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Bulgarian
български
bǎlgarski
""Bulgarska Azbuka.png
Native to "Bulgaria, "Serbia, "Albania, "Kosovo, "Republic of Macedonia, "Greece, "Turkey, "Ukraine, "Moldova, "Romania and among emigrant communities worldwide
Region "Southeastern Europe
Native speakers
9 million (2005–2012)[1][2][3][4]
"Language family
"Indo-European
Dialects
"Writing system
"Cyrillic ("Bulgarian alphabet)
"Bulgarian Braille
"Latin ("Banat Bulgarian Alphabet) ("Banat Bulgarian dialect)
Official status
Official language in
 "Bulgaria
 "European Union
Recognised minority
language in
 "Czech Republic[5]
 "Hungary["citation needed]
 "Romania["citation needed]
 "Serbia["citation needed]
 "Slovakia["citation needed]
 "Ukraine["citation needed]
"Regulated by Institute for the Bulgarian language at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Институт за български език при Българската академия на науките (БАН))
Language codes
"ISO 639-1 bg
"ISO 639-2 bul
"ISO 639-3 bul
"Glottolog bulg1262[6]
"Linguasphere 53-AAA-hb < "53-AAA-h
This article contains "IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper "rendering support, you may see "question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of "Unicode characters.

Bulgarian Listen""i"/bʌlˈɡɛəriən/, "/bʊlˈ-/ (Bulgarian: български bǎlgarski, pronounced "[ˈbɤɫɡɐrski]) is an "Indo-European language, a member of the "Southern branch of the "Slavic language family.

Bulgarian, along with the closely related "Macedonian language (collectively forming the "East South Slavic languages), has several characteristics that set it apart from all other "Slavic languages: changes include the elimination of "case declension, the development of a suffixed "definite article (see "Balkan language area), and the lack of a verb "infinitive, but it retains and has further developed the "Proto-Slavic verb system. Various "evidential verb forms exist to express unwitnessed, retold, and doubtful action.

With the "accession of Bulgaria to the European Union on 1 January 2007, Bulgarian became one of the official languages of the "European Union.[7][8]

Contents

History[edit]

Development of the Bulgarian language may be divided into several periods.

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The "Codex Zographensis is one of the oldest "manuscripts in the Old Bulgarian language dated from the late 10th or early 11th century

Bulgarian was the first "Slavic" language attested in writing. As Slavic linguistic unity lasted into late antiquity, in the oldest manuscripts this language was initially referred to as языкъ словяньскъ, "the Slavic language". In the Middle Bulgarian period this name was gradually replaced by the name языкъ блъгарьскъ, the "Bulgarian language". In some cases, the name языкъ блъгарьскъ was used not only with regard to the contemporary Middle Bulgarian language of the copyist but also to the period of Old Bulgarian. A most notable example of anachronism is the Service of "St. Cyril from Skopje (Скопски миней), a 13th-century Middle Bulgarian manuscript from northern "Macedonia according to which St. Cyril preached with "Bulgarian" books among the Moravian Slavs. The first mention of the language as the "Bulgarian language" instead of the "Slavonic language" comes in the work of the Greek clergy of the "Bulgarian Archbishopric of Ohrid in the 11th century, for example in the "Greek hagiography of "Saint Clement of Ohrid by "Theophylact of Ohrid (late 11th century).

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During the Middle Bulgarian period, the language underwent dramatic changes, losing the Slavonic case system, but preserving the rich verb system (while the development was exactly the opposite in other Slavic languages) and developing a definite article. It was influenced by its non-Slavic neighbors in the "Balkan language area (mostly grammatically) and later also by "Turkish, which was the official language of the "Ottoman Empire, in the form of the "Ottoman Turkish language, mostly lexically. As a "national revival occurred toward the end of the period of Ottoman rule (mostly during the 19th century), a modern Bulgarian literary language gradually emerged that drew heavily on "Church Slavonic/Old Bulgarian (and to some extent on literary "Russian, which had preserved many lexical items from Church Slavonic) and later reduced the number of Turkish and other Balkan loans. Today one difference between Bulgarian dialects in the country and literary spoken Bulgarian is the significant presence of Old Bulgarian words and even word forms in the latter. Russian loans are distinguished from Old Bulgarian ones on the basis of the presence of specifically Russian phonetic changes, as in оборот (turnover, rev), непонятен (incomprehensible), ядро (nucleus) and others. As usual in such cases, many other loans from French, English and the "classical languages have subsequently entered the language as well.

Modern Bulgarian was based essentially on the Eastern dialects of the language, but its pronunciation is in many respects a compromise between East and West Bulgarian (see especially the phonetic sections below). Following the efforts of some figures of the "National awakening of Bulgaria (the most notable among them being "Neofit Rilski and "Ivan Bogorov),[9] there had been many attempts to "codify a "standard Bulgarian language; however, there was much argument surrounding the choice of norms. Between 1835–1878 more than 25 proposals were put forward and "linguistic chaos" ensued.[10] Eventually the eastern dialects prevailed,[11] and in 1899 the Ministry of Education officially codified[10] a standard Bulgarian language based on the Drinov-Ivanchev orthography.[11]

Dialects[edit]

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Map of the Bulgarian dialects within Bulgaria
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Map of the big "yus (*ǫ) isoglosses in "Eastern South Slavic Pronunciation of man and tooth, derived from proto-words zǫbъ mǫžь on the map:
1. "[mɤʃ], "[zɤp] (see зъб and ząb)
2. "[maʃ], "[zap] (see заб)
3. "[muʃ], "[zup] (see зуб and zub)
4. "/mɒʃ/, "/zɒp/
5. "[mɔʃ], "[zɔp] (see zob, mąż)
6. "/mæʃ/, "/zæp/ (see mężczyzna)
7. "[mɤmʃ], "[zɤmp]
8. "[mamʃ], "[zamp]
9. "/mɒmʃ/, "/zɒmp/ (see ząb)

The language is mainly split into two broad dialect areas, based on the different reflexes of the "Common Slavic "yat vowel (Ѣ). This split, which occurred at some point during the Middle Ages, led to the development of Bulgaria's:

The literary language norm, which is generally based on the Eastern dialects, also has the Eastern alternating reflex of yat. However, it has not incorporated the general Eastern umlaut of all synchronic or even historic "ya" sounds into "e" before front vowels – e.g. поляна (polyana) vs. полени (poleni) "meadow – meadows" or even жаба (zhaba) vs. жеби (zhebi) "frog – frogs", even though it co-occurs with the yat alternation in almost all Eastern dialects that have it (except a few dialects along the yat border, e.g. in the "Pleven region).[13]

More examples of the yat umlaut in the literary language are:

Until 1945, Bulgarian orthography did not reveal this alternation and used the original "Old Slavic "Cyrillic letter yat (Ѣ), which was commonly called двойно е (dvoyno e) at the time, to express the historical yat vowel or at least root vowels displaying the ya – e alternation. The letter was used in each occurrence of such a root, regardless of the actual pronunciation of the vowel: thus, both mlyako and mlekar were spelled with (Ѣ). Among other things, this was seen as a way to "reconcile" the Western and the Eastern dialects and maintain language unity at a time when much of Bulgaria's Western dialect area was controlled by "Serbia and "Greece, but there were still hopes and occasional attempts to recover it. With the 1945 orthographic reform, this letter was abolished and the present spelling was introduced, reflecting the alternation in pronunciation.

This had implications for some grammatical constructions:

Sometimes, with the changes, words began to be spelled as other words with different meanings, e.g.:

In spite of the literary norm regarding the yat vowel, many people living in Western Bulgaria, including the capital "Sofia, will fail to observe its rules. While the norm requires the realizations vidyal vs. videli (he has seen; they have seen), some natives of Western Bulgaria will preserve their local dialect pronunciation with "e" for all instances of "yat" (e.g. videl, videli). Others, attempting to adhere to the norm, will actually use the "ya" sound even in cases where the standard language has "e" (e.g. vidyal, vidyali). The latter "hypercorrection is called свръхякане (svrah-yakane ≈"over-ya-ing").

Shift from /jɛ/ to /ɛ/

Bulgarian is the only Slavic language whose literary standard does not naturally contain the "iotated sound /jɛ/ (or its palatalized variant /ʲɛ/, except in non-Slavic foreign-loaned words). The sound is common in all modern Slavic languages (e.g. "Czech medvěd /mɛdvjɛd/ "bear", "Polish pć /pʲɛɲtɕ/ "five", "Serbo-Croatian jelen /jɛlɛn/ "deer", "Ukrainian немає /nemajɛ/ "there is not...", "Macedonian пишување /piʃuvaɲʲɛ/ "writing", etc.), as well as some Western Bulgarian dialectal forms – e.g. ора̀н’е /oraɲʲɛ/ (standard Bulgarian: оране /oranɛ/, "ploughing"),[14] however it is not represented in standard Bulgarian speech or writing. Even where /jɛ/ occurs in other Slavic words, in Standard Bulgarian it is usually transcribed and pronounced as pure /ɛ/ – e.g. "Boris Yeltsin is "Eltsin" (Борис Елцин), "Yekaterinburg is "Ekaterinburg" (Екатеринбург) and "Sarajevo is "Saraevo" (Сараево), although - because the sound is contained in a stressed syllable at the beginning of the word - "Jelena Janković is "Yelena" – Йелена Янкович.

Relationship to Macedonian[edit]

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Areas of Eastern "South Slavic languages

Until the period immediately following the "Second World War, all Bulgarian and the majority of foreign linguists referred to the "South Slavic dialect continuum spanning the area of modern Bulgaria, the "Republic of Macedonia and parts of "Northern Greece as a group of Bulgarian dialects.[15][16][17][18][19][20] In contrast, Serbian sources tended to label them "south Serbian" dialects.[21][22] Some local naming conventions included bolgarski, bugarski and so forth.[23] The codifiers of the standard Bulgarian language, however, did not wish to make any allowances for a "pluricentric "Bulgaro-Macedonian" compromise.[24] After 1944 the "People's Republic of Bulgaria and the "Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia began a policy of making Macedonia into the connecting link for the establishment of a new "Balkan Federative Republic and stimulating here a development of distinct "Slav Macedonian consciousness.[25] With the proclamation of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia as part of the Yugoslav federation, the new authorities also started measures that would overcome the pro-Bulgarian feeling among parts of its population and in 1945 a separate "Macedonian language was codified.[26] After 1958, when the pressure from Moscow decreased, Sofia reverted to the view that the Macedonian language did not exist as a separate language. Nowadays, Bulgarian and Greek linguists as well as some linguists from other countries still consider Macedonian dialects as Bulgarian.[27][28] Outside Bulgaria and Greece, Macedonian is generally considered an "autonomous language within the South Slavic dialect continuum.[29] Sociolinguists agree that the question whether Macedonian is a dialect of Bulgarian or a language is a political one and cannot be resolved on a purely linguistic basis, because dialect continua do not allow for either/or judgments.[30][31]

Alphabet[edit]

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Bulgarian cursive alphabet

In 886 AD, the "Bulgarian Empire introduced the "Glagolitic alphabet which was devised by the "Saints Cyril and Methodius in the 850s. The Glagolitic alphabet was gradually superseded in later centuries by the "Cyrillic script, developed around the "Preslav Literary School, "Bulgaria in the beginning of the 10th century.

Several Cyrillic alphabets with 28 to 44 letters were used in the beginning and the middle of the 19th century during the efforts on the codification of Modern Bulgarian until an alphabet with 32 letters, proposed by "Marin Drinov, gained prominence in the 1870s. The alphabet of Marin Drinov was used until the orthographic reform of 1945, when the letters "Ѣ, ѣ (called ят 'yat' or двойно е/е-двойно 'double e'), and "Ѫ, ѫ (called Голям юс 'big yus', голяма носовка 'big nasal sign', ъ кръстато 'crossed "yer' or широко ъ 'long "yer'), were removed from its alphabet, reducing the number of letters to 30.

With the "accession of Bulgaria to the European Union on 1 January 2007, Cyrillic became the third official script of the "European Union, following the "Latin and "Greek scripts.[32]

Phonology[edit]

""Bulgarian flag with Yat and Big Yus.svg
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Bulgarian possesses a phonology similar to that of the rest of the South Slavic languages, notably lacking Serbo-Croatian's phonemic vowel length and tones and alveo-palatal affricates. Macedonian on the other side exhibits a phonology very similar to that of Bulgarian, which has spurred controversial debates regarding its status as a separate language. An interesting geographic pattern of dialectal distribution shows a tendency of western dialects to approach Serbo-Croatian's "hard" sound in contrast to the eastern dialect's "soft" sound due to pre-palatalization and rising of /"ɛ/ (similar to Russian) and ikanye (a merger of the two front vowels /"ɛ/ and /"i/).

Bulgarian is typically analyzed as having six vowels, but at least two more reduced vowels can be encountered in everyday speech.

Grammar[edit]

The parts of speech in Bulgarian are divided in 10 types, which are categorized in two broad classes: mutable and immutable. The difference is that mutable parts of speech vary grammatically, whereas the immutable ones do not change, regardless of their use. The five classes of mutables are: nouns, adjectives, numerals, pronouns and verbs. Syntactically, the first four of these form the group of the noun or the nominal group. The immutables are: adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, particles and interjections. Verbs and adverbs form the group of the verb or the verbal group.

Nominal morphology[edit]

Nouns and adjectives have the "categories "grammatical gender, "number, "case (only "vocative) and "definiteness in Bulgarian. Adjectives and adjectival pronouns agree with nouns in number and gender. Pronouns have gender and number and retain (as in nearly all "Indo-European languages) a more significant part of the case system.

Nominal inflection[edit]

Gender[edit]

There are three grammatical genders in Bulgarian: masculine, feminine and neuter. The gender of the noun can largely be inferred from its ending: nouns ending in a consonant ("zero ending") are generally masculine (for example, град /ɡrat/ 'city', син /sin/ 'son', мъж /mɤʃ/ 'man'; those ending in –а/–я (-a/-ya) (жена /ʒɛˈna/ 'woman', дъщеря /dɐʃtɛrˈja/ 'daughter', улица /ˈulitsɐ/ 'street') are normally feminine; and nouns ending in –е, –о are almost always neuter (дете /dɛtɛ/ 'child', езеро /ˈɛzɛro/ 'lake'), as are those rare words (usually loanwords) that end in –и, –у, and –ю (цунами /tsoˈnami/ 'tsunami', табу /tɐˈbu/ 'taboo', меню /mɛˈnju/ 'menu'). Perhaps the most significant exception from the above are the relatively numerous nouns that end in a consonant and yet are feminine: these comprise, firstly, a large group of nouns with zero ending expressing quality, degree or an abstraction, including all nouns ending on –ост/–ест -{ost/est} (мъдрост /ˈmɤdrost/ 'wisdom', низост /ˈnizost/ 'vileness', прелест /ˈprɛlɛst/ 'loveliness', болест /ˈbɔlɛst/ 'sickness', любов /ljuˈbɔf/ 'love'), and secondly, a much smaller group of irregular nouns with zero ending which define tangible objects or concepts (кръв /krɤf/ 'blood', кост /kɔst/ 'bone', вечер /ˈvɛtʃɛr/ 'evening', нощ /nɔʃt/ 'night'). There are also some commonly used words that end in a vowel and yet are masculine: баща 'father', дядо 'grandfather', чичо / вуйчо 'uncle', and others.

The plural forms of the nouns do not express their gender as clearly as the singular ones, but may also provide some clues to it: the ending –и (-i) is more likely to be used with a masculine or feminine noun (факти /ˈfakti/ 'facts', болести /ˈbɔlɛsti/ 'sicknesses'), while one in –а/–я belongs more often to a neuter noun (езера /ɛzɛˈra/ 'lakes'). Also, the plural ending –ове /-ovɛ/ occurs only in masculine nouns.

Number[edit]

Two numbers are distinguished in Bulgarian – "singular and "plural. A variety of plural suffixes is used, and the choice between them is partly determined by their ending in singular and partly influenced by gender; in addition, irregular declension and alternative plural forms are common. Words ending in –а/–я (which are usually feminine) generally have the plural ending –и, upon dropping of the singular ending. Of nouns ending in a consonant, the feminine ones also use –и, whereas the masculine ones usually have –и for polysyllables and –ове for monosyllables (however, exceptions are especially common in this group). Nouns ending in –о/–е (most of which are neuter) mostly use the suffixes –а, –я (both of which require the dropping of the singular endings) and –та.

With "cardinal numbers and related words such as няколко ('several'), masculine nouns use a special count form in –а/–я, which stems from the Proto-Slavonic "dual: два/три стола ('two/three chairs') versus тези столове ('these chairs'); cf. feminine две/три/тези книги ('two/three/these books') and neuter две/три/тези легла ('two/three/these beds'). However, a recently developed language norm requires that count forms should only be used with masculine nouns that do not denote persons. Thus, двама/трима ученици ('two/three students') is perceived as more correct than двама/трима ученика, while the distinction is retained in cases such as два/три молива ('two/three pencils') versus тези моливи ('these pencils').

Case[edit]
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Д д

Cases exist only in the "personal and some other "pronouns (as they do in many other modern "Indo-European languages), with "nominative, "accusative, "dative and "vocative forms. Vestiges are present in a number of phraseological units and sayings. The major exception are "vocative forms, which are still in use for masculine (with the endings -е, -о and -ю) and feminine nouns (-[ь/й]о and -е) in the singular.

Definiteness (article)[edit]

In modern Bulgarian, definiteness is expressed by a "definite article which is postfixed to the noun, much like in the "Scandinavian languages or "Romanian (indefinite: човек, 'person'; definite: човекът, "the person") or to the first nominal constituent of definite noun phrases (indefinite: добър човек, 'a good person'; definite: добрият човек, "the good person"). There are four singular definite articles. Again, the choice between them is largely determined by the noun's ending in the singular.[33] Nouns that end in a consonant and are masculine use –ът/–ят, when they are "grammatical subjects, and –а/–я elsewhere. Nouns that end in a consonant and are feminine, as well as nouns that end in –а/–я (most of which are feminine, too) use –та. Nouns that end in –е/–о use –то.

The plural definite article is –те for all nouns except for those, whose plural form ends in –а/–я; these get –та instead. When postfixed to adjectives the definite articles are –ят/–я for masculine gender (again, with the longer form being reserved for grammatical subjects), –та for feminine gender, –то for neuter gender, and –те for plural.

Modern developments
""Keyboard Layout Bulgarian Phonetic2.png
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In Bulgarian adjective-noun phrases, only the adjective takes a definite article ending –

Many of the English loanwords which have been adopted into the language since the "end of communism, however, do not readily lend themselves to taking adjectival endings. This has caused an unprecedented shift in the language whereby, in certain cases, the adjective remains uninflected, while the noun following it takes the grammatical ending. Examples include –

This type of combination is sometimes favoured even when the possibility of a traditional phrase structure exists, e.g. –

as opposed to novinite po btv ("the news on btv")

In this case, the brand name "btv" cannot be inflected and, being a brand, remains in Roman script within the sentence.[36]

See Use of Roman script in Bulgarian

Adjective and numeral inflection[edit]

Both groups agree in gender and number with the noun they are appended to. They may also take the definite article as explained above.

Pronouns[edit]

Pronouns may vary in gender, number, and definiteness, and are the only parts of speech that have retained case inflections. Three cases are exhibited by some groups of pronouns – nominative, accusative and dative. The distinguishable types of pronouns include the following: personal, relative, reflexive, interrogative, negative, indefinitive, summative and possessive.

Verbal morphology and grammar[edit]

The Bulgarian verb can take up to 3,000[37]["dubious ] distinct forms, as it varies in person, number, voice, aspect, mood, tense and even gender.

Finite verbal forms[edit]

Finite verbal forms are simple or compound and agree with subjects in person (first, second and third) and number (singular, plural) in Bulgarian. In addition to that, past compound forms using participles vary in gender (masculine, feminine, neuter) and voice (active and passive) as well as aspect (perfective/aorist and imperfective).

Aspect[edit]

Bulgarian verbs express "lexical aspect: perfective verbs signify the completion of the action of the verb and form past perfective (aorist) forms; imperfective ones are neutral with regard to it and form past imperfective forms. Most Bulgarian verbs can be grouped in perfective-imperfective pairs (imperfective/perfective: идвам/дойда "come", пристигам/пристигна "arrive"). Perfective verbs can be usually formed from imperfective ones by suffixation or prefixation, but the resultant verb often deviates in meaning from the original. In the pair examples above, aspect is stem-specific and therefore there is no difference in meaning.

In Bulgarian, there is also "grammatical aspect. Three grammatical aspects are distinguishable: neutral, perfect and pluperfect. The neutral aspect comprises the three simple tenses and the future tense. The pluperfect is manifest in tenses that use double or triple auxiliary "be" participles like the past pluperfect subjunctive. Perfect constructions use a single auxiliary "be".

Mood[edit]

The traditional interpretation is that in addition to the four moods (наклонения /nəkloˈnɛnijɐ/) shared by most other European languages – "indicative (изявително, /izʲəˈvitɛɫno/) "imperative (повелително /povelitelno/), "subjunctive (подчинително /podtʃiˈnitɛɫno/) and "conditional (условно, /osˈɫɔvno/) – in Bulgarian there is one more to describe a general category of unwitnessed events – the "inferential (преизказно /prɛˈizkɐzno/) mood. However, most contemporary Bulgarian linguists usually exclude the subjunctive mood and the inferential mood from the list of Bulgarian moods (thus placing the number of Bulgarian moods at a total of 3: indicative, imperative and conditional)[38] and don't consider them to be moods but view them as verbial morphosyntactic constructs or separate "gramemes of the verb class. The possible existence of a few other moods has been discussed in the literature. Most Bulgarian school grammars teach the traditional view of 4 Bulgarian moods (as described above, but excluding the subjunctive and including the inferential).

Tense[edit]

There are three grammatically distinctive positions in time – present, past and future – which combine with aspect and mood to produce a number of formations. Normally, in grammar books these formations are viewed as separate tenses – i. e. "past imperfect" would mean that the verb is in past tense, in the imperfective aspect, and in the indicative mood (since no other mood is shown). There are more than 40 different tenses across Bulgarian's two aspects and five moods.

In the indicative mood, there are three simple tenses:

In the indicative there are also the following compound tenses:

The four perfect constructions above can vary in aspect depending on the aspect of the main-verb participle; they are in fact pairs of imperfective and perfective aspects. Verbs in forms using past participles also vary in voice and gender.

There is only one simple tense in the "imperative mood, the present, and there are simple forms only for the second-person singular, -и/-й (-i, -y/i), and plural, -ете/-йте (-ete, -yte), e.g. уча /ˈutʃɐ/ ('to study'): учи /otʃˈi/, sg., учете /otʃˈɛtɛ/, pl.; играя /ˈiɡrajɐ/ 'to play': играй /iɡˈraj/, играйте /iɡrajtɛ/. There are compound imperative forms for all persons and numbers in the present compound imperative (да играе, da iɡrae/), the present perfect compound imperative (да е играл, /dɐ ɛ iɡˈraɫ/) and the rarely used present pluperfect compound imperative (да е бил играл, /dɐ ɛ bil iɡˈraɫ/).

The "conditional mood consists of five compound tenses, most of which are not grammatically distinguishable. The present, future and past conditional use a special past form of the stem би- (bi – "be") and the past participle (бих учил, /bix ˈutʃiɫ/, 'I would study'). The past future conditional and the past future perfect conditional coincide in form with the respective indicative tenses.

The "subjunctive mood is rarely documented as a separate verb form in Bulgarian, (being, morphologically, a sub-instance of the quasi-"infinitive construction with the particle да and a normal finite verb form), but nevertheless it is used regularly. The most common form, often mistaken for the present tense, is the present subjunctive ([по-добре] да отида (pɔ-dobˈrɛ) dɐ oˈtidɐ/, 'I had better go'). The difference between the present indicative and the present subjunctive tense is that the subjunctive can be formed by both perfective and imperfective verbs. It has completely replaced the infinitive and the supine from complex expressions (see below). It is also employed to express opinion about possible future events. The past perfect subjunctive ([по-добре] да бях отишъл (pɔ-dobˈrɛ) dɐ bʲax oˈtiʃɐl/, 'I'd had better be gone') refers to possible events in the past, which did not take place, and the present pluperfect subjunctive (да съм бил отишъл /dɐ sɐm bil oˈtiʃɐl/), which may be used about both past and future events arousing feelings of incontinence, suspicion, etc. and has no perfect to English translation.

The "inferential mood has five pure tenses. Two of them are simple – past aorist inferential and past imperfect inferential – and are formed by the past participles of perfective and imperfective verbs, respectively. There are also three compound tenses – past future inferential, past future perfect inferential and past perfect inferential. All these tenses' forms are gender-specific in the singular. There are also conditional and compound-imperative crossovers. The existence of inferential forms has been attributed to Turkic influences by most Bulgarian linguists.["citation needed] Morphologically, they are derived from the "perfect.

Non-finite verbal forms[edit]

Bulgarian has the following "participles:

The participles are inflected by gender, number, and definiteness, and are coordinated with the subject when forming compound tenses (see tenses above). When used in attributive role the inflection attributes are coordinated with the noun that is being attributed.

Reflexive verbs[edit]

Bulgarian uses "reflexive verbal forms (i.e. actions which are performed by the "agent onto him- or herself) which behave in a similar way as they do in many other Indo-European languages, such as French and Spanish. The reflexive is expressed by the invariable particle se,[note 1] originally a "clitic form of the accusative reflexive pronoun. Thus –

When the action is performed on others, other particles are used, just like in any normal verb, e.g. –

Sometimes, the reflexive verb form has a similar but not necessarily identical meaning to the non-reflexive verb –

In other cases, the reflexive verb has a completely different meaning from its non-reflexive counterpart –

Indirect actions

When the action is performed on an indirect object, the particles change to si and its derivatives –

In some cases, the particle si is ambiguous between the indirect object and the possessive meaning –

The difference between transitive and intransitive verbs can lead to significant differences in meaning with minimal change, e.g. –

The particle si is often used to indicate a more personal relationship to the action, e.g. –

Adverbs[edit]

The most "productive way to form adverbs is to derive them from the neuter singular form of the corresponding adjective—e.g. бързо (fast), силно (hard), странно (strange)—but adjectives ending in -ки use the masculine singular form (i.e. ending in -ки), instead—e.g. юнашки (heroically), мъжки (bravely, like a man), майсторски (skillfully). The same pattern is used to form adverbs from the (adjective-like) ordinal numerals, e.g. първо (firstly), второ (secondly), трето (thirdly), and in some cases from (adjective-like) cardinal numerals, e.g. двойно (twice as/double), тройно (three times as), петорно (five times as).

The remaining adverbs are formed in ways that are no longer productive in the language. A small number are original (not derived from other words), for example: тук (here), там (there), вътре (inside), вън (outside), много (very/much) etc. The rest are mostly fossilized case forms, such as:

Adverbs can sometimes be reduplicated to emphasize the qualitative or quantitative properties of actions, moods or relations as performed by the subject of the sentence: "бавно-бавно" ("rather slowly"), "едва-едва" ("with great difficulty"), "съвсем-съвсем" ("quite", "thoroughly").

Syntax[edit]

Bulgarian employs "clitic doubling, mostly for emphatic purposes. For example, the following constructions are common in colloquial Bulgarian:

Аз (го) дадох подаръка на Мария.
(lit. "I gave it the present to Maria.")
Аз (ѝ го) дадох подаръка на Мария.
(lit. "I gave her it the present to Maria.")

The phenomenon is practically obligatory in the spoken language in the case of inversion signalling information structure (in writing, clitic doubling may be skipped in such instances, with a somewhat bookish effect):

Подаръка (ѝ) го дадох на Мария.
(lit. "The present [to her] it I-gave to Maria.")
На Мария ѝ (го) дадох подаръка.
(lit. "To Maria to her [it] I-gave the present.")

Sometimes, the doubling signals syntactic relations, thus:

Петър и Иван ги изядоха вълците.
(lit. "Petar and Ivan them ate the wolves.")
Transl.: "Petar and Ivan were eaten by the wolves".

This is contrasted with:

Петър и Иван изядоха вълците.
(lit. "Petar and Ivan ate the wolves")
Transl.: "Petar and Ivan ate the wolves".

In this case, clitic doubling can be a colloquial alternative of the more formal or bookish passive voice, which would be constructed as follows:

Петър и Иван бяха изядени от вълците.
(lit. "Petar and Ivan were eaten by the wolves.")

Clitic doubling is also fully obligatory, both in the spoken and in the written norm, in clauses including several special expressions that use the short accusative and dative pronouns such as играе ми се (I feel like playing), студено ми е (I am cold), and боли ме ръката (my arm hurts):

На мен ми се спи, а на Иван му се играе.
(lit. "To me to me it-feels-like-sleeping, and to Ivan to him it-feels-like-playing")
Transl.: "I feel like sleeping, and Ivan feels like playing."
На нас ни е студено, а на вас ви е топло.
(lit. "To us to us it-is cold, and to you-plur. to you-plur. it-is warm")
Transl.: "We are cold, and you are warm."
Иван го боли гърлото, а мене ме боли главата.
(lit. Ivan him aches the throat, and me me aches the head)
Transl.: Ivan has sore throat, and I have a headache.

Except the above examples, clitic doubling is considered inappropriate in a formal context. Bulgarian grammars usually do not treat this phenomenon extensively.

Other features[edit]

Questions[edit]

Questions in Bulgarian which do not use a question word (such as who? what? etc.) are formed with the particle ли after the verb; a subject is not necessary, as the verbal conjugation suggests who is performing the action:

While the particle ли generally goes after the verb, it can go after a noun or adjective if a contrast is needed:

A verb is not always necessary, e.g. when presenting a choice:

Rhetorical questions can be formed by adding ли to a question word, thus forming a "double interrogative" –

The same construction +не ('no') is an emphasised positive –

Significant verbs[edit]

Съм

The verb съм /sɤm/[note 3] – 'to be' is also used as an "auxiliary for forming the "perfect, the "passive and the "conditional:

Two alternate forms of съм exist:

Ще

The impersonal verb ще (lit. 'it wants')[note 5] is used to for forming the (positive) future tense:

The negative future is formed with the invariable construction няма да /ˈɲamɐ dɐ/ (see няма below):[note 6]

The past tense of this verb – щях /ʃtʲax/ is conjugated to form the past conditional ('would have' – again, with да, since it is "irrealis):

Имам and нямам

The verbs имам /ˈimɐm/ ('to have') and нямам /ˈɲamɐm/ ('to not have'):

Diminutives and augmentatives[edit]

Diminutive

Usually done by adding -че, -це or -(ч)ка. The first two of these change the gender to the neuter:

Affectionate Form

Sometimes "proper nouns and words referring to friends or family members can have a diminutive ending added to show affection. These constructions are all referred to as "na galeno" (lit. "caressing" form):

Such words can be used both from parent to child, and vice versa, as can:

Personal names are shortened:

There is an interesting trend (which is comparatively modern, although it might well have deeper, dormant roots) where the feminine ending "-ka" and the definite suffix "-ta" ("the") are added to male names – note that this is affectionate and not at all insulting (in fact, the endings are not even really considered as being "feminine"):

The female equivalent would be to add the neuter ending "-to" to the diminutive form:

Augmentative

This is to present words to sound larger – usually by adding "-shte":

Some words only exist in an augmentative form – e.g.

Conjunctions and particles[edit]

"But"

In Bulgarian, there are several conjunctions all translating into English as "but", which are all used in distinct situations. They are но (no), ама (amà), а (a), ами (amì), and ала (alà) (and обаче (obache) – "however", identical in use to но).

While there is some overlapping between their uses, in many cases they are specific. For example, ami is used for a choice – ne tova, ami onova – "not this one, but that one" (comp. Spanish sino), while ama is often used to provide extra information or an opinion – kazah go, ama sgreshih – "I said it, but I was wrong". Meanwhile, a provides contrast between two situations, and in some sentences can even be translated as "although", "while" or even "and" – az rabotya, a toy blee – "I'm working, and he's daydreaming".

Very often, different words can be used to alter the emphasis of a sentence – e.g. while "pusha, no ne tryabva" and "pusha, a ne tryabva" both mean "I smoke, but I shouldn't", the first sounds more like a statement of fact ("...but I mustn't"), while the second feels more like a judgement ("...but I oughtn't"). Similarly, az ne iskam, ama toy iska and az ne iskam, a toy iska both mean "I don't want to, but he does", however the first emphasises the fact that he wants to, while the second emphasises the wanting rather than the person.

Ala is interesting in that, while it feels archaic, it is often used in poetry and frequently in children's stories, since it has quite a moral/ominous feel to it.

Some common expressions use these words, and some can be used alone as interjections:

Vocative particles

Bulgarian has several abstract particles which are used to strengthen a statement. These have no precise translation in English.[note 8] The particles are strictly informal and can even be considered rude by some people and in some situations. They are mostly used at the end of questions or instructions.

Modal Particles

These are "tagged" on to the beginning or end of a sentence to express the mood of the speaker in relation to the situation. They are mostly "interrogative or slightly "imperative in nature. There is no change in the grammatical mood when these are used (although they may be expressed through different grammatical moods in other languages).

Intentional particles

These express intent or desire, perhaps even pleading. They can be seen as a sort of "cohortative side to the language. (Since they can be used by themselves, they could even be considered as verbs in their own right.) They are also highly informal.

These particles can be combined with the vocative particles for greater effect, e.g. ya da vidya, be (let me see), or even exclusively in combinations with them, with no other elements, e.g. hayde, de! (come on!); nedey, de! (I told you not to!).

Pronouns of quality[edit]

Bulgarian has several pronouns of quality which have no direct parallels in English – kakav (what sort of); takuv (this sort of); onakuv (that sort of – colloq.); nyakakav (some sort of); nikakav (no sort of); vsyakakav (every sort of); and the relative pronoun kakavto (the sort of...that...). The adjective ednakuv ("the same") derives from the same radical.[note 9]

Example phrases include:

An interesting phenomenon is that these can be strung along one after another in quite long constructions, e.g.

word literal meaning sentence meaning of sentence as a whole
edna kola a car
takava this sort of edna takava kola... this car (that I'm trying to describe)
nikakva no sort of edna takava nikakva kola this worthless car (that I'm trying to describe)
nyakakva some sort of edna takava nyakakva nikakva kola this sort of worthless car (that I'm trying to describe)

An extreme (colloquial) sentence, with almost no physical meaning in it whatsoever – yet which does have perfect meaning to the Bulgarian ear – would be :

—Note: the subject of the sentence is simply the pronoun "taya" (lit. "this one here"; colloq. "she").

Another interesting phenomenon that is observed in colloquial speech is the use of takova (neuter of takyv) not only as a substitute for an adjective, but also as a substitute for a verb. In that case the base form takova is used as the third person singular int the present indicative and all other forms are formed by analogy to other verbs in the language. Sometimes the "verb" may even acquire a derivational prefix that changes its meaning. Examples:

Another use of takova in colloquial speech is the word takovata, which can be used as a substitution for a noun, but also, if the speaker doesn't remember or is not sure how to say something, they might say takovata and then pause to think about it:

Similar "meaningless" expressions are extremely common in spoken Bulgarian, especially when the speaker is finding it difficult to describe something.

Inflection and derivation[edit]

Bulgarian has a rich set of inflectional and derivational processes.["citation needed] In the simplest terms, this can be seen in the way that most nouns and verbs are formed – namely by adding prefixes and suffixes to a rather limited number of roots, which creates almost a dozen new words, along with a couple of dozen derivatives thereof. Here are some examples using the root word klyuch (ключ) "key/switch":

Nouns:

klyuch a key
klyuch–at the key
klyuch–alka a lock
klyuch–ar a locksmith
klyuch–ar–i–te the locksmiths

Adjectives:

klyuch–ar–ski of a locksmith
klyuch–ar–ski–yat of a locksmith (definite form)
klyuch–ov key (e.g. "a key point")
v–klyuch–en switched on

Verbs:

v–klyuch-a to switch on
pre–v–klyuch-a to switch over (e.g. TV channel)
iz–klyuch-a to switch off
ot–klyuch-a to unlock
za–klyuch-a to lock
pri–klyuch-a to complete

An extreme example using this root might be:

pre–v–klyuch–en–i–te — the ones that have been switched over ("превключените")[39]

Adjectives can also take up to three endings that are added to the masculine root, for example:

cherven red (masc.)
cherven–a red (fem.)
cherven–a–ta the red one
cherven–ikav–a–ta the reddish one

Verbs can take several prefixes, thus expressing increasingly complex ideas. For example, the bol– root, which has to do with ailments (bol-ka – pain; bol-est – illness; bol-i – it hurts, etc.), can be used to express various different stages of falling ill:

raz–bol-yahme se we fell ill
po–raz–bol-yahme se we fell slightly ill
iz–po–raz–bol-yahme se we all fell very ill

Similarly, the root kri–, referring to hiding/discovery:

raz–kri-ha se they showed themselves
s–kri-ha se they hid
iz–po–kri-ha se they hid all over the place

Miscellaneous[edit]

Lexis[edit]

Most of the vocabulary of modern Bulgarian consists of derivations of some 2,000 words["citation needed] inherited from proto-Slavic through the mediation of Old and Middle Bulgarian. Thus, the native lexical terms in Bulgarian account for 70% to 75% of the lexicon.

The remaining 25% to 30% are loanwords from a number of languages, as well as derivations of such words. In ancient times, Bulgarian adopted words of "Thracian and "Bulgar origin, as Bulgaria was inhabited by Thracian tribes, contributing to the ethnogenesis of the Bulgarian people (along with Slavs and "Bulgars), and the Bulgars settled in the plains south of the Danube. The languages which have contributed most to Bulgarian are "Russian, "French and to a lesser extent "Turkish and "English. Also "Latin and "Greek are the source of many words, used mostly in international terminology. Many Latin terms entered the language through Romanian, Aromanian, and Megleno-Romanian during Bulgarian Empires (present-day Bulgaria was part of Roman Empire), loanwords of Greek origin in Bulgarian are a product of the influence of the liturgical language of the Orthodox Church. Many of the numerous loanwords from another Turkic language, "Turkish (and, via Turkish, from "Arabic and "Persian) which were adopted into Bulgarian during the long period of "Ottoman rule, have been replaced with native terms. In addition, both specialized (usually coming from the field of "science) and commonplace "English words (notably abstract, commodity/service-related or technical terms) have also penetrated Bulgarian since the second half of the 20th century, especially since 1989. A noteworthy portion of this English-derived terminology has attained some unique features in the process of its introduction to native speakers, and this has resulted in peculiar derivations that set the newly formed loanwords apart from the original words (mainly in pronunciation), although many loanwords are completely identical to the source words. A growing number of international neologisms are also being widely adopted, causing controversy between younger generations who, in general, are raised in the era of digital "globalization, and the older, more conservative educated "purists.

Comparison with other Slavic languages[edit]

Nouns
Bulgarian Macedonian Serbо-Croatian Russian Polish English
дърво дрво дрво/drvo дерево drzewo tree
картоф/компир/барабой компир кромпир/krumpir картофель ziemniak, kartofel potato
котка/маца/мачка мачка мачка/mačka кошка kot cat
куче, пес куче, пес пас/pas, куче/kuče собака, пёс pies dog
къща, дом куќа, дом кућа/kuća, дом/dom дом dom house, home
маса маса сто/stol стол stół table (furniture)
мляко/млеко млеко млеко, млијеко/mlijeko молоко mleko milk
стол стол столица/stolica стул krzesło chair
Verbs
Bulgarian Macedonian Serbо-Croatian Russian Polish English
имам имам имам/imam имею mam I have
искам, желая, сакам сакам желим, хоћу/želim, hoću хочу, желаю chcę I want
правя, върша правам, вршам вршим, радим/vršim, radim делаю robię I do
ходя, вървя, одя, одим одам, врвам ходам/hodam хожу chodzę I walk
говоря, думам, приказвам, казвам зборувам, говорам говорим/govorim говорю mówię I talk
намирам наоѓам налазим/nalazim нахожу znajduję I find
ям, ручам јадам, ручам једем/jedem ем jem I eat
пия пијам пијем/pijem пью piję I drink

Borrowings[edit]

Some very frequent expressions have been borrowed from other languages. Most of them are somewhat informal.

Common expressions[edit]

(In the above two examples, the formal expression uses a plural verb but a singular pronoun, which allows speakers to distinguish the two grammatical forms.)

…английски (anglíyski) – English
…български (bə́lgarski) – Bulgarian
…немски (némski) – German
…полски (pólski) – Polish
…руски (rúski) – Russian
…холандски (holándski) – Dutch
…шведски (shvédski) – Swedish
…гръцки (grə́tski) – Greek
…сръбски (srə́bski) – Serbian
…италиански (italyánski) – Italian
…испански (ispánski) – Spanish
…френски (frénski) – French
…японски (yapónski) – Japanese
…китайски (kitáyski) – Chinese
…корейски (koréyski) – Korean
…арабски (arábski) – Arabic

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Unlike in French and Spanish, where se is only used for the 3rd person, and other particles, such as me and te, are used for the 1st and 2nd persons singular, e.g. je me lave/me lavo – I wash myself.
  2. ^ The word или ('either') has a similar etymological root: и + ли ('and') – e.g. (или) Жълтият или червеният – '(either) the yellow one or the red one.' wiktionary
  3. ^ съм is pronounced similar to English "sum".
  4. ^ It is a common reply to the question Kak e? 'How are things?' (lit. 'how is it?') – /ˈbivɐ/ 'alright' (lit. 'it [repetitively] is') or /kak si/ 'How are you?' -/ˈbivɐm/ 'I'm OK'.
  5. ^ ще – from the verb ща – 'to want.' The present tense of this verb in the sense of 'to want' is archaic and only used colloquially. Instead, искам /iskɐm/ is used.
  6. ^ Formed from the impersonal verb няма (lit. 'it does not have') and the subjunctive particle да /dɐ/ ('that')
  7. ^ They can also be used on their own as a reply, with no object following: има – 'there are some'; /ˈɲamɐ/ – 'there aren't any' – compare German keine.
  8. ^ Perhaps most similar in use is the tag "man", but the Bulgarian particles are more abstract still.
  9. ^ Like the "demonstratives, these take the same form as pronouns as they do as adjectives – ie. takuv means both "this kind of..." (adj.) and this kind of person/thing (pron., depending on the context).
  10. ^ This is a more informal form of Здравей In polite conversation, the "Vi" form is used by both parties: zdraveyte.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bulgarian language". The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. "Columbia University Press. 
  2. ^ Rehm, Georg; Uszkoreit, Hans. "The Bulgarian Language in the European Information Society". "Springer Science+Business Media. 
  3. ^ Strazny, Philipp (2005). Encyclopedia of Linguistics: M-Z (1 ed.). Fitzroy Dearborn. p. 958. "ISBN "1579583911. 
  4. ^ Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. 
  5. ^ "Národnostní menšiny v České republice a jejich jazyky" [National Minorities in Czech Republic and Their Language] (PDF) (in Czech). Government of Czech Republic. p. 2. Podle čl. 3 odst. 2 Statutu Rady je jejich počet 12 a jsou uživateli těchto menšinových jazyků: [...], srbština a ukrajinština 
  6. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Bulgarian". "Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  7. ^ EUR-Lex (12 December 2006). "Council Regulation (EC) No 1791/2006 of 20 November 2006". Official Journal of the European Union. Europa web portal. Retrieved 2 February 2007. 
  8. ^ "Languages in Europe – Official EU Languages". EUROPA web portal. Archived from the original on 2 February 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2009. 
  9. ^ Michal Kopeček. Discourses of collective identity in Central and Southeast Europe (1770–1945): texts and commentaries, Volume 1 (Central European University Press, 2006), p. 248
  10. ^ a b Glanville Price. Encyclopedia of the languages of Europe (Wiley-Blackwell, 2000), p.45
  11. ^ a b Victor Roudometof. Collective memory, national identity, and ethnic conflict: Greece, Bulgaria, and the Macedonian question (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002), p. 92
  12. ^ "Стойков, Стойко. 2002 (1962) Българска диалектология. Стр. 101". Promacedonia.org. Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  13. ^ "Стойков, Стойко. 2002 (1962) Българска диалектология. Стр. 99". Promacedonia.org. Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  14. ^ Bulgarian Dialectology: Western Dialects, Stoyko Stoykov, 1962 (p.144). Retrieved May 2013.
  15. ^ Mazon, Andre. Contes Slaves de la Macédoine Sud-Occidentale: Etude linguistique; textes et traduction; Notes de Folklore, Paris 1923, p. 4.
  16. ^ Селищев, Афанасий. Избранные труды, Москва 1968.
  17. ^ Die Slaven in Griechenland von Max Vasmer. Verlag der Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1941. Kap. VI: Allgemeines und sprachliche Stellung der Slaven Griechenlands.
  18. ^ K. Sandfeld, Balkanfilologien (København, 1926, MCMXXVI).
  19. ^ "Konstantin Josef Jireček, Die Balkanvölker und ihre kulturellen und politischen Bestrebungen, Urania, II, Jg. 13, 27. März 1909, p. 195.
  20. ^ Stefan Verković, Описание быта македонских болгар; Топографическо-этнографический очерк Македонии (Петербург, 1889).
  21. ^ James Minahan. One Europe, Many Nations: A Historical Dictionary of European National Groups, p.438 (Greenwood Press, 2000)
  22. ^ Bernard Comrie. The Slavonic Languages, p.251 (Routledge, 1993).
  23. ^ Шклифов, Благой and Екатерина Шклифова, Български деалектни текстове от Егейска Македония, София 2003, с. 28–36 (Shklifov, Blagoy and Ekaterina Shklifova. Bulgarian dialect texts from Aegean Macedonia Sofia 2003, p. 28–33)
  24. ^ Clyne, Michael (1992). Pluricentric Languages: The Codification of Macedonian. Walter de Gruyter. p. 440. "ISBN "3110128551. 
  25. ^ Cook, Bernard Anthony. Europe Since 1945: An Encyclopedia, Volume 2. p. 808. "ISBN "0-8153-4058-3. 
  26. ^ Djokić, Dejan (2003). Yugoslavism: Histories of a Failed Idea, 1918–1992. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. p. 122. "ISBN "1-85065-663-0. 
  27. ^ Language profile Macedonian, UCLA International Institute
  28. ^ Poulton, Hugh (2000). Who are the Macedonians?. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. p. 116. "ISBN "1-85065-534-0. 
  29. ^ Trudgill, Peter (1992). "Ausbau sociolinguistics and the perception of language status in contemporary Europe". International Journal of Applied Linguistics. 2 (2): 167–177. However, outside Greece, where the name of the language has been objected to (see Trudgill forthcoming), and Bulgaria, Macedonian's status as a language is generally accepted. 
  30. ^ Chambers, Jack; Trudgill, Peter (1998). Dialectology (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 7. Similarly, Bulgarian politicians often argue that Macedonian is simply a dialect of Bulgarian – which is really a way of saying, of course, that they feel Macedonia ought to be part of Bulgaria. From a purely linguistic point of view, however, such arguments are not resolvable, since dialect continua admit of more-or-less but not either-or judgements. 
  31. ^ Danforth, Loring M. (1997). The Macedonian conflict: ethnic nationalism in a transnational world. Princeton University Press. p. 67. "ISBN "0691043566. Sociolinguists agree that in such situations the decision as to whether a particular variety of speech constitutes a language or a dialect is always based on political, rather than linguistic criteria (Trudgill 1974:15). A language, in other words, can be defined "as a dialect with an army and a navy" (Nash 1989:6). 
  32. ^ Leonard Orban (24 May 2007). "Cyrillic, the third official alphabet of the EU, was created by a truly multilingual European" (PDF). europe.eu. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  33. ^ Пашов, Петър (1999) Българска граматика. Стр.73–74.
  34. ^ 89% of internet users refuse to reveal personal details online (in Bulgarian) "Dnevnik, 10 July 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012
  35. ^ Deletion of web page chronologies (in Bulgarian) Microsoft (help pages). Retrieved 16 September 2012
  36. ^ btv Репортерите "btv Reporters". Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  37. ^ The Bulgarian Verb Elementary On-Line Bulgarian Grammar by Katina Bontcheva, retrieved in 21 August 2011
  38. ^ Зидарова, Ваня (2007). Български език. Теоретичен курс с практикум, pp. 177–180
  39. ^ Opel are challenging their market competition (in Bulgarian) "Dnevnik, 1 July 2000. Retrieved 17 September 2012.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

Linguistic reports

Dictionaries

Courses

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