Historie – Otázky – Problémy


Uplatnění lexikálního principu v užívání velkých písmen v českých tištěných biblích raného novověku

 

Abstract: This paper examines one of the least researched issues surrounding Early Modern Age Czech orthography, writing with capitals, in printed Bibles which served as linguistic and orthographic models as understood at that time. This carries on from the results of a recently published study, which examined the writing of capital letters for nouns on the methodological basis of research performed by a team of experts from the Universities of Bamberg and Rostock into the development of capital letter writing in German printed prose texts between 1500 and 1700. Based on the same material as the previous study, i.e. on representative excerpts (Genesis 1–5, Ezekiel 1–5, John 1–5 and Galatians) from all complete printed Czech Bibles from incunabula to the third edition of the St. Wenceslas Bible (1778/1780), we follow the trends to which capital letters were subject for individual parts of speech apart from nouns. Attention is paid primarily to various groups of adjectives and numerals, because in the case of other parts of speech we only exceptionally find syntactically unconditional use of capital letters. The acquired data are then compared to the results of previous research into nouns. This comparison shows the relationship between the increased frequency of usage of capital letters in the case of nouns and some groups of adjectives and numerals, specifically those which are in some way close to nouns (i.e. if they are derived from them, morphologically similar to them or used as syntactic nouns and the like). These findings are also comparable to the results of research carried out on German printed Bibles. Apparently in both the Czech and the German cases, if they show a tendency towards the increased frequency of usage of syntactically unconditional capital letters, then this primarily if not exclusively involves nouns as a part of speech.

Keywords: Czech Bible; history of Czech; Middle Czech; history of orthography; writing capitals

 

Mgr. Alena A. Fidlerová, Ph.D., působí na Ústavu českého jazyka a teorie komunikace Filozofické fakulty Univerzity Karlovy. Jejím odborným zaměřením jsou dějiny českého jazyka a literatury (především raný novověk a první polovina 19. století), dějiny pravopisu, dějiny myšlení o jazyce (se zaměřením na filozofii jazyka a gramatografii v raném novověku a první polovině 19. století) a dějiny rétoriky (alena.fidlerova@ff.cuni.cz).