The Russian particle BY against the common Slavic background
The subject of this paper is the present status and syntax of the particle BY, which is the only enclitical particle retained in all Slavic languages. The evolution of the particle BY was varied. The instability of its enclitical status (as the particle of the most recent origin) was evidenced as early as in texts in Old Church Slavonic. In modern Slavic languages it features considerable variation in its morphological and syntactical status, which ranges from a migrating affix in Polish to a fully accented conjugated auxiliary in Bulgarian. In the other languages, where it is aclitic, itmay be unsteady in its clitical properties (as in Serbian and Macedonian).