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    In the middle of the 19th century, when the “family tree” scheme appeared in linguistics, explaining the origin of “related” languages ​​by the successive division of the language into separate languages, a conviction was formed that at first a single Balto-Slavic proto-language was separated, which later broke up into the Proto-Slavic and the Palatal. This idea of ​​the origin of the Slavic and Baltic languages ​​from their common ancestor language existed in science for almost a century – until the beginning or the middle of the 20th century.

    Then the idea of ​​the complexity of the formation of “related” languages ​​began to form; it should have included not only the disintegration, but also the rapprochement of languages ​​as a result of the creation of multilingual tribal unions. The first who doubted the reality of the Balto-Slavic proto-language and justified his doubts in 1911 was J.Endzelin, a well-known Latvian linguist. Since the Baltic and Slavic languages, along with very noticeable common features, are also characterized by very significant differences, the idea of ​​the Baltic-Slavic community (or communion) began to develop in science, consisting in the fact that the pre-Slavic and the Prabalton languages, which originally belonged to different Indo-European groups , being for a very long time direct “neighbors”, have approached, developing a set of common features for them.

    New research has shown that so-called. the Balto-Slavic problem (the problem of the ancient language relations between the Slavs and the Balts) also requires the solution of the problem of historical relations between the Eastern Baltic and Western Baltic languages, which in turn are characterized by very ancient differences that do not allow the construction of all the Baltic languages ​​to a single source – the Palatal language. Supporters of the idea of ​​the Baltic-Slavic community explain these relations by the origin of the West-Baltic languages ​​as a result of the convergence of some of the originally Proto-Slavic dialects with the East Baltic or, on the contrary, rapprochement with the Proto-Slavic parts of the ancient East Baltic dialects. Such an explanation takes into account that the Zapadia-Baltic languages, in their peculiarities, are, as it were, intermediate (or transitional), that is, they are similar in some respects to the East Baltic, and in other respects they are similar to the Proto-Slavic language.

    In recent decades, serious attempts have been made to generalize relations between Indo-European languages. Studies have shown that the most ancient features equally unite both the Proto-Slavic and the Baltic languages ​​with Asian Indo-European languages, with the Balkan (Thracian and Illyrian) languages ​​that disappeared at the beginning of the new era (of these languages, only Albanian was preserved in the mountains on the Adriatic coast ), as well as with Germanic languages. At the same time, the Proto-Slavic language is characterized by a significant complex of features that make it closer to the northeastern Iranian languages ​​(in the Dictionary of the Philologist – West Iranian – this is incorrect), which, as is commonly believed, was the language of the Scythians ; these features are unknown to the Baltic languages.

    On the basis of these evidences, it was suggested that the Proto-Slavic language union, eventually formed into a Proto-Slavic language, consisted mainly of dialects, some of which were preserved in the Baltic outskirts of the once vast area of ​​their distribution. The final separation of the Proto-Slavic language from the Old Baltic dialects occurred after its rapprochement with the West-Iranian speech of the Scythians, which dominated the Northern Black Sea coast in the middle of the first millennium BC. e. The decoration of the Proto-Slavic as a kind of Indo-European language was not associated with the geographical disruption of the Proto-Slavs and the ancient Balts: a significant part of the Proto-Slavic tribes continued to inhabit along the borders of the ancient Baltic settlements. Archaeologists note that these settlements existed from the beginning of the 1st millennium BC. e. up to the second half of I thous. e. almost unchanged.

    At the end of the first millennium BC. e. in the Middle Dnieper, an extensive tribal union is formed, leaving archaeological monuments of the II century. BC. e. – II-IV centuries. n. e., received the name Zarubinets culture . The creators of this culture, as is commonly believed, spoke dialects of the Proto-Slavic and West-Baltic type. A group of tribes of this association later advanced up the Desna river and created settlements in the upper reaches of the Oka River that were given the name of the Moshchin culture in archeology . As evidenced by hydronymic data (names of rivers and lakes), this group of tribes spoke Western Baltic. And living on the territory of the power of the ancient settlements in the Old Russian times (IX-XI centuries), Vyatichi so distinctly differed from the surrounding Slavic-speaking population that the chronicler did not consider them Slavs, as well as Radimichi (who also lived on the territory where the names of the rivers of West-Baltic origin are still preserved).

    In the second half of the 1st millennium AD In the era of the formation of the Old Russian state association, the Baltic-speaking population of the central forest zone is intensely Slavized, that is, it is included in the composition of the Old Russian people, only on the western fringes preserving the Baltic speech of ancestors (the descendants of this population are modern Lithuanians and Latvians).

    There are several approaches to the question of the Balto-Slavic unity.

    The first, the oldest, goes back to A. Schleicher, who believed that the pre-Baltic and pre-Slavic languages ​​had a common ancestor. Another authoritative advocate of this approach was O. Semereni. Supporters of this approach proceed from the fact that the Baltic and Slavic languages ​​have much more similar features, in terms of both vocabulary, morphology and syntax, than any other group of Indo-European languages. 
    According to A. Schleicher , A.A. Shakhmatov , and A.M. Kamchatnov , once there was a single Balto-Slavonic language. The division into the pre-Baltic and the Proto-Slavic took place later (according to Z. Stieber – in the beginning of AD, according to G. Lant – in the middle of the 1st millennium AD). And another supporter of the theory of Baltic-Slavic unity, T. Ler-Splavinsky (Polish Tadeusz Lehr-Splawinski) believed that the Slavs appeared in ser. I thousand AD as a result of sharp changes within the Baltic tribes. Thus. in relation to the ancient state, one can speak only of the Balts, and the Slavs and the Proto-Slavic language – later the transformation of the Baltic element. It defines the period of existence of the community in 500-600 years, linking the beginning of the existence of the community (and its isolation from the primordial European continuum) to the epoch of expansion of the culture of cord ceramics , which included the pralobal-Slavs, and the end to the era of the expansion of the Lusatian culture [as a result of which the Slavs appeared – and the bearers of this culture, presumably, were the Illyrians and / or Italics]. So is V.N. Toporov assumed that the Slavs arose from a passionary explosion (according to LN Gumilev) inside the Baltic ethnos in the middle. I thousand AD The variant is the version that the Balto-Slavic language was distinguished from the Pra-Indo-European language, originally having 2 dialects – the Prabhtese and the Proto-Slavic.

    Other linguists, following such a well-known Indo-Europeanist as Antoine Meillet , view these similarities as a result of the intensive ties between the two groups of languages, after each of these groups independently separated from the Pra-Indo-European language. Supporters of this approach believe that the similarities of the Slavic and Baltic languages ​​are the consequences of the PAL-Slavic language union, a common substratum and numerous borrowings in both directions.

    The third approach presupposes an independent parallel development of the Proto-Slavic and the Palatal. For example, O. Trubachev proceeded from the concept of the original genesis of the Proto-Slavic as an Indo-European dialect (or a group of dialects). 

    I.A. Baudouin de Courtenay, A. Meie, S.B. Bernstein, ON Trubachev denied the existence of the Balto-Slavic proto-language, tk. it can not be reconstructed [because the BS community did not originate from a single confined focus, but was “cooked in a common cauldron”]. Contrary to these luminaries, a supporter of Balto-Slavic unity, SA Starostin reconstructed a part of the vocabulary of the PAL-Slavic language and dated its disintegration around 1210 BC. e. [which coincides with the beginning of the expansion of the Lusatian culture and the end of the Trojan War].

    Supporters of the fourth approach, as, for example, VN Toporov argue that the Balto-Slavic languages ​​were formed when the daughter Slavs were selected from the mother Baltic languages. As the researchers who support this hypothesis believe, such a selection according to glottochronology data occurred relatively recently – about 1300 years ago. 

    Endzelin believes that there was a period of close linguistic relations between the pre-Slavic and Proto-Slavic languages. A supporter of such a theory of contact, SB Bernshtein dates the time of the Baltic-Slavic contact in the middle of the II millennium BC. e. – the middle of the I-st ​​millennium BC.

    Rozwadowski believes that there was a single language divided into Baltic and Slavic branches, which at first existed independently, and then again became close.

    The most realistic, perhaps, was V.K. Zhuravlev , who suggested the existence of the Balto-Slavic isoglossic region of related Indo-European dialects, where parallel development of the common source material is possible, and the mutual influence and interchange of linguistic material, and the isoglossic movement is similar to the wave theory of I. Schmidt .
    Some scholars see in Balto-Slavic relations as a combination of divergence and convergence processes. So, for example, Ya. Rozvadovsky proposed a three-term scheme of Balto-Slavic relations: first a period of community, then a period of divergence and independent existence of the Proto-Slavic and the Palatal, and, finally, a secondary convergence. This scheme was supported by H. Birnbaum.

    Thomas Olander confirms the commonality of the Baltic and Slavic languages ​​in his studies in the field of accentology.

    Evidence and their interpretation of the Proof of Brugman

    K. Brugman justified the theory of Baltic-Slavic unity with eight convergences:

    Uniform change of syllabic sonoras;
    Simplification of double consonants;
    The participles on-nt began to lean not according to the consonant declension, but according to the type of bases on -jo-;
    Formation of pronominal adjectives from the fusion of adjectives with demonstrative pronouns;
    Destruction of the type of declination into a consonant, and the transition of names of this type into declination by -i;
    Replacement of the basis of the nominative case of the demonstrative pronoun so, sa by the basis of indirect cases;
    Formation of the dative case of the only number of the personal pronoun of the first person from the genitive case;
    The replacement of the old genitive form of the singular number -o-bases by the form of the ablative.

    Prior to the publication in 1908 of Meie’s book Indo-European Dialects ( Dialects indo-européens ), there was no doubt about the existence of a single Balto-Slavic language among linguists, as Meie himself writes at the beginning of the chapter “Balto-Slavic Language” (fr . «L’unité linguistique balto the slave-est l’une de Celles que personne ne The conteste» ). Criticism of the idea of ​​the Balto-Slavic language, expressed by Meie, boiled down to challenging the eight characters listed by K. Bruggman in 1903, and was intended to show that none of these signs is sufficient to prove the unity of languages, but all of them can be the result of an independent parallel development.

    Proofs of the Semereni

    Semereny, after reviewing the results obtained in May 1957, concluded that the Balts and Slavs did indeed have a “period of common language and residence,” and were supposedly separated as a result of the invasion of the German tribes along the Vistula and the Dnieper around the beginning of our era. Semereny notes 14 points that, in his opinion, can not be the result of a case or the result of parallel development, and which are, thus, a proof of the existence of a single Balto-Slavic language:

    Phonological palatalization (described by E. Kurilovich in 1956);
    Uniform change of the pre-Indo-European syllabic sonorities;
    The law of “hand”;
    Innovations in the rules of stress (Fortunatov-Saussure law, Hirt’s law);
    Pronominal adjectives;
    The transition of participles into the declination type by -jo- ;
    Genitive case of the only number of thematic bases on -a (t) – ;
    Method of formation of a comparative degree;
    Indirect case 1 liter. units h. men- , 1 l. many. h. nosom ;
    The pronouns tos / ta instead of PIE so / sa ;
    Harmonization of incorrect athematic verbs (lit. dúoti , Slavic dam );
    e / a in the preterite;
    Verbs in the Balt. -áuju Slav. -ujo ;
    A significant commonality of the dictionary, not observed between other branches of Indo-European languages.
    VM Ilich-Svitych and VA Dybo considered the possibility of restoring a single accentuation paradigm based on the Slavic and Baltic accentual paradigms as a proof of the existence of the Balto-Slavic linguistic unity. However, despite the considerable similarity of the Slavic and Baltic accentuation paradigms, there is still no complete identity, therefore, according to the data of the accentology, the possible unity should be attributed to the time of the existence of “laryngals”, the formation of case systems and the verb.

    Lexical evidence

    More than 200 words in the Baltic and Slavic languages ​​are exclusive convergences. However, critics of the theory of unity argue that a significant part of these convergences can be explained by mutual borrowings and the preservation of the lexemes of the Pra-Indo-European language. And some lexemes, usually indicated as exclusive Balto-Slavic, are not really such, as they are found in other groups.

    Lexicostatistics according to the standard 100-word list of Swadesh, in which the probability of borrowing is not high (no more than 5-10%), gives a picture of the close kinship of Latvian, Lithuanian and Slavic languages ​​(according to the method of SA Starostin, borrowing is not taken into account in the calculation):

    Lithuanian Latvian Russian 54% 45% Belarusian 57% 48% Ukrainian 55% 46% Bulgarian 47% 41% Macedonian 52% 44% Serbo-Croatian 53% 45% Slovenian 51% 42% Czech 51% 43% Slovak 52% 43% Verkhneluzhitsky 51% 44% Lower Sorbian 50% 43% Polish 53% 45% Average Arithmetic 52% 44%

    In Lithuanian and Slavic languages, in addition, there are a number of almost identical paradigms and word-formation models, which are not observed in the case of language unions.

    Russian Lithuanian dry sausinti dry sausata (“dryness”) of sushi sausiena sushi? On sausynas (“dry tree or shrub”) bll. sushchet 
    (“dry”, “dry”) sauseti

    Them. The genus. Dates. Vin. Creature. Old Russian sound? звo рю зв-рів зр рмь Lithuanian Zveris лтш. Zvera Zveriui Zveri Zverimi Latin ferus feri fero ferum fero Ancient Greek θ? Ρ θηρ? Σ θηρ? θ? ρα –

    In this example (for the word “beast” in different languages), the same Slavic and Baltic declension corresponds to other types of declension in Latin and Ancient Greek.

    Other similarities

    The preposition on in many Slavonic and Baltic languages ​​means after and is combined with the prepositional case in the Slavic and with the genitive in the Baltic: Lithuanian po švenciu , Polish po swiecie , Belarusian na svyac (Russian after the holiday ); in Russian, the preposition “on” is also combined with the prepositional case – upon arrival , at the end , although in colloquial speech there is also a use with a dative.
    Depending on palatalization occurred in the language corresponding to the (essentially the same) manner consonant softening occurs so : Lithuanian švente – po švenciu , Polish swieto – po Swiecie , Belarusian holy – pas svyatse .
    Another supposed innovation of the Balto-Slavic languages ​​is Winter’s Law, consisting in elongation of short vowels before voiced explosive consonants. The terms of application of this law are currently the subject of discussion. According to Ranko Matasovich, Winter’s law is applicable only within a closed syllable.
    Triffongging eu with subsequent impact on previous consonants.
    Other differences

    In the system of expression of the species significance of the Baltic and Slavic languages, there are the following differences:

    1) Failure Baltic languages derivatized verbs imperfect form of prefixed verbs perfect form using verb suffixes (e.g., Russian.. Pour – pouring ) and interlace root vowel,
    2) the absence of the meaning of the future tense in the present tense forms from verbs of the perfect species (Russian I will see ).
    Objections to the Balto-Slavic unity

    Opponents of the theory of the existence of a single Balto-Slavic language express arguments that can be reduced to two types. The first is the presence in one of the groups of languages ​​of certain innovations that are absent in another group, while there are general or similar innovations that do not allow explanation of this fact from the fact that they could arise after the final divergence of the Baltic and Slavic languages. By themselves, these facts do not refute the hypotheses of Baltic-Slavic linguistic unity, for example in the form of a language union, but suggest a significant initial divergence of languages. The second type of objection can be attributed to the objection that similar innovations developed in both linguistic groups in a close but not identical way, or led to different end results. This also includes facts, reflecting the convergence of the Baltic and Slavic languages ​​with different groups of Indo-European languages ​​related to the guaranteed ancient language status. Some of these arguments do not contradict the possibility of developing Slavic languages ​​from one of the lateral branches of the Baltic languages, however, the confirmation of such hypotheses encounters a lack of factual data. Many objections of both types are disputed both from the actual and from the methodological point of view. For example, a significant problem is the lack of deep pobaltian reconstruction, caused by a lack of reliable data on the West-Baltic languages. Some of these arguments do not contradict the possibility of developing Slavic languages ​​from one of the lateral branches of the Baltic languages, however, the confirmation of such hypotheses encounters a lack of factual data. Many objections of both types are disputed both from the actual and from the methodological point of view. For example, a significant problem is the lack of deep pobaltian reconstruction, caused by a lack of reliable data on the West-Baltic languages. Some of these arguments do not contradict the possibility of developing Slavic languages ​​from one of the lateral branches of the Baltic languages, however, the confirmation of such hypotheses encounters a lack of factual data. Many objections of both types are disputed both from the actual and from the methodological point of view. For example, a significant problem is the lack of deep pobaltian reconstruction, caused by a lack of reliable data on the West-Baltic languages.

    Wherever the opposite is not indicated, the arguments of opponents of the existence of the Balto-Slavic language are given by:

    The arguments of the first type are:

    Different fate of Indo-European / * a / , / * o / , / * a / and / * o / : / * a / , / * o / given / * o / in the Slavic, but / * a / in the Baltic, the difference / * a / and / * o / is preserved in the Baltic, but disappears in the Slavonic.
    The Praindo-European / * sr / is preserved in the Baltic, but is transformed into / str / in Slavic, although several similar changes in the Baltic make it possible to assume that in the case of / * sr / we are dealing with archaism.
    In the Baltic, the suffix -mo is used in ordinal numerals, whereas in the Slavic suffix -wo is used .
    The suffix of the Baltic verbs is 1 liter. units hours nast. at. -mai , while in the Slavic it is not so (now this objection is under discussion).
    In the Baltic often uses the infix -sto- , while in the Slavic it is absent.
    In the pobaltic did not differ forms of units. h. and many others. h. in the verbs of 3 liters, while in the Proto-Slavic this difference persisted.
    The Baltic suffix of adjectives -inga is not used in Slavic languages.
    Baltic diminutive suffix -l- not used in Slavic languages (though, perhaps, it corresponds to the Russian suffix caressing -ul- : grandma , grandpa , etc…).
    The Slavic suffix of the verbal nouns -telj- ( “voditelj”, “učitelj”, “graditelj” ) is not used in the Baltic languages.
    The pre- Indo-European suffix -es was in the Proto-Slavic ( teles, skies ), but is not used in the Baltic languages.
    The pre-Slavic suffix of participles -lo is not used in the Baltic languages.
    In the Proto-Slavic law operates an open syllable, which is absent in the Baltic (including the Prabalese) languages.
    Slavic languages ​​retained the primordial European aorist by -s- (a sigmatic aorist), whereas in the Baltic languages ​​its traces were not found. (This claim is disputed.)
    The pre-Slavic quantitative numerals of the large quantitativ ( five, six, … , etc.) have the suffix -t , while in the Baltic languages ​​there are no traces of it.
    The absence in the Baltic languages ​​of Meie’s law, associated with satematic reflexes and the operation of the law “hands”. The law of “hand” operated before the beginning of the satemization of languages, hence it is possible to see in this the division of languages ​​before the beginning of the processes of satemization.

    Arguments of the second type :

    Fate * s after i, u, r, k differs in Slavic and Baltic languages.
    The Proto-Slavic as well as the Baltic languages ​​developed the form of pronominal adjectives (for example, full adjectives in Russian). However, in the Slavic languages ​​this process took place after the end of the law of open syllable, and in the Baltic tracks there is no operation of this law.
    O. Trubachev’s arguments about the presence of ancient Daco-Thracian-Baltic language ties that did not leave traces in the Slavic and, conversely, the presence of Slavic-Illyrian and Slavic-Italic relations, not found reflection in the Baltic. (These arguments are often viewed as speculative because of a significant lack of reliable Daco-Thracian and Illyrian data.)
    In the past, the entire system of proofs of the supporters of the theory of the Balto-Slavic proto-language (Brugman, Fortunatov, Shakhmatov, etc.) was based on a comparison of the facts of the Proto-Slavic and Lithuanian. Very often the facts of the Lithuanian language simply substituted for the facts of the pobaltian language. Meanwhile, the Prabhtian language, even in very ancient times, split into two main languages. One of them comes from Lithuanian and Latvian, to the other – Old Prussian. The first, in turn, very early broke up into two separate groups of dialects.

    Still Schleicher, and after him Brugman drew attention to the fact that replacing the old genetics of the bases with -o the form of the ablative in the Slavic and Baltic languages ​​indicates the existence of a common language. However, this feature is not a feature of the general Baltic. She was absent from the Old Prussian, which preserved the old form of genetics. It is possible that it was also absent in some other extinct Baltic languages ​​(for example, in Yatvjazhsky). In this example, we clearly see a significant shortcoming of the theory of the Balto-Slavic proto-language. The creators of this theory did not take into account the ancient Baltic dichotomy and arbitrarily compared the facts of the Proto-Slavic language with individual Baltic languages ​​(usually Lithuanian). The advantageous comparison with the Lithuanian language is all the more objectionable to the fact that the Proto-Slavic tribes were in close contact primarily with the Prussian and Yatvjazh tribes, and not with the Lithuanian tribes. There is no doubt,

    Significantly further from the Proto-Slavic is Lithuanian, and with respect to the new formations of the period of the Balto-Slavic community. This concerns the development of intonation, the fate of consonants before [j] . Wed, for example, the fate of the labial before [j] : lit. spiáuti ‘to spit’, lt. splaut, splaudit ; lit. biaurùs ‘ugly’, Lt. blaurs . During the period of the Balto-Slavic community, the Lithuanian language was located on the very periphery of the Baltic languages. He then experienced the least impact of those forces that determined the formation of the Balto-Slavic isogloss. The Lithuanian language approached closely with some Slavic languages ​​at a later time.
    The history of the Proto-Slavic language testifies that during the period of close contact between the Slavic and Baltic tribes, the single Baltic pre-language itself was no longer there. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the most important new formations of this epoch differently associate the Proto-Slavic language with individual Baltic languages. In the presence of a single Baltic-Slavic proto-language, the relations between Slavic and Baltic languages ​​should have been formed differently. 

    The reconstruction of the Prabalese language is largely unsolvable. Many of the Baltic languages ​​have disappeared without a trace. The surviving ones do not give the chance in many cases to restore the phenomena of the Pobaltian language. 

    It can not be concluded that common features in related languages ​​always suggest the presence of a pre-language in the past. By no means. Common features that have arisen as a result of the influence of the substrate, prolonged contact, etc., can not serve as a basis for the reconstruction of prototypes. A comparative study of Balkanisms will never give us the means to restore the real features of the Balkan substratum. If there is a “language union” we are dealing not with “proto-language”, but with “isoglossic region”. 

    The theory of the Balto-Slavic proto-language is not confirmed by the data of archaeological science.



    This is supported by some Baltic nationalists. Which could mean that Slavs in fact, originate from Balts.



    Dude. TLDR. FFS. Condense it.




    Read until you can. :D 



    It can be true for certain populations of eastern Slavs.

    Analysis done in nMonte3  R script that uses Monte Carlo technique

    Baltic_BA is in an individual who lived in eastern Baltic (Lithuania?) during Bronze Age (1800-500 BC). Russians of Smolensk live near eastern border of Belarus.

    Closest single item distance to Baltic_BA sample. A large number of ethnicities were compared to Baltic_BA.

      Latvian       Lithuanian       Belarusian Russian_Smolensk
      1.830117         2.271316         2.944395         3.041177
      Estonian  Russian_Voronez     Russian_Tver    Russian_Kursk
      3.051821         3.285615         3.300027         3.319758



    @”South Slav”
    >This is supported by some Baltic nationalists. Which could mean that Slavs in fact, originate from Balts.

    Baltic nationalists would rather oppose the idea of common origins with Slavs. Maybe ecause Balts lived in the shadow of Slavs for the last 400 years or so.



    @”South Slav” were baltic and Slavic ever one language community* 

    My English when I type can be awful sometimes because I never look over what I write (not wise of me), but the title of this thread should be corrected. That English is horrible.



    “Am Balt for Slav havings a beginning of once, if not for others?”



    @texczech82 I literally loled at that one  :D

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