From the beginning of the 9th century Merseburg, Salzburg and Passau were the centres for spreading the Gospel among the Slavonic tribes on the south-eastern marches of the Frankish empire, in Bohemia, Moravia, Pannonia and Carinthia.
After the Baltic group had separated from the Slavonic, we must imagine a long period when Slavonic (S1.) was a bundle of dialects, showing some of the peculiarities of the future languages, but on the whole so much alike that we may say that such and such forms were common to them all.
In N.W. Slavonic, with the exception of Kasube, in which it is free, the accent is fixed, in C., Slovak and Sorb on the first syllable of the word, in Polish on the penultimate.
We find that these are the survivals of a group of tongues once common to Gaul and Britain, but which the settlement of other nations, the introduction and the growth of other tongues, have brought down to the level of survivals.
But, on the other hand, where French or Danish or Slavonic or Lithuanian is spoken within the bounds of the new empire, the principle that language is the badge of nationality, that without community of language nationality is imperfect, shows itself in another shape.
We at once feel that this artificially formed nation, which has no common language, but each of whose elements speaks a language common to itself with some other nation, is something different from those nations which are defined by a universal or at least a predominant language.
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