Purism: Transformations on the Way to a Revival of the Czech and Ukrainian Literary Language

© The Editorial Council and Editorial Board of Linguistic Studies

Linguistic Studies
Volume 36, 2018, pp.  97-110

Purism: Transformations on the Way to a Revival of the Czech and Ukrainian Literary Language

Arkhanhelska Alla

Article first published online: December 15, 2018 

Additional information

 Author Information: 

Arkhanhelska Alla, Doctor of Philology, Professor, Professor of the Department of Slavonic Studies, Faculty of Art, Palacky University, Olomouc, the Czech Republic. Correspondence: alla_arkhanhelska@yahoo.com; alla.arkhanhelska@upol.cz

Arkhanhelska, A. Purism: Transformations on the Way to a Revival of the Czech and Ukrainian Literary Language [Text] // Linhvistychni Studiyi / Linguistic Studies : collection of scientific papers / Vasyl' Stus 
Donetsk National University; Ed. by Anatoliy Zahnitko. Vinnytsia : Vasyl' Stus DonNU, 2018. Vol. 36. Pp. 97-110. ISBN 966-7277-88-7

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.31558/1815-3070.2018.36.15

Publication History:

Volume first published online: December 15, 2018
Article received: September 4, 2018, accepted: November 30, 2018 and first published online: December 15, 2018


У статті зосереджено увагу на феномені чеського пуризму як одного із найбільш потужних процесів європейського мовного розвитку на тлі активізації пуризму в українському культуромовному суспільстві новітньої доби. Пуризм розглянуто як конститутивний складник відчуття мови європейських народів, як шлях до відродження літературної мови за небезпеки її руйнування з боку іншої мови, що набула домінувального характеру, як явище складне і суперечливе у багатомірності його позитивних та негативних упливів на поступальний розвиток мови. У зіставному контексті проаналізовано розвиток пуризму в чеській та українській лінгвоспільнотах з погляду його стимулів, вихідних констант, характеру перебігу, векторів та результатів. Підсумовано, що глибокий і неупереджений аналіз чеського пуризму, його надбань і прорахунків може стати надзвичайно корисним сучасним українцям на шляху до їхньої національно-мовної самоідентифікації.

Keywords: purism, foreign language element, revival of the language, national-linguistic self-identification, Czech purism, Ukrainian purism.



Alla Arkhanhelska

Department of Slavonic Studies, Faculty of Art,

Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic


Background: Czech purism is one of the most significant processes within the European linguistic development. Understanding of Czech purism can become extremely beneficial to the development of the modern Slavic languages with the weak sociolinguistic position which are both on the way to the revival and national-linguistic self-identification.

Purpose: The aim of the paper is to analyze the history of Czech purism in projection on activation of puristic trends in the modern Ukrainian literary language. Purism is considered the complex and multidimensional phenomenon which is the constitutive component of the language sense of Europeans who are influenced by the nearby dominant linguocultures. Main driving forces, rational and irrational puristic motivations, as well as the specificity of the process of purism and its transformations are traced both on the European and national Slavic ground. In the paper, the understanding of purism by both Ukrainian and Czech linguistics is investigated; the systematic analysis of manifestations of purism referring to the main periods of its development in the Czech and Ukrainian languages is done; the analytical review of the incentives, course, vectors, and results of the impact of the Czech puristic tradition on the European is conducted; the achievements and miscalculations of Czech purism are analyzed.

Results: Systematic comparison of the manifestations of Czech and Ukrainian purism aimed at the purification of the literary language from foreign elements reveals both many common and distinctive features. A significant commonality is proved in the psychological motivations, jump, imitative and traditionalistic character of purism as well as in the interaction between aggressive and moderate purism. The chronological depth, duration of the active cultivation of purism, role of the authority and, what is more important, the different language situation, within which Czech and Ukrainian purism developed, as well as the attitude of the collective of speakers to the process of the nationalization and purification of their language turned out to be different.

Taking into account the overall evaluation of Czech purism and its influence on the development of European languages, its positive and negative influences on the purification of the literary language from foreign elements can become extremely beneficial for the Ukrainian language and cultural community.

Discussion: The precise delimitation of the native elements of the language and the foreign language impacts as well as considering the rational attitude of native speakers to their language and to the foreign language and culture combined with the reasonable and careful analysis of the achievements and miscalculations of Ukrainian purism of the 20–30-s of the 20th century remains the most relevant and important to the modern Ukrainian purism.

Keywords: purism, foreign language element, revival of the language, national-linguistic self-identification, Czech purism, Ukrainian purism.


Alla Arkhanhelska is а Doctor of Philology, Professor, Professor of the Department of Slavonic Studies, Faculty of Art, Palacky University, Olomouc, the Czech Republic. His areas of research interests include the theory of nominations and types of names, lexicology, phraseology, phraseography, cultural linguistics, gender studies, comparative linguistics, and text linguistics.

Correspondence: alla_arkhanhelska@yahoo.com; alla.arkhanhelska@upol.cz


Аlla Arkhanhelska

DOI 10.31558/1815-3070.2018.36.15

УДК 81'27




У статті зосереджено увагу на феномені чеського пуризму як одного із найбільш потужних процесів європейського мовного розвитку на тлі активізації пуризму в українському культуромовному суспільстві новітньої доби. Пуризм розглянуто як конститутивний складник відчуття мови європейських народів, як шлях до відродження літературної мови за небезпеки її руйнування з боку іншої мови, що набула домінувального характеру, як явище складне і суперечливе у багатомірності його позитивних та негативних упливів на поступальний розвиток мови. У зіставному контексті проаналізовано розвиток пуризму в чеській та українській лінгвоспільнотах з погляду його стимулів, вихідних констант, характеру перебігу, векторів та результатів. Підсумовано, що глибокий і неупереджений аналіз чеського пуризму, його надбань і прорахунків може стати надзвичайно корисним сучасним українцям на шляху до їхньої національно-мовної самоідентифікації.

Ключові слова: пуризм, іномовний елемент, відродження мови, національно-мовна самоідентифікація, чеський пуризм, український пуризм.


1. Prologue: purism as a constitutive part of the linguistic identity of European nations[2]

Purism (from Lat. purus pure) has always been a constitutive part of the linguistic identity of European nations. In the Humanist period, European languages faced not only with a large number of borrowings from classical languages, but also with the need to limit their impact by means of own language tools which were aimed to implement new language functions. In the Baroque period, changes which had a distinctly defensive character were oriented primarily towards the lexical level. This period was characterized by the preferential usage of native (non-Latin) language resources. The decisive feature of the periods of Enlightenment and Classicism was the strict word-formation rules and standards existence. The tendency towards the precise organization of grammatical systems and inflectional paradigms which were based on native language patterns was strong. In the 19th century, due to the processes of the national revival and formation of European nations, the language and axiological approach to it as factors of the national integration became one of the basic linguistic and national characteristics. In the 20th/21st centuries, with the emergence of new countries and contemporary trends of globalization, purism gets a new life. In addition to strong puristic waves that occurred in Europe regularly in different periods of time and covered several languages concurrently, purism of different types occured in national languages in Europe. It intensified to varying degrees in different periods of time due to unequal socio-political, national, and linguistic factors. Growing on the national soil, it acquired more and more specific nature.

The oppositions we – they, own – foreign, native elements of the language – foreign language impacts have always been the main driving force of the process of purism. Taking into account geopolitical conditions, the understanding of foreign language impacts in various cultural and linguistic groups applied to any borrowings from other languages, individual languages which have durably been numerous sources of borrowings (classic languages, German, French, English), and “neighbouring” languages of the particular language group which, due to certain socio-political circumstances, acquired the status of dominant and dangerous. Native elements of the language are understood as the consequence of its own development. Therefore, the process of purism has been associated with searching for sources of the language’s indigenousness and correctness as well as with trying to preserve its national identity. However, the ratio of foreign impacts and native elements has always presupposed the subjective component which made the phenomenon of purism many-sided, multivectoral, and largely contradictory as well as entailed the existence of a number of positive and negative trends.

Purism as the fight of nations for the purity of their literary languages has different motivations. The rational motivation of purism is based on the criterion of understandability: the borrowing has to be understandable to users as well as suitable for the implementation of communicative functions. In this case, the rational approach to the language as a mean of communication, assessment of its expressive means by the criteria of acceptability and adequacy of its functions, and its adherence to collective norms are dominative. In modern terms, this approach has a place in languages with the strong sociolinguistic position. The irrational puristic motivation can focus on aesthetic factors as well as on the understanding of the uniqueness of the national language and culture. Its line of reasoning is based on the implementation of the conservative “protection” of one language against another which is dominant. This motivation is typical for languages with the weak sociolinguistic position which have evolved under the powerful influence of other (neighbouring) languages. In this case, we are talking about keeping the spirit of the nation and its language, revival of the national consciousness, and confrontation against those foreign language elements which could threaten the linguistic and cultural national identity. Under this approach, the incentive for purism becomes the idea of creating the new standard of the language, or implementing of the state policy. In this case, the irrational element and ecstatic attitude to language as a miracle, a unique symbol of the national identity become fundamental (Тkachenko 178191; Daneš 254; Chýlová 2728). The motivation of purism as the idea of the purification of the language from borrowings has caused both the indisputably positive assessment of this phenomenon and the critical one. Each of the assessments is objectively based.

The activity of cultivating their literary language by purists has never been an easy task and has always been accompanied with the hard physical (manual) work, which gave rise to numerous metaphors which marked it. Yet the Roman educator and rhetorician Quintilian compared the work of purists with the artisan activity, namely the process of surface treatment of metal by grinding, removing superfluous elements, making the surface shine. This metaphor was later established in the Czech language as brusičství ‚metal sharpening‘, or glass grinding‘. The association with the hard work of a farmer (whose objective is to separate the grain from the chaff) was first noted by Florentines in the XVI century. In their understanding, purists had to separate expedient and inexpedient elements of the language. In the XVII century, the work of the German purist (whose objective was to select the language means for creating new and improving the existing language means) was associated with the work of a gardener. The idea about the disease (or the presence of infection in the language) led to the metaphorical vision of the purist being a doctor (language therapy and verbal hygiene (M. Weingart, F. Daneš, D. Cameron)). It also led to the possibility of considering purism in the context of linguoecology (D. Bolnger). The metaphor of the purist being a geneticist is connected to the idea of the purity of blood (i.e. the meaning of the word should correspond to its etymology; all the linguistic “bastardisms”, “illegitimates”, and hybrids should be removed from the language). The purist can be also metaphorically compared to a priest or a preacher who sets people’s souls on the path of truth (the modern Jewish metaphor). His work is perceived as the realization of the divine will (see Thomas).

These metaphors are extremely interesting and deeply informative: on the one hand, the work of the purist is the hard physical or research activity which requires much effort and patience; on the other hand, it requires much knowledge and skills. With one careless step, the result of the work will be of poor quality; and all valuable features and properties will be lost. The unsuccessful activity of a doctor or a priest would definitely harm the physical or mental health of the patient. Depending on subjects of its implementation, the process of purism can be assessed as either scientific or pseudo-scientific (dilettantish).

2. Understanding of purism in linguistics

In a narrow sense, purism is seen as the purification of the language from foreign borrowings. In a wide sense, it is the critical point of view on changes and borrowings in general. Purism is also understood as the effort of the society or collective of speakers to remove both real and seemingly foreign elements from the literary language. It also concerns the elements of other codes (dialects, sociolects, common speech elements, etc.). Primarily, purism concerns all the aspects of the codification, cultivation and language planning (Thomas). There exists a huge number of definitions of purism. Often, they are directly focused on the language situation in the country in which the process is ongoing, or on the established vision of purism in the society which was formed out of ideological reasons and covers only the one-sided phenomenon, rather than its multi-dimensional essence. Let us compare: purism is “the progressive phenomenon which is a part of the national struggle for the political and cultural independence” (Vedenov 66), “the activity which is not based on the scientific investigation of the development trends of the given language” (Akhmanova 374), “the activity which is aimed at the purification of the literary language; purists understand the identity of the national language as its full release of “even (!) essential elements which were borrowed from other languages”” (BSE 230). In Soviet times, purism was described as “inappropriate” for the socialist society. It was called the “class”, “bourgeois”, and “nationalistic” one (Akulenko 88; Zhuravlev 99).

In modern Ukrainian linguistics, purism is defined as the extreme manifestation of concerns about the purity of the literary language, as the excessive desire for the purification of the literary language from foreign borrowings and neologisms, as the attempt to save the literary language from the penetration of lexical or grammatical items which are considered non-normative, and as the strict rules of the compliance with standard norms. Taking care of the original development of the national literary language and literature and the proper using of their lexical heritage are considered the positive features of purism. Negative puristic trends appear in the areas of proclaiming the dogma of the unalterabless of literary norms, referring to the internal laws of the development of the national language, deepening the differences between the spoken and literary language, not accepting any new word-formations (which supposedly destroy the system of the national language), non-understanding of the progressive development of the language (UME 503; Azhnyuk). In this process, both positive and unwanted (negative) side effects are singled out. The “extremes” in approaches of purists to the purity of the language are stressed. In modern Czech linguistics, purism is defined as the combination of approaches which govern the codification and culture of the literary language according to the ideal model of the “pure” language by means of removing the foreign elements which contradict this model. The purification of the language aims to prevent the gradual destruction of its system by the dominant language (Jelínek Purismus 364; Jelínek, Krčmová 15211522).

3. Purism as an object of interest of Ukrainian linguistics: the state of the study

The investigation of the understanding of the process of purism in two Slavic languages (Ukrainian and Czech) is not casual. Ukrainian linguistics has never paid attention to purism and its role in the literary language development. Advanced studies in this field are few in number; and the approach to the phenomenon of purism is extremely controversial (Dzis; Kravchenko, Kotlakova; Masenko “Ukrayins’kyy puryzm: mif chy real’nist‘; Pasemko; Selihej Puryzm v ukrayinskiy movi”, “Puryzm u terminolohiyi…; Taranenko Suchasni tendenciyi do perehlyadu normatyvnykh zasad ukrayinskoyi movy i yavyshche purzymu (v mezhakh imennykh hramatychnykh katehoriy)“, “Suchasni tendenciyi do perehlyadu normatyvnykh zasad ukrayinskoyi movy i yavyshche purzymu (na zahal’noslovyans’komu tli); Gaudio et. al.). In Soviet times, the phenomenon of purism was assessed one-sided negatively. Nowadays, on a wave of the national revival, purism is perceived generally positively, since “making your own choice about whether to borrow or not depends not so much on intralinguistic factors, but rather on ideological guidelines of the society” (Selihei “Puryzm u terminolohiyi…” 59). So, the negative side of the process of purism is kept undiscussed. Therefore, critical thoughts about the process of purism are much less numerous (ShevelovPortrety ukrayinskych movoznavciv” 1314; Taranenko Suchasni tendenciyi do perehlyadu normatyvnykh zasad ukrayinskoyi movy i yavyshche purzymu (v mezhakh imennykh hramatychnykh katehoriy)“, “Suchasni tendenciyi do perehlyadu normatyvnykh zasad ukrayinskoyi movy i yavyshche purzymu (na zahal’noslovyans’komu tli); Kravchenko, Koltakova 8384).

In the research studies on purism, Ukrainian researchers not only (however, very casually) consistently mention Czech purism as one of the most successful in the European area (focusing mainly on its achievements), but also define it as “the example to follow” by Ukrainians (Selihei “Puryzm u terminolohiyi…” 55; Pasemko 18; Masenko “Ukrayins’kyy puryzm: mif chy real’nist” 4950 et. al.). Unfortunately, modern Ukrainian linguistics has no evidence of studies which could comprehensively present the Ukrainian reader the phenomenon of Czech purism. Due to the language situation in Ukraine, the ups and downs of Czech purism could be very instructive, as at one time it influenced all Slavic purisms.

4. Czech and Ukrainian purism: common and different features

Of course, both the Czech and the Ukrainian language have their own language history which evolved under various socio-political conditions. However, Czech and Ukrainian approaches to purism have much in common. The same psychological motivation certainly belongs to one of the common features of Czech and Ukrainian purism. The fear of the foreign domination is definitely the strongest stimulus to resist against the hybridization of languages. Due to the mutual contact of languages, one of which is dominant, the hybridization of the dominated language becomes inevitable. The essence both of Ukrainian and Czech purism has always been X-fobic (see the typology of O. Ševčík, quoted in Thomas 7576), which means that only the borrowings which were borrowed from a neighbouring language were removed from these languages. The most active stages of Czech and Ukrainian purism were connected to the threat from the neighbouring German and Russian languages. All the influences of other languages which (in the opinion of purists) did not threaten the national identity of the language were ignored. Both in Czech and Ukrainian linguocultures, the most powerful waves of purism coincided with stages of the national self-assertion. In the Czech culture, the period from the end of the 18th century through the first half of the 19th century is known as the Czech national revival. The end of the 19th century is marked by the strengthening of the national spirit due to the absence of the autonomy of the Czech lands within Austria-Hungary. The 2030-s of the 20th century are associated with the formation of the First Czechoslovak Republic (1918) and state-building. In the Ukrainian culture, these are the period of Ukrainization (the 2030-s of the 20th century)[3], and the period from gaining independence to the present (from the early 90-s of the 20th century until now). Puristic trends in the Ukrainian language have intensified much after the revolutionary events of the second Maydan, geopolitical changes, and significant deterioration in Russian-Ukrainian relations. In the defined periods, both Czech and Ukrainian purism had the X-fobic, selective, and unidirectional character. Processes of purism were focused on eliminating the impact of one particular (neighbouring) language.

Both Czech and Ukrainian puristic trends have the jump character: purism has been particularly intensive in certain periods, then it has gone on the decline or has been invalidated. Unlike Czech purism which, after the intervention of representatives of the Prague linguistic school in 1932, has not been intensified until now, Ukrainian purism was invalidated in the 3080-s of the 20th century, but has significantly increased its power in the era of state-building.

Paradoxically, on the initial stages, Czech anti-German and Ukrainian anti-Russian purisms were both of imitative nature. The impulse to purify the Czech language came from the German language. R. Jakobson defined it as the action calquée, as Czech purists not only copied the procedures of word-formation and syntactic structures which were typical for the German language[4], but also used German as the starting point in their work[5] (see Engelhardt 235244). According to G. Shevelev, Ukrainian purism was extremely timorous in its first steps. It constantly followed the example of Russian purism[6] (Shevelev Puryzm v ukrayins’kiy movi”).

Both Czech and Ukrainian purisms have the traditionalistic character. The preservation of the ancestral heritage of the language and fidelity to the tradition have been regarded as the best way to resist the denationalization pressure of foreign cultural influences. At one time, Czech purists were trying to reconstruct “the golden age” of the Czech language of the period before the Battle of White Mountain and make it the model and source of the literary language enrichment. It was also considered the model and source of the literary language enrichment by both J. Dobrovský and J. Jungmann. Ukrainian purists consider the period of Ukrainization which is also called “the shot revival” the golden age of the Ukrainian language. This kind of purism is focused on the tradition and traditional values which, however, were not clearly and systematically identified in Ukrainian linguistics in contradistinction to the Czech one[7].

Czech purism of the period of the national revival as well as Ukrainian purism of the 2030-s of the 20th century were marked by both aggressive and moderate features. These features of Czech purism will be mentioned below. Let us have a look at Ukrainian purism in more detail. Both Czech and Ukrainian purism (one of its schools) had the ethnographic character. Purists considered foreign language elements to spoil and threaten the national language, so they had to be replaced with native, common, or dialectal ones. In the Ukrainian context, this approach to the formation of the Ukrainian terminology was popularized in early writings of representatives (А. Krymskyi, Y. Tymchenko, M. Hladkyi, S. Smerechynskyi, V. Simovych, І. Ohienko and О. Kurylo) of the extreme puristic and ethnographic school (Kyiv). The moderate views were shared by О. Syniavskyi, М. Sulyma, M.Nakonechnyi, O. Kurylo in their later writings (the Kharkiv school). “Moderate” purists considered borrowings, in particular the terms of the Latin and Greek origin, the natural phenomenon of the development of the scientific style, while extreme purists offered to replace them with words of the Ukrainian origin. The word конус ‘cone’ was offered to be replaced by the word стіжок, the word екватор ‘equator’– by the word рівник, the word маятник ‘pendulum’– by the word хитун, the word фільтр ‘filter’ – by the word цідило, etc. In the historical context, this process reflected the desire to establish the identity of the national language. The process of Ukrainian purism, therefore, was placed on the axis Regionalization – Internationalization (Europeanization) and concerned mainly the scientific language (Moyseienko; Serbenska Vzayemyny ukrayins’koji ta pol’sk’oyi mov…“), while the process of Czech purism had a much wider range of the influence, spreading not only on the scientific language, but also on various standards of the literary norm.

The chronological depth of Czech and Ukrainian purisms was different. The beginnings of Czech purism date back to the end of the 14th – the beginning of the 15th century and are connected to the name of John Huss. Ukrainian purism originates (there is no special research on the first stage of Ukrainian purism, but it is often mentioned in writings) from the work of Ukrainian-Belarusian codifiers of the norms of the Church Slavonic language who were authors of grammars of the second half of the 16th –  the beginning of the 17th century. They tried hard to purify the literary language from common speech elements, since they deprived literary texts of the ancientness which manifested the constancy of the language and culture (Isaievych; Dzis 8). On the initial stages of purism, the Czech literary language of the period of J. Hus and baroque was influenced by Latin, while the Ukrainian was threatened by the effect of common speech elements on the Church Slavonic language.

The duration of the active cultivation of purism was also different. The history of Czech purism consists of 914 stages, the most active and successful of which were the period of the Czech national revival (the end of the 18th– the beginning of the 19th century), the end of the 19th century, and the 20-30-s of the 20th century. The first active stage of Ukrainian purism occurred in the period of Ukrainization. The period of thaw (the early 1950-s – the early 1960-s of the 20th century), though being singled out in many writings, cannot be considered even a trend. The second stage of Ukrainian purism is the contemporary one.

When viewed in the historical context, both Czech and Ukrainian purisms were orientated on the ideal sample. In the context of the revival of Slavic foundations of the Czech language (the idea of Pan-Slavism was of great importance) which was the result of almost two hundred years of germanization, Czech linguists (J. Jungmann) used to believe that the best samples were Russian and Polish, but the Polish sample turned out to be stronger[8]. In the period of Ukrainization, the idea of the national consciousness was of great importance for Ukrainians. The formation of unified standards of the Ukrainian language took place in circumstances of competing samples (the Russian (the East-Ukrainian version of the language) and the Polish one (the West-Ukrainian (Galician) version of the language). Later on, Ukrainian purism was formed under the massive influence of the Russian sample. Nowadays, in the context of the nationalization of the Ukrainian language, purists prefer to use the Polish sample (instead of the Russian one)[9].

The role of the authority (a scientist or a team of scientists whose thought was of unconditional importance) was vital both in the development and the subsequent destiny of Czech purism. Authoritative linguists interfered in the course of the purification of the Czech language from germanisms only when the activity of purists had reached a critical point. Though lived in different times, they were J. Dobrovský, J. Jungmann, J. Gebauer, and some of members of the Prague Linguistic Circle – V. Mathesius, R. Jakobson, B. Havránek. Though influenced by purism to some extent, J. Zubatý and V. Ertl also tried to preclude unnecessary puristic interventions in the language of the 20-s of the 20th century. There were no authoritative linguistics like this in Ukrainian linguistics.

The specific language situation is another significant and crucial difference between Czech and Ukrainian purisms. Czech purism of the 19th20th century developed in terms of the autonomy (Czech lands within Austria-Hungary and the Czechoslovak Republic) and the Czech-German non-familiar bilingualism which eventually completely disappeared. From the beginning of the 20th century to the present, the language situation in Ukraine has remained radically different (Shevelev “Ukrayinska mova v pershiy polovyni dvadcyatoho stolitta”; Moser “Prychynky do istoriyi ukrayins’koyi movy“, “New Contributions to the History of the Ukrainian Language“; Masenko “Mova i suspil’stvo: postkolonial’nyy vymir”, “Ukrayins’kyy puryzm: mif chy real’nist“; Mychaltsuk).[10] It has preserved the distinctly more bilingual and bicultural character. From the beginning of the 20th century to the present, Ukraine has never been neither the culturally nor the linguistically unified country. In the 2030-s (the first active stage of Ukrainian purism of the period of Ukrainization), the language situation in Soviet Ukraine was marked by the competition of Russian and Ukrainian languages as well as harmonization of various literary and linguistic practices (the so-called West-Ukrainian (Dniester Ukrainian) and East-Ukrainian (Dnieper Ukrainian) practice). In the context of the current political and military confrontation, the situation has turned into the acute verbal conflict (Yavorska). Sociologists consider the part of Ukrainian citizens people with the split national and linguistic identity (Masenko “Mova i suspilstvo: postkolonialnyy vymir”; Kalashnyk). The communicative power of Russian and Ukrainian languages remains non-equilibrium in the Eastern and Western areas of Ukraine[11]. Both in conditions of relative “stateness” of the period of Ukrainization and in conditions of stateness, the influence of the Russian language on the Ukrainian has been the main stimulus for purism.

The attitude of the collective of speakers to the process of the nationalization and purification of their language from various dangerous elements (the Czechization of the Czech and the Ukrainization of the Ukrainian language) is also different. The attitude of the Czech society towards the process of norming the Czech language according to the Czech samples was definitely positive (the process of purism of the 19th century was defined by scientists as prestigious). In the 2030-s, the situation in the Ukrainian society was determined much by influences of the Eastern and Western traditions. In the modern society, it still seems to be far from a positive one (see Bezkorovayna).

Periodicals played an important role in shaping the process of Czech purism. The opinions of both moderate and aggressive purists (F. Bílý, J. Vlček, J. Zubatý, V. Ertl, J. Haller) for a long time (20-30-s of the 20th century) appeared on the pages of the journal Naše řeč, which was founded in 1916. After the collapse of Ukrainization, Ukrainian periodicals which consistently carried puristic opinions attained the status of exile. The popular science monthly journal "Рідна мова", the chief editor of which was I. Ohienko, was published in Warsaw in 1933-1939. It was sharply criticized by the authors of "Linguistics" (Kiev). Among its authors were H. Ilnytskyi, І. Svencickyi, І. Кovalyk, D. Badrivskyi, B. Kobylanskyi. The journal “Слово на сторожі”, edited by Y. Rudnytskyi, has been published in Canada (Winnipeg) since 1964. Cut off from their immediate readers, the named Ukrainian-language periodicals have not affected the deepening of puristic trends on the territory of Soviet Ukraine.

Last, but the most important issue is the precise delimitation of the native elements of the language and the foreign language impacts. After purists had tried to remove all the real and imaginary germanisms from the Czech language, Czech linguists made several more or less successful attempts to collect and systematize the list of the language means which, in their opinion, were alien to the Czech language (kazimluvy ‘faulty expressions’): Brus jazyka českého (1894), Rukověť správné češtiny (F. Bartoš, 1891), Rukověť mateřského jazyka (J. Haller, 1940)[12].

However, the complex of these practical materials has never been known to a wide public. M. Jelínek, who was the most reputable specialist in Czech purism, worked on the systematization of words, idioms, and syntax constructions, on removing of which purists insisted. He promised to shortly release these materials in the lexicographical format. According to purists, the glossary of foreign language units will promote the deeper comprehension of the phenomenon of purism within the historical development of the Czech literary language. In contemporary Ukrainian linguistics, the critical, well-reasoned, and multilevel classification of the foreign language elements has not been done yet (see Dzis; Horodenska; Serbenska “Ekolohiya ukrayins’koho slova“; Karavanskyi; Selihej Puryzm v ukrayinskiy movi, Puryzm u terminolohiyi…“).

The phenomenon of Czech purism which greatly influenced the development of puristic processes in other Slavic languages is qualified by researchers as generally successful. However, the history of Czech purism is connected both to the positive and the negative influences of it on the purification of the language from germanisms. On the edge of millennia, this multidimensional vision of the purism development can become instructive for the societies which choose purism as a way to rescue their languages.

5. The history of Czech purism: achievements and miscalculations

5.1. The general periodization

The history of Czech purism consists of 9 stages, not counting several attempts to “liven up” the process of purism which were not notably successful (Weingart). M. Jelínek has sensibly offered to divide the last stage of Czech purism (see M. Weingart) which is connected to the activity of the journal “Naše řeč” into two separate periods (JelínekPurismus). In the context of our research, three stages of Czech purism are of substantial importance. They are the period of the Czech national revival (the end of the 18th – the first half of the 19th century), the end of the 19th century, and the 2030-s of the 20th century (the works of J. Zubatý, V. Ertl, and the works of J. Haller (see Naše řeč)).

5.2. The period of the Czech national revival

The defeat of the Bohemian revolt against the Habsburgs at the White Mountain (1620) and the subsequent Thirty Years’ War resulted not only in the relative loss of the Czech state independence, but also in the domination of the policy of germanization of the social life and removal the Czech language out. Only at the end of the 18th century, the situation with the Czech language has started to radically change. This period lasted until the first half of the 19th century and got the name of the Czech national revival. The Czech language and culture became the core of the revival. The main task of this process was to rise the Czech literary language up to the proper European level, to make it the language of well-educated people, and to stimulate the growth of the national self-consciousness. The senior generation of Czech revival activists who were oriented on the stabilization of the grammatical system of the language was headed by J. Dobrovský. The younger generation who worked both on expanding the functions of the Czech language and forming the poetic and scientific language was headed by J. Jungmann. The absence of means for the expression of new concepts resulted in powerful processes of neologization. For reasons of saving the Slavic background of the Czech language, borrowings from the other Slavic languages (Polish, Serbian/Croatian, Russian) were taken. These borrowings were not considered “alien” (záměr ‘intention’, výraz ‘expression’, povšechný ‘general’ (from Polish), průmysl ‘industry’, záliv ‘gulf’, slovesnost ‘literature’, obrazný ‘figurative’ (from Russian)). At that time, both common Czech words zeměpis ‘geography’, cestopis ‘travelogue’, tvarosloví ‘morphology’, vzduch ‘air’ and words which are uncommon to modern native speakers (dušesloví ‘psychology’) were formed.

Processes of distancing from German influences took place without the reliable scientific substantiation. A large number of neologisms were formed both on the basis of native language samples and as unsystematic calques which were incomprehensible to a Czech native speaker (slovotění – etymology, nosočistoplena – handkerchief, břinkoklapka – grand piano, klapkobřinkostroj, prstobřinkoklap, libozněna – piano, skokotnosta – dance teacher, knihovtipnik – student, věživice – pyramid, citoň – nose, vyzřela – glasses, zelenochrupka – salad, etc.). The process of calque was not considered the disruption of the language purity. Conversely, it was understood as the confirmation of expressive possibilities of the language (despite the fact that the process of compounding is the German word-formative model, and is not productive in Slavic languages). However, numerous neologisms and borrowings (which were adapted to the Czech language), in particular those noted in later writings and dictionaries[13] of the professor of zoology and mineralogy J. S. Presl are known today (tuleň ‘seal’, mrož ‘walrus’, bobr ‘beaver’, daněk ‘fallow deer’, kolibřík hummingbird, lenochod ‘sloth’, plameňák ‘flamingo’, hliník ‘aluminium’, draslík ‘potassium’, pupen ‘sprout’), even though some of them did not fix terminologically (barvík, solík, chaluzík, řeponoska, plavnoruk).

The uncontrollable process of neologization was stopped by J. Dobrovský who gave the detailed description of Czech word-formation types and analyzed the so-called “dilettantish” neologization (Dobrovský Die Bildsamkeit der slawischen Sprache…) which had the powerful puristic motivation in the period of the Czech national revival (fighting against germanisms was considered the confirmation of the self-sufficiency of the Czech language). At the same time, the trend to replace Greek-Latin international terms by Czech ones was observed. It was the returning to puristic ideas of the Baroque period, but the old mistakes were not remade due to the huge authority of Dobrovský. Dobrovský was not the proponent of the mandatory replacement of international terms by the native. In 1779, he wrote: “Let us be cautious about looking for new words. There is nothing worse for the language than inventing” (Dobrovský „Böhmische Litteratur auf das Jahr“). Dobrovský insisted that words which were previously accepted by the entire nation should not be deprived of the “citizenship” and replaced by artificial ones (DobrovskýLitterarisches Magazin von Böhmen und Märhen“). However, Dobrovský did not approve the words událost ‘event’ and určiti ‘determine’ which were later accepted by the language.

At the end of the 19th century, the spread of puristic practices began to hamper the penetration of the Czech language to the scientific communication. The well-established international terms which were removed by purists were returned to the Czech language (milomudrctví, libomudrctví – filosofie, rozumnický – logický, dovtípilka metonymie). At his times, J. Jungmann understood the unviability of those Czech substitutes. The words like milomudrctví, libomudrctví, or rozumnický were not registered in his Czech-German dictionary (Jungmann Slovník česko-německý). At the end of the 19th century, the fight was confined to everything being German, even though a number of those were already established in the Czech literary language. It was the fight against compounds (as they were German samples (e.g. bleskurychlý (Germ. blitzschenell) → rychlý jazko blesk), word-formative types (the creation of nouns with prefixes proti-, bez-), numerous syntactic germanisms (voněti po čem (germ. nach etwas riechen) voněti čím), and German borrowings. Language constructions that had signs of the German mediation in borrowing from Medieval Latin were offered to be replaced: držeti slovo (Germ. Wort halten, Lat. promissum tenere – tenir parole) → dostáti slovu, v slově státi). In fact, many words and expressions which, according to purists, had to be removed from the Czech language belonged to the European cultural and linguistic heritage (stůj co stůj → za žádnou cenu ‘on no account’; slovo, jméno, pojmenování → výraz ‘expression’; spoléhat si na koho → počítati s kým ‘to rely on somebody’). The abstract names like žebrání ‘beggary’, lámání ‘breaking’, onemocnění ‘disease’ were not that much accepted.

The biggest mistake of Czech purists of the period of the national revival was the lack of agreed-upon and precise rules which could identify language tools as being right or wrong. Many of their proposals were dilettantish and unviable. Although there was much of excessive amateur purism, it was moderate purism, which helped much to fill a huge number of white spots in expressive capabilities of the Czech language. Overall, Czech purism of the 19th century not only became institutional, but was also rated prestigious.

5.3. The end of the 19th – the beginning of the 20th century

At the end of the 19th – the beginning of the 20th century normative principles which were established during the period of the national revival were not observed any more. The older norm of the literary language and its historical contituity became the measure of correctness. Germanisms were replaced by archaic Old Czech, dialectal, other Slavic words, or words which were artificially created. However, aggressive anti-German puristic interventions in the Czech language were hampered by the authority of J. Gebauer. He was able to prove that a significant number of language means which were considered germanisms were used before the Baroque period, and the proposals to replace them often contradicted to the Czech etymology. By promoting the historical principle, he drew attention to the rootedness of a number of language means and proved that they were the result of the natural language development. He was also opposed to including “moravisms”[14] in the literary language. But, at the same time, J. Gebauer treated purists indulgently, since they acted for the sake of the high purpose and tried to improve the expressive potential of the language. However, in many cases, they went too far and suggested the substitutes which violated the correct and stabilized language form, and thus the unity of the literary language (Listy filologické 217).

The process of purism of the end of the 19th century was more an aggressive than a moderate action. All the real and imaginary germanisms were removed (Matice česká). German purism with its fight against Gallicisms became the model for puristic interventions. In contrary to ideas of the Czech national revival, purists saw the threat to the identity of the Czech language in Slavic borrowings, primarily in Polish and Russian ones (Jelínek Purismus 547). With the weakening of the Czech-German bilingualism, at the end of the 19th century, the process of purism began to decline. J. Zubatý and V. Ertl considered this process dilettantish. They believed that it brought more harm than good, and weakened the language norm to the critical point. Purists of that time were too suspicious, and saw German influences everywhere. By declaring some words, phrases, and syntactic constructions to be “unnecessary”, they assisted to the impoverishment of the Czech language. For example, the expressions jeden druhého (podporuje) ‘to support each other’, jeden druhému (slibuje) ‘to promise each other’ have no relation to German, but they were offered to be replaced with druh druha – the archaism which disappeared from the language in the 15th century. J. Zubatý proved that they were not germanisms, but units of the common Indo-European heritage. Expressions of that type were present in the Czech language from the 14th century. The modal verb musiti ‘must’ was also considered germanism, and was offered to be replaced with jest mi + infinitive. J. Zubatý insisted that constructions of that type make sentences archaic. At one time, purists insisted on removing the word jeden ‘one’ from the expression jeden z nejbohatších lidí ‘one of the richest people’, which was a nonsense, as it was the native Czech language element. V. Ertl believed purists of the end of the 19th century to act without regard to the historical development of the Czech language.

5.4. The 2030-s of the 20th century. The journal Naše řeč

The establishment of the journal Naše řeč (1916), the purpose of which was to care about the language culture, did not cause the new wave of purism. The new wave of purism rose after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918. Therefore, the language received new opportunities for its development and functioning. The powerful desire to break free from the Austrian way of life and culture (the so-called odrakoušení de-Austrianization’) was characteristic for this period. This patriotic process was supported by the journal Naše řeč. However, the process of purism was kept within reasonable limits thanks to its editors J. Zubatý and V. Ertl, though they were not deprived of puristic viewpoints. The further period which was connected to the puristic work of J. Haller was significantly different. So, the offer of M. Jelínek to split the period of the 2030-s of the 20th century into two separate stages of purism was completely justified.

5.4.1. The activity of J. Zubatý and V. Ertl

J. Zubatý and V. Ertl belonged to the historical school. They continued to follow the tradition established by J. Gebauer and made attempts to regulate the language due to the criteria of the historical consistency and continuity. J. Zubatý and V. Ertl performed against borrowings which both violated the language system (according to the ordinary understanding of “the spirit of the language” of that time) and did not adapt to the language system completely. They preferred language tools, the historical consistency of which was confirmed. They were also opposed to the artificial “revival” of archaisms, terms, and neologisms which were not based on the norms of the literary language. Both scientists were trying to save the Czech language from the process of the excessive borrowing. They believed that “a foreign word is a foreign body in the language organism”. They insisted that the occurrence of new borrowings should be motivated, and existing borrowings should be analyzed according to the rules of their adaptation to the language and customization to the needs of native speakers. “You cannot remove the tree from the rock which it grew into. That is how you sometimes cannot remove the borrowing which became an integral part of the language and acquired the status of native in the souls of native speakers” (Naše řeč 1922: 2). V. Ertl compared some ideas of purists to the hypochondriac disorder (a state in which a person continuously worries about their health without having any reason to do so). He tried to define the term “germanisms”, to outline the limits of the concept, and to clearly identify their features (1928). He insisted that only those germanisms which were contrary to the spirit of the language should be removed. He especially emphasized the lack of the coherence in approaches of purists to the ways of the purification of the language. He insisted that all the germanisms could not be measured by the same yardstick, and they could not be assumed to be an enemy without taking into account the nature and results of language contacts.

On the one hand, J. Zubatý and V. Ertl questioned the activity of purists, on the other, they approved many puristic restrictions and recommendations, and added to them a number of new (see their negative viewpoint on the expressions obhospodaření ‘management’, bezdůvodný ‘groundless’, bezvýsledný ‘fruitless’, stávající (zákony) ‘valid (laws)’, přijíti na řadu ‘it is turn for’, nejvyšší čas ‘it is high time’, doručit ‘deliver’). However, J. Zubatý was opposed to publishing papers of an aggressively puristic nature. He paid the special attention to the reasonable “rehabilitation” of those language tools which were removed by purists due to the suspection of “the German spirit” (the pronoun ten ‘this’, the cardinal number jeden ‘one’, the modal verb muset ‘must’). The idea of the functional theory of the language and culture which was developed by the Prague linguistic circle (PLC) from 1926 was traced both in the works of V. Ertl and J. Zubatý.

5.4.2. The puristic activity of J. Haller

Members of the PLC considered the chief editor of the journal Naše řeč J. Haller (beginning the year 1931) the prototype of the purist. However, J. Galler not only did not take into consideration the reasonable achievements of J. Zubatý and V. Ertl, but, on the contrary, developed the weaknesses of their theory. In the name of the fight for the language purification, he proposed to remove a lot of language means which were “suspected” of being German. He certainly considered the origin of the word the criterion of the purity of the language. Purists led by J. Haller often referred to activities of aggressive purists of the end of the 19th century. They constantly added new prohibitions and lists of words which were enemy to the Czech language and culture. In terms of the ethnographic purism, the common speech became the benchmark of the language purity. The new wave of fighting against germanisms and borrowings broke out in Haller’s times. Purists believed that the language was infested with germanisms. They did not want to admit that, in some cases, German borrowings enriched the Czech language. J. Haller considered the journal Naše řeč “the language police”. He believed that the puristic intervention in the language was justified and directive.

The categorical assessment of the Haller’s work as an excessively radical by members of the PLC and R. Jakobson was unchangeable for a long time. At the beginning of the 21st century, J. Chromý (Chromý) tried to justify the Haller’s puristic activity by indicating a number of clever thoughts which were not noticed by members of the Prague Linguistic Circle. Haller’s thoughts on the aesthetic perception of the word were of definite value. According to J. Haller, the semantic accuracy of language units and the level of necessity of their usage provide the background for understanding the purity of the language. J. Haller approved both germanisms and compounds in case the Czech language had no exact match (míti čas ‘to have time’, míti smůlu ‘to have bad luck’). He included “the language instinct” (the ability of native speakers to assess the language accuracy) among the criteria of the language purity and correctness. In his fight for the purity of the language, he tried to combine his own vision of purism with the functional linguistic approach.

5.4.3. Czech purism and the Prague linguistic circle

At the beginning of 1932, the Prague linguistic circle (PLC) (R. Jakobson, V. Mathesius, B. Havránek, J. Mukařovský) organized the course of lectures, in which they critically assessed the excessively linear and mechanical puristic viewpoint. Their assessment was based on the new theory of the literary language and language culture which was based on the theoretical consideration of the use of language means, deep knowledge of the material and subtle sense of the language.

With the arrival of the structuralism and functionalism approaches and the synchronous dynamic approach to the language development (taking into account the immanent language development), purism was rejected. Members of the PLC insisted that we could not interfere in the language development without considering the internal balance of the language system. This explains the fact that some foreign influences become deeply rooted in the language we use, and the other do not become established. Puristic approaches have an external character and involve the interference in the internal laws of the language development. They break the relative balance of the language system and structure. Criteria of the linguistic correctness cannot be established without taking into account the current linguistic situation and comprehensive study of current norms of the literary language. It is not necessary to remove the rooted (stabilized) language phenomena. However, the special attention should be paid to “livening up” the old (obsolete) language means. This involves a thorough, comprehensive, and impartial study of each individual language phenomena in all its interrelationships and interactions. Germanisms should be viewed from the functional perspective, and efforts of linguists should be aimed to replace the one-sided historicism with the synchronous approach to the study of linguistic phenomena and systematic look at the language. Members of the PLC considered the excessive preference of the regularity another typical feature of purism.

V. Mathesius emphasized the principle of the flexible stability of the language, due to which the language “is always open for changes”. However, it is important to take into account the synchronous character of the literary language. It has to meet the requirement of being a tool which ensures the communication need of its users. And if this is so, then why should “the already stabilized” expressions of the German origin be removed? They enrich the language, extend expressive possibilities of synonymic series, and open the path to the diversity of expressive tints of the meaning. Moreover, in many cases, they are not germanisms, but europeisms or words of the common Indo-European origin (Mathesius).

B. Havránek emphasized that purists did not pay enough attention to the diversity of communicative functions: “variants which are available in the language could potentially perform different communicative functions, and they are worth leaving them the right to be alive. We should not “judge” language tools without considering their functionality, as a significant number of germanisms and words “suspected” of the German origin came from Latin. B. Havránek has asked the question which is relevant until today: to what extent has the linguist a right to interfere in the norms of the literary language? He believed that possibilities here were limited: the linguist might only change the nomenclature of terminology systems (the term is always an artificial formation), define the stylistic differentiation of language tools, and improve the culture of their use by critically analyzing the specific language implementations. In regard to the terminology, he recommended to give the preference to literary expressions, to consider the less familiar word-formation models, and not to be afraid to borrow the most successful and stabilized international expressions from other languages. “The main thing here is to coordinate the semantic characteristics of terms in different languages” (Havránek).

R. Jakobson was the most passionate critic of purism (1932). He was strongly opposed to the fight against germanisms. He wrote: “historical linguistics emphasizes that all the cultural languages were subjected to the process of hybridization, each cultural language was formed in the close connection with other languages which were sources of its verbal and expressive enrichment” (Jakobson 92). The German language not only had the positive influence on the development of Czech, but also enriched it with europeisms. That was how the European community and European way of thinking appeared. According to R. Jakobson, the purists’ approach to the language purification was often unreasonable, mechanical, and mindless. The offered substitutes did not always express the needed semantic and emotional meanings. They did not always have the appropriate functional and stylistic features as well. The Czech language lost much because of the process of purism. Methods used by purists were often unacceptable and made the language poorer. Their “confiscation activities” completely destabilized the literary norm. In his discussion with purists, R. Jakobson gave the valuable opinion about the attitude of the collective of speakers to their language as its essential component (1932).

The PLC established the fundamental principles of the language culture which related directly to purism. 1. The criterion of the purity of the language is not the result of previous periods of its development. The language culture is synchronous, and it is not the subject of historical linguistics. 2. The concept of the purity of the language is too vague, and it cannot serve as the criterion. This puristic criterion should be replaced with the criterion of the systematic linguistic interdependence. The assessment of language types and elements requires the structural criterion which is based on mutual relations of the phenomena with other elements of the language system. 3. The care about the purity of the language has to consider different communicative functions of the language. In the assessment of the correctness, one cannot rely on one functional style only. The functional criterion has to be systematically applied.

Here, the attitude to purism was formulated clearly and unambiguously. When “got caught” in the new language and linguistic coordinate system, purism transformed from the stimulus of the language development to its brake. However, the general assessment of Czech purism cannot be unambiguous. It went through a difficult path of the ups and downs, failures and attempts, achievements and miscalculations. It was both powerful and powerless. However, in general, one cannot deny its leading role in the revival of the Czech language. Numerous language expressions which, at one time, were suggested to replace the removed ones as well as numerous words and phrases which were prohibited have become an integral part of the contemporary Czech language. Taking into account the poor state of the Czech literary language of the end of the 18th century, one can only imagine how “sweaty and bloody” the renaissance of the Czech language was. The phenomenon of the Czech purism guides us to the question: how negative or how positive the influence of the German language on the Czech was. Can it be assessed unambiguously? Obviously not. At one time, the liberation of the Czech language from the powerful influence of German was greatly justified, but it was German purism, which became the strong stimulus for the Czech one. Thanks to German samples, the Czech language could make up for the time lost in the period of Baroque[15], which brought out its expressive possibilities at the European level. The German language and language tradition have never been an absolute “enemy” to the Czech. The neutralization of aggressive manifestations of the Czech purism took place within the heated (but moderated) discussions involving the most reputable linguists. In their course, the objective, unbiased, and responsible attitude of scholars to their language was formed.

5.4.4. Contemporary Czech linguists. Assessment of purism from the contemporary point of view

According to contemporary linguists who are trying to understand the phenomenon of the Czech purism, the end of the discussion of 1932 can be understood as the confrontation between the faded romanticism and new rationalist approach of the time. However, F. Daneš considers the approach of the PLC to understanding the Czech purism excessively rationalist. He believes that they did not pay enough attention to the sensible thoughts of purists of the time, in particular those concerning the attitude of native speakers to their language. In his opinion, both the attitude of native speakers to their language and their attitude to the foreign language and culture are substantial constituents of the language. Purism is stronger in less-numerous linguistic groups which are influenced by the strong “neighbour”. When the confrontation between them occurs, the question of the linguistic interaction becomes of significant importance. The small nation usually seeks balance. On the one hand, it looks for the strong ally, on the other, it tries hard to protect the language from the influence of the ally’s one. This becomes a rich soil for the seed of the puristic attitude to the language (Daneš 318).

Summing up the history of Czech purism, the authors of the latest paper "Purism" published in the "New encyclopedic dictionary of the Czech language" M. Jelínek and M. Krčmová (Jelínek, Krčmová 15211524) highlight both the protective functions of purism in the history of the Czech literary language and its apologetics. Czech purism was highly intended to stop the destruction of the system of the Czech literary language by languages that, in different periods, acquired the status of dominant. However, good intentions often brought more harm than good. Although, we should admit that a number of units proposed by purists not only became deeply rooted in the literary language, but also “live” in it until today. Thanks to the use of German samples, purists raised the prestige of the literary language and proved that the expressive possibilities of the Czech literary language are not inferior in comparison to the expressive possibilities of other languages (Jelínek Germanismy v novodobé spisovné češtině). The activity of purists should be analyzed comprehensively, critically and impartially (Kraus; Stich; Jelínek Purismus), without labelling. Among purists were both philologists with relatively good knowledge of the language system and obvious dilettantes as well as the puristic substitutes were either successful or unviable. In general, modern linguistics assesses purism as the unproductive principle of the language culture (Сhylová).

From the perspective of linguistic theory and its application (practice), we can assume that puristic practices are a thing of the past – say M. Jelínek and M. Krčmová (Jelínek, Krčmová 1522). However, debunking of purism on the theoretical level does not mean that its ideas are forgotten. They proved to be very viable, the traces of purism are still traced nowadays (comp. the reproduction of foreign terms in the modern Czech terminology (window – okno; computer – počítač; display, monitor – obrazovka, etc.). The evidence of this are the puristic trends in the Czech school practice of the end of the 20th century (Сhylová), a common critical attitude of modern speakers to borrowings that was found out by J. Svobodová and I. Adámková (Svobodová Adámková) as well as the constant debate on these issues in modern Czech media (Veselý). With the spread of globalization processes and tectonic shifts on the map of Europe, many nations have currently started feeling the menace hanging over their languages. Therefore, the deep and dispassionate analysis of Czech purism as well as of its failures and achievements can become extremely beneficial. Nowadays, Ukrainian linguists state that "it became evident that the legacy of [Ukrainian] purists, which was rejected in the 1930s, can significantly affect the normalization processes in the modern literary language" (Skopenko). However, it would be very useful to analyze these processes in projection on the trends and the nature of miscalculations of Czech purism, which should be deeply and fully comprehended and taken into consideration.

[1] Preparation and edition of the publication were made with the financial support provided by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Physical Education of the Czech Republic in the year 2016. The publication was supported within the framework of the Institutional Development Plan of the Philosophy Faculty of Palacky University in Olomouc.

[2] The autor gratefuls to Tetiana Arkhangelska, PhD for proof-reading this article. The autor would also like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their suggestions, comments and critical remark.

[3] Ukrainization was the party’s policy within the USSR which was aimed at the political promoting and implementing elements of the Ukrainian language and Ukrainian culture in different spheres of the social life. The Russian language was replaced by the Ukrainian language in administration, education, and culture. However, the process of Ukrainization lasted for too short time. It didn’t manage to gain the scale or reach its logical conclusion. It was not able to cover the entire territory of Ukraine or form the socially and culturally integrated, consolidated nation. In the early 30-s, the process of Ukrainization was collapsed, its leaders were repressed.

[4] Comp. examples of calquing podhotoviti se, Germ. sich unterferfigen, (ferting – hotový, unter – pod), slovozpyt, Germ. wortforschung, etc. Czech purists copied the German purists’ approach (the original words anonym/anonymní (coming from the Greek word an+onyma) were replaced by the words namenlos, ungenannt in German and by the word bezejmenný in the Czech language; Export/export (from the Latin word exportare) – Germ. ausfuhr, Czech vývoz; similarly, Parallel/paralelní – Germ. gleichlaufend, Czech rovnoběžný; Semester/semestr – Germ. halbjahr, Czech pololetí, polouletí).

[5] For example, the word-formative model with the suffix -los (-without) was considered German and it was replaced by the model with the suffix -ne (Germ. fraglos – nesporný, lateinlos – nelatinský), etc.

[6] Comp. Russ. ассимиляция – уподобление, Ukr. асиміляція, привподоба; Russ. парашютистUkr. парашутист, плахтостриб, also Ukr. normative наладчик, перебіжчик with the suffix of the Russian origin -чик, etc.

[7] The differences in understanding of purism and processes of nationalization (ethnicization) of the Ukrainian language (see Ohnheiser) resulted in forming the integrated slogan “purification of the language from Russian borrowings”, including surzhyk (Dzis; Horodenska; Serbenska “Ekolohiya ukrayins’koho slova“; Karavanskyi; Ponomariv; Gaudio).

[8] Among 222 terms which were borrowed from the other Slavic languages and introduced to the dictionary of Jungmann (Jungmann 1834-1839), 75% (167 units, e.g., názva, úvaha, výraz) were the terms of the Polish origin and 24% (53 units) were the terms of the Russian one (dějství, Russ. действие, dvousložný, Russ. двусложный, opyt, Russ. опыт) (Liličová; Orłośová).

[9] For example, the word наклад instead of тираж (the word тиражувати remained unchanged), число instead of номер (нумерувати, нумерація – without changes), речник instead of прес-секретар (with a wider meaning in Polish), потяг instead of поїзд, etc.

[10] According to the results of the sociological questioning of residents of Kyiv (2000), 53% of respondents always communicate in Russian, moreover, 30% of them, the absolute majority of whom come from outside of Ukraine, are the principal opponents of Ukrainization. The rest of respondents (50-55%), though they freely communicate in Russian, have a favourable attitude towards the revival of the Ukrainian language and strengthening the Ukrainian stateness. At the same time, 62.2% of residents of Kyiv consider Ukrainian their native language (Masenko “Mova i suspilstvo: postkolonialnyy vymir”, “Ukrayins’kyy puryzm: mif chy real’nist“). The updated data come from the survey conducted in 2015 by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation in all regions of Ukraine: in the western regions (Galicia), 93% of respondents communicate with their families in Ukrainian, 7% of respondents communicate in Ukrainian and Russian, 0% of respondents communicate entirely in Russian. In the Donbass region, 0.3% of respondents communicate entirely in Ukrainian, and 61% of respondents communicate entirely in Russian. In Kyiv, 18% of residents communicate with their families entirely in Ukrainian. In general, 32% of Ukrainians communicate entirely in Ukrainian (Pantsuk, Pyabtsuk 213).

[11] In the 30–80-s of the 20th century, the set of communicative functions of the Ukrainian language was considerably unequal to Russian. As the legacy of the Soviet era, the displacement of the Ukrainian language by Russian, in particular in industrial centers of the eastern, southern, and, partly, central regions of Ukraine has become one of the powerful stimuli for the dominance of the Russian language over Ukrainian. Moreover, it remains an obstacle for the implementation of the functions of the Ukrainian language as the state one until today (see Zahnitko, Kurdeyko).

[12] In spite of the fact that the year 1932 is considered the turning point in the activity of Czech purism, we should remember that the manifestations of purism were inertly traced in the language and school practice until the beginning of World War II. At the beginning of the 20th century, J. Haller collected and systematized the incorrect or “suspicious” language tools as well as tried to add them to the correct ones. He managed to publish the first part of his work (the letters A-K volume) only in 1940; the second part was not published due to the German occupation.

[13] of the second quarter of the 19th century.

[14] Regional language means typical for Moravia as a part of the territory of the Czech lands.

[15] This period was called “the deterioration” by J. Dobrovský (Dobrovský Geschichte der böhmischen Sprache und Literatur“); J. Jungmann called it “the critical period of the Czech language and literature development” (Jungmann „Historie literatury české…), however, nowadays, linguists insist on reestimating the purists‘ activity of this period (Stich 4956).


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List of Abbreviations

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PLC = Prague linguistic circle.

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