Historie – Otázky – Problémy

Proměny větné negace v českých biblických překladech


Abstract: Over centuries of development, Czech has seen changes in the way sentences are negated, as is shown at least by a comparison between the state today (where the main device is the negative particle ne- on the verb, and pronominal expressions acquire negative forms; additionally there is the conjunction aniž, which is followed by a verb which is not in the negative, e.g. odešel, aniž zaplatil – he left without paying) and the state which is reconstructed by Jan Gebauer in his Historical Grammar of Old Czech (in which there are both cases of negative concord and cases in which a single negative particle ni-, or just the negative particle ne- on the verb are sufficient to negate an entire sentence).

Biblical text has a strong tradition and is preserved in many forms from all periods of the development of Czech, so it presents us with invaluable material for researchers, who are thus enabled to examine the same text at various periods of time. At the same time it is possible to compare it with the original, and so to filter out the possible influences of the foreign source text, which in any case are minimal in the field of negation.

Using material which covers passages from early 15th century biblical translations to the Baroque period, this paper presents the development of sentential negation and particularly the means used for negative concord. Older biblical texts, i.e. the Olomouc Bible, the “Mlynářka“ Bible and the Venetian Bible are used to illustrate the stabilization of devices involved in negative concord (e.g. žádný as opposed to the earlier každý), while Middle Czech Bibles – the Melantrich, Kralice and St Wenceslas Bibles – are used to show the development of the conjunction ani(ž) followed by a form of the verb that is not in the negative (e.g.Nevztahůjž ruky tvé na dítě, aniž jemu co čiň), as well as the gradual weakening of the regularity of this usage and an indication of the transition to the modern Czech subordinating conjunction aniž.

Keywords: development of Czech negation; Bible; sentential negation; negative; grammaticalization

Mgr. Jakub Maruš vystudoval bohemistiku na Filozofické fakultě Masarykovy univerzity, kde je v současné době interním doktorandem. Jeho zaměřením je vývoj českého jazyka, zejména vývoj české negace (marusjakub@gmail.com).