Our language issue in the XIX century


Read extracts from some of the works written in this period: Regarding the language issue in the XIX century, it is necessary to explain the emergence of the bourgeois class and its language needs. Namely, ever since the end of the XVIII, and even more in the beginning of the XIX century many peasants, because of the hard life and uniqueness caused by various robbers and bandits in the Turkish Empire of that time had left their villages and settled in the Macedonian towns where there were Turkish garrisons - which made life more secured. There they started pursuing craftsmanship. Thus the craftsmanship developed and powerful guilds emerged. Gradually the number of the Turkish artisans decreased in favour of the Macedonian ones. Many of the more advanced artisans made a fortune and turned to merchandise. In the Macedonian towns there were also such merchants who managed to open their shops and trade affiliations even in the larger cities in Europe, such as Leipzig, Milan, Vienna, Munich, Paris, Venice, Budapest, etc. Thus in Macedonia a middle-class emerged which during that period played a major role in the fields of culture and education. Rich merchants started traveling and trading in various European cities. There they were introduced to the ideas of education and, upon returning to their towns, started disseminating the same. Some of them sent their sons to studies in the European cities. These Western European Universities' graduates were the carriers of the awakening ideas and disseminated them among the people. Thus a strong interest in books emerged. The merchants of that period supported our first writers from the XIX century, thus enabling them to have their books printed in some European cities like Budim, Venice, etc. Writers collected book subscriptions in advance, and were obliged to print names of the subscribed merchants or artisans either on the front or back cover. In the books of Joakim Krchovski, for example, there are listed names of merchants who either rendered financial aid for their printing or personally carried the books to the printing houses, such as: Nesho Markovic from Kratovo, Kir Hadzi Stanko from Kratovo, Dimitrij Filipovich from Palanka (Egri Dere), Kir Hadzi Peco from Shtip, Dimitrij Zuzur from Sechista, etc.

The names of the subscribers appear in other books as well. For example, at the end of the book "Jewish Servitude" (Slu`enie Evrejsko), printed in the first Macedonian printing house in Thessaloniki (1839) founded by Teodosij Sinaitski, born in Dojran, there is a long list of subscribers. The book was prepared by Giorgi Samurkash, a teacher from Prilep, and Bishop Natanail Stojanovich from the village of Kucheviste.

In the first decades of the XIX century, during the Awakening Period, books written in Kratovo dialect by Joakim Krchovski were printed in Budim. Among them were: Povest radi stra{nago i vtorago pri{estvija Hristova in 1814, ^udesa in 1817, Mitarstva in 1817, and Razni pou~itelni nastavlenija in 1819.

At the same time also Kiril Pejcinovic's books, written in native language (Tetovo dialect) were printed: Ogledalo in Budim, 1816, and Ute{enie Gre{nim in Thessaloniki, 1840, in the printing house of Teodosij Sinaitski. The books by these two writers, written in native language, though not quite clean - it contains traces of ecclesiastic language and words of Turkish origin - were warmly welcomed by the people since they could understand and read them. As mentioned before, their printing was enabled by the financial aid of the Macedonian merchants and artisans, and through subscription fees. Thus an incentive and interest in books was awaken among the people, which would render long-term effects on the development and adoption of the vernacular in the written language during the decades to come. The vernacular was a tool for spreading the awakening process among the people. However, a distinction of an unique literature language cannot be made as early as that. Everybody was still writing in their local dialects.

An extract from the book Povest radi stra{nago i vtorago pri{estvija Hristova:

"Imalo tova vreme car neveren. Toj car ne{to mu zavidel ot garas na togo svetago proroka Danaila i go frlil na arslani `iv da go izedat; Ole ~~udo divno i mnogu golemo. Tatkovi silni, i stra{ni arslani ama mu se poklonile i nogi mu lizale i krotkoi mu se u~inile kako ovci na ov~ar. Gledajte sega koj ima vera i ~isto `ivee..... Te{ko i gorko vanke da bide na va{e umiranje"...

Krchovski's language reveals a mixture of both language features of the north-east and western Macedonian dialects, as well as traces of the ecclesiastical language. Thus, in his books one will encounter such forms as: svetago, togo, nogi, sum and s'm, poln and pun, so and sos, slegol and sleg'l, rekol and rek'l. There are also some words of Turkish origin, such as: garas, arslan, etc.

An extract from the book "Ogledalo" by Kiril Pejchinovic:

" Ima{e nekoj ~ovek bogat mo{no, sva}ij den se vesele{e sefa ~ine{e, a opak ima{e eden jaband`ija siroma bolen. Le`e{e na partali od bogatiot bolen. Ima{e `ivi rani i gladen, so ku~injata le`e{e na portata, ~eka{e koga }e istresat trpeza izme}arite od bogatiot pa i bolniot se vle~e{e pri ku~iwata, bere{e tro{ki i pcite ne mu velea ni{to, u{te mu li`ea ranite, mu gi bri{ea so jazikot, mu ~inea ikram pcite, a bogatiot nej}e{e da mu dadet, dojde zaman, umre siromaot. Siromasite mu zakopaa snagata halosana, a du{ata trpe`lija angeli peej}i mu ja odnesoa u raj, u pazuhite avramovi vo hubavina ve~na. Umre i bogatiot; bogatite mu zakopaa snagata, a gjavolite mu uzea du{ata safalijata du{a negova, mu ga odnesoa v d`ehnem, vo ve~na muka."

Pejchinovic writes in Tetovo dialect, with traces of ecclesiastical - Slavonic language. That is obvious from the above quotation: svakij, mu ga odnesoa du{ata, se mu~imo, se zakopujemo, za du{a davamo, ukraduje pamet. He also uses words of Turkish origin: jaband`ija, izmekjari, ikram, zaman, halosan, d`ehnem, etc.

After the impulsive development of the Macedonian language, the Revival period starts with Dimitrija Miladinov and his followers: Konstantin Miladinov, Rajko Zinzifov, Grigor Prlichev, and Jordan Hadzi Konstantinov - Dzinot. Also within that period writers were using their native speeches. Brothers Dimitar and Konstantin Miladinov were writing in their Struga dialect, with traces of ecclesiastic and Bulgarian languages. Dimitar was the father of the idea for an Universal Slavonic language whose basis would have been the Old Slavonic grammar. Rajko Zizifov and Jordan Hadzi Konstantinov - Dzinot were mostly writing in the Veles dialect. Rajko Zinzifov's works also contain certain traces of Bulgarian and Russian languages.

The poem "Sonce" reveals the features of Konstantin Miladinov's language:


Sonce, le, sonce premilo!
Po seta zemja si bilo,
Si videlo drugi nes~asten
Ko mene, sonce porasten?


Da `ivja, sonce, bez radost
Vo najcvetnata mi mladost!
Ka`i mi ima trpenie!
Kakvo nesnosno ma~enie!


Sonce le, oblak razsej
I ~isto - zlatno ugrej
Po zemja svetlo raskladvi
I mene, sonce, zaradvi.


The verses reflect the features of the pure native speech of the Miladinov brothers - the Struga dialect.

The language of Rajko Zinzifov's writings is best reflected in the extract of one of his poems:


Prodavat si on posleden vol
Prodavat posledna ovca
I pak ostavat bez riza, gol
I gladni set kleti deca


Ne znajt praznik ni dobar den
^e u`neet Bo`ji ~ovek,
Za nego bel den et ~rn den
I ~ern et negov kratok vek.


Za kogo gotvi negov trud s pot,
Komu on davat svoj imot?
Na agata i v carev grad,
I na hitr, zol fanariot.


And from "Serdarot" by Grigor Prlichev (translated by the author):


...po~to vie pla~ete mi sina
hudi ljudje bremena zemnaja?
Pla~ maternij i svoj~eski sílzi
Kuzmanu sa dovolna nagrada.
Pla~ete si d{terki i nevesti
lov predrí~nij razbojnikím mrsnim
sega koj{te biti vam predbornik?
Eto gibna Kuzman silen junak
koj vi ~uval kako desno oko
Vi uspival so svoe bezsínje
Vi otkupval sí svoi si krívi!

These two writers were also striving for the introduction of native speech in churches and schools. Brothers Miladinovci lead a struggle against the dominance of Greek language in the churches and schools in Macedonia, a struggle against the Constantinople Patriarchy that spreaded Hellenization amidst the Macedonian people through its priests - phanariotes. That struggle was particularly stirred up in the sixth decade of the XIX century, when also the first notions of a literature language emerged. For example, Macedonian writer Partenij was striving for common language of the Bulgarians and the Macedonians that would have incorporated features of both languages. Then Partenij Zografski and Kuzman Shapkarev started claiming for the prevailing use of Macedonian speeches in the written language in the Macedonian schools. For example, they were endeavoring for the use of the forms of the participles that end with -j}i and -i{tem, for the use of the three types of articles: -ov, -ot, -on, the plural suffix -ija in nouns of the neutral gender that end with -e in the singular; and for the introduction of the Macedonian words in the standard language.

Having that as a goal, they also published textbooks in a language that had Macedonian basis. The textbooks were welcomed and widely used throughout the Central and Southern Macedonia and played a major role in our schools and in general, in awakening the national awareness of our people.

At that time some Macedonians were envisioning to compile the Macedonian Grammar. Thus, in the late fifth decade of the XIX century, Partenij Zografski from Galichnik was contemplating of writing the Macedonian Grammar Book. However, his idea was not brought about. About a decade later, Venjamin Machukovski from the village of Machukovo in the region of Gevgelija, was also about to publish the Macedonian Grammar Book. He even published a subscription advertisement in a 1872 newspaper. Nevertheless, his idea also failed because it was obstructed and ultimately interrupted by the Bulgarian Exarch.

The issue of the distinctive standard language of the Macedonians was further actuated by the so-called Macedonists. The Macedonists were those representatives of the Revival Movement who advocated the tendency of the independent development of the Macedonian people with their own Macedonian literature language. Among them was also the revivalist Giorgi Pulevski from Galichnik. By vocation he was a mason who worked abroad, but also a textbook writer. Thus, in the seventh decade of the XIX century Pulevski was staying in Belgrade. In 1873 in Belgrade he printed his Dictionary of four Languages: Serbian - Albanian (that was the name he gave to Macedonian language), Albanian - Arnautan, Turkish, and Greek. In 1875 he printed the Dictionary of Three Languages: Macedonian, Albanian, and Turkish. The dictionary consists of questions and answers. In his dictionary Pulevski appeals: "Educated Macedonians should compile the Grammar of Macedonian Language." In 1879 he published an anthology that contained folk and some of his own songs, named Makedonska pesnarka. Pulevski clearly stated his national Macedonian awareness. Discussing in his Dictionary of Three Languages the history of the Macedonian people, Pulevski says: "Na{e ot~estvo se veqit Makedonija i mie se imenuvame Makedonci" (Our motherland is called Macedonia and we call ourselves Macedonians). In that way he was manifesting his national awareness, educated Macedonians in the eight decade of the XIX century, and demanded for the standard Macedonian language to be created. Giorgi Pulevski was mainly writing in his Galicnik speech, but he also used the language features of other western Macedonian speeches: dob, roka, mo~no, kode, }a o`iveeme, etc., and also snaga, ogan, magla, vaka, zboruvaje}i, etc. His orthography is also interesting: veqit, deqit, ginet, iqi, etc.

There is an extract from a poem by Giorgi Pulevski from his Poem Book:


^uite `iteli makedonski. Naze ni{~o ne ni ~ekat
ot aziatci nasile, a v tu|ina ukorstvo.
Tu|a strana e neprijatna-v tu|ina sve naporki gledaet.
I nesnosni pre{eboci sviem ni veljaet.
Em vo tu|ina komu kako da mu teknet,
Sve namurteno, svem lo{ ni nazivaet .
Dali ste ~ule, Makedonci, stari ljudi {to govorat:
Od Makedonci pojunaci nad nih ne bilo.

Starting from the seventh decade of the XIX century, in Macedonia various propaganda spreaded - Greek, Bulgarian, and later also Serbian - aimed at assimilating the Macedonian people and inducing them to accept somebody else's standard language.

Also within that period the phrases Macedonian people and Macedonian language were used to symbolize the process of formation of the literature (standard) language.

The ideas of the Macedonists will be supported and continued by their followers, so-called "lozari". They, in the last decade of the XIX century, will clearly declare their national awareness and largely contribute to the formation of standard Macedonian language. That awareness can be illustrated through the words of one of the most distinguished representatives of the "lozars", Temko Popov:

"I sam Isus Hristos ako slezit od nebono ne mo`it da go uverit Makedoneca oti e Blgarin iqi Srbin."
"Should Jesus Christ Himself descend from the Heavens, He could not persuade Macedonians that they are Bulgarians or Serbs".

"Lozari" contributed to the significant simplification of the Macedonian orthography and for the rejection of certain Old Slavonic letters which did not cover real phonemes (for example, erovi and nosovki, that were in use at that time in the Bulgarian alphabet). They represented the continuation of the Macedonistic aspirations of Giorgi Pulevski, and of the theoretic postulates of Krste Petkov Misirkov.

From the linguistic point of view, the second half of the XIX century is characterised by the tendency to create a separate Macedonian standard language.
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