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XIXth Century Attitudes to Byelorussian before Karski

The 19th c. produced a good deal of scholarly interest in Belarus, a territory that had throughout the 18th c. suffered the most abject material and cultural conditions....

Russian and Polish ethnographers found Belarus a rich source of hitherto unrecorded material, whilst linguists were confronted with the problem not merely of describing the language but also of placing it within the general Slavonic framework...

It is now long has been accepted that Belarusian is a member of the East Slavonic group of languages (the other being Russian and Ukrainian), having been formed after the separation of these three languages... it seems obvious to us now that the language is akin to Polish principally I its vocabulary, but that grammatically it is clearly East Slavonic. In the last century, however, there were many conflicting ideas on the subject and the general picture is a confused one...

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