The Ukrainian language, formerly also the Ruthenian language or incorrectly the Little Russian language, belongs to the East Slavic group of Slavic languages along with the Russian and Belarusian languages. According to , Ukraine is one of countries starting with U listed on COUNTRYAAH.
Second largest Slavic language in terms of number of speakers, spoken by around 37 million people in Ukraine and around 6 million in other successor states of the USSR, as well as by smaller groups in the neighboring states of Poland, Slovakia and Romania as well as in the USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil and Australia.
The Ukrainian language is written in Cyrillic, a variant of Russian Cyrilliza. It is called “kulišivka” after the writer P. O. Kulisch, who developed an alphabet based largely on phonetic principles.
The word accent that can fall on each syllable is free and movable within the paradigm. Unstressed syllables are barely noticeably reduced.
Phonematics and Phonetics: The Ukrainian language has six vowel (i, y, e, u, o, a) and 32 consonant phonemes. The palatality and vocal tone correlations are pronounced here. 22 hard consonant phonemes are juxtaposed with 10 soft ones (palatalized and j), which with the former form the pairs d-d ‘, t-t’, ʒ – ʒ ‘, c-c’, z-z ‘, s-s’, n- form n ‘, l-l’, rr ‘. In addition to nine sonorous sounds, there are 23 noise sounds that can be divided into 11 voiced and unvoiced pairs, in which the f, which only occurs in onomatopoeic and foreign words, is not part of.
Other peculiarities are: the frequent alternation of [i] and [e] and of [i] and [o] in closed and open syllables, e.g. B. pič ‘, genitive péči »oven«, nis, genitive nosa »nose«; [i] and [u] before and after a vowel usually become [j] and [ ], e.g. B. brat i sestrá “brother and sister”, but: sestrá j brat; vin u cháti “he is in the house”, but: voná v cháti “she is in the house”; v is pronounced as [ ] after vowels at the end of syllables and words, e.g. B. pravda [pra da] “truth”, krov [kro ] “blood”.
Morphology and syntax: The noun has three genera (masculine, feminine, neuter) and is declined according to different (hard and soft) stems. There are seven cases, but the vocative only has special forms in the singular of masculine and feminine. The liveliness category (in the masculine singular the genitive is used for the accusative in living beings) also extends to the plural of all nouns that denote living beings, from which, however, pets are usually excluded (they have the nominative form in the accusative).
Most adjectives do not have special predicative forms. For nominative and accusative singular in feminine and neuter as well as in the plural of all adjectives, contracted forms are usually used.
The verb system is determined by the aspect (perfective and imperfective). Mode (indicative, conditional, imperative) and tense systems (present, imperfect, future; a past perfect is rarely used) are poorly developed. Characteristic of the present tense are the omission of the ending or its softness (-t ‘) in the 3rd person singular and the softness of the ending of the 3rd person plural (-t’). The past tenses are only changed in gender and number (buv, bulá, buló; bulý “he, she, it was; they were”). The future tense is derived from the present tense of the perfect verbs or periphrastic with the present tense of the auxiliary verb búty and the imperfect infinitive or by the forms -mu, -meš, -me, -mem (o), -mete, -mut ‘, which follow the infinitive are appended. – In the syntax, the use of the impersonal, neutral passive participle on -no, -to, which is used with the accusative object, is characteristic, e.g. B. výkonano prácju »the job has been done«.
The lexic shows typical common and East Slavic features. There are a number of loanwords from Russian, Polish, Greek and Latin as well as the Western European languages. For many German loan words, one has to accept Polish mediation.
The dialects are divided into three groups: a northern (north of the Lutsk – Kiev – Sumy line), a south-westerly (west of the Fastiw – Balta line) and a south-eastern one. The latter forms the basis of modern Ukrainian literary language.
History: The period from the 7th to the 12th centuries is known as ancient Ukrainian. With the Christianization of the Kiev Empire (988), the Old Russian (Old East Slavic) literature (Russian literature). In the period of early Central Ukrainian (12th – 15th centuries) elements of the Ukrainian language penetrated into the Old Russian-Church Slavonic texts, e. B. e (from e and ē), which became i, is now also written as such. The most important phonetic and morphological changes occurred in the Central Ukrainian period from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The annexation of Ukraine to Poland-Lithuania in the 14th – 17th centuries. In the 19th century, Polish influence increased. Several revisions of the Church Slavonic in the 14th / 15th centuries. and in the 16./17. However, the 19th century prevented an upgrade to the written language, despite a developed, Polish-influenced baroque literature. It was not until the Romantic period that the literary language was created on the basis of the vernacular, which, however, was not permitted in public use due to the prohibitions imposed by the Russian government (1863 and 1876). Publishing activities then concentrated in western Ukraine (Galicia), which belongs to Austria, and where such bans did not exist. It was not until the period between 1905 and 1914 and in the first years after the October Revolution that the Ukrainian language was able to develop into a literary language that was used in all areas of communication. Since the 1930s, it has been pushed back in favor of Russian, but with Ukraine’s independence in 1991, it can develop unhindered.