Daiber Th. To Believe in the Old Church Slavonic Gospel Translation (Codex Marianus)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2019.4.3

Thomas Daiber

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Professor, Slavistic Institute, The Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Ludwigstrasse, 23, 35390 Giessen, Germany

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ScopusID: 26432548300


Abstract. Drawing on theoretical definition of a speech act, the paper seeks to compare the theoretical semantics of BELIEVE with the lexical semantics of the words used in the Old Slavonic Gospel translation for expressing different modes of believing. The general principles in the use of the verb веровати and related paraphrasing utterances in comparison to Greek according to the majority of instances have been considered. The historical use of lexical material shows that the development of different ways of morphosyntactic use reflects the development of communication practices which are an index of societal behaviour. The author states it that the comparison of the speech act BELIEVE with contested lexical semantics provided the conclusion that a verb *věriti cannot be reconstructed for Proto-Slavic, but at the period under analysis the concept BELIEVE was verbalized by веровати with the primary personal meaning of "believe in someone" (the dative of a person is needed in constructions like "I have faith in Him"). It is supposed that the necessity to introduce the verb *věriti appeared when people started to extend the personal meaning of BELIEVE upto "an impersonal believed object" (sematic bleaching), and if they did it the verb *věriti might had been analogically produced as derivation of the primary noun. The author concludes that the translation technique of the first Slavonic Bible is more ad sensum than ad verbum and sometimes even reveals theological considerations of the translator. The speech act BELIEVE seems to display semantic bleaching as it loses its transcendent truth conditions and becomes more and more connected with impersonal believed objects.

Key words: speech act, morphosyntactic, semantic bleaching, translation technique, Old Church Slavonic.

Citation. Daiber Th. To Believe in the Old Church Slavonic Gospel Translation (Codex Marianus). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2019, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 29-40. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2019.4.3

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