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.

Bibliography

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 ?
It was nice to get the exposure for our breed but the article doesn't make it fully clear that our dogs are now Cesky Fousek too.
To put me on the trail of Kamel, I was driven two hours from Prague to Cesky Krumlov, a postcard pretty castle town in South Bohemia which is now a Unesco World Heritage site.
A whistle-stop tour of some of its other treasures took us 100 miles south to South Bohemia where we visited the gorgeous ancient town of Cesky Krumlov.
A little-known, very rare breed, the Cesky Fousek (Cesky means Czech, and Fousek means facial hair) is making its debut in our region.
1 CZECH REPUBLIC & THE TYROL WITH its beautiful and unspoilt old town it's no wonder Cesky Krumlov has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Meanwhile, Jaroslav Cesky can win himself a permanent deal at Edinburgh Capitals if he excels tonight against Fife Flyers.
Head coach Brent Pope, who spends five weeks away commentating on the Winter Olympics in Russia from the end of this month, has made big changes to the Devils team, with European players Kamil Kosowski, Ziga Svete, Martins Gipters, Markus Rama and Czech trialist Jaroslav Cesky brought in over the last couple of weeks.
Contract award: Create and ensure the evaluation center of Cesky the quality of service.
According to rescuers, near the town of Cesky Krumlov in the South, a boat with five people capsized on the river Vltava.
The foxhound had no registrations so far this year and the cesky terrier had just 25, making those breeds the most vulnerable, it added.
CESKY KRUMLOV, Czech Republic: Centuries of history have earned this Czech town a designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Castle and Chateau in Cesky Krumlov is the second largest noble residential complex in Bohemia (after the Prague Castle), and this fully reflects the role of its former owners in the hierarchy of the Land aristocracy.