), – can hardly explain why and how the corresponding
change could have involved particular structures or elements in the entire area of
the GDL. I believe, instead, that the appearance of possible convergences might
be linked to the development of similarities of the languages in contact due to
a particular conguration of the pertinent societal factors. According to Trudgill
(2010, pp. 62–63) such factors as (1) community size, (2) density of social networks,
(3) amount of shared background information, and (4) degree of social stability
may be only some of the most important. Conceivably, long-term, intense mul-
 Values of the societal factors tended to dier substantially depending on a particular speech
community. For instance, the Karaite community was characterized by a small number of speakers, dense
social networks, and large amounts of commonly shared information (see Gąsiorowski, 2008, p. 478).
Andrii Danylenko A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
40
tiple contacts between both “big” and “small” communities in the GDL involved
all their members, including adult speakers accommodating to imperfect skills of
an interlocutor. All this tended to lead to selection or creation of structures that
are acceptable to all the speakers of inecting systems of Slavic and Lithuanian as
primary languages in the GDL. In this case one can speak about the strengthening
of analyticity conducive to the regularization of irregularities, an increase in lexi-
cal and morphological transparency, and the loss of redundancy (Trudgill, 2011,
pp. 62–63). Among such changes, one can name, for instance, (a) deexion (reduction
in overt case marking), e.g., lack of the vocative case, (b) the increase of preposi-
tional usage, (c) reduction/loss of conjugations and declensions, and (d) increase
in periphrastic verb forms and some other features.
Remarkably, all the above changes were identied by Bednarczuk (1994,
pp. 118–119, 2013, p. 35), including the use of dla ‘for’ + genitive (Bednarczuk, 2010b,
pp. 32–33). As one of the newly developed analytic constructions, this pattern is
liberally attested in western Polissian Ukrainian as well as Pidljaššja comprising
both Ukrainian, Polish and (transitional) Belarusian dialects (Gardzińska, 2001;
, 2007). ere is, however, one dierence between the Polish construc-
tion and its western Ukrainian counterpart whose grammaticalization has not yet
run to its completion. It is not, therefore, surprising to nd the dative instead of
the genitive case expected in this prepositional phrase, whence dialectal dla vnu-
kam (dative) ‘for the grandchildren’ in West Ukrainian. us, dierent stages in
the grammaticalization of this construction prove that we deal here with an inde-
pendent development rather than borrowed or transferred from other (Polish?)
dialects (Danylenko, 2015a, pp. 283–284).
In sum, search for structural anities should be aimed not at separate features,
randomly chosen, but at the explanation of mechanisms of linguistic changes occurring
in accordance with linguistic tendencies as determined by multiple societal factors.
However, the Ruthenia n community, which at some point was the largest in the GDL (Ochmański, 1990,
p. 58), demonstrated comparat ively loose dense social networks and smal ler amount of shared information.
Ideally, to get a more detailed picture of the values of the corresponding factors, each speech community
should be separately proled and aligned a long prototypical communities dened here as primary versus
secondary. Instead of positing the existence of a linguistic area (Sprachbund) in the GDL, I (Danylenko,
2011) proposed to rst delimit separate concentric micro-areas, asymmetrical from the standpoint of
chronology and vectors of interaction, such as Ruthenian-Lithuanian, Ruthenian-Polish, Lithuanian-
Polish, Tatar-Ruthenian, and so on.
 Remarkably, while trying to gauge the Polish interference in the language of the Luc´k Karaite,
Németh (2010) argued that sometimes it is not easy to delimit the Polish interference from the Uk rainian
and, for a later period, the interference of Russian. For example, in a Karaite-language letter extant from
1914, I identied 14 Ukrainian features out of thirty-eight cases of Slavic interference, e.g., nemohum
from Ukrainian ne mohu ‘I cannot’ rather than Russian ne mogu wit h a separate Ukrainian articulation
[h] as suggested by Németh (2010, pp. 204–205).
Andrii Danylenko A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
41
3.2. Restoring a missing chain?
Despite the doomsday scenario suggested by Marcinkiewicz, Ruthenian never fell
out from the communicative newtworks in the GDL. To be sure, one can speak
about its disappearance as a chancellery language in Lithuania and Poland, although
with reservations for the le-bank Dnieper Ukrainian lands where this language
was in use in the adminstration untill the late 18th century (Danylenko, 2007). In
Lithuania its vernacular variety even gained new grounds at the cost of Lithuanian
since Ruthenian has never ceased to be a lingua franca until 1795 when Lithuanian
became to be used in printing. In fact, the Ruthenian vernacular was still employed
as an interethnic and ocial language by Lithuanian Tatars, Jews, Karaites, Arme-
nians and other minorities living in the GDL (see Niendorf, 2006, pp. 118–119;
, 1909). In other words, the Polish acculturation (Polonization) brought
about the disappearance of the standard variety of Ruthenian in the milieu of local
elite while the commoners and landed gentry remained diglossic in practicing local
varieties of non-standard (vernacular) Ruthenian in combination with either Polish
or Lithuanian (Zinkevičius, 1987, pp. 144–145).
Long before being ousted by Polish, Ruthenian was viewed as a common language
(rusьkij jazykъ) irrespective of the ratio of its dialectal components. As early as 1935,
Stang’s research evidenced that chancellery Ruthenian could hardly be completely
identied with (Middle) Belarusian. Zinkevičius (1987, pp. 117–119) argued that
Ruthenian as used in the ducal and even royal chanceries, roughly between the 1385
Act of Krėva and 1480, was greatly inuenced by South Ukrainian, a missing chain in
the argumentation of most of the Belarusian linguists who called this language stara-
belaruskaja litaraturna-pis´movaja mova, that is, the Old Belarusian written language
(see Ragauskienė, 2013, p. 144; , 2003; a, 1994). Simultaneously,
alongside the southern Ukrainian inuence, another trend began emerging in the texts
copied by scribes whose spoken language originated in the Volhynja region with its
center at Luc´k, intermittently under the GDL control from 1239 to 1563 (Stang, 1935,
p. 21). Later still, in the middle of the 16th century (the time of Sigismund Augustus)
chancellery Ruthenian again changed signicantly, since gradually the characteristics
of South Belarusian (North Ukrainian) disappeared. Instead, the linguistic traits of
central Belarusian dialects became more pronounced, thus making the chancellery
language look thoroughly “Belarusianized”; it was this variety of Ruthenian that was
ultimately ousted by Polish in 1697.
 For the period of the 14th–15th centuries, Kuraszk iewicz (1937) posited the existence of a “centra l
dialect” (“narzecze środ kowe”) of Ruthenia n which demonstrated predominantly Polissian features like
(1) unstressed ě realized as e, (2) the syllabization of r, (3) unstressed ę realized as e, (4) the o reex aer
palatals, 5) the dispalatalization of and some other morphological and lexical phenomena. All this
allowed Mojsijenko (, 2002) to postulate for the transitional (Ukrainian-Belarusian) dialect
Andrii Danylenko A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
42
However, in reality, the “Belarusianized” Ruthenian did never turn into Belaru-
sian Ruthenian until the very demise of the GDL. Instead, this language acquired
even more standardized features which were better designed for serving new and
sophisticated genres. Called prostaja movaa plain language’, this language heralded
the appearance of a new literature with “more elevated genres” (polemical and theo-
logical writings, poetry, grammars, primers, chronicles) (Shevelov, 1979, pp. 572–580).
However, and this should be emphasized again, both chancellery Ruthenian which
at some point revealed intermittently (more) Belarusian and (fewer) Ukrainian dia-
lectal features, and the prostaja mova as a vernacular standard can hardly be called
(Old) Belarusian as practiced by Bednarczuk (e.g., 2013, p. 24) and many Polish
scholars (Grek -Pabisowa, 1997, p. 146; Smułkowa, 1988, p. 237; Topolska, 2002, p. 117;
Zielińska, 2002, p. 364), though with some exceptions (Augustyniak, 2008, pp. 297–299;
Lizisowa, 2000, pp. 37–40); remarkably, the bulk of Lithuanian scholars today seem
to side with the mainstream Polish-Belarusian tradition to view Ruthenian as Old
Belarusian (see Ragauskienė, 2013, pp. 144–150). In sum, by labeling the Ruthenian
language Belarusian (or Ukrainian), a scholar inadvertently accepts one of the con-
troversial clichés held together under the force of extralinguistic pressure rather than
enhances the cultural tradition of the given nation.
zone the existence of a separate Polissian vernacular standard developed on the northern Ukrainian
(Polissian) basis (Danylenko, 2006a, pp. 100–108). Interestingly enough, Shevelov (1979, pp. 399–401)
argued that the secular language used in the 14th century to t he early 15th century in the GDL was basi-
cally (northern) Ukrainian, with Polissian features.
 It is not surprising that only the standardized features were consciously emulated by the speakers
of some periphera l communal languages, i n particular by the Lithuanian Tatars. For instance, the Belaru-
sian cekanne and dzekanne were not reected in their texts (Wexler, 1977, p. 169); nor reected either
was the Ukrainian non-sharping of consonants before e and the change o > u in newly closed syllables.
What is important for our discussion, is the fact that some of the Lithuanian Tatar texts, including
the oldest manuscript, housed nowadays at the St Petersburg University library under signatura 893,
were written in the Ukrainian variety of Ruthenian revealing conspicuous (northern) Ukrainian features
(Danylenko, 2006b).
 Niendorf (2006, pp. 117–118) posited a similar equation “das Altweißrussiche (Ruthenische),
that is, Old Belarusian = Ruthenian. Interestingly, Niedźwiedź (2012, p. 38) used almost a mirror-image
equation of “Ruthenian (Old Belarusian)”, while emphasizing that this lang uage was a spoken vernacular.
Yet chancellery Ruthenian was an articial product in regard to its ocial use. Being “crystallized and
uniform”, this language, according to Niedźwiedź (2012, pp. 39, 42), demonstrated various admixtures of
Polish, Church Slavonic, and Lithuanian. Consequently, as one can assume, chancellery Ruthenian did
not have any Ukrainian admixture which looks somewhat contradictory in the light of the postulated
articial character of Ruthenian. e latter was shaped not only in the ducal chancery in Vilnius but
also across the whole polity.
 For a discussion of the designations of this language in dierent (Slavic) scholarly traditions,
including the Russian imperial one, see Danylenko (2006c). Another term, “a Belarusian variety of West
Russian” used by Bednarczuk (1997, p. 56) also looks awkward. In fact, this designation is premised on
the geographical identication of Belarusian and Ukrainian as dialects of Great Russian in the impe
-
Andrii Danylenko A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
43
e question of the respective language designation(s) becomes nagging if one
resorts to the chronology of the name White Rus´ and its ethnic derivative White Rusian
characterized by a wide array of interpretations dependent on changing countours
of what is called Belarus´ and the Belarusian language. In fact, the name White Rus´,
in tandem with the Baltic-Finnic tribe of Karels, is rst attested in the 13th century
in the anonymous Descriptiones Terrarum, an introduction to a now lost history of
the Tatars (Colker, 1979). Leaving aside the symbolic interpretation of albus ‘favorable,
propitious’ in the Catholic tradition going back to the Pontifex Maximus, the name
White Rus´ referred, in the early 14th century, to the Galician land (Łatyszonek, 2006,
pp. 32–35, 306). Remarkably, the ancestors of modern Belarusians adopted this name
as the designation of their lands in the late 16th century under the inuence of the Pol-
ish historiographic and geographic tradition. For instance, Jan ze Stobnicy (Iohannes
de Stobnicza) wrote in his Introductio in Ptolomei cosmographiam (1512) that White
Ru (Alba Russia) encompassed all the Ruthenian lands of the GDL together with
Novgorod the Great (Nouegrot) (Stobnicza, 1519, f. 21–22). Marcin Kromer added
to White Rus´ in 1555 not only Novgorod but also Volhyn´ and Podlasie and even
the region of Kyiv (Łatyszonek, 2006, pp. 83–85).
us, the contours of White Rus´, as interpreted in the Polish tradition and adopted
later by the White Rusians, were fuzzy before getting its nal shape within the con-
nes of the GDL in the late 16th century. Łatyszonek (2006, p. 306) aptly compared
the changing referential realm denoted by the term White Rus´ with waves expanding
from Halyč, the hotbed of diusion, thus covering more and more eastern Slavic ter-
ritories up to Moscow and Tver´. As late as the rst partition of the Polish-Lithuanian
Commonwealth, the local Ruthenians managed to come up with a very general idea
of self-identication supported by the broadly conceived terms White Rus´ and White
Rusian. us, one wonders whether there is any ground for speaking about the East
Slavic language used in the GDL until the end of the 16th century as Belarusian.
In order to resolve the aforementioned controversy, one should keep apart, as
was suggested by Shevelov (1974, p. 146), at least three aspects of the identication
of this language which are as follows: (1) the history of literatures, (2) the history of
standard languages, and (3) the history of vernaculars. Speaking about the literary
process, the Ukrainians and Belarusians lived in one and the same country, adhered
to one and the same church with the same liturgical language. e participation
of the Belarusians in the population movements in the reconquista of the lands
below Kyiv in the15th–16th centuries and the part they played in the formation of
rial theory of the formation of three East Slavic languages from the common (Old) Russian language
(see Symaniec, 2012, pp. 264–267, 554–556). e use of the “bleached” term kanceliarine slavų kalba
(= rusėnų kalba) in Lithuanian scholarly tradit ion implies the existence of Ruthenian as a written la nguage
employed in the administration only (Zinkevičius, 1987, p. 133; see Danylenko, 2006c, p. 98).
Andrii Danylenko A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
44
the Cossack state are well known. No less known – and no less important – was
the constant inux of intellectuals from Ukraine to Vilnius. As rightly stated by
Shevelov (1974, p. 147), under these conditions one must speak of one literary pro-
cess. en dierences between Belarusian and Ukrainian histories of literature
for the period of the GDL would be not so much in the scope of authors, genres,
and styles analyzed as in a dierent degree of attention paid to the history of such
local centers as Vil´na/Wilna (Vilnius), Zabludaŭ, Ostrih, L´viv, and others (see,
e.g., Niedźwiedź, 2012).
e situation with the standard language(s) of that period is much more com-
plicated. No doubt, the standard language, conventionally called Ruthenian, until
the end of the 16th century was Belarusian at its core. In fact, there were no condi-
tions for any synthesis of Belarusian with Ukrainian in the language being shaped
at the Vilnius ducal chancery (Shevelov, 1974, p. 148). e Ukrainians in their use of
this language now and then introduced some Ukrainian features (Ukrainianisms)
precisely as they had done in Church Slavonic. Ruthenian as the standard language
of that time, when used outside of the region of its rise not only admitted but even
in most cases required fairly regular substitutions which were most obvious in
orthography and phonetics. For instance, one should not allow Belarusian akanne
into writing; nor such Ukrainian features as u from o and e in newly closed syllables
were permitted.
In sum, one should speak of Ruthenian as one common secular standard for
both Belarusians and Ukrainians just as Church Slavonic was their common stan-
dard ecclesiastical language (see Augustyniak, 2008, p. 297; , 2008, p. 349).
Shevelov (1974, p. 149) was right to argue that in the histories of the Belarusian and
Ukrainian literary languages Ruthenian should be considered as one language,
the one shaped in North Belarus´. Arguably, if a student speaks about a Belarusian (or
Ukrainian) language of the 16th century, he employs an ambiguous term. One should
speak, instead, of Ruthenian as used by Belarusians and Ukrainians. us, neither
a Belarusian nor a Ukrainian standard language existed at that time. Consequently,
to call Ruthenian, a secular (vernacular) standard in the GDL, either Belarusian or
Ukrainian is erroneous, to say the least.
Unlike the unity of the standard language, there was no unity in the spoken
(non-standard) vernacular used in the GDL. As Shevelov (1974, p. 140) pointed
out, that was not agglomeration of regional dialects either. Such dialects existed
but they were subordinate to more general patterns: that of Belarusian and that of
Ukrainian, with the transitional Polissian pattern which can be identied as a basis
 Clearly, exceptions should be made for those works which only existed in manuscript or were
used only regionally as is the case of such Belarusian tales as Atўla and Trўščan˝ (Maszkiewicz, 2006).
Andrii Danylenko A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
45
of a separate Polissian vernacular (see fn. 13). It is an objective of linguists to delimit
texts generated in one of the patterns which has been successfully fullled by some
scholars (see a, 1967, pp. 69, 264–272; , 2014, 2015). Shevelov (1974,
pp. 149–154), for instance, introduced a concept of substitutions and departures
(minor substitutions due to insucient training or slips of the writer, printer, or
scribe which reect the spoken vernacular). To name just a few substitutions, they
are (1) the treatment of ě, with ě > e in any position in Belarusian, ě > e if unstressed
only in Polissian, and ě kept intact in Ukrainian, (2) the treatment of r, with ry in
Belarusian and Polissian (kryvavyj ‘related to blood’, and r in Ukrainian (krvavyj),
(3) the treatment of ę, with the e reex in an unstressed environment in Belarusian
and Polissian (svetyj ‘holy’), and ja in Ukrainian (svjatyj), (4) the spelling of i in
such oblique cases of the pronoun (u)ve ‘whole’ as usi (genitive/locative) in
Belarusian and Polissian, next to usěx˝ in Ukrainian, and many other substitu-
tions and departures, e.g., the use of prothetic v before stressed o in Belarusian.
e abovementioned substitutions (and departures) make the identication of a text
(and of a spoken vernacular) quite feasible. One can mention again Belarusian Atўla
and Trўščan˝ (Maszkiewicz, 2006), on the one hand, and the Peresopnycja Gospel
(1556–1561), revealing primarily Ukrainian features, on the other hand (Danylenko,
2006a, pp. 94–95).
Overall, the aforementioned interpretation of Ruthenian allows us to state that
employing the terms Ukrainian and Belarusian avant la lettre is likely to distort
the sociolinguistic picture of the GDL viewed in hindsight.
4. Conclusions
What follows from the foregoing discussion is a dubious state and status of the Ukrai-
nian chain in the postulated communicative networks of the GDL. In fact, one can
speak about its actual absence in contemporary studies of the multilingualism in this
political entity. Yet its absence as well as the misleading use of the term Old Belarusian
in reference to Ruthenian, seem not to be mere philological foibles.
In regard to the use of ethnic designations, it is protable to resort to Łatyszonek’s
(2006) scenario of the development of the Belarusian self-identication and the use
of the respective term Belaru and its derivative ethnic designation Belarusian.
At least, the historical attestations of these names cast a serious doubt on the naming
of Ruthenian as “(Old) Belarusian” or “(Old) Ukrainian”.
e theory of communicative networks, based on the postulate of a linguistic
strife and an intermittent replacement of prestigious languages, tend to simplify
complicated processes taking place within the alliance of peoples and cultures in
the GDL. is theory, in particular, does not take into consideration dierences
Andrii Danylenko A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
46
between standard and non-standard varieties of the languages in contact as well as
the dynamic hierarchy of both major and minor speech communities. Moreover,
possible contacts are viewed mechanistically and speech communities as acting
entities are divorced from their speakers. Consequently, the linguist nds it hard to
explain the level and intensity of contact and, more importantly, the mechanisms
of possible convergences in the languages used in the GDL, including dierent
regional varieties of borderland Polish (see Bednarczuk, 2010b; Zamblera, 2013).
As a result, one can question the formation of a linguistic alliance dened by eight
or even ten structural features within the connes of the GDL. If there existed
a kind of “Kulturband” as postulated, for instance, by Niedźwiedź (2012, p. 190;
see Walczak, 2004), one can also wonder if its impact on linguistic processes was
strong enough to help generate a linguistic unity of the type described, for instance,
by Heine and Kuteva (2006).
To address the latter conundrum, one may resort to the theory of grammaticaliza-
tion and the respective mechanisms of contact- and non-contact-induced replication.
Moreover, the social typology of Trudgill can be instrumental in understanding lin-
guistic changes, including convergences. is approach is based not on the mechanistic
interpretation of contacts between separate communities but on the explanation of
mechanisms of changes and borrowability as determined by multiple societal factors
operative in the history of the GDL.
In sum, in order to further our knowledge of the multilingualism in the GDL,
one needs to reconsider some old postulates and introduce, instead, new approaches
to the study of the sociolinguistic situation in this polity.
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A missing chain?
On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Abstract
e article critically assesses the theory of communicative networks and its appli-
cability in the study of multilingualism as found in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
(GDL). e author analyzes foundations for postulating the existence of a speech
community in the GDL and adduces counterarguments against viewing this com-
munity as a linguistic alliance of the Balkan type. e article oers new sociolin-
guistic and areal-typological methods of the study of language contacts. e author
Andrii Danylenko A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
56
substantiates a systematic approach toward the problem of the ethnic attribution
of Ruthenian. Based on the literary, linguistic, and cultural parameters, the author
oers to drop the term ‘Old (Middle) Belarusian’ or ‘Old (Middle) Ukrainian’ in
reference to this language.
Keywords: Grand Duchy of Lithuania; multilingualism; language contact; speech
community; Ruthenian; Belarusian; Ukrainian
Brakujące ogniwo?
Wielkie Księstwo Litewskie w świetle socjolingwistyki
Streszczenie
W artykule poddano krytycznej analizie teorię sieci komunikacyjnych i jej zastoso-
wanie w badaniach nad wielojęzycznością na terenie Wielkiego Księstwa Litewskiego
(dalej WKL). Autor rozpatruje podstawy zarówno postulowania istnienia wspólnoty
językowej w WKL, jak i kontrargumenty przemawiające przeciwko postrzeganiu tej
wspólnoty jako sojuszu językowego na wzór bałkański. Artykuł podaje nowe metody
socjolingwistyczne i przestrzenno-typologiczne w badaniach kontaktu języków. Autor
uzasadnia systemiczne podejście do zagadnienia etnicznej atrybucji języka rusińskiego.
Na podstawie wskazań literaturoznawczych, językoznawczych i kulturowych postuluje
zaniechanie posługiwania się wodniesieniu do tego języka terminami ‘staro-(średnio-)
białoruski’ lub ‘staro-(średnio-)ukraiński’.
Słowa kluczowe: Wielkie Księstwo Litewskie; wielojęzyczność; kontakt języków;
wspólnota językowa; język rusiński; język białoruski; język ukraiński
Dr. Andrii Danylenko, Professor of Russian and Slavic linguistics in the Department
of Modern Languages and Cultures, Pace University (New York); Research Associate
at the Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard Institute, editor of Studies in Slavic,
Baltic, and Eastern European Languages and Cultures (Lexington Books-Rowman
& Littleeld). He holds a Ph.D. in General Linguistics (1990) from the Moscow Peoples’
Friendship University (Russia). He is the editor and author of eight books on Slavic
linguistics and philology as well as dozens of studies on a wide array of topics rang-
Andrii Danylenko A missing chain? On the sociolinguistics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
57
ing from Indo-European to standard Ukrainian. Dr. Danylenko has been recipient of
several prestigious fellowships, including Fulbright research grants (Harvard Univer-
sity, 1997; University of Warsaw, Poland, 2016), Eugene and Daymel Shklar (Harvard
University, 2008), Visiting Scholar Fellowship (Hokkaido University, 2009), Japan
Society for the Promotion of Science (Hokkaido University, 2013). He is an editorial
board member of several publications, a reviewer for numerous scholarly publications
and programs in North America, Europe, and Japan.
Bibliography (Selection): Ukrainian (with Serhii Vakulenko), München (Munich)
1995; Предикати, відмінки і діатези в українській мові [Predicates, Cases, and
Diatheses in the Ukrainian Language],  (Kharkiv) 2003; Slavica et Islamica:
Ukrainian in Context, Munich 2006; Grammaticalization and lexicalization in Slavic
languages (in co-editorship), nchen (Munich) 2014; Studien zu Sprache, Literatur
und Kultur bei den Slaven. Gedenkschri für George Y. Shevelov aus Anlass seines
100. Geburtstages und 10. Todestages (in co-editorship), München (Munich) 2012;
From the Bible to Shakespeare: Pantelejmon Kuliš (1819–1897) and the formation of
literary Ukrainian, Boston 2016.
Correspondence: Andrii Danylenko, Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, Pace
University (NY), New York, United States, e-mail: adanylenko@pace.edu
Support of the work: This work was supported by the Fulbrigth Research Grant (1 Febru-
ary-30 June 2016, Artes Liberales, University of Warsaw).
Competing interests: The author declares that he has no competing interests.
... For this reason, the argument about a lack of connection between the old and the modern Belarusian language due to selected features not occurring in the dialects which underlie the modern Belarusian language is -it seems -inaccurate. In the analysis of the development process of the literary Belarusian language, one additionally must take into consideration a research ʻtrapʼ: the multilingualism of the Eastern borders of the Commonwealth (Danylenko, 2017;Temčinas, 2017). In a situation where we regard the features of the South-Western dialectical area not to be typical of the Belarusian writing, we assent to recognising those texts as belonging to the Ukrainian cultural tradition -for those features are typical of the dialects that underlie the modern Ukrainian language. ...
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p class="Domynie">W niniejszym artykule zaprezentowano elementy prostej mowy, ruskiej mowy XVIII wieku, świadectwem której są teksty o charakterze religijnym z tego okresu wydane w bazyliańskiej drukarni w Supraślu (Sobranije pripadkov, 1722, Kratkoje soslovije, 1759, Pouczenije o obrjadach, 1788). Analiza języka tekstów supraskich została uzupełniona analizą tekstu, wydanego w drukarni zakonnej w Wilnie (Ecphonemata Liturgiey Greckiey 1671), w języku cerkiewnosłowiańskim, jednak z zastosowaniem czcionki łacińskiej. Ze względu na różnego rodzaju czynniki: polityczne czy stereotypy naukowe teksty o charakterze religijnym były pomijane w badaniach nad językiem (prostą mową, ruską mową) i piśmiennictwem białoruskim XVIII wieku. Zarejestrowane w nich cechy językowe świadczą o potrzebie rewizji upowszechnionego w latach 60. XX wieku przez wybitnych badaczy języka białoruskiego: Arkadzia Żurauskiego i Iwana Kramko i podtrzymanego przez innych badaczy, aksjomatu na temat zaniku języka starobiałoruskiego w XVIII wieku. Swoją tezę skonstruowali oni na podstawie analizy czynników: graficznego, gramatycznego, ortograficznego, leksykalnego oraz gatunkowego. Koronnym argumentem za zerwaną ciągłością tradycji było wyliczenie specyficznych cech piśmiennictwa starobiałoruskiego, nieobecnych we współczesnym literackim języku białoruskim. Zgodnie z danymi z analizowanych druków bazyliańskich należy mówić o ewolucyjności procesu rozwoju białoruskiego języka literackiego.</p
... It would be extremely difficult, if at all possible, to pinpoint the Belarusian origin of such constructions in the Ruthenian texts (cf. Danylenko, 2017). Consequently, the earliest attestations of such constructions in Ruthenian can potentially prove the existence of resultatives in both Belarusian and Ukrainian dialects as early as the 15th century. ...
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