After the Bulgarians achieved independence in 1878, a modern literary language based on the vernacular came into its own. Modern Bulgarian, which is generally said to date from the 16th cent., borrowed many words from Greek and Turkish during the period of Turkish domination; more recently it has borrowed words from Russian, French, and German. The Bulgarian language lacks definite rules for stress; therefore, the accent of every word must be learned individually. Unlike most other Slavic tongues, Bulgarian has a definite article. This is in the form of a suffix joined to the noun. Another difference between Bulgarian and most other Slavic languages is that Bulgarian has almost completely dropped the numerous case forms of the noun. It uses position and prepositions (like English) to indicate grammatical relationships in a sentence instead of cases (like Russian). Despite these differences, Bulgarian closely resembles the other Slavic languages, especially with regard to grammar. A modified form of the Cyrillic alphabet is used for writing Bulgarian.
See S. B. Bernshtein,
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