The Dawn of Slavic

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An Introduction to Slavic Philology

Alexander M. Schenker

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This unique book weaves linguistic, cultural, and historical themes together to form a concise and accessible account of the development of the Slavic languages. Alexander Schenker demonstrates that inquiry into early Slavic culture requires an understanding of history, language, and texts and that an understanding of early Slavic writing is incomplete outside the context of medieval culture.

Drawing on contemporary manuscripts and other primary sources, Schenker presents a historical sketch of Slavic settlement in Europe, tracing the migrations, the political maneuvers, and the integration of the Slavs into the medieval European cultural commonwealth. He next outlines the development of Slavic from its Indo-European origins to the breakup of Slavic linguistic unity and the formation of individual Slavic dialects. In a chapter devoted to the beginnings of Slavic writing, he includes a thematic classification of the oldest Slavic texts, a section on Slavic paleography, and a discussion of the formation of Old Church Slavonic and its role as the first Slavic literary language. An overview of the development of Slavic philology, samples of early Slavic writing with facsimile illustrations, maps, and a chronological table contribute further valuable material to this volume.

Alexander M. Schenker is professor of Slavic linguistics at Yale University, author of Polish Declension and Beginning Polish, and editor of Fifteen Modern Polish Short Stories, the latter two published by Yale University Press.

"Schenker's years of experience in the classroom are apparent on every page. His scholarship is impeccable; his erudition, formidable. He tells the Slavic story as well as it has ever been told. The Dawn of Slavic is bound to become a classic."—Michael S. Flier, Harvard University

"The Dawn of Slavic, with its comprehensive coverage of early Slavic literary culture, its well-reproduced sample texts, and many other valuable features, is a welcome addition to the Slavic studies reference shelf."—Frank Y. Gladney, Studies in the Linguistic Sciences

"Schenker insists that the course of Slavic language change cannot be understood without a thorough knowledge of the culture and history of the people and times through which has it passed. He traces the people from their first settlement in Europe to their integration into the common European Medieval culture, the language from its Indo-European beginnings to the shattering of linguistic unity and the formation of separate Slavic dialects, and the writing from the earliest signs to the 12th-century chronicles."—Reference & Research Book News

"This is one of those books where one has two initial reactions: it's great that somebody has done it and why wasn't it done before?. . . . Schenker's book will be of use not only to medievalists, historians, and linguists but also to almost any Russianist or Slavist, since it provides in very accessible form a great deal of important information which is otherwise available only in scattered publications in many languages. . . . A magnificent achievement which belongs in every library and on the shelves of every serious student or teacher."—Charles E. Gribble, Russian Review

"As it stands, Alexander Schenker's The Dawn of Slavic is a major contribution to the study of Slavic philology and linguistics which will, no doubt, be heartily embraced by students and teachers alike."—Barbara M. Mozdzierz, Slavic and East European Journal

Selected as a 1996 Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine

Winner of the Modern Language Association’s 1997 second biennial Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Studies in Slavic Languages and Literatures
ISBN: 9780300212402
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
368 pages, 7 x 10
23 b/w illus.

Table of Contents (PDF)

Excerpt (PDF)

Beginning Polish

Volume 1
Revised Edition

Alexander M. Schenker

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The Bronze Horseman

Falconet's Monument to Peter the Great

Alexander M. Schenker

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Fifteen Modern Polish Short Stories

An Annotated Reader and a Glossary

Alexander M. Schenker

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Beginning Polish

Volume Two

Alexander M. Schenker

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Yale Language Series
Jé K`Á Ka Yorùbá

An Intermediate Course

Antonia Yétúndé Folárìn Schleicher

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Masomo ya Kisasa

Contemporary Readings in Swahili

With contributions by May Balisidya; Ann Biersteker; With c

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Japanese, The Spoken Language

Part 2

Eleanor Harz Jorden; With contributions by Mari Noda

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Japanese, The Spoken Language

Part 3

Eleanor Harz Jorden; With contributions by Mari Noda

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