Balto (1919 – March 14, 1933) was a Siberian husky and sled dog who led his team on the final leg of the 1925 serum run to Nome, in which diphtheria antitoxin was transported from Anchorage, Alaska, to Nenana, Alaska, by train and then to Nome by dog sled to combat an outbreak of the disease.[1] Balto was named after the Sami explorer Samuel Balto. Balto rested at the Cleveland Zoo until his death on March 14, 1933, at the age of 14. After he died, his body was stuffed and kept in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, where it remains today.

Gunnar Kaasen with Balto
Balto with Gunnar Kaasen
BreedSiberian Husky
Nome, Territory of Alaska
DiedMarch 14, 1933 (aged 14)
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Resting placeCleveland Museum of Natural History
OccupationSled dog
Known for1925 serum run to Nome
AppearanceBlack with white "socks", "bib", and partial white markings on belly and tip of the muzzle, which advanced with age (including white markings around the eyes when he was old). Eyes were dark brown.
Named afterSamuel Balto
Statue of Balto in Central Park (New York City)

1925 serum run

In January 1925 doctors realized that a potentially deadly diphtheria epidemic was poised to sweep through Nome's young people. The only serum that could stop the outbreak was in Anchorage, Alaska. The engine of the only aircraft that could quickly deliver the medicine was frozen and would not start. After considering all of the alternatives, officials decided to move the medicine via multiple dog sled teams. The serum was transported by train from Anchorage to Nenana, where the first musher embarked as part of a relay aimed at delivering the serum to Nome. More than 20 mushers took part, facing a blizzard with -23 °F (−31 °C) temperatures and strong winds. News coverage of the event was worldwide.

On February 2, 1925, the Norwegian Gunnar Kaasen drove his team, led by Balto, into Nome. The longest and most hazardous stretch of the run was actually covered by another Norwegian, Leonhard Seppala, and his dog team, led by Togo. They came from Nome towards the end of the run and picked up the serum from musher Henry Ivanoff. The serum was later passed to Kaasen.

Balto proved himself on the Iditarod trail, saving his team in the Topkok River. Balto was also able to stay on the trail in near whiteout conditions; Kaasen stated he could barely see his hand in front of his face. Balto's team did their leg of the run almost entirely in the dark. The final team and its sledder were asleep when Balto and Kaasen made it to the final stop, so Kaasen decided to continue on. At Nome, everybody wanted to thank Kaasen at first, but he suggested giving fame to Balto as well.

Togo was the star dog for Leonhard Seppala even before the great 1925 Serum Run. Instead of celebrating the triumph together as one huge team, many became jealous of the publicity Balto received, especially from President Calvin Coolidge and the press. Seppala favored Togo, but the general public loved the story behind Balto, and so they would take a far different path after the celebrations were over. Balto was not welcomed at the ceremony in New York in which Seppala and Togo received awards from the explorer Roald Amundsen.


Balto CLE
Balto's remains at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

After the mission's success, Balto and Kaasen became celebrities. A statue of Balto, sculpted by Frederick Roth, was erected in New York City's Central Park on December 17, 1925, just 10 months after Balto's arrival in Nome. Balto himself was present for the monument's unveiling.[2] The statue is located on the main path leading north from the Tisch Children's Zoo.[3] In front of the statue a low-relief slate plaque depicts Balto's sled team, and bears the following inscription:

Dedicated to the indomitable spirit of the sled dogs that relayed antitoxin six hundred miles over rough ice, across treacherous waters, through Arctic blizzards from Nenana to the relief of stricken Nome in the Winter of 1925.
Endurance · Fidelity · Intelligence[3][4]

Balto was not destined to be a star in the breeding shed since he was neutered at a young age, hence he was relegated to being neglected on the vaudeville circuit with his team. When Kaasen wished to return home to Alaska, his dogs were sold to the highest bidder by the company who sponsored his tour. The dogs ended up chained in a small area in a novelty museum and freak show in Los Angeles.

While visiting Los Angeles, George Kimble, a former prize fighter turned businessman from Cleveland, was shocked to discover the dogs were unhealthy and badly treated. Mr. Kimble worked together with the newspaper The Plain Dealer to bring Balto and his team to Cleveland, Ohio. On March 19, 1927, Balto and six companions were brought to Cleveland and given a hero's welcome in a triumphant parade. The dogs were then taken to the Brookside Zoo (now the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo).

After Balto died in 1933, his remains were mounted by a taxidermist, and donated to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.[5] In 1965 Carl Barks introduced a hero dog named "Barko" as a character in an Uncle Scrooge comic book, North of the Yukon, as an homage to Balto. In 1998 the Alaska Legislature passed HJR 62- 'Bring Back Balto' resolution. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History declined to return Balto; however, in October 1998, Balto left for a five-month stay at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art which drew record crowds. Balto was part of another exhibit at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art in 2017.[6]

The 1995 animated film of the same name was also made, loosely depicting Balto's famous journey. This film portrayed him as a wolf-dog hybrid and is voiced by Kevin Bacon.

See also


  1. ^ Salisbury, Gay; Laney Salisbury (2003). The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race against an Epidemic. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. p. 187. ISBN 0-393-01962-4.
  2. ^ "Central Park Monuments - Balto". New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Balto". Central Park Conservancy. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  4. ^ "Balto, (sculpture)". Save Outdoor Sculpture, New York New York survey. June 1993. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  5. ^ "Balto". Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Case Western Reserve University. March 27, 1998. Retrieved June 26, 2008.
  6. ^ DeMarco, Laura (February 13, 2017). "Cleveland's most famous canine, Balto, to visit Alaska". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland, Ohio. Retrieved February 20, 2017.

External links

1925 serum run to Nome

The 1925 serum run to Nome, also known as the Great Race of Mercy and the Serum Run, was a transport of diphtheria antitoxin by dog sled relay across the U.S. territory of Alaska by 20 mushers and about 150 sled dogs 674 miles (1,085 km) in five and a half days, saving the small town of Nome and the surrounding communities from an incipient epidemic.

Both the mushers and their dogs were portrayed as heroes in the newly popular medium of radio, and received headline coverage in newspapers across the United States. Balto, the lead sled dog on the final stretch into Nome, became the most famous canine celebrity of the era after Rin Tin Tin, and his statue is a popular tourist attraction in both New York City's Central Park and downtown Anchorage, Alaska. The publicity also helped spur an inoculation campaign in the U.S. that dramatically

reduced the threat of the disease.

The sled dog was the primary means of transportation and communication in subarctic communities around the world, and the race became both the last great hurrah and the most famous event in the history of mushing, before the first aircraft in the 1930s and then the snowmobile in the 1960s drove the dog sled almost into extinction. The world famous Iditarod Race was not conceived to commemorate the serum run but as a race that the co-founders hoped would bring sled dogs back to the villages.

Baltic languages

The Baltic languages belong to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family. Baltic languages are spoken by the Balts, mainly in areas extending east and southeast of the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe.

Scholars usually regard them as a single language family divided into two groups: Western Baltic (containing only extinct languages) and Eastern Baltic (containing two living languages, Lithuanian and Latvian). The range of the Eastern Baltic linguistic influence once possibly reached as far as the Ural Mountains, but this hypothesis has been questioned.Old Prussian, a Western Baltic language that became extinct in the 18th century, ranks as the most archaic of the Baltic languages.Although morphologically related, the Lithuanian, Latvian and, particularly, Old Prussian vocabularies differ substantially from one another, and as such they are not mutually intelligible, mainly due to a substantial number of false friends, and foreign words, borrowed from surrounding language families, which are used differently.

Balto-Slavic languages

The Balto-Slavic languages are a branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It traditionally comprises the Baltic and Slavic languages. Baltic and Slavic languages share several linguistic traits not found in any other Indo-European branch, which points to a period of common development. It is now a general consensus among linguists to classify Baltic and Slavic languages into a single branch, even though some details of the nature of their relationship remain in dispute in some circles, usually due to political controversies. Some linguists (Kortlandt, Derksen) however, have suggested that Balto-Slavic should be split into three equidistant groups: Eastern Baltic, Western Baltic (which is extinct) and Slavic.A Proto-Balto-Slavic language is reconstructable by the comparative method, descending from Proto-Indo-European by means of well-defined sound laws, and out of which modern Slavic and Baltic languages descended. One particularly innovative dialect separated from the Balto-Slavic dialect continuum and became ancestral to the Proto-Slavic language, from which all Slavic languages descended.

Balto (film)

Balto is a 1995 American live-action/animated epic drama adventure film directed by Simon Wells, produced by Amblin Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures. The film is loosely based on a true story about the dog of the same name who helped save children from the diphtheria epidemic in the 1925 serum run to Nome. The film stars Kevin Bacon, Bridget Fonda, Jim Cummings, Phil Collins (in a dual role) and Bob Hoskins, with Miriam Margoyles in the live-action sequences. The live-action portions of the film were shot in New York City's Central Park. The film was the third and final animated feature produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblimation animation studio. Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy and Bonne Radford acted as executive producers on the film. Although the film's theatrical run was overshadowed by the success of the competing Disney•Pixar film Toy Story, its subsequent strong sales on home video led to two direct-to-video sequels: Balto II: Wolf Quest (2002) and Balto III: Wings of Change (2005), though none of the voice cast reprised their roles. Unlike the film, the sequels were entirely animated and contain no live action scenes.

Finnic languages

The Finnic languages (Fennic), or Baltic Finnic languages (Balto-Finnic, Balto-Fennic), are a branch of the Uralic language family spoken around the Baltic Sea by Finnic peoples, mainly in Finland and Estonia, by about 7 million people.

Traditionally, eight Finnic languages have been recognized. The major modern representatives of the family are Finnish and Estonian, the official languages of their respective nation states. The other Finnic languages in the Baltic Sea region are Ingrian and Votic, spoken in Ingria by the Gulf of Finland; and Livonian, once spoken around the Gulf of Riga. Spoken farther northeast are Karelian, Ludic and Veps, in the region of Lakes Onega and Ladoga.

In addition, since the 1990s, several Finnic-speaking minority groups have emerged to seek of recognition as distinct languages, and have established separate literary standard languages. Northern Karelian, Tver Karelian and Livvi represent the three main dialect groups of Karelian, which earlier had been an unwritten language. Võro and Seto (modern descendants of South Estonian) are spoken in southeastern Estonia and earlier were considered dialects of Estonian. The Meänkieli dialects and Kven are spoken in northern Sweden and Norway and have the legal status of independent minority languages. They were earlier considered dialects of Finnish and are mutually intelligible with it.

The smaller languages are endangered. The last native speaker of Livonian died in 2013, and only about a dozen native speakers of Votic remain. Regardless, even for these languages, the shaping of a standard language and education in it continues.The geographic centre of the maximum divergence between the languages is located south of the Gulf of Finland.

Finnic peoples

The Finnic peoples or Baltic Finns consist of the peoples inhabiting the region around the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe who speak Finnic languages, including the Finns proper, Estonians (including Võros and Setos), Karelians (including Ludes and Olonets), Veps, Izhorians, Votes, and Livonians as well as their descendants worldwide. In some cases the Kvens, Ingrians, Tornedalians and speakers of Meänkieli are also included separately rather than being a part of Finns proper.

The bulk of the Finnic peoples are ethnic Finns and Estonians (more than 98%), who reside in the only two independent Finnic nation states – Finland and Estonia.Finnic peoples are also significant minority groups in neighbouring countries of Sweden, Norway and Russia.

Hirt's law

Hirt's law, named after Hermann Hirt, who originally postulated it in 1895, is a Balto-Slavic sound law that states in its modern form that the inherited Proto-Indo-European stress would retract to a non-ablauting pretonic vowel or a syllabic sonorant if it was followed by a consonantal (non-syllabic) laryngeal that closed the preceding syllable.


PIE: *dʰuh₂mós "smoke" (compare Sanskrit dhūmás and Ancient Greek thumós) > Lithuanian dū́mai, Latvian dũmi, Serbo-Croatian dȉm, Polish dym.

PIE *gʷriHwéh₂ "neck; mane" (compare Sanskrit grīvā́) > Latvian grĩva, Serbo-Croatian grȉva, Polish grzywa.

PIE *pl̥h₁nós "full" (compare Sanskrit pūrṇás) > Lithuanian pìlnas, Latvian pil̃ns, Serbo-Croatian pȕn, Polish pełny.Hirt's law did not operate if the laryngeal preceded a vowel, or if the laryngeal followed the second component of a diphthong. Therefore, Hirt's law must be older than the loss of laryngeals in prevocalic position (in glottalic theory formulation: to the merger of glottalic feature of PIE voiced stops who dissolved into laryngeal and buccal part with the reflexes of the original PIE laryngeals), because the stress was not retracted in e.g. *tenh₂wós (Ancient Greek tanaós, Sanskrit tanú) "thin" > Latvian tiêvs, and also older than the loss of syllabic sonorants in Balto-Slavic, as can be seen from the abovementioned reflexes of PIE *pl̥h₁nós, and also in e.g. PIE *dl̥h₁gʰós "long" (compare Sanskrit dīrghá, Ancient Greek dolikhós) > Lithuanian ìlgas, Latvian il̃gs, Croatian/Serbian dȕg.

It follows from the above that Hirt's law must have preceded Winter's law, but was necessarily posterior to Balto-Slavic oxytonesis (shift of stress from inner syllable to the end of the word in accent paradigms with end-stressed forms), because oxytonesis-originating accent was preserved in non-laryngeal declension paradigms; e.g. the retraction occurs in mobile *eh₂-stems so thus have dative plural of Slovene goràm and Chakavian goràmi (< PBSl. *-eh₂mús), locative plural of Slovene and Chakavian goràh (< PBSl. *-eh₂sú), but in thematic (o-stem) paradigm dative plural of Slovene možȇm (< PBSl. *-mús), locative plural of Slovene možéh and Chakavian vlāsíh (< PBSl. *-oysú). The retraction of accent from the ending to the vowel immediately preceding the stem-ending laryngeal (as in PBSl. reflex of PIE *gʷrH-) is obvious. There is also a strong evidence that the same was valid for Old Prussian (in East Baltic dative and locative plural accents were generalized in non-laryngeal inflections).

From the Proto-Indo-European perspective, the importance of Hirt's law lies in the strong correspondence it provides between the Balto-Slavic and Vedic/Ancient Greek accentuation (which more or less intactly reflects the original PIE state), and somewhat less importantly, provides a reliable criterion to distinguish the original sequence of *eH from lengthened grade *ē, as it unambiguously points to the presence of a laryngeal in the stem.

History of Proto-Slavic

The Proto-Slavic language, the hypothetical ancestor of the modern-day Slavic languages, developed from the ancestral Proto-Balto-Slavic language (c. 1500 BC), which is the parent language of the Balto-Slavic languages (both the Slavic and Baltic languages, e.g. Latvian and Lithuanian). The first 2,000 years or so consist of the pre-Slavic era, a long period during which none of the later dialectal differences between Slavic languages had yet happened. The last stage in which the language remained without internal differences that later characterize different Slavic languages can be dated around AD 500 and is sometimes termed Proto-Slavic proper or Early Common Slavic. Following this is the Common Slavic period (c. 500–1000), during which the first dialectal differences appeared but the entire Slavic-speaking area continued to function as a single language, with sound changes tending to spread throughout the entire area. By around 1000, the area had broken up into separate East Slavic, West Slavic and South Slavic languages, and in the following centuries it broke up further into the various modern Slavic languages of which the following are extant: Belarusian, Russian, Rusyn and Ukrainian in the East; Czech, Slovak, Polish, Kashubian and the Sorbian languages in the West, and Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian in the South.

The period from the early centuries AD to the end of the Common Slavic period around 1000 was a time of rapid change, concurrent with the explosive growth of the Slavic-speaking area. By the end of this period, most of the features of the modern Slavic languages had been established. The first historical documentation of the Slavic languages is found in isolated names and words in Greek documents starting in the 6th century, when Slavic-speaking tribes first came in contact with the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire. The first continuous texts date from the late 9th century and were written in Old Church Slavonic—based on the Slavic dialect used in the region of Thessaloniki in Greek Macedonia—as part of the Christianization of the Slavs by Saints Cyril and Methodius and their followers. Because these texts were written during the Common Slavic period, the language they document is close to the ancestral Proto-Slavic language and is still presenting enough unity, therefore it is critically important to the linguistic reconstruction of Slavic-language history.

This article covers historical developments up through the end of the Common Slavic period. For later developments, see History of the Slavic languages.

Indo-European languages

The Indo-European languages are a language family of several hundred related languages and dialects.There are about 445 living Indo-European languages, according to the estimate by Ethnologue, with over two thirds (313) of them belonging to the Indo-Iranian branch. The Indo-European languages with the greatest numbers of native speakers are Spanish, English, Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu), Portuguese, Bengali, Punjabi, and Russian, each with over 100 million speakers, with German, French, Marathi, Italian, and Persian also having more than 50 million. Today, nearly 42% of the human population (3.2 billion) speaks an Indo-European language as a first language, by far the highest of any language family.

The Indo-European family includes most of the modern languages of Europe; notable exceptions include Hungarian, Turkish, Finnish, Estonian, Basque, Maltese, and Sami. The Indo-European family is also represented in Asia with the exception of East and Southeast Asia. It was predominant in ancient Anatolia (present-day Turkey), the ancient Tarim Basin (present-day Northwest China) and most of Central Asia until the medieval Turkic and Mongol invasions. Outside Eurasia, Indo-European languages are dominant in the Americas and much of Oceania and Africa, having reached there during the Age of Discovery and later periods. Indo-European languages are also most commonly present as minority languages or second languages in countries where other families are dominant.

With written evidence appearing since the Bronze Age in the form of the Anatolian languages and Mycenaean Greek, the Indo-European family is significant to the field of historical linguistics as possessing the second-longest recorded history, after the Afroasiatic family, although certain language isolates, such as Sumerian, Elamite, Hurrian, Hattian, and Kassite are recorded earlier.

All Indo-European languages are descendants of a single prehistoric language, reconstructed as Proto-Indo-European, spoken sometime in the Neolithic era. Although no written records remain, aspects of the culture and religion of the Proto-Indo-Europeans can also be reconstructed from the related cultures of ancient and modern Indo-European speakers who continue to live in areas to where the Proto-Indo-Europeans migrated from their original homeland. Several disputed proposals link Indo-European to other major language families. Although they are written in Semitic Old Assyrian, the Hittite loanwords and names found in the Kültepe texts are the oldest record of any Indo-European language.During the nineteenth century, the linguistic concept of Indo-European languages was frequently used interchangeably with the racial concepts of Aryan and Japhetite.

List of Balto characters

This is a list of characters from the film Balto and its sequels.

Meillet's law

Meillet's law is a Common Slavic accent law, named after the French Indo-Europeanist Antoine Meillet, who discovered it.

According to the law, Slavic words have a circumflex on the root vowel (i.e., the first syllable of a word) with a Balto-Slavic acute if that word had a mobile accent paradigm in Proto-Slavic and Proto-Balto-Slavic. Compare:

acute on Lithuanian gálvą, accusative singular of mobile-paradigm galvà 'head', vs. circumflex in Slavic (Serbo-Croatian glȃvu, Slovenian glavô, Russian gólovu)

acute on Lithuanian sū́nų, accusative singular of mobile-paradigm sūnùs 'son', versus circumflex in Slavic (Serbo-Croatian sȋn, Slovenian sîn)Meillet's law should most probably be interpreted as polarization of accentual mobility in Slavic, due to which accent in the words with mobile accentuation had to be on the first mora, instead on the first syllable (in places in paradigm with initial accent). This is the reason in the words belonging to mobile paradigms in Slavic accent shifts from the first syllable to the proclitic, e.g. Russian accusative singular of mobile-paradigm gólovu, but ná golovu 'on the head', Serbo-Croatian glȃvu, but nȁ glāvu.

Pedersen's law

Pedersen's law, named after the Danish linguist Holger Pedersen, is a law of accentuation in Balto-Slavic languages which states that the stress was retracted from stressed medial syllables in paradigms with mobile accent.

It was originally proposed by Ferdinand de Saussure for Baltic to explain forms such as Lithuanian dùkterį, dùkteres (cp. Ancient Greek thugatéra, thugatéres), but was later generalized in 1933 to Balto-Slavic by Pedersen, who then assumed that accentual mobility spread from the consonant-stems to Balto-Slavic eh₂-stems and o-stems.

The term "Pedersen's law" is also applied to later Common Slavic developments in which the stress retraction to prefixes/proclitics can be traced in mobile paradigms, such as Russian ná vodu 'onto the water', né byl 'was not', pródal 'sold', and póvod 'rein'.

Proto-Indo-European *dʰugh₂tḗr 'daughter', with accusative singular *dʰugh₂térm̥ (Ancient Greek thugátēr, acc. sg. thugatéra) > Lithuanian duktė̃, acc. sg. dùkterį.

Proto-Indo-European *poh₂imń̥ ~ *poh₂imén 'shepherd' (Ancient Greek poimḗn, accusative singluar poiména) > Lithuanian piemuõ, acc. sg. píemenį.

Proto-Indo-European *gʰolHwéh₂ with Balto-Slavic semantics of 'head' > Lithuanian galvà (with accusative singular gálvą), Russian golová (acc. sg. gólovu), Chakavian glāvȁ (acc. sg. glȃvu).

Within the relative chronology of Balto-Slavic sound changes, this law was, in its first occurrence in the Balto-Slavic period, posterior to the loss of Proto-Indo-European accentual mobility (i.e. later than the advent of Balto-Slavic mobile paradigms, such as the above-mentioned Lithuanian duktė̃, as opposed to non-final stress in Ancient Greek etymons), so its application was originally limited to the inflection of polysyllabic consonant stems.

Later the retraction of stress spread by analogy to non-consonant stems in case-forms where Pedersen's law applied (commonly termed "barytonesis"). Thus we have accusative singular forms of Lithuanian ãvį 'sheep', sū́nų 'son', diẽvą 'god', žiẽmą 'winter'. Afterwards oxytonesis, Hirt's law, and Winter's law applied.

Proto-Balto-Slavic language

Proto-Balto-Slavic is a reconstructed proto-language descending from Proto-Indo-European (PIE). From Proto-Balto-Slavic, the later Balto-Slavic languages are thought to have developed, composed of sub-branches Baltic and Slavic, and including modern Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian and Serbo-Croatian among others.

Like most other proto-languages, it is not attested by any surviving texts but has been reconstructed using the comparative method. There are several isoglosses that Baltic and Slavic languages share in phonology, morphology and accentology, which represent common innovations from Proto-Indo-European times and can be chronologically arranged.

Proto-Indo-European accent

Proto-Indo-European accent refers to the accentual system of the Proto-Indo-European language.

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky (Russian: Сибирский хаски, lit: Sibirskiy Haski) is a medium size working dog breed that originated in Northeast Asia. The breed belongs to the Spitz genetic family. With proper training, they make great sled dogs. It is recognizable by its thickly furred double coat, erect triangular ears, and distinctive markings, and is smaller than a very similar-looking dog, the Alaskan Malamute.

The original Siberian Huskies were bred by the Chukchi people — whose hunter-gatherer culture relied on their help. It is an active, energetic, resilient breed, whose ancestors lived in the extremely cold and harsh environment of the Siberian Arctic. William Goosak, a Russian fur trader, introduced them to Nome, Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush, initially as sled dogs. The people of Nome referred to Siberian Huskies as "Siberian Rats" due to their size of 40–50 lb (18–23 kg), versus the Malamutes size of 75–85 lb (34–39 kg).

Slavic languages

The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages) are the Indo-European languages spoken by the Slavic peoples. They are thought to descend from a proto-language called Proto-Slavic, spoken during the Early Middle Ages, which in turn is thought to have descended from the earlier Proto-Balto-Slavic language, linking the Slavic languages to the Baltic languages in a Balto-Slavic group within the Indo-European family.

The Slavic languages are divided intro three subgroups: East, West, and South, which together constitute more than 20 languages. Of these, 10 have at least one million speakers and official status as the national languages of the countries in which they are predominantly spoken: Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian (of the East group), Polish, Czech and Slovak (of the West group) and Slovene, Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian and Bulgarian (of the South group).

The current geographic distribution of natively spoken Slavic languages covers Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Central Europe and all of the territory of Russia, which includes northern and north-central Asia. Furthermore, the diasporas of many Slavic peoples have established isolated minorities of speakers of their languages all over the world. The number of speakers of all Slavic languages together is estimated to be 315 million. Despite the large extent, the individual Slavic languages are considerably less differentiated than Germanic and Romance languages.

Sled dog

Sled dogs were important for transportation in arctic areas, hauling supplies in areas that were inaccessible by other methods. They were used with varying success in the explorations of both poles, as well as during the Alaskan gold rush. Sled dog teams delivered mail to rural communities in Alaska and northern Canada. Sled dogs today are still used by some rural communities, especially in areas of Alaska and Canada and throughout Greenland. They are used for recreational purposes and racing events, such as the Iditarod Trail and the Yukon Quest.

Winter's law

Winter's law, named after Werner Winter, who postulated it in 1978, is a proposed sound law operating on Balto-Slavic short vowels */e/, */o/, */a/ (< PIE *h₂e), */i/ and */u/ according to which they lengthen before unaspirated voiced stops, and that syllable gains rising, acute accent.


PIE *sed- "to sit" (which also gave Latin sedeō, Sanskrit sīdati, Ancient Greek hézomai and English sit) > Proto-Balto-Slavic *sēstej (*sēd-tej) > Lithuanian sė́sti, OCS sěsti (with regular *dt > *st dissimilation; OCS and Common Slavic yat /ě/ is a regular reflex of PIE/PBSl. */ē/).

PIE *h₂ebl- "apple" (that also gave English apple) > Proto-Balto-Slavic *ābl- > standard Lithuanian obuolỹs (accusative óbuolį) and also dialectal forms of óbuolas and Samogitian óbulas, OCS ablъko, modern Serbian/Croatian jȁbuka, Slovene jábolko etc.Winter's law is supposed to show the difference between the reflexes of PIE */b/, */d/, */g/, */gʷ/ in Balto-Slavic (in front of which Winter's law operates in closed syllable) and PIE */bʰ/, */dʰ/, */gʰ/, */gʷʰ/ (before which there is no effect of Winter's law). That shows that in relative chronology, Winter's law operated before PIE aspirated stops */bʰ/, */dʰ/, */gʰ/ merged with PIE plain voiced stops */b/, */d/, */g/ in Balto-Slavic.

Secondarily, Winter's law is also supposed to show the difference between the reflexes of PIE *h₂e > */a/ and PIE */o/ which otherwise merged to */a/ in Balto-Slavic. When those vowels lengthen in accordance with Winter's law, old */a/ (< PIE *h₂e) has lengthened into Balto-Slavic */ā/ (which later gave Lithuanian /o/, Latvian /ā/, OCS /a/), and old */o/ has lengthened into Balto-Slavic */ō/ (which later gave Lithuanian and Latvian uo, but OCS /a/). In later development, which represented Common Slavic innovation, the reflexes of Balto-Slavic */ā/ and */ō/ were merged, and they both result in OCS /a/. This also shows that Winter's law operated prior to the common Balto-Slavic change */o/ > */a/.

The original formulation of Winter's law stated that the vowels regularly lengthened in front of PIE voiced stops in all environments. As much as there were numerous examples that supported this formulation, there were also many counterexamples, such as OCS stogъ "stack" < PIE *stógos, OCS voda "water" < PIE *wodṓr (collective noun formed from PIE *wódr̥). An adjustment of Winter's law, with the conclusion that it operates only on closed syllables, was proposed by Matasović in 1994. Matasović's revision of Winter's law has been used in the Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben. Other variations of the blocking mechanism for Winter's law have been proposed by Kortlandt, Shintani, Rasmussen, Dybo and Holst.

Actual story
Film series
Related articles

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.