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  2. Balto-Slavic languages. The Balto-Slavic languages form a branch of the Indo-European family of languages, traditionally comprising the Baltic and Slavic languages. Baltic and Slavic languages share several linguistic traits not found in any other Indo-European branch, which points to a period of common development.

  3. The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo-European languages spoken primarily by the Slavic peoples or their descendants. They are thought to descend from a proto-language called Proto-Slavic, spoken during the Early Middle Ages, which in turn is thought to have descended from the earlier Proto-Balto-Slavic language, linking the Slavic languages to the Baltic ...

    • Phonology
    • Development from Proto-Indo-European
    • Post-Balto-Slavic Developments
    • Proto-Baltic and Proto-Slavic
    • See Also
    • References

    Consonants

    Proto-Indo-European voiced aspirated stops lost their aspiration in Proto-Balto-Slavic. Stops were no longer distinguished between fortis and aspirated but were voiceless and voiced. However, several new palatal (postalveolar) consonants had developed: *ś and *ź from earlier palatovelar plosives and *š from *s as a result of the Ruki sound law. 1. [z] surfaced as an allophone of /s/before a voiced consonant in Proto-Balto-Slavic.

    Vowels

    Proto-Balto-Slavic preserved much of the late Proto-Indo-European vowel system. Short *o was merged into *a, and former *eu had become *jau. Proto-Balto-Slavic also possessed "sonorant diphthongs", consisting of a short vowel followed by *l, *m, *n or *r. These were inherited from Proto-Indo-European, and formed anew from PIE syllabic sonorants. Although not diphthongs in the traditional sense, they behaved as a single syllable nucleus in Proto-Balto-Slavic, and could bear the acute like long...

    Accent

    Most Proto-Balto-Slavic words could be accented on any syllable, as in Proto-Indo-European. The placement of the accent was changed significantly relative to PIE, with much paradigmatic leveling of the mobile PIE accent, along with leftward and rightward shifts conditioned by the surrounding phonemes. There is still some disagreement among linguists on the exact position of the accent in each Proto-Balto-Slavic form, and the rules governing these changes.

    Austrian Balto-Slavist Georg Holzer has reconstructed a relative chronology of 50 Balto-Slavic sound changes, referring only to phonology, not to accentuation, from Proto-Balto-Slavic down to the modern daughter languages.However, only the first 12 are Common Balto-Slavic and so relevant for this article (only Winter's law is a unique common change...

    In the later Balto-Slavic languages, the acute articulation itself was often lost, leaving only the pitch distinction on accented syllables as the reflex. There, "acute" is only a type of pitch accent, rather than a specific articulatory feature. The Slavic languages have no trace of the acute articulation and preserve only tonal distinctions altho...

    Scholars raised questions regarding the possible relationship between Slavic and Baltic languages as early as the late 18th century. In 1802 the influential German scholar of Slavic languages and history August Ludwig von Schlözerdescribed how his understanding of this relationship had changed over the years: whereas previously he had argued that t...

    "Baltic languages." (2014). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic//
    "Proto-Slavic language." (2014). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/480213/Proto-Slavic-language
    Andersen, Henning (2003), "Slavic and the Indo-European Migrations", Language Contacts in Prehistory. Studies in Stratigraphy, Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, Amsterdam–Philadelphia: John Benj...
    Dybo, Vladimir (2014), Балто-славянская акцентная система и итоги индоевропейской акцентологической реконструкции (in Russian), VIII, Novi Sad: IWoBA VIII. Реферати VIII међународног скупа о балтос...
  4. The Baltic languages belong to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family. Baltic languages are spoken by the Balts, mainly in areas extending east and southeast of the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe . Scholars usually regard them as a single language family divided into two branches: Western Baltic (containing only extinct ...

    • Western Baltic †, Eastern Baltic, Dnieper Baltic †
    • Northern Europe
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