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Early Period
Home > Mezzofanti > Eminent linguists > Slavonian linguists > Early Period

In most cases, however, this facility in the use of foreign languages enjoyed by the natives of Russia and Poland, is chiefly conversational, and acquired rather by practice than by study; and, among the numbers who, during the last three centuries, must be presumed to have possessed this gift in an eminent degree, very few appear to have acquired a permanent reputation as scholars in the higher sense of the name. Unfortunately, too, even were it otherwise, the materials for a history of Russian linguists are extremely scanty. Not one of those who have written upon Slavonic Literature, appears to have adverted to this as a distinct branch of scholarship; Slavonic scholars, too, have met but imperfect justice from the writers on general biography; and thus, especially for one to whom the native sources of information are inaccessible, the rare allusions which can be gleaned from the general history of Slavonic literature supply but an uncertain and imperfect guide, even did opportunities present themselves for pursuing the inquiry.

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