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Old Church Slavonic Online

Lesson 6

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

An important key to unlocking the thread of development of the Cyrillo-Methodian tradition is determining the source of the writing systems for the early OCS corpus. Tradition assigns to St. Cyril authorship of 'the' Slavic alphabet. The question lies before scholars as to just which alphabet is 'the' Slavic alphabet, for the early documents of OCS are written in either the Glagolitic or the Cyrillic alphabet. It is generally assumed that one of these is 'the' alphabet composed by Cyril himself, and the other a later revision of the former. The quest, then, is to determine which alphabet is the more archaic.

The general concensus among scholars is that the Glagolitic alphabet (not represented in these lessons for reasons of practicality) is the more archaic. This conclusion stems from the following:

(1) The language encountered in the Glagolitic manuscripts is typically felt to preserve more archaic features than the Cyrillic counterpart. This impression comes from the higher frequency in the Glagolitic manuscripts of uncontracted long forms of adjectives, and from the relative paucity of forms of the secondary sigmatic aorist. It is assumed that greater frequency of archaic linguistic features indicates earlier production of the manuscripts.

(2) There is a definite Glagolitic scribal tradition in the Czech and Slovak (Moravian) regions, where Cyril is assumed to have travelled first in his missionary work. In particular the Kiev (Kyiv) Missal, deemed oldest of our OCS documents on linguistic and palaeographic grounds, displays some phonological and morphological affinities with a Czech-speaking region. Some words of the Glagoltic corpus are felt to be distinctly of Czech origin. In addition, German and Latin loanwords into OCS would presumably have entered the language from the west through Moravian territory; some of these words are found only in Glagolitic manuscripts.

(3) In Istria and Croatia a Glagolitic manuscript tradition is also found, and this too lies in the Western reaches of the Slavic world. The Glagolitic tradition in fact still continues into the modern era.

(4) It is generally assumed that phrases such as složi pismena and the Latin litteras... sclaviniscas denoting 'slavic writing' would not have been used for the Cyrillic alphabet. The Cyrillic remains so obviously close to the Greek alphabet that it would not have been seen as a separate writing system.

(5) There are examples of palimpsests, where a Glagolitic original has been overwritten with the Cyrillic script; yet there are no examples of the reverse procedure. In addition, some Cyrillic manuscripts contain isolated Glagolitic letters, or individual words written in Glagolitic.

On the other side, some propose that Cyril in fact created what we term the Cyrillic alphabet. The Glagolitic is assumed to be a secondary creation, brought about in the period after the deaths of Sts. Cyril and Methodius. The presumption is that, after the Saints had passed away and the Pope issued orders forbidding the Slavonic liturgy, their disciples felt the need to devise an alphabet dissimilar from the Greek. The close ties between Moravia and the Western Church led to anti-Greek sentiment in the region, and the obvious resemblance of the Cyrillic alphabet to the Greek would have been a hindrance to their missionary efforts.

One even finds references which lead one to believe Cyril might not have been the originator of the alphabet at all. For example, in a Life of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, there is the following passage concerning Cyril's stay in the city of Chersonese in the Crimea about the year 860:

Obrěte že tu evaggelie i psaltyrĭ rusĭskymi pismeny pisano, i člověka ōbrětŭ glagoljušta toju besědoju, i besědova s nimŭ, i silu rěči priimŭ, svoei besědě prikladaa različnaa pismena, glasnaa sŭglasnaa, i kŭ bogu molitvy tvorę, vŭskorě načętŭ česti i skazati, i mnodzi sę emu divlęxu, boga xvalęšte.

"And he found there the Evangel and Psalter written with Russian letters, and upon finding a man who spoke the language, talked with him; and perceiving the power of the speech, he added various letters for his own language, consonant vocal sounds; and praying to God, immediately began to compose and reveal, and many marvelled at him, glorifying God."

As can be seen, although arguments in favor of the priority of Glagolitic are strong, they are by no means iron-clad. It is clear that, at the present moment, the question of which alphabet St. Cyril himself composed must remain an open one.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following selection begins the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:1-13. These verses are particularly noteworthy for their illustration of the distinction between short and long forms of the adjective. For example blaženi ništii renders 'blessed are the poor'. The definite substantive 'the poor' requires use of the long adjective form ništii, whereas the predicate to this definite substantive merely takes the short form blaženi.

uzĭrěvŭ že narody vĭzide na gorǫ i ěko sěde pristǫpišę kŭ n'emu učenici ego |

  • uzĭrěvŭ -- verb; past active participle; nominative singular masculine of <uzĭrěti, -r'jǫ, -riši> see, perceive -- seeing
  • že -- conjunction; <že> and, but -- and
  • narody -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <narodŭ> crowd, multitude -- the multitudes
  • vĭzide -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <vŭziti, -idǫ, -ideši> go up -- he went up
  • na -- preposition; <na> in, on; at, against; for -- into
  • gorǫ -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <gora> mountain -- a mountain
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • ěko -- conjunction; <jako> as, when; in order to; that; because; (introduces quotation) -- when
  • sěde -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <sěsti, sědǫ, -deši> sit down -- he was set
  • pristǫpišę -- verb; 3rd person plural aorist of <pristǫpiti, -pl'jǫ, -piši> come up to, step up -- came
  • -- preposition; <> to, for -- unto
  • n'emu -- demonstrative pronoun; dative singular masculine of <*i> he -- him
  • učenici -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <učenikŭ> student, disciple -- disciples
  • ego -- pronoun; genitive singular masculine of <*i> he -- his

i otvrŭzŭ usta svoě učaaše ę glagol'ję |

  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • otvrŭzŭ -- verb; past active participle; nominative singular masculine of <otŭvrěsti, -vrŭzǫ, -vrŭzeši> open -- he opened
  • usta -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <usta> mouth, lips -- mouth
  • svoě -- adjective; accusative plural neuter of <svoi, svoe, svoja> own, one's own -- his
  • učaaše -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect of <učiti, učǫ, učiši> teach -- (he) taught
  • ę -- pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <*i> he -- them
  • glagol'ję -- verb; present active participle; nominative singular masculine of <glagolati, -l'jǫ, -l'ješi> say, speak -- saying

blaženi ništii duxomĭ ěko těxŭ estŭ cěsarĭstvo nebesĭskoe |

  • blaženi -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <blaženŭ> blessed -- blessed (are)
  • ništii -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <ništĭ, nište, ništa> poor, beggarly -- (the) poor
  • duxomĭ -- noun, masculine; instrumental singular of <duxŭ> spirit -- in spirit
  • ěko -- conjunction; <jako> as, when; in order to; that; because; (introduces quotation) -- for
  • těxŭ -- demonstrative pronoun; genitive plural masculine of <> that, that one -- theirs
  • estŭ -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <jes-, jesmĭ, jesi> be -- is
  • cěsarĭstvo -- noun, neuter; nominative singular of <cěsarĭstvo> kingdom -- the kingdom
  • nebesĭskoe -- adjective; nominative singular neuter of <nebesĭskŭ> heavenly, of heaven -- of heaven

blaženi plačǫštei ěko ti utěšętŭ sę |

  • blaženi -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <blaženŭ> blessed -- blessed (are)
  • plačǫštei -- verb; present active participle; nominative plural masculine of <plakati, plačǫ, -češi> weep, mourn -- they that mourn
  • ěko -- conjunction; <jako> as, when; in order to; that; because; (introduces quotation) -- for
  • ti -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <> that, that one -- they
  • utěšętŭ sę -- reflexive verb; 3rd person plural present of <utěšiti, -šǫ, -šiši> comfort -- shall be comforted

blaženi krotĭci ěko ti našedętŭ zeml'jǫ |

  • blaženi -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <blaženŭ> blessed -- blessed (are)
  • krotĭci -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <krotŭiŭ> mild, tame -- the meek
  • ěko -- conjunction; <jako> as, when; in order to; that; because; (introduces quotation) -- for
  • ti -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <> that, that one -- they
  • našedętŭ -- verb; 3rd person plural present of <naslěditi, -ždǫ, -diši> inherit -- shall inherit
  • zeml'jǫ -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <zeml'ja> earth, land -- the earth

blaženi al'čǫštii i žaždǫštii pravŭdy radi ěko ti nasytętŭ sę |

  • blaženi -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <blaženŭ> blessed -- blessed (are)
  • al'čǫštii -- verb; present active participle; nominative plural masculine of <alkati, alčǫ, alčeši> hunger -- they which do hunger
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • žaždǫštii -- verb; present active participle; nominative plural masculine of <žędati, -ždǫ, -ždeši> thirst, desire -- thirst
  • pravŭdy -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <pravĭda> justice -- righteousness
  • radi -- postposition; <radi> for, for the sake of, because of -- after
  • ěko -- conjunction; <jako> as, when; in order to; that; because; (introduces quotation) -- for
  • ti -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <> that, that one -- they
  • nasytętŭ sę -- verb; 3rd person plural present reflexive of <nasytiti, -štǫ, -tiši> satisfy, sate -- shall be filled

blaženi milostivii ěko ti pomilovani bǫdǫtŭ |

  • blaženi -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <blaženŭ> blessed -- blessed (are)
  • milostivii -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <milostivŭ> compassionate, full of grace -- the merciful
  • ěko -- conjunction; <jako> as, when; in order to; that; because; (introduces quotation) -- for
  • ti -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <> that, that one -- they
  • pomilovani -- verb; past passive participle; nominative plural masculine of <pomilovati, -lujǫ, -luješi> pity, have mercy on -- obtain mercy
  • bǫdǫtŭ -- verb; 3rd person plural present of <byti, bǫdǫ, bǫdeši> be, become -- shall

blaženi čistii srŭdcemĭ ěko ti boga uzĭrętŭ |

  • blaženi -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <blaženŭ> blessed -- blessed (are)
  • čistii -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <čistŭ> pure, clean -- the pure
  • srŭdcemĭ -- noun, neuter; instrumental singular of <srĭdĭce> heart -- in heart
  • ěko -- conjunction; <jako> as, when; in order to; that; because; (introduces quotation) -- for
  • ti -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <> that, that one -- they
  • boga -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <bogŭ> god -- God
  • uzĭrętŭ -- verb; 3rd person plural present of <uzĭrěti, -r'jǫ, -riši> see, perceive -- shall see

blaženi sŭmirějǫštii ěko ti synove božii narekǫtŭ sę |

  • blaženi -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <blaženŭ> blessed -- blessed (are)
  • sŭmirějǫštii -- verb; present active participle; nominative plural masculine of <sŭmirjati, -jajǫ, -jajęši> make peace -- the peacemakers
  • ěko -- conjunction; <jako> as, when; in order to; that; because; (introduces quotation) -- for
  • ti -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <> that, that one -- they
  • synove -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <synŭ> son -- the children
  • božii -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <božĭi> divine, of god, god's -- of God
  • narekǫtŭ sę -- verb; 3rd person plural present reflexive of <narešti, -rekǫ, -rečeši> call, name -- shall be called

blaženi izgŭnani pravŭdy radi ěko těxŭ estŭ cěsarĭstvo nebesĭskoe |

  • blaženi -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <blaženŭ> blessed -- blessed (are)
  • izgŭnani -- verb; past passive participle; nominative plural masculine of <izgŭnati, iždenǫ, -neši> drive out -- they which are persecuted
  • pravŭdy -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <pravĭda> justice -- righteousness'
  • radi -- postposition; <radi> for, for the sake of, because of -- for... sake
  • ěko -- conjunction; <jako> as, when; in order to; that; because; (introduces quotation) -- for
  • těxŭ -- demonstrative pronoun; genitive plural masculine of <> that, that one -- theirs
  • estŭ -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <jes-, jesmĭ, jesi> be -- is
  • cěsarĭstvo -- noun, neuter; nominative singular of <cěsarĭstvo> kingdom -- the kingdom
  • nebesĭskoe -- adjective; nominative singular neuter of <nebesĭskŭ> heavenly, of heaven -- of heaven

blaženi este egda ponosętŭ vamŭ i iždenǫtŭ vy i rekǫtŭ vĭsěkŭ zŭlŭ glagolŭ na vy lŭžǫšte mene radi |

  • blaženi -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <blaženŭ> blessed -- blessed
  • este -- verb; 2nd person plural present of <jes-, jesmĭ, jesi> be -- are ye
  • egda -- relative adverb; <egda> when -- when
  • ponosętŭ -- verb; 3rd person plural present of <ponositi, -šǫ, -siši> upbraid -- (men) shall revile
  • vamŭ -- pronoun; dative plural of <ty> you, thou -- you
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • iždenǫtŭ -- verb; 3rd person plural present of <izgŭnati, iždenǫ, -neši> drive out -- persecute
  • vy -- pronoun; accusative plural of <ty> you, thou -- you
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • rekǫtŭ -- verb; 3rd person plural present of <rešti, rekǫ, rečeši> say, tell -- shall say
  • vĭsěkŭ -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <vĭsěkŭ> each, every -- all manner of
  • zŭlŭ -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <zŭlŭ> evil, bad -- evil
  • glagolŭ -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <glagolŭ> word, speech -- ...
  • na -- preposition; <na> in, on; at, against; for -- against
  • vy -- pronoun; accusative plural of <ty> you, thou -- you
  • lŭžǫšte -- verb; present active participle; nominative plural masculine of <lŭgati, lŭžǫ, -žeši> lie, speak falsely -- falsely
  • mene -- pronoun; genitive singular of <azŭ> I -- my
  • radi -- postposition; <radi> for, for the sake of, because of -- for... sake

raduite sę i veselite sę ěko mŭzda vaša mnoga estŭ na nebesexŭ | tako bo izgŭnašę proroky iže běšę prěžde vasŭ |

  • raduite sę -- verb; 2nd person plural imperative reflexive of <radovati sę, -dujǫ, -duješi> rejoice, be glad -- rejoice
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • veselite sę -- verb; 2nd person plural imperative reflexive of <veseliti, -l'jǫ, -liši> entertain; (refl.) rejoice -- be (exceeding) glad
  • ěko -- conjunction; <jako> as, when; in order to; that; because; (introduces quotation) -- for
  • mŭzda -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <mŭzda> reward, pay -- reward
  • vaša -- possessive adjective; nominative singular feminine of <vašĭ> of you, your -- your
  • mnoga -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <mŭnogŭ> much, many -- great
  • estŭ -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <jes-, jesmĭ, jesi> be -- is
  • na -- preposition; <na> in, on; at, against; for -- in
  • nebesexŭ -- noun, neuter; locative plural of <nebo> heaven, sky -- heaven
  • tako -- adverb; <tako> thus, in this way -- so
  • bo -- adverb; <bo> for -- for
  • izgŭnašę -- verb; 3rd person plural aorist of <izgŭnati, iždenǫ, -neši> drive out -- persecuted they
  • proroky -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <prorokŭ> prophet -- the prophets
  • iže -- relative pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <iže> who, which -- which
  • běšę -- verb; 3rd person plural imperfect of <byti, bǫdǫ, bǫdeši> be, become -- were
  • prěžde -- preposition; <prěžde> before -- before
  • vasŭ -- pronoun; genitive plural of <ty> you, thou -- you

vy este solĭ zemi ašte že solĭ obuěetŭ čimĭ osolitŭ sę | ničĭsomuže bǫdetŭ kŭ tomu da isypana bǫdetŭ vŭnŭ i popiraema člověky |

  • vy -- pronoun; nominative plural of <ty> you, thou -- ye
  • este -- verb; 2nd person plural present of <jes-, jesmĭ, jesi> be -- are
  • solĭ -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <solĭ> salt -- the salt
  • zemi -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <zeml'ja> earth, land -- of the earth
  • ašte -- particle; <ašte> if, whether -- if
  • že -- conjunction; <že> and, but -- but
  • solĭ -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <solĭ> salt -- the salt
  • obuěetŭ -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <obujati, -jajǫ, -jaješi> become stupid; become tasteless -- have lost his savour
  • čimĭ -- interrogative pronoun; instrumental singular neuter of <čĭto> what -- wherewith
  • osolitŭ sę -- verb; 3rd person singular present reflexive of <osoliti, -l'jǫ, -liši> salt -- shall it be salted
  • ničĭsomuže -- pronoun; dative singular neuter of <ničĭtože> nothing -- for nothing
  • bǫdetŭ -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <byti, bǫdǫ, bǫdeši> be, become -- it is (thenceforth good)
  • -- preposition; <> to, for -- ...
  • tomu -- demonstrative pronoun; dative singular masculine of <> that, that one -- (but)
  • da -- conjunction; <da> in order to, that; may, let; and, then -- to
  • isypana -- verb; past passive participle; nominative singular feminine of <isypati, -pl'jǫ, -pl'ješi> shake out, pour out -- cast
  • bǫdetŭ -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <byti, bǫdǫ, bǫdeši> be, become -- be
  • vŭnŭ -- adverb; <vŭnŭ> out, outside -- out
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • popiraema -- verb; present passive participle; nominative singular feminine of <popirati, -ajǫ, -aješi> tread on -- to be trodden (under foot of)
  • člověky -- noun, masculine; instrumental plural of <člověkŭ> man, human -- men

Lesson Text

uzĭrěvŭ že narody vĭzide na gorǫ i ěko sěde pristǫpišę kŭ n'emu učenici ego | i otvrŭzŭ usta svoě učaaše ę glagol'ję | blaženi ništii duxomĭ ěko těxŭ estŭ cěsarĭstvo nebesĭskoe | blaženi plačǫštei ěko ti utěšętŭ sę | blaženi krotĭci ěko ti našedętŭ zeml'jǫ | blaženi al'čǫštii i žaždǫštii pravŭdy radi ěko ti nasytętŭ sę | blaženi milostivii ěko ti pomilovani bǫdǫtŭ | blaženi čistii srŭdcemĭ ěko ti boga uzĭrętŭ | blaženi sŭmirějǫštii ěko ti synove božii narekǫtŭ sę | blaženi izgŭnani pravŭdy radi ěko těxŭ estŭ cěsarĭstvo nebesĭskoe | blaženi este egda ponosętŭ vamŭ i iždenǫtŭ vy i rekǫtŭ vĭsěkŭ zŭlŭ glagolŭ na vy lŭžǫšte mene radi | raduite sę i veselite sę ěko mŭzda vaša mnoga estŭ na nebesexŭ | tako bo izgŭnašę proroky iže běšę prěžde vasŭ | vy este solĭ zemi ašte že solĭ obuěetŭ čimĭ osolitŭ sę | ničĭsomuže bǫdetŭ kŭ tomu da isypana bǫdetŭ vŭnŭ i popiraema člověky |

Translation

(Matthew 5:1) And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: (2) And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, (3) Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (4) Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (5) Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (6) Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (7) Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. (8) Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. (9) Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (10) Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteouness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (11) Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (12) Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (13) Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Grammar

26. The Present Active Participle

The present active participle follows the twofold nominal declension, except in the nominative and accusative singular and plural. In the oblique cases, the suffix -ęšt- or -ǫšt- is added to the verbal stem, and the case endings are added to this suffix. Those verbs with third person plural present ending in -ętŭ take the suffix -ęšt-, those with -ǫtŭ take -ǫšt-. In the nominative singular masculine, the suffix -ęšt- yields -ę; the suffix -ǫšt- yields -ę or -y. Soft stem verbs take -ę, hard stems take -y.

According to the classification of verbs into five conjugations, the above means that verbs of conjugations I, II, and V have nominative singular masculine -y, and suffix -ǫšt-. Verbs of conjugation III have nominative singular masculine -ę and suffix -ǫšt-; verbs of conjugation IV have nominative singular masculine -ę and suffix -ęšt-.

Verbs of conjugations I, II, and V follow the paradigm of iti, idǫ, ideši 'go'.

    Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
N Sg.   idy   idy   idǫšti
A   idǫštĭ   idǫšte   idǫštǫ
G   idǫšta   idǫšta   idǫštę
L   idǫšti   idǫšti   idǫšti
D   idǫštu   idǫštu   idǫšti
I   idǫštemĭ   idǫštemĭ   idǫštejǫ
             
N A Du.   idǫšta   idǫšti   idǫšti
G L   idǫštu   idǫštu   idǫštu
D I   idǫštema   idǫštema   idǫštama
             
N Pl.   idǫšte   idǫšta   idǫštę
A   idǫštę   idǫšta   idǫštę
G   idǫštĭ   idǫštĭ   idǫštĭ
L   idǫštixŭ   idǫštixŭ   idǫštaxŭ
D   idǫštemŭ   idǫštemŭ   idǫštamŭ
I   idǫšti   idǫšti   idǫštami

Verbs of conjugation III follow the paradigm of znati, znajǫ, znaješi 'know'.

    Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
N Sg.   znaję   znaję   znajǫšti
A   znajǫštĭ   znajǫšte   znajǫštǫ
G   znajǫšta   znajǫšta   znajǫštę
L   znajǫšti   znajǫšti   znajǫšti
D   znajǫštu   znajǫštu   znajǫšti
I   znajǫštemĭ   znajǫštemĭ   znajǫštejǫ
             
N A Du.   znajǫšta   znajǫšti   znajǫšti
G L   znajǫštu   znajǫštu   znajǫštu
D I   znajǫštema   znajǫštema   znajǫštama
             
N Pl.   znajǫšte   znajǫšta   znajǫštę
A   znajǫštę   znajǫšta   znajǫštę
G   znajǫštĭ   znajǫštĭ   znajǫštĭ
L   znajǫštixŭ   znajǫštixŭ   znajǫštaxŭ
D   znajǫštemŭ   znajǫštemŭ   znajǫštamŭ
I   znajǫšti   znajǫšti   znajǫštami

Verbs of conjugation IV follow the paradigm of moliti, mol'jǫ, moliši 'beg'.

    Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
N Sg.   molę   molę   molęšti
A   molęštĭ   molęšte   molęštǫ
G   molęšta   molęšta   molęštę
L   molęšti   molęšti   molęšti
D   molęštu   molęštu   molęšti
I   molęštemĭ   molęštemĭ   molęštejǫ
             
N A Du.   molęšta   molęšti   molęšti
G L   molęštu   molęštu   molęštu
D I   molęštema   molęštema   molęštama
             
N Pl.   molęšte   molęšta   molęštę
A   molęštę   molęšta   molęštę
G   molęštĭ   molęštĭ   molęštĭ
L   molęštixŭ   molęštixŭ   molęštaxŭ
D   molęštemŭ   molęštemŭ   molęštamŭ
I   molęšti   molęšti   molęštami

Note in particular the accusative singular masculine ending -ĭ and the nominative plural masculine ending -e.

The definite (long) forms are constructed by appending the corresponding form of the third person pronoun. iti, idǫ, ideši 'go' illustrates the forms.

    Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
N Sg.   idyi   idǫšteje   idǫštija
A   idǫštĭi   idǫšteje   idǫštǫjǫ
G   idǫštajego   idǫštajego   idǫštęję
L   idǫštiimĭ   idǫštiimĭ   idǫštii
D   idǫštujemu   idǫštujemu   idǫštii
I   idǫštiimĭ   idǫštiimĭ   idǫštejǫ
             
N A Du.   idǫštaja   idǫštii   idǫštii
G L   idǫštuju   idǫštuju   idǫštuju
D I   idǫštiima   idǫštiima   idǫštiima
             
N Pl.   idǫštei   idǫštaja   idǫštęję
A   idǫštęję   idǫštaja   idǫštęję
G   idǫštiixŭ   idǫštiixŭ   idǫštiixŭ
L   idǫštiixŭ   idǫštiixŭ   idǫštiixŭ
D   idǫštiimŭ   idǫštiimŭ   idǫštiimŭ
I   idǫštiimi   idǫštiimi   idǫštiimi

The nominative singular neuter does not correspond to the indefinite (short) form, but instead shows the full stem -ęšt- / -ǫšt-. The tense jer of the accusative singular masculine may be vocalized as i, producing idǫštii. The genitive singular masculine form may be contracted to yield idǫštaago or idǫštago. The instrumental singular feminine shows the variant idǫštǫjǫ.

The verb 'be' forms participles sy, sǫšti 'being', built from the jes- stem, and bǫdy, bǫdǫšti 'future, that to come', from the same stem as bǫdǫ 'I become'. One finds in later Russian Church Slavonic texts the form byšęšt-, e.g. ne byšašti vodě 'because there will not be water'.

27. The Conditional of byti and the Conditional-Optative Mood

The verb byti, bǫdǫ, bǫdeši 'be' has modal forms unattested for other verbs. No dual forms survive.

    Singular   Dual   Plural
1st   bimĭ   *bivě   bimŭ, bixomŭ
2nd   bi   *bista   *bite, biste
3rd   bi   *biste   , bišę

The expected second person plural form is *bite. The alternate forms in the plural are generated by analogy with the aorist. The aorist of byti often replaced the above forms in the conditional role: singular byxŭ, by, by; dual byxově, bysta, byste; plural byxomŭ, byste, byšę.

These forms are used in the conditional-optative, which is a modal formation derived from the l-participle used in conjunction with the conditional forms of byti. For example mošti, mogǫ, možeši 'be able' yields mogli bimŭ 'we would be able'; byti gives bylŭ, bimĭ 'I would be, I would like to be'. The conditional-optative is often used in contrary-to-fact statements: ašte sę bi ne rodilŭ 'if he had not been born'. This construction was also be used in purpose clauses: slugy ubo moę podvidzaly sę bišę da ne prědanŭ bimĭ ijuděomŭ 'then my servants would fight, that I not be handed over to the Jews.' In the last clause, bimĭ is found with the past passive participle prědanŭ, rather than a past active l-participle. Such clauses with da stood alone indicating a wish: jaru da by obrělŭ ljutěšę 'Oh, if he had found more cruel people!' The form of byti was sometimes dropped altogether, leaving only the participle: ješa i ne sŭbrali sŭbora 'if they had not been able to bring together the council'.

28. The First Conjugation

The first conjugation contains those verbs whose present tense stem ends in e and whose infinitive stem is

(a) the root without suffix, e.g. nes-ti 'to carry', 2 sg. pres. nes-e-ši

or

(b) enlarged by the suffix a, e.g. zŭv-a-ti 'to call', 2 sg. pres. zov-e-ši.

The conjugation is illustrated by the verbs nesti, nesǫ, neseši 'carry'; rešti, rekǫ, rečeši 'tell'; zŭvati, zovǫ, zoveši 'call'; pęti, pĭnǫ, pĭneši 'stretch'. The forms of the asigmatic aorist are supplied for the verb mošti, mogǫ, možeši 'be able'.

Present   nes-   rek-   zov-   pĭn-
                 
1st Sg.   nesǫ   rekǫ   zovǫ   pĭnǫ
2nd   neseši   rečeši   zoveši   pĭneši
3rd   nesetŭ   rečetŭ   zovetŭ   pĭnetŭ
                 
1st Du.   nesevě   rečevě   zovevě   pĭnevě
2nd   neseta   rečeta   zoveta   pĭneta
3rd   nesete   rečete   zovete   pĭnete
                 
1st Pl.   nesemŭ   rečemŭ   zovemŭ   pĭnemŭ
2nd   nesete   rečete   zovete   pĭnete
3rd   nesǫtŭ   rekǫtŭ   zovǫtŭ   pĭnǫtŭ
                 
Imperative                
1st Sg.   -   -   -   -
2nd   nesi   rĭci   zovi   pĭni
3rd   nesi   rĭci   zovi   pĭni
                 
1st Du.   nesěvě   rĭcěvě   zověvě   pĭněvě
2nd   nesěta   rĭcěta   zověta   pĭněta
3rd   -   -   -   -
                 
1st Pl.   nesěmŭ   rĭcěmŭ   zověmŭ   pĭněmŭ
2nd   nesěte   rĭcěte   zověte   pĭněte
3rd   -   -   -   -
                 
Pres. Act. Part.                
Masc/Neut. N   nesy   reky   zovy   pĭny
Fem. N   nesǫšti   rekǫšti   zovǫšti   pĭnǫšti
                 
Pres. Pass. Part.                
Masc. N   nesomŭ   rekomŭ   zovomŭ   pĭnomŭ
                 
Imperfect                
1st Sg.   nesěaxŭ   rečaaxŭ   zověaxŭ   pĭněaxŭ
2nd   nesěaše   rečaaše   zověaše   pĭněaše
3rd   nesěaše   rečaaše   zověaše   pĭěaše
                 
1st Du.   nesěaxově   rečaaxově   zověaxově   pĭněaxově
2nd   nesěašeta   rečaašeta   zověašeta   pĭněašeta
3rd   nesěašete   rečaašete   zověašete   pĭněašete
                 
1st Pl.   nesěaxomŭ   rečaaxomŭ   zověaxomŭ   pĭněaxomŭ
2nd   nesěašete   rečaašete   zověašete   pĭněašete
3rd   nesěaxǫ   rečaaxǫ   zověaxǫ   pĭněaxǫ
                 
Asigmatic Aorist                
1st Sg.   mogŭ   -   -   -
2nd   može   -   -   -
3rd   može   -   -   -
                 
1st Du.   mogově   -   -   -
2nd   možeta   -   -   -
3rd   možete   -   -   -
                 
1st Pl.   mogomŭ   -   -   -
2nd   možete   -   -   -
3rd   mogǫ   -   -   -
                 
Sigmatic Aorist                
1st Sg.   něsŭ   rěxŭ   zŭvaxŭ   pęsŭ
2nd   nese   reče   zŭva  
3rd   nese   reče   zŭva  
                 
1st Du.   něsově   rěxově   zŭvaxově   pęsově
2nd   něsta   rěsta   zŭvasta   pęsta
3rd   něste   rěste   zŭvaste   pęste
                 
1st Pl.   něsomŭ   rěxomŭ   zŭvaxomŭ   pęsomŭ
2nd   něste   rěste   zŭvaste   pęste
3rd   něsę   rěšę   zŭvašę   pęsę
                 
New Aorist                
1st Sg.   nesoxŭ   rekoxŭ   -   -
2nd   nese   reče   -   -
3rd   nese   reče   -   -
                 
1st Du.   nesoxově   rekoxově   -   -
2nd   nesosta   rekosta   -   -
3rd   nesoste   rekoste   -   -
                 
1st Pl.   nesoxomŭ   rekoxomŭ   -   -
2nd   nesoste   rekoste   -   -
3rd   nesošę   rekošę   -   -
                 
Past Act. Part.                
Masc/Neut. N   nesŭ   rekŭ   zŭvavŭ   pĭnŭ
Fem. N   nesŭši   rekŭši   zŭvavŭši   pĭnŭši
                 
Resultative Part.                
Masc. N   neslŭ   reklŭ   zŭvalŭ   pęlŭ
                 
Past Pass. Part.                
Masc. N   nesenŭ   rečenŭ   zŭvanŭ   pętŭ
                 
Infinitive   nesti   rešti   zŭvati   -pęti
                 
Supine   nestŭ   reštŭ   zŭvatŭ   pętŭ
                 
Verbal Noun   nesenĭje   (na)rečenĭje   -   (ras)pętĭje

zŭvati has alternate imperfect forms zŭvaaxŭ, zŭvaaše, etc. The common verb načęti, načĭnǫ, načĭneši 'begin' follows the paradigm of pęti.

29. The Accusative Case

The accusative case is used for the direct object of transitive verbs (unless negated), e.g. irodŭ ... sŭvęza i i vŭsadi i vŭ tĭmĭnicǫ 'Herod... bound him and threw him in prison'. Some verbs may take a double accusative, for example sŭtvorjǫ va lovĭca člověkomŭ 'I will make you two fishers of men'. The accusative is used for objects of participles, e.g. isusŭ že slyšavŭ slovo glagol'emoe 'Jesus, having heard the word being spoken...'. It may also denote the object of the infinitive, as in xotę i ubiti 'wanting to kill him'; or of a verbal noun: po priętii ... darŭ 'after receiving... the gift'.

The accusative may express duration in time or extent in space, much like the English use of 'for' in the phrases 'for seven days' or 'for seven miles'. One finds examples togda že prěbystŭ na n'emĭ že bě městě dŭva dĭni 'then He remained in the place in which He was for two days.' Since numbers greater than four are treated as nouns rather than adjectives, phrases of extent may show only the numeral in the accusative, while the noun quantified is in the genitive: i poštĭ sę dĭnii (četyri desęti) i noštii (četyri desęti) 'and having fasted for forty (of) days and for forty (of) nights'. Here, četyri is the feminine accusative plural adjective modifying desęti. Another example is bě že viθanĭja bliz ierusalima jako pętĭ na desęte stadii 'Bethany was near Jerusalem, about fifteen (of) stades.' The noun pętĭ 'five' is in the accusative, denoting extent or distance; stadii 'of stades' is in the genitive.

With prepositions the accusative often denotes the object or goal of directed motion. Examples are idetŭ na grobŭ 'she is going to the grave' and vĭzide na gorǫ 'He went upon the mountain'. An extension of this use to a metaphysical context is found in vĭsi věrǫ imǫtŭ vŭ nŭ 'All will have faith in Him'.

30. Participles

OCS makes frequent use of participles, favoring participles in instances where English would typically employ a dependent clause with a finite verb form. Generally speaking, present participles denote actions ongoing at the time of the main verb, while past participles describe actions begun and usually completed by the time of the main verb. For example, in reče že pritŭčǫ k n'imŭ glagol'ę... 'He told a parable to them, saying...', the present participle glagol'ę describes an action contemporaneous with the past action reče. The main verb may itself be a participle, as in the case of isusŭ že slyšavŭ slovo glagol'emoe... 'And Jesus, having heard (slyšavŭ) the word being said (glagol'emoe)...'. Participles employed both short (e.g. slyšavŭ) and long (e.g. glagol'emoe) adjective endings. The long forms were more common in cases other than nominative and accusative.

Disrupting the simple interpretation of how the time-frame of present and past participles relates to that of the main verb is the fact that OCS inherits from Common Slavic a new manner of distinguishing aspect which differs from the parent PIE system. Within OCS, certain verbs are inherently completive or incompletive. Thus the present participle of a completive verb will denote an action in a completed state by the time of or shortly after the time of the main verb. Similarly, the past participle of an incompletive verb will denote an action not necessarily finished by the time of the main verb. Completive verbs are often marked by prefixes. Take as an example i eže aggely poxvalimŭ drŭžitŭ sę skvrŭnavyima rǫkama 'one praised by angels is held by dirty hands'. The present participle poxvalimŭ has completive aspect.

A participle is often used alongside a finite verb where English would have two finite verbs. For example, sęděte sĭde donĭdeže šĭdŭ pomol'ǫ sę 'sit here while, having gone, I pray' may be rendered more smoothly as 'sit here while I go and pray'.

Some passive participles have lost some of their verbal force. Present passive participles often denote the possibility of the verbal root, e.g. vidimŭ 'visible', nerazorimŭ 'indestructable'. Past passive participles often lose the verbal force altogether, e.g. prokaženŭ 'leprous', sŭměr'enŭ 'humble'.

The resultative participle is special, being used only in compound tense formations with an accompanying form of byti 'be'. It occurs almost exclusively in the nominative short form.