Czech language

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Czech language

(chĕk), in the past sometimes also called Bohemian, member of the West Slavic group of the Slavic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Slavic languagesSlavic languages,
also called Slavonic languages, a subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. Because the Slavic group of languages seems to be closer to the Baltic group than to any other, some scholars combine the two in a Balto-Slavic subfamily of the Indo-European
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). The official language of the Czech Republic, it is spoken by about 11 million people, of whom over 10 million reside there and close to 1 million of whom are in Slovakia and North America combined. Grammatically, Czech has seven cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, locative, instrumental, and vocative) for nouns, pronouns, and adjectives. It is not necessary to use personal pronouns with verbs since person and number are clearly shown by the verb endings; however, personal pronouns may be used for emphasis. In the pronunciation of Czech the stress always falls on the first syllable of a word, but this accentuation is not shown by diacritical marks such as accents. A sharp distinction is made between long and short vowels, and an acute accent (´) is used to indicate where vowels are lengthened, i.e., where their pronunciation is relatively protracted. A hook or inverted circumflex (ˇ) over a consonant is the sign that the consonant is palatalized, or pronounced with the tip of the tongue on the palate. The earliest surviving record of Czech is in the form of glosses in a Latin manuscript of the 11th cent. A.D. The period of Old Czech, the oldest stage of the language, is usually placed in the 11th to 14th cent. At that time there were many dialects. A Czech literature began to take shape in the 13th cent. Standardization of the spelling and pronunciation of the language occurred during the Middle Czech period of the 15th and 16th cents., largely as a result of the work of John HussHuss, John
, Czech Jan Hus , 1369?–1415, Czech religious reformer. Early Life

Of peasant origin, he was born in Husinec, Bohemia (from which his name is derived). He studied theology at the Univ. of Prague, was ordained a priest c.
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, the celebrated Czech religious reformer, who made the Prague dialect the basis of his far-reaching linguistic reforms. The modern period of Czech began in the 17th cent. The domination of the Czechs by the Hapsburg rulers of Austria from 1620 to 1918 seriously hampered the development of the Czech language and literature, although a national literary revival began in the 18th cent. After independence was regained in 1918, the language and literature of Czechoslovakia again began to flourish. Czech was one of two official languages (the other being Slovak) of Czechoslovakia, and remained the official language of the Czech Republic after Czechoslovakia was dissolved in 1993. A modified version of the Roman alphabet is used for writing Czech.


See W. E. Harkins, A Modern Czech Grammar (1953); R. G. A. de Bray, Guide to the Slavonic Languages (rev. ed. 1969); M. Heim, Contemporary Czech (1982).

References in periodicals archive ?
For a short period following the end of the war there was talk of reviving the band and the director of the Cesky Krumlov estate Karel Skalicky even tried to put off the officially ordered dismissal of the German grenadiers by arguing that they were essential for the orchestra.
a 49 percent interest in Eurotel Praha to Cesky Telecom for US$1.
Some weeks beforehand, trawling the internet for holiday inspiration, we had stumbled upon Cesky Krumlov.
Vitali had an issue being released from a previous registration and won't now be joining us," said head coach Brent Pope, who does have new Polish goalie Kamil Kosowski and Czech forward Jaroslav Cesky available for their match against Coventry.
Contract notice: Create and ensure the evaluation center of cesky the quality of service
The Cesky Krumlov Chateau with its imposing cylindrical tower stands on a rocky promontory above the River Vltava.
Telecommunications companies that selected BEA include AT&T Wireless, British Telecommunications, Cesky Mobile, Cesky Telecom, Cingular Wireless, Motorola and Telstra, while transportation customers choosing BEA this quarter include DHL, Ryder Systems, Inc.
Unient's customer base includes leading telecommunications providers such as Slovak Telecom, T-Systems and Cesky Telecom and over 100 other corporations.
Two of new boys, goalie Kamil Kosowski and forward Jaroslav Cesky, were in the Devils team for last night's Elite League ice hockey clash at the Big Blue Tent in Cardiff Bay Kosowski, who started with American Phil Cook on the bench, is from Poland, while Cesky is the second Czech player on the team, joining four-goal man of the match Tomas Kurka.
Cesky Krumlov is a noble South Bohemian town, one of the most visited in the Czech Republic.
today announced the receipt of an order for the expansion of FraudView(TM) system from Cesky Telecom (formerly SPT Telecom), the national telecommunications provider of the Czech Republic.
In 1996 Marek Kopelent started the International Composition Classes at Cesky Krumlov, to remedy the fact that unlike all the neighbouring states the Czech Republic still had no courses of the kind.