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Title: Socjolingwistyczne uwarunkowania języka molizańskich Chorwatów
Authors: Feruga, Krzysztof
Advisor: Tokarz, Emil
Keywords: język chorwacki; tożsamość etniczna Chorwatów; Chorwaci
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Katowice : Uniwersytet Śląski
Abstract: The language of the Slavic people of the XXIst century comprises Middle Europe, above all Eastern Europe and further into the East, a part of Southeast Asia reaching to: the Chinese Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk, the Berling Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. However, in the South it comprises almost all the Balcans, reaches to the Adriatic Sea and to the Aegean Sea. Slavic people have migrated for many centuries that is why some of them can be found everywhere. There have never been any obstacles that could prevent them from crossing even the most exotic and inaccessible borders. They are able to adjust to every situation. Migrating, they arrived to Europe over the Baltic Sea together with the Balts. Later they spreaded into the West near the Rhen, into the East reaching the Chinese Sea and into the South close to Southern Italy and the Greek islands. Slavic people underwent different vicissitudes. Up to the nineties of the XXth century majority of them fought for their own conspicuous position in the European political, social and cultural space. Some of Slavic nations (i.e. Poles, the Russians) received the status of powers of that time which discredited them in some way. The end of the XXth century brought new opportunities. After Communism had collapsed, new social and political organisms were created and substituted the previous systems. Among other things, it gave way to a new communication situation which influenced the status of contemporary Slavic languages and their diasporas to a significant degree. Nowadays almost all of the Slavic nations, except Luzicans, Russians, Croats from the town of Gradiška, Molise Croats and other minor diasporas, have gained the status of a lawful subject. Their national languages almost automatically have became official, country standards (the Montenegrin language is undergoing intensive normative and legislative work now). Nowadays 14 official Slavic languages can be singled out (in the North: Polish, Czech, Slovak; in the East: Russian, Ukrainian, Bialorussian; in the South: Slovene, Serb, Bosnian, Montenegrin, Macedonian and Bulgarian). What is more, there are also 8 languages with the status of official minority or ethnic groups languages. In general they are border diasporas having close links with the mother tongue, using the native spoken and written version of the language. Close territorial links and direct contact make it easier to use the standard native language. Only few diasporas do not fit that model, e.g. Burgenland-Croatian and Molise. Their ancestors came from the Southern part of the Balkan Peninsula which is now inhabited by Croats. Separating from the mother land was connected with the danger they faced from Turks after losing the battles of Warna and Kosovo. The victorious Ottoman Turks took to the West after conquering Constantinopole. They were ravaging the Balkans and Central Europe. Then a long period of Turkish slavery was initiated. Slavic people were displaced massively. They fought for maintaining their national identity, their language and religion. After winning the battle of Vienna, John III Sobieski, King of Poland, stopped Turks from progressing further into Europe. He inspired Slavic people with regaining their freedom. Intensified migration movements of Slavic people increased after the defeat on the plain of Kosovo in 1493. The defenceless Slavic population, without their own knighthood, was left with nothing else but to create irregular armed forces protecting their family and belongings (Hajduks, Uskoks). They could also look for new relocating opportunities in safer neighbouring areas. Then massive organised relocations of Southern Slavic people called selidbe started to take place. They were moving towards the safer borders of Austro-Hungary, also over the Adriatic Sea onto the Apennine Peninsula. The escape route led into several directions: the first one across the islands and the sea onto the Apennine Peninsula, the second one along the Croatian coastline to Istria and Friula, the third one through the Kupa River and the Sutla River into Slovenia, and the last one through the Mura River and the Drawa River into Western Hungary and the South of Austria, Slovakia and Moravia. Additionally, a stretch of territory was secluded, called Vojna Krajina, where families of refugees took the land on lease near to the Southern borderline of the monarchy. The men were obliged to constant military flexibility in case of military threat from the Turks. The relocations of the population resulted in changing the language structure and the structure of dialects all over the Balkan area. The people facing the immediate danger spoke the Shtokav dialects. They were systematically dislodging the people using the Kaikav and Chakav dialects into the West and the South-West. The two diasporas of Croats who now live in the historic Burgenland (Gradišcie) and in several villages of Molise (Southern Italy) are even today an interesting example of people devoted to their mother land despite inhabiting among other national communities and Non-Slavic cultures. Their ancestors forced their way to the new terrains in the XVI century. They did their best to preserve their Slavic identity despite breaking the ties with the mother land. Up till now they have been fighting for their survival through maintaining the Slavic culture and language that develop in different surroundings, in different conditions of cohabitation with neighbouring areas. This work is the first study of Molise Croats developed is such broad spectrum in Poland. The object of it is to introduce Molise Croats, the representatives of one of the smallest Slavic diasporas in Europe. It focuses on their language in the today sociolinguistic situation. A most interesting language group of the smallest Croatian diaspora are Slavic people called Slava, Sklavuna, Schiavona, Croat (Molise), and Sćavuna, who live in the South-Western Italian region of Molise. They mainly inhabit three villages Acguaviva Collecroci (Živavoda Kruč), Montemitro (Mundimitar) and San Felice del Molise (Stifilić / Filić). They are former fortified settlements located upon the nearby hills of the mountain range Apenines. The villages are separated by a dozen or so kilometers at the altitude of 200 - 700 m above sea level. The terrain can be located between two rivers - the Tringo River and the Biferno River - about 20 km away from the Adriatic seashore (Tremoli). The capital of the province is Campobasso (Kampavaša). The Molise Region itself was decreed not a long time ago, in 1963. It is a poor Italian province. The Slavic people from the Balkan Peninsula faced the brutality of the Turkish invader quite early. Out of dispair, a part of the population tried to seek new safer possibilities of existence in the North (Burgenland, Wojwodina) or in the South of Europe, even across the Adriatic Sea (s one bane mora). The displacement (selitve) was enhanced in the XVth and XVIth centuries. It was the time when the Molise Croats arrived where they are now settled. It is estimated that their former country was the area to the South of Cetina, near to the Makarian Islands. The archaic Molise Croatian dialect (moliškohrvatski / croato-molisano) is a good evidence for it. The dialect has developed peculiarly outside the mother country. It can be argued that the Molise Croatian dialect comes from the Shtokav and Ekav dialects with elements of the Chakav dialect. Their ethnogenesis raises numerous suppositions and speculations. Nowadays the people who speak the Molise Croatian dialect cannot be explicitly defined. According to the official census that was taken in 1991 there were 2. 322 Molise Slavic people / Molise Croats at that time. At the present time it is estimated that the Molise Croatian dialect is habitually spoken by 2. 000 inhabitants. It results from their social situation. In those three locations there are not being developed any serious regional economic activities. The elderly people live off small old-age pensions or disability pensions. They also do farming for a living (they grow olives, grapevine and corn). The people who are professionally active, however, commute to work to the local towns (Tremoli, San Salvo, etc.). High schools and colleges accessible to the teenagers are located away from the villages. It is connected with a significant outflow of the young people. They embark on mixed marriages. The contemporary lifestyle and mass media, the Italian church (with the Italian language) and the fact that all of the ihabitants are bilingual devastate the identity, which above all concerns the young people. Undoubtadly, the full standardization of the language is under threat. Until recently, it was passed on in a habitual spoken way. There are not many written documentaries. Texts written in that language have almost been nonexistant. Nonetheles, they do not want to forget about their own tradition and the native language. The people are not ashamed of their roots. There is a group of quite young people who tries to preserve the awareness of the tradition. Although the Slavic language is spoken in the three locations, not everybody uses it on daily terms. The youngest generation understands the language, but it is not used enthusiastically. There are associations (Fondazione „Agostina Piccoli, Associazione culturale Naš jezik, Associazione „Pro loco”, and other ones), which try to prapagate their language, and above all to standardize it, recreate the forgotten folk traditions, establish tight links with the mother country (activities of the honorary consul of Croatia Antonio Sammartino). Normative works have been under way, grammar has been formulated, literary works are being created in that language. The Croatian language has been introduced into primary schools (the teacher is Ms. Vesna Ljubić). Introduction of the Molise Croatian dialect is being considered now. Some insignificant attempts of introducing it have been made already. There is a project of publishing the first spelling book in the native dialect. The language of the three Molise Croatian locations is not unified. There are many differences, above all associated with the lexis. The works leading to the description of the language do not intend to unify it. The people who perform the task are not all linguists. They try to stop the atrophic tendency within the scope of the dialect. They also want to encourage the youngest generation to sustain the tradition of their grandparents and parents. They are proud that the prediction of M. Rešetar that their language will disappear after decades has not come true. They try to be true to the testament of Nikola Nerro (1761-1799): Nemojte zabit’ naš lipi jezik Non dimenticate la nostra bella lingua This work is another contemporary contribution to understanding the Slavic people who were once located by the historical events in the Roman environment of central Italy. It tries to introduce the Molise diaspora, which preserved its Slavic identity and the old archaic language of Croats on the background of: - the migration of the Slavic people in terms of the historical events, - creating their own cultural and language separateness, - the new challenges in relation to the multinational policy in the European Union. The language of Molise Croats has been collated with the contemporary Croatian language standard in the analysis made here. A rich bibliography that concerns the new Southern Slavic languages and some Croatian diasporas has been annexed to the work.
Appears in Collections:Rozprawy doktorskie (W.Hum.)

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