Old Polish language

Old Polish Language

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Old Polish language

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Old Polish (Old Polish: ięzyk Polſki, modern Polish: język staropolski) is a name used to describe the period in the history of the Polish language between 9th and 16th centuries.


The Polish language started to change after the Baptism of Poland – bringing in words from Latin, such as kościół ("church", from L. castellum, meaning "castle"), often via the Czech language, which also influenced Polish in that era (hence Lechitic "wiesiełyj" yielded modern Polish "wesoły" and "wesele"). Also, in later centuries, with the onset of cities founded on German law namely so-called Magdeburg law, Middle High German urban and legal words filtered into Old Polish. Around the 14th or 15th centuries the aorist and imperfect became obsolete. In the 15th century the dual fell into disuse except a few fixed expressions (adages, sayings).




The alphabet


About 1440 Cracow Academy professor and rector Jakub Parkoszowic tried to codify the Polish alphabet. He wrote the first tract on Polish orthographic rules (in Latin) and rhyme Obiecado (in Polish). Parkoszowic wanted to differentiate:
  • long and short vowels by doubling long ones,
  • palatal and non-palatal consonants with letters of different shapes (round and edged).

His idea wasn't popular and did not become obligatory.


In 16th century Jan Kochanowski proposed a set of orthographic rules and an alphabet of...
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