Language/dialect used by H. Skovoroda in his works significantly differs from the modern Ukrainian languages (either literary or speaking). From the point of view of the modern Ukrainian reader it looks more like a mix of the Ukrainian and Russian languages or even as Russian language.

I have heard different claims about what that language was:

  • Russian (see here);
  • old Ukrainian (see here within the infobox);
  • Church Slavonic;
  • mixture;
  • etc.

Assuming that we have original texts of some of his works (and even some autographs) — how can somebody prove that his language was not Russian?

BTW, did he always use the same language (and its the description of it that varies) or different dialects/kinds of language in his works?


I'm not a historian, but I assume that the linked texts are very close to old-Russian, as Ukrainian was in its very early stage of development.

As for comparison, here is a part from Taras Schevchenko's Kobzar (1840, almost in 80-years after Skovoroda):

Бо васъ лыхо на свитъ на смихъ породыло,
Полывалы сліозы… чомъ не затопылы,
Не вынеслы въ море, не розмылы в поли?…
Не пыталы бъ, люды — що в мене болыть?

Despite the alphabet, it feels like modern-Ukrainian, and subjectively differents from the Skovoroda's linked text.

Another historical document for that time is Constitution_of_Pylyp_Orlyk 1710 year. It reads subjectively as old Russian as well.

  • 3
    What did you mean by saying that in second half of the 18th century "Ukrainian was in very early stage of development"? – bytebuster Oct 21 at 2:35
  • I meant literally what I meant. As we can see, native texts of that time look more similar to modern Russian rather modern Ukrainian. In 19th century the situation was dramatically changed, and we can enjoy Shevchenko's poems in original, which sounds very similar to modern Ukrainian. Also, from Wiki "The Ukrainian language has been in common use since the late 17th century, associated with the establishment of the Cossack Hetmanate". Not earlier. That's why I can assume, that it was an early-Ukrainian at that time. – Kukunin Oct 22 at 7:45
  • 3
    "As we can see" is a weak argument. Personally, I can not see that. Please provide with credible references to your claims. – bytebuster Oct 22 at 9:24
  • that's ok if you have another opinion, you can prove it in an answer to the original question. For some reason, there wasn't an answer for almost 3 years, despite the question is valid. – Kukunin Oct 22 at 13:02
  • 2
    Stack Exchange is not for opinions. At all. If I have an opinion, I keep it with myself. If I have an answer, which is based on facts and credible sources, I post it as an answer. Apparently, other users on this site follow the same approach, this is why there have been no answer yet. As for now, I voted for deletion of this post due to the lack of facts and user's refusal to improve it. – bytebuster Oct 22 at 14:42

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