Eitusvormid 17.–18. sajandi eesti piibliversioonides [Negative Verb Forms in Estonian Bible Versions during the 17th and 18th Centuries]

Annika Kilgi


As the observation of 19 Scripture versions from the years 1632–1739 shows, the notion of Estonian negation changed a lot during the translating process of Estonia’s fi rst full Bible. In North Estonian translations until the middle of the 1680s, German-like negation was often used instead of genuine Estonian forms: indicative negation was formed by merely adding a negative particle to the affi rmative; sometimes mitt e, “not”, or a pronoun was the only negative marker. Such forms were, for the fi rst time, regularly replaced by genuine Estonian negation during the Pilistvere Bible conference in 1687. German-like negation was eliminated even more decisively in two Bible versions compiled immediately after this meeting: in the thoroughly edited New Testament by Johann Hornung, and in the Old Testament translated by Andreas and Adrian Virginius. From then on, such a choice of forms was preserved in North Estonian translations. In South Estonian texts, genuine Estonian forms dominated from the start. In South Estonian translations, the negative particles ei and es were used from the outset. In North Estonian texts, ep was the principal negative particle until the middle of the 1680s. With the translations by Virginius and Virginius, and Hornung, ei also became the principal negative particle in the North Estonian tradition. To a small extent, translators also began to again use es ~ is, which was common in the North Estonian sermons that were compiled by Georg Müller in the fi rst years of the 17th century. In prohibitive forms, the negation word ära remained the same in all persons before the 1680s. Then, for the fi rst time, diff erent forms of this verb were used by Hornung (ärgu in the third person), by both Virginius and Virginius, and by Hornung (ärge in the second person plural). The ancient Finno-Ugric negative verb form e- occurred in the Bible translations extremely rarely, only in North Estonian texts and only in fi rst 137 person singular (en) and third person plural (evad). In the earlier sermons of Müller, instances of the negative verb in fi rst person plural (emme) have also been found.


negation, Estonian Bible translation, literary language history, Estonian

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