Celts and Slavs in Central and Southeastern Europe. Proceedings of the Third International Colloquium of Societas Celto-Slavica, held between 18-20 September 2008 in Dubrovnik (Croatia). Studia Celto-Slavica III

Dunja Brozović Rončević (Editor), Maxim Fomin (Editor), Ranko Matasović (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportAnthologypeer-review


The present volume contains most of the papers read at the colloquium, together with three other papers, one by Professor Václav Blažek who could not unfortunately attend and another two which take the place of the presentations given at the colloquium by Professor Tatyana Mikhailovaand Dr Anna Muradova. In all, fifteen papers are published here, reflecting the various interests of the scholars involved in Celto-Slavic research. The volume logically falls into three parts. The first part opens with an important yet provoking paper by Professor Stefan Zimmer who challenges a number of Celto-Slavic comparisons in the field of theonymy, rejecting ‘anything like a privileged Slavo-Celtic relation’.The wealth of research into Celto-Slavic carried out by contributors to the volume does not necessarily refute such criticism, but it shows that comparing Celtic and Slavic languages and cultures has merit in its own right. Professor Ranko Matasović’s paper deals with Celto-Slavic etymologies, exploring various linguistic connections existing between Proto-Celtic and Proto-Slavic groups of languages. This paper is based on the major piece of research carried out by Prof Matasović, Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic, published in 2009 by Brill, Leiden. It is followed by Professor Blažek’s contribution that provides a tentative etymological analysis of the toponyms, oronyms and hydronyms recorded in Ptolemy’s description of Central Europe. Dubravka Ivšić devotes special attention to Italo-Celtic isoglosses with a special reference to the correspondences in verb formation which, in her opinion, indicate shared retentions or incidental convergences. Ana Galjanić’s paper, offers some typological parallelsin enumerative passages in early Celtic and Greek texts, as well as in some Slavic folklore texts.The second part of the volume is mostly concerned with various linguistic features of Celtic and Slavic languages. It opens with Professor Anna Bondaruk’s paper on copular sentences in Irish and Polish, who compares their properties from the points of view of their morphology, of the contexts in which they appear, of their meaning and the syntactic position occupied by the predicative elements in the two languages. Professors Eugeniusz Cyran and Bogdan Szymanek in their joint contribution explore the functions of palatalisation in the phonology and morphology of Irish and Polish. The very presence of palatalisation in the consonantal systems of Irish and Polish and its various features (phonemic contrasts, palatal assimilation in consonantal clusters, segment replacements) make the languages similar; however, on a closer look they highly diverge. Dr Anna Bloch-Rozmej discusses the phonological function of noise in Irish and Ukranian and the property of turbulence in the two languages. Dr Maria Bloch-Trojnar studies the syntax and semantics of de-verbal nominalisationsi n Irish, English and Polish: establishing two nominalising rules(Nomina Verbalia and Nomina De-verbalia), she states that in all the three languages regularly formed nominals are subject to lexicalisation. The important and highly stimulating issue of t loanwords, language borrowings and language shift in Celtic languages is discussed by Dr Elena Parina for Modern Welsh and by Ms Olga Karkishchenko for Middle Irish of the period of the Anglo-Norman conquest. The third part contains papers devoted to parallels between Celtic and Slavic traditions existing in the fields of early narrative and folklore. Professor Dean Miller reports on the issue of colour coding and symbolic‘ loading’ of the category of colour, with special attention given to emblematic conventions existing in Irish and South Slavic narrative traditions in representing red (Hero-function) and grey (Trickster-function) colours. ProfessorTatyana Mikhailova’s paper deals with the meaning and the genesis of the comb-motif linked to the attributes of long hair and foretelling death with special reference to the folklore figures of the Irish banshee (Ir. bean sí) and the Russian rusalka (Russ. русалка). Dr Anna Muradova scrutinises the concept of the ‘wasteland’ and reconstructs the PIE root *lendh- on the basis of Breton folklore, toponymic and lexicographic evidence (e.g. lann, lanneg ‘wasteland; sacred place’) and contemporary Russian ethnographic and lexicographic material in relation to the dialectal Russianl exeme lyada (ляда) ‘terra inculta’. The notion of domesticated land is discussed by Dr Maxim Fomin in the light of the land acquisition motif which is found in Irish narratives (describing the arrival of St. Columcille on the island of Tory) and Russian folklore legends (the ‘Frog Princess’). Dr Fomin also provides special references to Indian comparanda and to the archaic mythical store of motifs to do with royal inauguration and kingship. Dr Grigory Bondarenko deals with the issue of representation of the autochthonous population in Celtic and Slavic narrative traditions and their descriptions of the Otherworld in which the binary opposition betweent he lower Otherworld and the upper world of the humans becomes a distinctive feature of early mythological narrative.The final paper of the volume is by Professor Alan Titley, who shifts the focus of the conference to Northern Europe and explores the Celtic fringe in Scotland, in particular, the modern Scottish novel and the role that the Russians play as disruptors of the Gàidhealtachd community in such novels.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherInstitut za Hrvatski Jezik i Jezikoslovlje
Number of pages324
ISBN (Print)978-953-6637-54-6
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2010


  • Celto-Slavic
  • Slavic and Celtic theonyms
  • Celto-Slavic etymologies
  • synchronic aspects of Celto-Slavic linguistics
  • Celto-Slavic parallels in folklore and narrative


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