Ukrainian Latin alphabet

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A Latin alphabet for the Ukrainian language (called even Latynka) has been proposed or imposed several times in the history in Ukraine, but has never challenged the conventional Cyrillic Ukrainian alphabet. Actually it is promoted as a way of facilitating the Ukrainian integration within the European Union.[1] In Ukrainian: Ukrayins’ka Latynka or Latynytsia (Українська Латинка, Латиниця). Polish-influenced Latynka was known as Abecadło (Абецадло).

Contents

Characteristics

The Ukrainian literary language has been written with the Cyrillic alphabet, in a tradition going back to the eighth-century introduction of Christianity and the Old Church Slavonic language to Kievan Rus’. Proposals for Latinization, if not imposed for outright political reasons, have always been politically charged, and have never been generally accepted. Although some proposals to create an official Latin alphabet for Ukrainian language have been expressed lately by national intelligentsia. Technically, most have resembled the linguistically related Polish and Czech alphabets.

While superficially similar to a Latin alphabet, transliteration of Ukrainian from Cyrillic into the Latin alphabet (or romanization) is usually not intended for native speakers, and may be designed for certain academic requirements or technical constraints. See romanization of Ukrainian.

History

Ukrainian was occasionally written in the Latin alphabet as far back as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, in publications using the Polish and Czech alphabets. In the nineteenth century, there were attempts to introduce the Latin alphabet into Ukrainian writing, by Polish-Ukrainian romantic poets.

The use of the Latin alphabet for Ukrainian was promoted by authorities in Galicia under the Austrian Habsburg Empire. Franc Miklošič developed a Latin alphabet for Ukrainian in 1852, based on the Polish and Czech alphabets (adopting Czech č, š, ž, dž, ď, ť, Polish ś, ź, ć, ń,, and ľ following the same pattern). This initiative was taken into interest by Czech politician Josef Jireček, who managed to gain support for the project in the Imperial Ministry of Interior. As part of a Polonization campaign in Galicia during the period of neo-absolutist rule after 1849, Viceroy Agenor Gołuchowski attempted to impose this Latin alphabet on Ukrainian publications in 1859. This started a fierce publicly-debated "Chełm region.

A Latin alphabet for Ukrainian publications was also imposed in Romanian Bessarabia, Bukovina and Dobrudja. It was also used by immigrants from these regions in the United States.

In Ukraine under the Russian Empire, Mykhaylo Drahomanov promoted a purely phonemic Cyrillic alphabet (the Drahomanivka) including the Latin letter j in 1876, replacing the digraphs я, є, ю, ї with ја, је, ју, јі. The Ems Ukaz banning Ukrainian-language publication doomed this reform to obscurity.

In Soviet Ukraine, during the 1927 orthographical conference in Kharkiv, linguists M. Johansen, B. Tkačenko, and M. Nakonečnyj proposed the application of the more "international" Latin alphabet to Ukrainian, but the idea was opposed by Soviet government representatives. Later, latinization in the USSR.

Latynka

Some letters borrowed from Polish and Czech were used in the Ukrainian Łatynka as stated above, which also has a close resemblance to the Belarusian Łacinka. Although never broadly accepted, it was used mostly by Ukrainians living in territories near Poland (where was called Abecadlo). The orthography was explained in Łatynycia, a western Ukrainian publication of the 1900s.

The Ukrainian Latin alphabet: Latynka
(a western Ukrainian publication, c.1900s)
Aa Bb Cc Ćć Czcz Dd Ďď Ee Ff Gg
Аа Бб Цц Цьць Чч Дд Дьдь Ее Фф Ґґ
Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Łł Mm Nn Ńń Oo
Гг Іі Йй Кк Льль Лл Мм Нн Ньнь Оо
Pp Rr Ŕŕ Ss Śś Szsz Tt Ťť Uu Ww
Пп Рр Рьрь Сс Сьсь Шш Тт Тьть Уу Вв
Yy Zz Źź Žž
Ии Зз Зьзь Жж

Digraphs

  • я, є, ю, ї = ja, je, ju, ji
  • x = ch, as used in Polish

Sample text

The Introduction of Josyp Łozynśkyj's Ruskoje Wesile ('Ruthenian Wedding', 1834):

Perédmowa
W tym opysi skazuju, jaksia wesile po sełach mežy prostym ruskim ludom widprawlaje. Ne mohu jednako utrymowaty, jakoby toj sposób wesile widprawlaty wsiude newidminni był zachowanym; bo hdenekodyj szczoś dodajut, hdeinde szczoś wypuskajut, a znowu hdeinde szczoś widminiajut. Syła w mojej syli było, starał-jemsia w rozmaitych misciach obradki i pisny ruskoho wesila póznaty i pérekonał-jemsia že prynajmni szczo do hołownych obradkiw i pisnéj wsiude tymže samym sposobom wesilesia widprawlaje. I toj sposób opysałjem w nynijszуj knyžoczci dodajuczy jednako hdenekodyj i miscowyi widminy. Moim najperszym i najbohatszym a nawet’ i nihdy newyczerpanym źridłom, z kotorohom tyi widomosty czerpał, było dopytowanie po sełach tych ludej, kotryi czasto na wesilach bywały i wesilnyi ur’ady pistowały. Nykotorych obradkiw był jem sam okozritelnym świdkom.

Notes

  1. ^ Ukrajinśka Latynka (Website in Latynka, promoting the latin alphabet in Ukraine)

See also

References

Contemporary literature concerning the Alphabet Wars:

  • Markijan Szaszkewicz. Azbuka i abecadło (1836). Przemyśl.
  • Ivan Franko. Азбучна війна в Галичині 1859 - 'The Alphabet War in Galicia 1859'.
  • J. Łewićki (1834). Review of the Introduction of the Polish Alphabet to Ruthenian Writing.
  • Josyp Lozynskyj (1834). "On the Introduction of the Polish Alphabet to Ruthenian (Ukrainian) Writing", «О wprowadzeniu abecadła polskiego do pismiennictwa ruskiego».
  • M. Šaškevyč. Азбука і abecadło.

External links

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