This paper focuses on variation of substantive forms used in the end of 19th century in the Slovak literary language and its nature. Some of them were present in Ľ. Štúr’s codification yet, but others penetrated into Slovak literary language later. There were diverse sources of forming variation: previous codification of Slovak literary language, West Slovak dialect, Central Slovak dialect, Czech language, etc. Such variety of homonymic forms was superfluous and it was abolished in consequence of S. Czambel’s codification.
The author presents the history of a local language. In the 1750s, in Debrecen religious books were printed for the East Slovakian kalvinists living in the North-East part of the Kingdom of Hungary. These books were written in the East Slovakian dialect of the Zemplén county but in Hungarian orthography. This language had been used until 1923. In Slovakia, however, the adherents of the uniform literary Slovakian language, upon the initiative of the Slovakian kalvinist emigrants settled in the USA, gradually forced the East Slovakian kalvinist dialect out of the ecclesiastical use and in 1955 abolished it finally.
The present article is dedicated to the study of interlingual contacts based on the facts given by the history of the Hungarian personal suffix -as. This suffix is used in modern Serbian, Croatian, Yugoslav-Ruthenian, Slovenian and Slovak literary languages and dialects. People speaking these dialects have been living for a long time in these territories that used to be a part of the Hungarian kingdom. The history of this suffix, its functioning and its present status is demonstrated on the basis of Carpathian and Ruthenian written old and new texts. The productivity of the borrowed personal suffix -?? (-??) is considered to be a result of active interlingual contacts in the Carpathian region and also of the considerable influence of Hungarian on the language and culture in the Southern Carpathian hills. There are many words in modern Carpatho-Rusyn texts which are borrowed from Hungarian, e.g.: ???????, ??????, ??????, ??????, ??????, ????????? etc. Some of them appear in word formation paradigms of the Carpatho-Rusyn motivated words, e.g.:????????, ????????????, ????????, ???????, ??????, ??????? and so on. The result of the Carpatho-Rusyn and Hungarian language contacts on word formation level testifies to a very intensive interaction. In modern Ruthenian the same tendency is to be observed: numerous lexical borrowings from Hungarian exist side by side with borrowings of units on a more abstract level. In our case the word formation suffix ?? (-??) with a personal meaning is of Hungarian origin and it is very productive in modern Carpatho-Rusyn.
The Slovak Literary Language has been formed during a few centuries in such a way, that adopted Literary Czech has lost its traditional language units under the influence of Slovak dialects. However, original phenomena, which had not existed eitthe in written texts or in the Slovak dialects, have arisen as a result of this interaction. One of them is the appearance of a mobile vowel i in the suffix of diminutives -ik in the position after a consonant c. Diminutives ending -cek obviously predominated in the writings before A. Bernolák and in the Bernolák's ones. Only after Štúr's codification and mainly since the end of 19th century these forms have begun to yield. This process, however, had different degrees of intensity in the forms with zero desinential morphemes on the one hand and with expressed ones on the other. The first forms have been replaced by forms ending -cik already in the third decade of the 20th century, therefore the second ones have continued to be in use. It actually means that contamination of two paradigms has occurred. But this process has not been finished and now the forms with a mobile vowel i are as a rule very rare and the number of words, which have them, has been essentially reduced.
This paper is devoted to the question of Slovak-Russian and Slovak-Ukrainian literary contacts. The tradition of literary translation from Slovak into these two Slavic languages dates back to the moment of codification of the Slovak literary language in the mid-19th century. Since then, it has always been under the pressure of political circumstances. In the initial phase, it was interest to the process of national revival of Slavic peoples in the mid- 19th century. The second period of high interest was during the socialist times from the 1960s to the 1980s (this period is mostly prolific for Russian translations from Slovak; on the contrary, the amount of translations into Ukrainian was scanty as Russian language was common for all Soviet nations). There was also a period of total absence of any translation activity from Slovak into Russian during the 1990s.
In between these phases, literary translations from Slovak were the fact of personal initiative. The latter is the situation of the present day both in Russia and in Ukraine. That is why when listing the titles translated for the last thirty years, it is crucial to name the most prominent translators and researchers. And this fact is also the cause why the choice of the Slovak works differs greatly, with the same amount of translated titles from Slovak into Russian and Ukrainian.
For the last two decades, about twenty Slovak works have been translated into both Russian and Ukrainian, but except for a novel Zóna nadšenia [Enthusiasm Zone] by J. Banaš, there is not a single work of modern Slovak literature translated into both languages. Many significant works of modern Slovak literature are not translated into neither Russian or Ukrainian (for example, there is not a single book edition of the works of P. Vilikovský, P. Pišťanek, D. Kapitáňová, etc.). The most active translators into Ukrainian are researchers and writers living on the territory of Slovak-Ukrainian border T. Likhtei, I. Yatskanin, and some others. In Russia, the most prominent translators from Slovak are Moscow researchers A. Mashkova, A. Peskova, L. Shirokova, and others.
The lack of active perception of Slovak literature in foreign language space leads to the inevitable occurrence of a number of translation errors and inaccuracies. This lack also brings about the problem of translation studies and comparative studies, which in Slovakia are based on the translations from Russian into Slovak.
The conclusion is made that in spite of the historical, lingual, cultural, and territorial proximity and intense literary contacts in the past, neither Russian, nor Ukrainian space is familiar with the contemporary Slovak literature today. The explanation of this fact may lie in the Slovak self-consciousness, which is much more Central European than Slavic. This observation is made on the basis of the analysis of Slovak literary works as well as previous research mentioned in the paper.