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Marulić and the Church Slavonic Tradition
This paper aims at show that Marulić, father of modern Croatian literature, did not stem from nothing, as considered by many (in particular foreign) researchers, and to show that he drew on the Croatian literary and linguistic heritage of the Middle Ages, of which the Church Slavonic tradition was one of the essential components. We will not enter into how Marulić knew this tradition. One of the ways must have been his »makers«. It is more or less an accepted opinion that the medieval folk poets are meant by the expression začinjavci. Folk poetry was per-formed publicly and was known to all, and as it was disseminated and committed to writing by both the Latin and Glagolitic authors, it contained a number of Church Slavonic linguistic elements. However, in Marulić, Church Slavonic elements can be found that are not a part of this poetry, particularly at the lexical level.
Traces of the Church Slavonic tradition are considered at all linguistic levels. Still, because of the absence of any Croatian autographs by Marulić, it is hard to follow the orthographic usage level, which at the graphic level can hardly be considered at all. Since Judita, in time of publication and probably through Marulić’s personal preparation of the text for the print, is the closest to Marulić himself, I hold it is the best indicator of his views about orthography. All other transcribers of his works depart from his practice, each of them in his own way. In Judita for example the forms of the nouns ditca and otac are regularly written with a tc (ditce, ditci, ditcom...otca, otcem, otci, as well as the possessive adjective otčev). The same thing is found in Naslidovanje (Imitation), but in the poems and dialogue texts there are also forms without a t (dica, oca, ocu, oci..) distributed variously from text to text. Or, the words written consistently in Judita, čtiti, čtovati, počtiti, počtovati, počten, počtenje with a secondary čt group show that Marulić understood these words as bookish lexemes unlike the derivations of the pronoun čçto which is to be found in live speech, and he writes them as they are spoken: ništar, ništare, ništo. Those who transcribed his works also put the phonic change čt>št into these mentioned literary words. At the phonic level most evident is the Church Slavonic trace of the adverbial-prefixal v, va instead of u, in which the v is on the whole used to meet the necessary number of syllables in the verse, but va instead of u changes nothing in the number of syllables, demonstrating instead a predilection for this form, on the whole in certain places highlighted by their content. Especial reference is made to the Ekavian reflex of jat (which tells of knowledge of the Church Slavonic pronunciation standard of this phoneme), particularly in lexical Church Slavonic features taken over directly in the Ekavian form, but also in places where its use is a conscious choice of Marulić between Ikavian and Ekavian possibilities, for which versifying reasons (rhyming) are just one of the stimuli. At the morphological level this suggests that most of the older morphological forms in Marulić do not need to be looked at as Church Slavonic traces (for example the older declension forms of the main declination. 1st person single present in –u/-ju) but Church Slavonic remains of the u-declination are possible (Vocative Sg. sinu, Nominative and Vocative Pl. in -ove, while many old (non-condensed) forms of the present particle in –aje are certainly Church Slavonic elements, which are seldom met even in much older texts (for example čekaje, doticaje, hvataje, igraje, podžimaje, spovidaje, začiµaje... ). For the use of some other forms (for example, the dual, expression of future with the present of perfective verbs and so on) a possible Church Slavonic influence is suggested. Expression of possessiveness for the 3rd person with the genitive of the personal pro-nouns µeje (with the much more common more recent µe) and µega (with the al-ready existing possessive pronoun µegov) should also be explained by the influence of Church Slavonic. At the formative level the application of some Church Slavonic formative patterns and models is suggested in words that are not con-firmed in the Old Slavonic or Church Slavonic dictionaries, and which are clearly Marulić’s own formation, for example with the formation with the ending -je in pronouns and adverbs for example in onaje, onuje, takuje, ondaje, tudeje, vseje...; the formation of abstract nouns with suffixes -je, -stvo, npr. čudje, ohotje, opitje, pobožje...; jistvo, niskostvo, priprostvo, uudstvo...; creation with the prefix s- < sÇ-, npr. saužag, svidati... and so on.
It is the lexical level in Marulić that is richest in traces of Old Slavonic and Church Slavonic. Dozens of words are directly or indirectly taken from the Church Slavonic linguistic tradition. Thus the paper devotes most attention to this level. His lexical Church Slavonic elements are observed with respect to his carrying on in the use of individual words from already established Croatian literary language practice, or to direct importation from the Church Slavonic tradition. I rely here on the only Croatian linguistic history dictionary known by the name of the Academy Dictionary (AD [AR in the original]), while for the determination of Church Slavonic elements I use languages of the Old Slavonic language and the completed part of the Croatian edition of the Dictionary of Church Slavonic. With respect to the confirmation or lack of confirmation in the AD, Marulić’s Church Slavonic elements are divided into several groups: 1. words that in the use of which Marulić is carrying on from already established literary language practice of his predecessors and contemporaries (primarily those from Dubrovnik); 2. words in which after the medieval sources (Serbian Church Slavonic, Croatian Glagolitic and Croatian Cyrillic) Marulić’s confirmations are the oldest »authorial confirmations«, after which come those of younger writers (for whom he might but did not have to be a source and prompting); 3. words for which Marulić’s confirmation is the only, or one of the few, among which it is the oldest; 4. words that in the AD are not confirmed or that have a different meaning than in Marulić; 5, words that are confirmed in the AD, but not by Marulić, although from the beginning he was a source for the AD. Also considered are those words of Marulić that are con-firmed in the AD as new bookish words only from the 16th century and for which there are no reliable indicators as to whether they entered Croatian writing as Church Slavonic elements, although some certainly are, or whether they were created under the influence of Church Slavonic. Within these groups words are stud-ied according to the lexicographic principle: meanings are given, and examples for these meanings, and the confirmation of a given word in the AD is commented on with respect to the meanings given there, and at the end the original form of the word from the Old Slavonic dictionaries, usually from Mikolsich’s, and its meaning. In a separate division some lexical peculiarities of Marulić’s Church Slavonic use are considered: the use and confirmation of the pronoun saj; the ori-gin and lexical status of the preposition dia/di i dil ; the relation and use of the verbs1. čtiti/štiti ‘čitati’ [read] and 2. čtiti/štiti ‘slaviti, štovati’ [celebrate, revere]’, and 1. viditi (< vid$ti) ‘spoznati osjetom vida, vidjeti očima’ [see with the eyes] and 2. viditi (< v$d$ti) ‘znati’ [know]; the meanings and aspects of the vrb čuti (se); the common etymology and partial morphological correspondence of the verb diti (< d$ti) ‘kazati, reći’ [say] i dijati (< d$jati) ‘činiti’ [do]; reference to the non-existence in Marulic of first member of the apparent lexical pair sebar/srebar.
At the end reference is made to one interesting literary language proceeding of Marulić, important for him as a user of the linguistic heritage of Church Slavonic. In several places in Judita, he will write a note explaining in some more usual word a lexical Church Slavonic element that is used in the verse. For his cultural milieu, such a more familiar word might be a domesticated Latinism, and so he translates saužge as holokausta, žartje by sakrificij and vrićišće by cilicij. In these explanations there is one very important item, in which it is said that cilicij is called vrićišće in »Harvatski«, which means that he, like his anonymous medieval predecessors who were Latinists, considered the Croatian Church Slavonic linguistic heritage an older phase of the language, which age and tradition gave the status (in literary language) of a higher style.
Research of this type shows that Marulić was not a self-sprung miracle at the beginning of modern Croatian writing. Knowing the Church Slavonic linguistic tradition and building its achievements into his Croatian works, he drew on and carried on from a five hundred year old tradition of writing among the Croats, growing out of it as the culmination of the old and the creative beginning of a new literary and writing language age. Before there can be a full and deeper understanding of Marulić and the full values of his literature and his art of the word can be appreciated, there must be much more research at the various levels and strata of his literary language utterance. Such research should help in demarcating what really is Marulić’s own (or with the greatest amount of probability) and various attributions that add nothing to his magnitude and diminish the diversity of the literary activity of the late Croatian Middle Ages and of Marulić’s own time.
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