Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Borders of Bulgarian language

Bulgarian dialect continuum

The distribution of Slavic languages may be visualized by a chain of circles that cross and intermingle so that many transitive dialects arise. In this Slavic chain, Bulgarian is the south-most link which is located between Serbian and Russian. Because the interactions between Bulgarian and Serbian, on one hand, and between Bulgarian and Russian, on the other, are not equivalent, the similarities of Bulgarian to Russian and Serbian are not the same. While Bulgarians and Serbs lived very close to each other for a very long time on a long borderline, the connection between Bulgarian and Russian took place on a narrow strip along Dobrudzha which was populated with other foreign peoples and was interrupted by the wide and scarcely populated Danube delta. The relatively large similarity between Bulgarian and Russian can be explained by the former Russian-Bulgarian neighbourship in the old homeland of Bulgars and Bulgarian Slavs and with subsequent loans between Bulgarian and Russian.

Bulgaria demographic

A 1865 map of the Balkan Peninsula, showing the track of Via Ignatia [1].

On the basis of linguistic similarities and differences between Slavic languages, one can see that Serbs were not neighbours to Bulgarians in their old abode. Furthermore, comparing the today southern Slavic languages, one can see that even on the Balkan Peninsula, Serbs were not always neighbours to Bulgarians; this is seen by the many phonetic similarities that are found between Bulgarian and Sloveno-Croatian and which are lacking in Serbian. This shows that Serbs came later, penetrated between Bulgarians and Sloveno-Croats and thus interrupted the dialect continuity between southern Slavs.

Territorial borders

In its present state, the Bulgarian language area takes the most important parts of the Balkan Peninsula and for the most part it borders foreign people, and not Slavic ones: Romanians to the north, Turks to the east, Greeks to the south, Albanians to the south-west, and because every one of these peoples defends its state and political doctrines, the ethnographic issues on the Balkans are very complicated. On Bulgarian side, when at issue is distinguishing the Bulgarian language and nationality from others, there isn't and cannot be any controversy, because the difference between Bulgarian and other languages is evident. Every unbiased ethnographer or diplomate will draw the border of the Bulgarian nation to the limit where Bulgarian is spoken. There can be some controversy only about some mixed border villages but this controversy could be easily decided on the basis of an accurate statistic taking into account the majority of the respective population.

It is a different situation with the ethnographic border between Serbs and Bulgarians whereby two similar people of the same tribe touch and interact. Basically, here too, if there is no bias by the two sides, an agreement could be easily reached taking into account the grammatical differences between the two languages; because even though they are very similar and the transitive Bulgarian-Serb dialects are very close, there are scientific criteria that could help clearly distinguish these dialects if there was such good will from the Serbian side as it is from Bulgarian, if Serbian ethnographers and linguists didn't put in this controversy more politics then a true light of science, more animosity than a neighbourly conciliation. Because the claims of the Bulgarian western Slavic neighbours concern not only some controversial border villages as it is usually between neighbours, they concern whole regions that are purely Bulgarian, which the Greater Serb politicians and ethnographers, with pseudoscientific distortions, proclaim for Serbian in order to put a scientific basis for their illegitimate claims. This is why, when delineating the borders of Bulgarian language and nation against the other Balkan peoples, we'll give more detail on the Serbian-Bulgarian language border in order to define it and establish it on a scientific, linguistic, basis.

Map of Bulgarian dialects

The ethnography of the Balkan Peninsula is tightly connected to the always hot Macedonian question: everything written about Macedonia concerns directly or indirectly its neighbouring regions and peoples. And because this question is still on the agenda for almost 150 years, the literature about it and about Balkan ethnography comprises numerous papers, books, brochures, maps, and statistics in all languages, and together with them – diplomatic agreements, police measures, occupations, and also four bloody, ruinous wars – always this ominous Macedonian question without a favourable decision; it hangs as a threatening sword over all Balkan peoples and will be a scare until the moment it is fairly decided on the basis of the national principle which was so triumphantly proclaimed but unfortunately often ignored by everybody.

As most directly affected by the Macedonian question, Bulgarians contributed most to its elucidation; during the wars Bulgarian scientists had the opportunity to study directly in the field the western limits of the Bulgarian homeland and to fill their data and evidence for the ethnography of Macedonia and the Morava region. These studies confirmed everything that was before known by Bulgarian scientists about the ethnography of the Balkans and the distinguishing of Bulgarian nationality.

Regardless of the present or future Bulgarian state borders, the borders of the Bulgarian speech and ethnicity are defined as follows.

Photobucket

The eastern border is the Black Sea.

To the north, the language has as a natural border the river Danube that spans the larger part of the Bulgarian-Romanian border. The smaller (land) part of the border starts at the town of Silistra on the Danube and ends at the village of Durankulak on the Black Sea, passing through the region of Dobrudzha and dividing the latter in 2 parts: Northern (Romanian) Dobrudzha and Southern (Bulgarian) Dobrudzha. In the past, a numerous Bulgarian population lived in Romanian (Northern) Dobrudzha but in 1941 according to an agreement between the Bulgarian and Romanian governments, these people were moved to the Bulgarian (Southern) Dobrudzha in the place of re-settled Romanian population. Therefore, the northern border of Bulgarian language is clearly delineated as it separates two different languages: Bulgarian and Romanian.

The southern border of Bulgarian is not clearly defined. The Bulgarian population in the southern parts of Thrace and Macedonia lived for many centuries mixed with other ethnicities, primarily Greeks and Turks, speaking languages, very different from Bulgarian. So, instead of language mixing, these ethnicities remained clearly differentiated on the language basis and, indeed, language became the main ethnic characteristic. A large part of Bulgarians (Grecomans) spoke Greek in public and Bulgarian at home. Islamised Bulgarians (Pomaks) spoke a Bulgarian dialect mixed with Turkish words. And yet, a historical border to the south exists that separates Bulgarians from others. It is the old Roman road Via Ignatia that connects the Adriatic with the Black Sea. For a large part, it goes close to the Aegean coast [1]. North of Via Ignatia Bulgarians predominate while south of it they are in the minority.

In Thrace, the territories on the two sides of Via Ignatia very often changed hands between Bulgarians, Greeks, and Turks but north of it they have been predominantly Bulgarian most of the time, mixed with Greeks, or Turks. Therefore, the border goes from the environs of Istanbul (Tsarigrad) through Chataldzha and Silivria, and then along Via Ignatia goes close to the Aegean (Byalo more) coast to the Struma Estuary and Orphano Bay. Then it crosses the Bogdan Mountain (Beshik-Dag) and through the Lagadina Field (Hortach, Vavro, Kolomenta, Kakavo, and Erisovo [2], pp. 43-44) goes to Solun. From the Solun Bay the border goes upstream along Bistritsa River which it leaves to pass near Kozhani and Shatishta; then again along Bistritsa to Hrupishta.

The border to the west and southwest goes along the approximate line established by Stefan Verković – Serbian folk researcher and ethnograph, and Prof. Afanasiy Selishchev – a great Russian Slavist. Until 15th century, these lands were alternately under Bulgarian and Serbian rule, and then for 5 centuries they were ruled by the Ottomans. The state border was established only in 1878; until then the Serb-Ottoman border went much further to the west [4]. For the western and southern borders of Bulgarian, Verković writes in detail in his works [3] and [2]. The studies of Verković which he did for 30 years, are fully confirmed by other Serbian scientists, such as Milovan Vidaković (1833), Dr. Jovan Subotić (1845), Jovan Gavrilović (1863), Tuminski (1868), А. Hadžić (1870), Vasa Pelagić (1879), Alexandar Belić (1906) and others. More specific data about the south-western border are found in the comprehensive study of Prof. Selishchev [5]. It is worth noting that much the same border to the west was drawn by Krste Misirkov in his study [6].

The southwestern border goes south of the region of Kostur (Kostenaria), along the mountain ranges Gorusha and Gramos and then turns to the east from the village Slimitsa (Slimnitsa) and further to the north to the Bulgarian village Lobanitsa towards the Bulgaro-Albanian settlement Biglishta. Therefrom the border goes to the northwest which leaves to the east the Bulgarian villages Rakitska, Zərnovsko, Leska, Pustets, Glombochitsa, Podbuche, along the south shore of the Ohrid Lake, to the Bulgarian monastery "St. Naum" and the village of Lin.

Photobucket

To the west of this line are Albanian settlements except two neighbouring villages, Drenovo and Boboshchitsa, that are Bulgarian. Some Bulgarian families lived at the turn of 19th c. in other Korcha villages: Sovyani, Sinitsa, Pirg, Rambets, Bulgarets, Hotishta, Bratovitsa. In the town of Korcha itself, there was a Bulgarian population in 2 neighbourhoods. Old men in several now Albanian villages still remember the former Bulgarian language. The population to the west of Ohrid lake is Albanian. Bulgarian population at the beginning of 20th c. lived only in some northwestern villages: Lin, Raytsa, Radozhda, Vlahtsi, Kalishta, Radolishta.

From Struga, the border goes near the west shore of Ohrid Lake through Yablanitsa Mountain, passes through the Bulgarian Muslim villages to the west of Drin: Steblevo, Borovo, Sebishte, Kosovets, Tərnovo. West of this line are the Albanian village Zaradchani and the Bulgarian villages Upper and Lower Belitsa [7], p. 48. Veleshta became primarily Albanian village by 1920s. The Bulgarian villages Vranishta, Oktisi, Vehchani (Vevchani), Podgortsi, Borovets, Yablanitsa (some Albanians) are to the east of the border. Here is the northern part of Yablanitsa ridge. The border then goes to the northwest along the Golobrdo ridge. At the turn of 19th c. here Bulgarian border villages were Borova, Sebishte, Tərnovo, Leshnichan, Torbachi. [8] Borovo, as well as Kosovets and Torbachi north of it are mentioned as Albanian, and Sebishte – as mixed Bulgarian-Albanian in 1916. [9]

At the village Torbachi the border crosses to the other side of Drin River, leaving to the east the Bulgarian-Albanian town Debər and the Bulgarian village of Sushitsa and goes along Drin to the north. A number of villages on Drin are Albanian: Konyari, Solokiki, Spas, Rashani, Blato, Maytar, Chernene, Voynik, Chanka, Kovachitsa. The next village to the north on the Drin – Deolani (Dovolani) – is Bulgarian-Albanian. From here, at Kenok Hill, the border turns to the east to the Bulgarian Muslim village Zhernonitsa and further to the Mavrovi Inns (in the region of the village Mavrovo). In one village to the northwest of the border – Brizhdan (Brzhdan) on Drin – there were 4 Bulgarians (9 Walachians, 40 Gypsies, and 1008 Albanians) in 1916-1918 [10] and a quarter of this village bears the Slavic name Domazetay. In 1860s, in another village close by – Melan / Melia north of Deolani – there was a Bulgarian population. [7], II, p. 37-38 Villages ustream along Radika (Gorna Reka) were Albanian by the beginning of 20th c.

From Mavrovi Inns, the western border of the Bulgarian linguistic area goes to Rudoka Mountain, to the Vratsa Pass and to the villages of Prizrenska Gora, situated between Shar Mountain, Rudoka Mountain and Koritnik. The Slavic population of Gora was forced to change its religion from Christianity to Islam but the traditional Bulgarian language was preserved in many villages and their population. The traits in this language is similar to those in the southwestern Bulgarian dialects spoken in western Macedonia. The common religion asserted a strong Albanian influence on the Gora Bulgarians which, like other Bulgarians in western Macedonia, do not object to being called Albanians. They were registered as Albanians at the time of the Austrian occupation in 1916-1918. [9], p. 54-56 In some families and villages in Gora, the Slavic speech was completely disused and was replaced by Albanian. The attempts of the Serbian government to open schools in some villages in Gorna Reka were unsuccessful; by 1929 no teacher remained there. [11]

From Gora the border goes to the north-east through the Shar Mountain, from its peak Lyuboten and then to the east, north of the Bulgarian village Rogachevo, north of Rogach ridge to Dervent in Polog near Vardar and further to the north-east to Skopian Montenegro. In this region, the Albanian ethnicity predominates, and the Bulgarian element is preserved in islands of Bulgarian Muslim (torbesh) villages. The villages of the Prizren Opolya are all Albanian. There are many Albanian villages in other Prizren zhups (districts). Only the following villages near Prizren are Slavic: Vrbichane, Novoselyane, Seltse (Sevtse), Vrbeshtitsa, Yazhintse, Shtrptse, Berevtse, Gotovusha, Sredska, Zhivinyane; the other villages are either mixed or completely Albano-Muslim. In the Bulgarian Muslim dialects, *tj, *dj is reflexed in кь, гь but ѫ is reflexed in ъ, ъ and ь are reflexed in o and e, there is a triple definite article, etc., which are the typical Bulgarian dialects of Shar and Koritnik Mountains. The Slavic langauge of the population in the Prizren zhups Sredska and Sirinich incorporates elements of 2 Slavic languages: Bulgarian and Serbian. Bulgarian elements come from Slavs who in old times lived north and north-west of Prizren: Slavic toponyms are evidence for this. Thus, there are words with zhd, sht instead of Proto-Slavic *dj, *tj, *-kt' (Grazhdenik, Obrazhda, Lyubizhda, Selograzhde, Chrpyoglazhde, Torazhda, Spənozheshtani, Nebregoshte, Dobrushta), words with -ets instead of earlier -ьць (Nashets, Tupets, etc.).

In addition to these linguistic data, we can note the ethnographic observations of A. Haberlandt in the Prizren area. The houses around Prizren have clearly eastern aspect (brick buildings); village houses are situated terrace-like on the hill slopes; many of them are surrounded by huge stone walls. Gardens have very Bulgarian character, and field-guarding is in south-eastern manner. Folk costumes are different in colour, decorations, and partly in their elements. On this basis, without doubt the bulk of population in the direction Mitrovitsa-Pech originates from newer settlers with ethnicity different from that in southern Metochia. The first belongs to Serbian nationality while the second has older character which is close to the Bulgarians from Macedonia [12].

To the west of the above southwestern limits of the Bulgarian linguistic area there were no Bulgarian settlements in the 20th c. except those mentioned above in the Korcha region and 4 Bulgarians in the village of Brizhdan in Lower Debar, near Peshkopia. But to the east of the border line, in western Macedonia, there are many Albanian settlements. Here, the Albanians do not inhabit compact terrritory: either their villages are on Bulgarian territory or Albanians take part of a Bulgarian village. Statistical data of 1912-1913 show that there were 194 195 Albanians in Macedonia (1 103 111 Bulgarians, 548 225 Turks, 267 862 Greeks, 79 401 Walachians, 43 370 Gypsies, 106 360 others). Most Albanians were settled in the western and northern Macedonia: 43 230 near Polog (Tetovo and Gostivar regions), 33 375 near Debar, 14 400 near Bitolya, 13 240 near Skopie, 20 000 near Preshevo [13].

From Prizren district the border goes in a generally northern direction through Kopaonik and Yastrebəts Mountains to Krushevəts and Morava River. Along the western shore of Morava the border goes as far north as the rivers Sava and Danube where it closes the Bulgarian linguistic territory.

In the borders so delineated, there are foreign populations: Albanians, Turks, Greek, as well as Turkified, Hellenised, or Serbianized Bulgarians but as long as there is a language with the traits characteristic for Bulgarian language, it is strictly Bulgarian, different from all other languages.

Bulgaro-Serbian linguistic borders

Phonetic

  1. The Old Bulgarian ѫ gives in Bulgarian ъ while in Serbian it gives y:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    дъб
    зъб
    мъка
    ръка
    тъга
    дуб
    зуб
    мука
    рука
    туга
    oak
    tooth
    sadness
    hand
    sorrow


  2. The Old Bulgarian *tj, *dj combinations give in Bulgarian щ and жд, and in Serbian – ћ and ђ:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    среща
    плащам
    плещи
    межда
    раждам
    срећа
    плаћам
    плеће
    међа
    рађам
    meeting
    to pay
    shoulders
    border
    to bear (child)


  3. The Old Bulgarian ъ and ь in Bulgarian are assimilated only in root syllables into a dark ъ, but in suffix syllables are separated and are pronounced as ъ and е while in Serbian they are pronounced only as а:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    бъз
    бъчва
    тънък
    тъмен
    остен
    баз
    бачва
    танак
    таман
    остан
    elder
    barrel
    thin
    dark
    goad


  4. The Old Bulgarian лъ in the middle of syllables in Bulgarian remains unchanged as -лъ- or becomes its metathesis -ъл-, while in Serbian it mutates into -у-:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    тлъсто
    сълза
    вълк
    бълха
    вълна
    тусто
    суза
    вук
    бува
    вуна
    fatty
    tear
    wolf
    flea
    wool


  5. The consonant л at the end of syllables is present in Bulgarian as the sound /l/ while in Serbian it changes to the vowel o:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    крилце
    пепел
    бил
    смял се
    работилница
    криоце
    пепео
    био
    смео се
    радионица
    winglet
    ashes
    been
    laughed
    workshop


  6. The palatal (soft) љ (ль) is not found in Bulgarian while in Serbian it is present:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    избавен
    купен
    снопи
    коноп
    Скопие
    избављен
    купљен
    снопље
    конопље
    Скопље
    saved
    bought
    sheaves
    hemp
    Skopie


  1. Voiced consonants at the end of words in Bulgarian change to the respective voiceless consonants while in Serbian they remain voiced:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    боп
    дъп
    рок
    бряк
    рет
    боб
    дъб
    рог
    брег
    ред
    beans
    oak
    horn
    shore
    order


  2. Vowel reduction is found often in Bulgarian, especially in Bulgarian dialects while in Serbian there is no vowel reduction:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    тъка
    селу
    малку
    чите
    тъ
    тако
    село
    мало
    чете
    те
    so
    village
    little
    he reads
    you


  3. The Old Bulgarian sound дз /ʣ/ is retained in Bulgarian, especially in Bulgarian dialects while in Serbian it is replaced by з /z/:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    дзвизка
    дзифт
    дзвезда (dial)
    дзид (dial)
    дзвон (dial)
    звиска
    зифт
    звезда
    зид
    зван
    ewe
    bitumen
    star
    wall
    ringing


  4. The stress in Bulgarian is retained at the same place as in Old Bulgarian while in Serbian it is shifted:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    водà
    завòд
    парѝ
    благодаря̀
    не знàм
    вòда
    зàвод
    пàра
    благòдарим
    нè знам
    water
    institute
    money
    to thank
    I don't know


  5. The stress in Bulgarian does not change the length of the stressed vowel while in Serbian stress prolongs or shortens the vowel:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    полèка
    предприя̀тие
    интерèсен
    фантастѝчно
    рождèн дèн
    полāко
    предузēће
    интересāнтан
    фантāстично
    рòђендāн
    easy
    enterprise
    interesting
    fantastic
    birthday

Morphological

The main differences between Bulgarian and Serbian are morphological. The first three points refer to the main characteristic traits of Bulgarian while the first five points make Bulgarian analytic language compared to Serbian (and other Slavic languages) which is synthetic language.

  1. Bulgarian lost the old case forms in nouns, adjectives, and adverbs (some cases retained only in pronouns) while Serbian retained all cases:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    мъжа
    мъжа
    мъжа
    мъжа
    мъжа
    мужу (accusat.)
    мужа (genitive)
    мужи (dative)
    мужом (instr.)
    муже (prepos.)
    man
    man
    man
    man
    man


  2. Bulgarian developed a postfixed article form while Serbian does not use articles:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    снегът
    реката
    морето
    човека
    книгата
    снег
    реке
    мора
    човек
    књиге
    the show
    the river
    the sea
    the man
    the book


  3. Bulgarian does not have an infinitive form while Serbian has retained the old infinitive form:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    да работя
    да дойда
    да донеса
    да отида
    да прочета
    радити
    дођи
    донети
    пођи
    прочитати
    to work
    to come
    to bring
    to go
    to read


  4. The comparative degree in Bulgarian is formed with the particles по- and най- while in Serbian it is formed by suffixes or by words with different roots (synthetic):

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    по-слаб
    по-добър
    по-лек
    най-красив
    най-щастлив
    слабиjи
    бољи
    лакши
    наjлепши
    наjсрећниjи
    weaker
    better
    lighter
    the most beautiful
    the happiest


  5. The future tense in Bulgarian is formed analytically with the auxilliary particle ще which does not change while in Serbian it is done either with a conjugated auxilliary particle or with a sufficial construction (synthetically):

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    ще чета
    ще четеш
    ще чете
    ще четем
    ще четете
    ћу читати, читаћу
    ћеш читати, читаћеш
    ће читати, читаће
    ћемо читати, читаћемо
    ћете читати, читаћете
    I'll read
    you'll read
    he'll read
    we'll read
    you'll read


  6. The plural in some masculine nouns is formed with suffix -ове or in Bulgarian and with suffix -ови, -еви in Serbian:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    домове
    снегове
    брегове
    коне
    царе
    станови
    снегови
    брегови
    коњи
    цареви
    homes
    snows
    shores
    horses
    kings


  7. The plural adjectives do not have a gender suffix in Bulgarian while in Serbian these have gender suffix:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    добри хора
    добри жени
    добри села
    стари книги
    стари другари
    добри људи
    добре жене
    добра села
    старе књиге
    стари другови
    good people
    good women
    good villages
    old books
    old friends


  1. Verbs in first person plural end in or -ме in Bulgarian and in -мо in Serbian:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    плетем
    питаме
    ходим
    мием
    четем
    плетемо
    питамо
    идемо
    перемо
    читамо
    we knit
    we ask
    we go
    we wash
    we read


  2. Verbs in third person plural end in the old suffix in Bulgarian while in Serbian this suffix is lacking:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    плетат
    питат
    ходят
    мият
    четат
    плету
    пита
    иду
    перу
    чита
    they knit
    they ask
    they go
    they wash
    they read


  3. Verbs in second person plural past tense end in the suffix -хте in Bulgarian while in Serbian this suffix is -сте:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    плетохте
    питахте
    ходихте
    миехте
    четохте
    плетосте
    питасте
    идосте
    перасте
    читасте
    you knitted
    you asked
    you went
    you washed
    you read


  4. Verbs in third person plural past finite tense end in the suffix -ха in Bulgarian while in Serbian this suffix is -ше:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    плетоха
    питаха
    ходиха
    миеха
    четоха
    плетоше
    питаше
    идоше
    пераше
    читаше
    they knitted
    they asked
    they went
    they washed
    they read


  5. In verbs that in Old Bulgarian ended in -оватн the letter о changed to у in Bulgarian while in Serbian this suffix retained its о:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    купувах
    купуван
    купуване
    пътувах
    пътуване
    куповах
    купован
    куповање
    путовах
    путовање
    I bought
    bought
    buying
    I travelled
    travel


  6. Imperative mood is equalised by the hard base in Bulgarian and by the soft base in Serbian:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    плетете
    молете
    перете
    бъдете
    идете
    плетите
    молите
    перите
    будите
    одите
    knit
    ask
    wash
    be
    go


  7. Generative case in pronouns in Bulgarian ends in -го while in Serbian ends in -га:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    кого
    никого
    някого
    всекиго
    го
    кога
    никога
    некога
    свакога
    га
    whom
    nobody
    somebody
    everybody
    him


  8. Dative and accusative cases plural in pronouns ни, ви are the same in Bulgarian while in Serbian they have different forms: нама, вама (dative); нас, вас (accusative)


  9. Bulgarian uses abbreviated personal pronouns мен, теб while Serbian lacks them


  10. Vocative case in female personal nouns ending in -ка in Bulgarian has the suffix -ке while in Serbian they have suffix -ко: bg: Боянке – sr: Боjанко


Sintactic

  1. Bulgarian has analytic relational expressions while Serbian has syntetic expressions – case forms:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    Казах на жената
    Бeше с куче
    Влиза в морето
    Гледа земя
    Даде го на майка
    Рекао сам жени
    Био jе са псом
    Улази у море
    Гледа земљу
    Дао je маjци
    I told the woman
    He was with a dog
    Goes into the sea
    Looks at land
    Gave to mother


  2. In Bulgarian there is doubling of personal pronouns while in Serbian there is no such doubling:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    мене ме
    тебе те
    него го
    нея я
    нас ни
    мени
    теби
    њега
    њoj
    нама
    me
    you
    him
    her
    us


  3. In comparisons Bulgarian uses accusative case when it is possible (in pronouns) while Serbian uses nominative case; also, in comparisons Bulgarian uses the preposition от, while Serbian uses the preposition него:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    голям като мене
    висок като него
    по-нисък от нея
    по-силен от мен
    по-голям от теб
    велики како jа
    висок колико он
    нижи него она
    снажниjи него jа
    већи него ти
    as big as me
    as tall as you
    shorter than her
    stronger than me
    bigger than you


  4. Bulgarian uses very often the definitive forms of past tense (past finite and past infinite) while in Serbian past definitive forms are used very infrequently and they are replaced by past indefinite:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    потъна
    потъваше
    работих
    четох
    четях
    утонуо je
    тонуо jе
    радио сам
    чео сам
    читао сам
    he sank
    he was sinking
    I worked
    I read /red/
    I was reading


  1. Bulgarian very often omits the conjunction да either in futture tense constructions or elsewhere while Serbian keeps this conjunction:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    той ще дойде
    аз ще кажа
    ще следи
    бих казал
    не щях
    он ће да дође
    jа ћу да кажем
    ће да прати
    хоћу да кажем
    ни да сам знао
    he'll come
    I'll say
    it'll rain/snow
    I'd say
    I wouldn't know


  2. Bulgarian often omits the singular and plural auxiliary verb for third person (e and са) while in Serbian omission of this verb is very rare:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    било (e) късно
    не (e) наред
    колко (е) важно?
    щели (са) да
    какво (са) чели?
    било ϳе касно
    ниϳе у реду
    колико ϳе важно?
    хтели су да
    шта су читали?
    it was late
    it's not ok
    how important?
    they'd ...
    what'd they read?


  3. Bulgarian uses the past finite form of the verb бъда (to be) – бе/беше (was/were), while in Serbian there is no such use:

    BulgarianSerbianEnglish
    той си бе дошъл
    тя не бе казала
    беше късно
    не беше лошо
    що беше това?
    био jе дошао
    ниϳе била рекла
    било ϳе касно
    ниϳе било лоше
    шта ϳе било ово?
    he had come
    she hadn't said
    it was late
    it wasn't bad
    what was this?

References

1. The Turks, the Greeks and the Slavons. Travels in the Slavonic Provinces of Turkey-in-Europe. By G. Muir Mackenzie and A. P. Irby, London, 1867. With Maps etc.

2. Stefan Verković, Описание быта македонских болгар; Топографическо-этнографический очерк Македонии (Description of the life of Macedonian Bulgarians. Topographic and ethnographic essay of Macedonia), St. Petersburg, 1889.

3. Stefan Verković. Народне песме македонских бугара (Folk songs of Macedonian Bulgarians), Belgrade, 1860.

4. Младенов, Ст. Граници на българската реч и държава в миналото и днес (Borders of Bulgarian language and state in the past and today). Родна реч, 1927, Issue 1, 16-23.

5. Афанасий Селищев. Днешната югозападна граница на българската говорна област (Present south-western border of the Bulgarian dialect area), Македонски преглед (Macedonian Review), 7:1, 1930

6. Кръсте Мисирков. Към въпроса за пограничната линия между българския и сърбо-хърватския езици (On the borderline between Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian languages), Българска сбирка (Bulgarian collection), 17: 1-2, 1910/11, p. 100

7. Hahn, Reіse durch dіe Gebіete des Drіn und Wardar. II. 1863. Denkschr. d. Ak. d. Wissensch. Phіl.-hіst. Cl., Bd. 16, Wіen. 1869

8. проф. Йорд. Иванов, Българо-албанската етнична граница (Bulgaro-Albanian ethnic border), Македонски преглед (Macedonian Review) I, 4:46, 1925

9. St. Mladenov, Bemerkungen über dіe albaner und das Albanіsche іn Nordmakedonіen und Altserbіen. Balkan-Archіv, I, 1925, p. 66.

10. Fr. Seіner, Ergebnіsse der Volkszählung іn Albanіen іn dem von den oesterr.-ungar. Truppen 1916-1918 besetzen Gebіete. Schrіften der balkankommіssіon. Lіnguіst. Abteіlung. XIII. 1922, р. 50.

11. С. Милосављевић, Просветне прилике Горње Реке. Jужни преглед, IV, № 2. Скопље. 1929, р. 70.

12. Arthur Haberlandt, Kulturwіssenschaftlіsche Beіträge zur Volkskunde von Montenegro, Albanіen und Serbіen, Wіen, 1917, р. 157.

13. J. Ivanoff, La Questіon macedonіenne. Parіs. 1920, р. 187; Й. Иванов. Българетѣ въ Македония. София. 1915, р. CII-CIV.

11 comments :

  1. very interesting comparison!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks. You may want to look into Transitional dialects for more comparisons between Bulgarian and Serbian, or in Bulgarian and other Slavic languages for other comparisons.

    ReplyDelete
  3. More comparations between Bulgarian and Serbian language is wrong.

    comment correct
    чео сам ???
    утевао jе ??? тонуо је
    ниϳе било лошо wrong није било лоше
    било ϳе доцна wrong било је доцкан
    великиjи него ти wrong већи него ти
    нискиjи него она wrong нижи него она
    велик како jа wrong велики као ја
    ћели су да ?
    шта су чели ?
    joj wrong њој
    Био jе са пасом wrong био је са псом
    Улази у мору wrong улази у море
    ће да вали ???
    би да речем ???
    ни да сам хтео wrong нисам хтео
    добри човеци hahaha! добри људи
    коњеви wrong коњи
    свакига wrong свакога
    ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for the corrections. I'll correct them in the text shortly. Best wishes and Happy Easter.

      Delete
  4. Dear Mr. Antonov,

    I am doing research and would like to ask you a question regarding Bulgarian dictionaries. Please email met at ZacharyHaynes@gmail.com so that we may discuss this.

    Thankyou for your time and assistance.

    Sincerely,

    Zach

    ReplyDelete
  5. You've forgotten a few other things, the future in the past tense:щях да чета, ще четях, ке читав);

    The Renarrative mood and it's various tenses and the past imperfect participle четял, пишел, работел.
    Serbian doesn't have any of those things.

    The fact that Bulgarian uses the same preposition to express possession and Dative argument - Книгата е на Мария, Давам книгата на Мария. Serbian uses two different case - Genitive and Dative.

    The fact that Bulgarian uses the same constructions for entering a place and being at a place - Влизам в стаята, В стаята съм. Serbian uses different cases again.

    The way the various future tenses are negated - няма да чета, нямаше да, нямало да...

    I'll tell you if I think of any others

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the constructive comment. I see you mean and will add these missing items.

      Delete
  6. It's not correct наjлепиjи, it should ne najlepši.
    лакшиjи - lakši
    буа - buva or buha
    дођити - doći
    донести - doneti
    пођти - poći
    четите - čitajte
    ће да вали - padaće/kišiće (I have never heard that phrase: će da vali)
    би да речем - hoću da kažem,
    било ϳе доцна - bilo je kasno
    ћели су да - hteli su da
    шта су чели? - šta su hteli?

    ReplyDelete
  7. "I DO appreciate highly the information and comments on this site.
    BTW, I am an American descendant of Bulgarians from Florina (Lerin) in the largely Hellenized Aegean Macedonia and Bulgarians from Pirot, in the almost completely Serbianized Nishava-Morava region of what is at present Eastern Serbia."
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thanks for the nice comment. Because of our stupid politicians, Bulgaria borders from all sides with itself.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is a very interesting and useful resource! I have been to Bulgaria and, although I do speak a bit of Bulgarian, I found it quite difficult to communicate (but I guess this is a shared feeling with those who, like me, are not proficient in a second language!). Anyway, I had to hire a company to provide me with Bulgarian translation when I had to fill out some important documents. I really didn't want to risk it and I preferred to put myself in the hands of professional translator.

    ReplyDelete