After the division of Czechoslovakia, both languages retained strong cultural and educational ties and only the future will show whether Czech or Slovak will distinguish themselves more.
Slovak was influenced by a number of other languages besides Czech, notably Polish, Hungarian, German. In recent times, more words are being borrowed from English and Italian. They are added immediately by applying Slovak spelling. For example, the Italian word qualita became Slovak’s kvalita, English weekend – Slovak vikend.
Slovak, like Czech, differs from most other Slavic language in accent or stress placement. It is always placed on the first syllable of the word.
There are four major dialects found in the Slovak language: Eastern, Central, Western, and Lowland.
The Lowland group is considered a subgroup of the Western and Central dialects.
Slovak uses the phonemic spelling principle – letters are written as they are heard. While the secondary principle is morphological – words derived from the same stem are written in the same way even if they are pronounced differently because of assimilation.
In Slovak syntax, the verb agrees with the subject in person and in number. Word order in the sentence is mostly (but not completely) free as the rich inflection system helps identify thematic roles regardless of word placement.
Verbs have three major conjugations. Three persons and two numbers (singular and plural) are distinguished. Non-continuous time is indicated with a perfect verb and the continuous version with an imperfect verb, which is formed on the perfect stem.
There is one past tense in the modern language, although historically there were two – one of them is considered dated or grammatically incorrect. There is one future tense. For imperfect verbs, it is formed analytically, for perfect verbs it is identical to the present tense. There are two conditional forms.