be-tarask language subtag registration form

Yury Tarasievich yury.tarasievich at
Sun Apr 1 10:56:13 CEST 2007


Some background info to your questions. Hope this helps and not
complicates matters.

Some background info, if you don't mind. Sorry for the shoddy and
sketchy form. Romanisation used is BGN/PCGN. References may be
produced, if needed, but these will be Belarusian books.

1.Belarusian is state language, language of schooling etc. Official
grammar is what's taught at school, either in Belarusian school, or in
Belarusian language classes.
2.Belarus is positioned in the borderline between two major cultures:
Polish (strongly Western and Latin) and Russian (strongly Bysantic).
3.In Belarusian literary tradition, word "pravapis" which literally
means "orthography" (spelling), is frequently used for "grammar" in
4."Soft" is local ling. term for palatalised consonants. "Hard" is
local ling. term for velarised consonants.
5.Belarusian language has the "dark L" (velarised or hard L) phoneme.
6.Belarusian language has native phonetic feature of "Akannye" --
change of the "E/YE" unstressed to the "A/YA" when spoken.
7.Belarusian language has very native phonetic feature of
"Dzyekannye/Tsyekannye" - change of the palatalised "D,T" to the
affricates, not so dental as Russian, not so palatal as Polish. There
is no soft D and T, only soft DZ and TS instead.
8.Belarusian phonology is characterised by the generally untensioned
state of the organs of speech, as compared to Caucasian or Ukraininan.

The very major issues of divergence:
1. Issue of "soft sign". "Soft sign" written or not in "between
duplicated (soft) consonants" and after "(soft) S-Z,DZ-TS" positions.
2. Orthography in assimilated words
2.1. Treatment of "D,T,S,P+vowel" in assimilated words.
2.2. Treatment of "L+vowel" in assimilated words.
2.3. Treatment of "BETA" in Hellenisms.
3. Feature of "Akannye".
3.1. "Akannye" in separate "NYE/BYEZ" words.
3.2. "Akannye" in general.

1918: Tarashkyevich published the grammar.
1923: This grammar was verbatim and formally adopted for schools in BSSR.
1925: This official grammar was somewhat amended by Yazep Lyosik.
1925: Calls for reforming of the orthography and alphabet. Project
prepared by brothers Anton and Yazep Lyosik.
1926: The Belarusian Academic Conference (BAC-26) discussed the reform
of the orthography and alphabet, several resolutions are made.
1927-1929: The Orthographical Commission under Nyekrashevich prepared
the project of the actual reform, with some regard of the BAC-26
1929: Tarashkyevich published in Poland the "5th edition" of his
grammar, explicitly disregarding (foreword) the BAC-26 resolutions.
This edition is what was reprinted in 1991 in Belarus.
1930: The Orthographical Commission published its project.
1930: Major repressions in BSSR, reform project gets stigmatised as
1933: Reform of the grammar. Some of the project 1930 resolutions are
implemented. Some glaringly Russification features are introduced.
1941-1945: During the war, emigrants and collaborants used the
pre-1933 version of language, in print too. Big stigma on it in
popular opinion.
1951-1957: In BSSR project is prepared amending the 1933 reform
resolutions. Some (all?) specifically Russification features are
1959: Reform (amendments) implemented.
1980s: Perestroika, some Belarusian social movements begin to use the
ad hoc "Tarashkyevich-like" renditions of the normative Belarusian
language, retro-fitting issues 1, 2 and 3.1, also some other, calling
for wholesale reverting the "1933 reform".
1992-1994: State and civic discussion on the "orthography". Finally,
Joint Commission of state and civic organisations makes resolution
that while some issues in the grammar need addressing, the time is not
good, the position of the Belarusian language is dire.
1995: Vyachorka published his project of the "normalised classical
orthography" (his definition, became popular among supporters).
2005: Book published by 4 linguists, codifying the work on the project.

Grammars (orthographies):

In 1929, there were:
* one official (BSSR) grammar 1918+1925 amendments
issue 1: written, issue 2: almost "original Tarashkyevich" issue 3:
not much, issue 3.1: yes
* one official (BSSR) project 1930
differing in issue 1: not, issue 3.1: no
* one unofficial grammar 1929

In 1933, there were:
* one official (BSSR) grammar 1918+1925+1933
issue 1: not, issue 3.1: no
issue 2.1: from "uniformly hard" "D,T,S,P+vowel" to both hard and soft.
issue 2.2: from "uniformly soft" L to both hard and soft.
issue 2.3: from uniformly Latin to both Latin and Bysantic.
Some changes in morphology. Additional Russification in assimilation added.
* various unofficial grammars, stemming from Tarashkyevich.

In 1959, there were:
* one official (BSSR) grammar 1918+1925+1933+1959, also used by Polish
Belarusians in their newspaper "Niva" and other printing.
Some changes in morphology. Reverted additional Russification in assimilation.
* various unofficial grammars, used by emigrants.

In 1990, there were:
* one official (BSSR) grammar 1918+1925+1933+1959, also used by etc.
* various unofficial grammars, used by emigrants and also by civic
movements in BSSR/Belarus, sharing the loose umbrella denotation of

In 2005, there were:
* one official (BSSR, then Belarus) grammar 1918+1925+1933+1959, also
used by etc.
* orthography of group of 4 linguists:
differing in:
issue 3: more "akannye" than in 1920s grammars
also: additional letter introduced in alphabet.
* various unofficial grammars, which continue to be used, disregarding
the book of 4 linguists, all these and book of 4 linguists, too,
sharing the loose umbrella denotation of

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