Research on the Balkan languages has concentrated mainly on phonological, morphosyntactic and lexical similarities on the one hand (for an overview, cf., e.g., Asenova 2002, Friedman 2006) and on the common tradition of folk songs on the other (e.g., Georges 1972, Friedman 2012). More recently, the discourse basis of certain Balkan features has been pointed out (e.g., Friedman 1994). Furthermore, structural analogies on the text level have become the focus of attention in, for example, Fielder’s (1999) analysis of Turkish-Bulgarian convergences in the usage of verbal categories for the structuring of narratives. Embedding morphosyntax in a textual perspective, Asenova (2002:296-97) assumes the similarity in the syntactic systems of the Balkan languages to be indicative of a similarity in the structure of their different “variants of the Balkan text.” D’omina (1970:418) notices a “Bulgarian manner of narration” for damaskini dating to the 17th and 18th century, which is visible in the usage patterns of renarrative and nonrenarrative forms. Focusing on the l-periphrasis in pre-standardized Balkan Slavic written documents, this article intends to arrive at a clearer picture of the “Balkan text” and the Balkan manner of narration. The data basis is provided by texts dating from the mid-17th to the early 19th century. This temporal delimitation is crucial for two reasons: On the one hand, later language planning may have excluded Balkan features from the standard languages and hence may have expelled them from the majority of written documents. On the other hand, the respective features are not displayed beyond random occurrences in older, predominantly Church Slavonic documents. Texts dating to the 17th-19th century can thus be assumed to reflect possible Balkan structures and usage patterns, which may have been lost in the course of standardizing linguistic structures and literary conventions.