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Polymeric precursors for high-performance niride ceramics have been attracting increasing attention as they offer access to fine-grained materials with excellent homogeneity. A new method for the synthesis of polymeric precursors to Si/B/N and Si/Al/N ceramics which starts from easily available compounds and avoids the need for oligomeric intermediates is reported. The compositions of the ceramic powders as well as the properties of the polymers can be tailored on a molecular scale.