Ancient — fiction: the researcher told which language was spoken in the times of Kievan Rus

Давньоруська — вигадка: дослідник розповів, якою мовою говорили в часи Київської Русі

If we suddenly went back in time a thousand years ago, you could find a common language with the ancestors. After all, they talked almost as much as the modern Ukrainians, the newspaper “Express”.

— In the times of Kievan Rus was written in the Church Slavonic language, but spoken is very different from her. Spoke old Ukrainian that sound, incidentally, was quite close to the modern Ukrainian literary language, — says Vyacheslav Kornienko, Deputy General Director on scientific work of the National reserve “Sophia of Kyiv”, doctor of historical Sciences. It is reminiscent of the situation of Latin language in Western Europe, which he wrote all official documents, and spoke the old French, staremesto… People were saying as they were more convenient.

Already in Soviet times, came up with such a thing as “old Russian language”. Then actively developed the concept of the triune state, the theory of fraternal peoples — Ukrainian, Russian, Belarusian, which supposedly is one state, one language and one nationality. Alternative opinions could not be. But now there is historical evidence that the three East Slavic languages — Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian — have formed and grown independently from each other.

— How do we know on what was the old Ukrainian language?

— The main source of such information — the inscriptions on the walls of St. Sophia Cathedral, of which there are more than 7000. Actually, the examples were said a thousand years ago. Also, these graffiti are preserved in the interior of the Church in the Church of St. Michael’s Vydubytskyi monastery, Church of the Saviour at Berestove. They were wickramabahu visitors to the Cathedral. And though the authors of the inscriptions was trying to keep the Church Slavonic form, the walls were elements of spoken language.

In particular, in the inscriptions on the walls of St. Sophia Cathedral of XI century the words appear in the dative case, i.e. the ending “AVI”, “eve” — Peter, Daniel, and the like. Also use the word in the nominative case ends in “o” instead of a solid mark that is characteristic of Church Slavonic language. In particular, there is a record of the purchase of the new earth, dated to XI — XII century. Here are the names with absolutely typical of us endings — for example, mark, Daniel, Mihalko, Stepko, Petro. For example, if it were in Church, would write “Peter”.

Also there are inscriptions that tell us that even then on the good man spoke in the plural. In particular, there is a record about the production of Hilarion, Metropolitan of Kiev Rus at the behest of Yaroslav in 1051 — “Yaroslav put.” Also preserved in verse: “Woe to you, Andronica, Oh you, God”. Here is the actual speech! There are addresses corresponding to the end.

— This language is spoken and princes?

Yes. We have not only labels that left the common people, but those wickramabahu people from the entourage of the princes, their retainers. And communication skills they have inherited from their rulers. I should add that some of the princes — for example, Vsevolod Yaroslavich, knew several languages, so in his conversational could use foreign language words.

— And in those days were fighting.

— Of course! Apparently popular was the curse, after all, survived interesting inscription — this is a wish Kuzma who stole someone’s meat: “you are confused”. And some of the letters contained and the obscene word from three letters! So we can assume that the princes knew such words.


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