Moravian dialects

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Moravian
moravská nářečí
Native to Czech Republic, Slovakia
Region Moravia and Czech Silesia
Native speakers
108,000  (2011)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog czec1259[2]
{{{mapalt}}}
Map of Moravia and Czech Silesia (borders between the two regions not shown) indicating the major dialect groups:

Central Moravian dialects
Eastern Moravian dialects
Lach dialects
Bohemian-Moravian dialects
Cieszyn Silesian speaking area

Mixed dialects (areas originally inhabited by Germans, resettled after their expulsion in 1945)

Moravian dialects (Czech: moravská nářečí, moravština) are the forms of the Czech language spoken in Moravia, a historical region in the southeast of the Czech Republic. There are more forms of the Czech language used in Moravia than in the rest of the Czech Republic. The main four groups of dialects are the Bohemian-Moravian group, the Central Moravian group, the Eastern Moravian group and the Lach (Silesian) group (which is also spoken in Czech Silesia).[3] While the forms are generally viewed as regional variants of Czech, some Moravians (108,469 in the 2011 Census) claim them to be one separate Moravian language.[1]

Southeastern Moravian dialects form a dialect continuum with the closely related Slovak language,[4] and are thus sometimes viewed as dialects of Slovak rather than Czech.[5]

Until the 19th century, the language used in Slavic-speaking areas of Moravia was referred to as “Moravian” or as “Czech”. When regular censuses started in Austria-Hungary in 1880, the choice of main-communication languages[note 1] in the forms prescribed in Cisleithania did not include Czech language but included the single item Bohemian–Moravian–Slovak[note 2] (the others being German, Polish, Rusyn, Slovene, Serbo-Croatian, Italian, Romanian and Hungarian).[6] Respondents who chose Bohemian–Moravian–Slovak as their main communicating language were counted in the Austrian censuses as Czechs.

On the occasion of 2011 Census of the Czech Republic, several Moravian organizations (political party Moravané and Moravian National Community amongst others) led a campaign to promote the Moravian nationality and language. The Czech Statistical Office assured the Moravané party that filling in “Moravian” as language would not be treated as ticking off “Czech”, because forms were processed by a computer and superseding Czech for Moravian was technically virtually impossible.[7]

According to the results of the census, there was a total number of 108,469 native speakers of Moravian in 2011. Of them, 62,908 consider Moravian to be their only native language, and 45,561 are native speakers of both Moravian and Czech.[1]

Dialects[edit]

While the former regional dialects of Bohemia have merged into one interdialect, Common Czech (with some small exceptions in borderlands), the territory of Moravia is still linguistically diversified. This may be due to absence of a single Moravian cultural and political centre (analogous to Prague in Bohemia) for most of the history,[8] as well as the fact that both of its major cities—Brno and Olomouc—used to be predominantly inhabited by a German-speaking population. The most common classification distinguishes three major groups of Moravian dialects: Central Moravian (Hanakian), Eastern Moravian (Moravian-Slovak) and Silesian (Lach).[9] Some typical phonological differences between the Moravian dialects are shown below on the sentence ‘Put the flour from the mill in the cart’:[10]

Central Moravian: Dé móku ze mna na vozék.
Eastern Moravian: Daj múku ze młýna na vozík.
Lach: Daj muku ze młyna na vozik.
(Standard Czech: Dej mouku ze mna na vozík.)

Central Moravian[edit]

An inscription on the façade of Prostějov castle showing a poem written in Hanakian dialect

Central Moravian dialects, or Hanakian dialects (Hanak dialects, Haná dialects, Czech: hanácké nářečí, hanáčtina), are spoken in the central part of Moravia around Znojmo, Třebíč, Brno, Olomouc, Přerov, Zábřeh and Šumperk. While the Central Moravian group traditionally contained many dialects native to specific microregions, today's spoken language across Central Moravia is moving towards a unified "Common Hanakian dialect" (Czech: obecná hanáčtina).[11] Features of this group include

  • A prevalence of the vowels e and é in place of i/y (ryba > reba, život > ževot), í/ý (mlýn > mlén), and ej (nedělej > nedělé).[12]
  • O and ó in place of u and ou, respectively (ruka > roka, mouka > móka). By extension, the third person plural ending of verbs which would be in standard Czech, and -ej(í) or -ou in Common Czech, is -ijó, or sometimes just in Central Moravian (prosí/prosej(í) > prosijó, hrají/hrajou > hrajijó/hrajó). The instrumental ending is also replaced by (s naší kočkou > s našó kočkó).[12]
  • The ending -a instead of -e for feminine nouns and possessive adjectives is retained, as in Slovak (naše slepice > naša slepica).[12]
  • The verb “to be” has the 1st person singular present tense form su rather than jsem.[12]
  • In contrast to Common Czech, the -l on past tense verbs is always retained (nesl and never nes).[12]

The dialects spoken in and around Brno have seen a lot of lexical influence from Hantec slang, a jargon incorporating many German and Yiddish loanwords into the local Central Moravian dialect. Although by the 21st century the slang had greatly declined in use, some vocabulary from Hantec is still used commonly in everyday speech, for example šalina instead of tramvaj for “tram”, from German elektrischelinie.

The Hanakian dialect has a literary presence. Writers who have written in Hanakian dialect include Alois and Vilém Mrštík, Ondřej Přikryl and Jakub Obrovský. Written Hanakian dialect often distinguishes between "wide" or "open" ê and ô (as in rêba, rôka), and "closed" e and o, to reflect dialects which pronounce these two sounds differently.[11]

Smrť kmotřička (example text)[edit]

Bêl jednó jeden člověk tôze chôdobné na sfětě. Narodil se mô chlapeček, ale nigdo (nihdo) nechtěl mô jiť za kmotra, že bêl tôze chôdobné. Otec si povidá: „Milé Bože, tak sô chôdobné, že mně nihdo nechce poslóžeť v té věce; veznô (vemô) si chlapca, pudô, a keho potkám, teho naptám za kmotra, a nepotkám-lê žádnyho, kostelnik mně přece snaď poslóži.“ Šil a potkal smrť, ale nevěděl, co to je za osobô; bêla pěkná ženská, jako iná ženská. Ptal jô za kmotřêčkô. Ona se nevêmlóvala a hneď ho přêvitala kmôcháčkem, vzala chlapca na rôkê a nesla ho do kostela. Chasnička pokřtilê jak se patři. (full text)

Czech translation:

Byl jednou na světě jeden velmi chudý člověk. Narodil se mu chlapeček, ale nikdo mu nechtěl jít za kmotra, protože byl velmi chudý. Otec si povídá: „Milý Bože, jsem tak chudý, že mi v té věci nikdo nechce posloužit; vezmu si chlapce, půjdu, a koho potkám, toho si najmu jako kmotra, a nepotkám-li nikoho, snad mi přece poslouží kostelník.“ Šel a potkal smrt, ale nevěděl, co je to za osobu; byla to pěkná žena, jako jiná žena. Požádal ji, aby šla za kmotru. Ona se nevymlouvala a hned ho oslovila „kmotříčku“, vzala chlapce na ruce a nesla ho do kostela. Chasníčka pokřtili, jak se patří.

Eastern Moravian[edit]

A mural at Uherské Hradiště railway station with two lines of poetry written in an Eastern Moravian dialect
A document describing the ethnic composition of Moravia in 1878, along with the Moravian dialects. This writing identifies the Wallachian dialect as a transitional dialect between Czech and Slovak, while the inhabitants of Moravian Slovakia are described as Slovaks.

Eastern Moravian dialects are transitional dialects between Czech and Slovak.[13] They are spoken in the strip of land extending from Břeclav to Hodonín, Kyjov, Uherské Hradiště, Zlín and Vsetín. The Eastern group contains two dialects of specific interest, the Moravian Wallachian dialect (Czech: valašské nářečí, valašština) and the Moravian-Slovak dialect (Czech: slovácké nářečí, moravská slovenština).[14] Features of Eastern Moravian dialects include:

  • The distinction between hard l and soft ł (pronounced [w]) is usually retained (hlava, dělat > hłava, děłat). By extension, the final -l in past tense verbs is often rendered -u.[12]
  • aj sometimes retained instead of ej (vejce > vajco, dej > daj).[12]
  • In contrast to Common Czech, -ý- always prevails over -ej- (dobrý, strýc and never dobrej, strejc).[12]
  • Infinitives end in rather than -t, as in Slovak (být > býť)
  • The Moravian-Slovak dialect shares several other features with Slovak, including the use of the long ĺ and ŕ (hloubka > hĺbka, hrnout > ohŕňat).[12]
  • Wallachian dialects preserve the present transgressive, which is usually considered archaic in standard Czech aside from in a few arbitrary phrases.[12]

Lachian dialects[edit]

Main article: Lach dialects

Lachian dialects (Lach dialects, Czech: lašské nářečí, laština), spoken in north-eastern Moravia and the adjacent regions of Silesia around Opava, Ostrava, Frýdek-Místek and Frenštát pod Radhoštěm, are transitional dialects sharing more features of Polish.[15] Defining phonological features include loss of distinction between long and short vowels, a feature colloquially known as “krátký zobák” in Czech (“short beak”),[12] stress shifted to the penultimate syllable of the word, as in Polish, rather than the first syllable,[15] alveolar consonants d, t and n often shifted to their palatal counterparts, and a distinction between “hard” (post-alveolar or retroflex) š, ž, č and “soft” (alveolo-palatal) ś, ź, ć, as in Polish.[12] Silesian dialects also contain many German loanwords unfamiliar to other Czech dialects. The Lachian dialects are closely related to the Cieszyn Silesian dialect, spoken in the area around Karviná, Český Těšín and Třinec as well as on the Polish side of the border.

Bohemian-Moravian dialects[edit]

Bohemian-Moravian dialects, or South-eastern Bohemian dialects, spoken in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands in western Moravia around Dačice, Jihlava and Žďár nad Sázavou are a transitional group between dialects of Bohemia and Moravia, sharing some features in common with Common Czech and others more in common with Central Moravian.[9][12]

Linguistic features[edit]

Phonology[edit]

Moravian dialects preserve numerous archaic phonological features that are no longer used in contemporary Czech, but can still be found in many other Slavic languages. The following tables list selected cognates, pointing out the archaisms and showing their equivalents in the other languages:

Absence of the Czech ′a > e vowel shift[edit]

Czech Moravian Slovak Polish Upper Sorbian Lower Sorbian Russian Ukrainian Slovenian Prekmurian Serbo-Croatian English
naše naša naša nasza naša naša наша (naša) наша (naša) naša naša naša our
ovce ovca ovca owca wowca wójca овца (ovca) вівця (vivcja) ovca ovca ovca sheep
zmije zmija zmija żmija zmija zmija змея (zmeja) змія (zmija) zmija viper; snake
moře mořa mora morza morja mórja моря (morja) моря (morja) morja mourja mora sea (gen.)
koně koňa koňa konia konja konja коня (konja) коня (konja) konja konja konja horse (gen.)
pole pola poľa pola pola póla поля (polja) поля (polja) polja polá polja field (gen.)

Absence of the Czech ′u > i vowel shift[edit]

Czech Moravian Slovak Polish Upper Sorbian Lower Sorbian Russian Ukrainian Slovenian Prekmurian Serbo-Croatian English
duši dušu dušu duszę dušu dušu душу (dušu) душу (dušu) dušo düšo dušu soul (acc.)
ulici ulicu ulicu ulicę улицу (ulicu) вулицю (vulycju) ulico vulico ulicu street' (acc.)
chci chcu chcem chcę chcu cu хочу (choču) хочу (choču) hočem ščém (ho)ću I want
moři mořu moru morzu (mořu) morju mórju морю (morju) морю (morju) morju mourji moru sea (dat.)
poli polu poľu polu polu pólu полю (polju) полю (polju) polju poli polju field (dat.)
ji ju ju ją ju ju её (ejo) її (jiji) jo jo nju/ju/je her (acc.)

Retaining the -šč- group[edit]

Czech Moravian Slovak Polish Upper Sorbian Russian Ukrainian Slovenian Prekmurian Kajkavian Serbo-Croatian English
ještě (j)ešče ešte jeszcze (ješče) hišće ещё (eščjo) щe (šče) še ešče jošće, išće još still, yet

Retaining palatal consonants[edit]

Czech Moravian Slovak Polish Upper Sorbian Russian Ukrainian Slovenian Prekmurian Serbo-Croatian English
snad snaď snáď sna/snać[n 1] sna hopefully
radost radosť radosť radość radosć радость (radost') радість (radist') radost radost radost joy
den deň deň dzień dźeń день (d'en') день (den') dan dén dan day
  1. ^ obsolete

Grammar[edit]

While Moravian grammar tends to be similar to Czech grammar, there are some defining features. For instance, Moravian dialects apply a uniform pattern to the 3rd person plural ending of class IV -it verbs, and class III -et verbs, which in standard Czech traditionally varied in an unintuitive fashion:[16]

Standard Czech (infinitive) Haná dialect Moravian-Slovak dialect meaning
prosí (inf. prosit) prosijó prosijú they beg
trpí (inf. trpět) trpijó, trpějó trpijú, trpějú they suffer
sázejí (inf. sázet) sázijó, sázejó sázijú, sázejú they sow

Moravian dialects also occasionally use prepositions in a different fashion to Standard and Common Czech, usually mirroring usage in Slovak (e.g. něco k jídlu > něco na jídlo for "something to eat", Slovak: niečo na jedlo) or Polish (e.g. pojď ke mně > choď do, for "come to me", Polish: chodź do mnie).[17]

Standardisation[edit]

Since the end of the 20th century, the private association Moravian Language Institute (Ústav jazyka moravského), founded by waiter and amateur linguist Jan Kozohorský, has made attempts to standardise a literary Moravian language. The movement has been criticised by linguistics professors at Masaryk University in Brno as controversial and with strong political undertones.[18]

Notes[edit]

Content notes
  1. ^ German: Umgangssprache
  2. ^ German: Böhmisch-Mährisch-Slowakisch
Citations
  1. ^ a b c Obyvatelstvo podle věku, mateřského jazyka a pohlaví
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Czecho-Moravian". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Forms of the Czech language (in Czech)
  4. ^ Kortmann, Bernd; van der Auwera, Johan (2011). The Languages and Linguistics of Europe: A Comprehensive Guide. Walter de Gruyter. p. 516. ISBN 3110220261. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  5. ^ http://www.translation-services-usa.com/czech-dialects.php
  6. ^ http://www.bruntal.net/2005061604-slonzaci-a-volkslista
  7. ^ http://moravane.eu/ujisteni-csu-o-scitani-moravskeho-jazyka/
  8. ^ BLÁHA, Ondřej. Moravský jazykový separatismus: zdroje, cíle, slovanský kontext. In Studia Moravica. Acta Universitatis Palackianae Olomucensis Facultas Philosophica - Moravica. Olomouc : UP v Olomouci, 2005. ISSN 1801-7061. Svazek III.
  9. ^ a b Wilson, James (2010). Moravians in Prague: A Sociolinguistic Study of Dialect Contact in the Czech Republic. Peter Lang. pp. 49–50. 
  10. ^ Koudela, Břetislav (1964). Vývoj českého jazyka a dialektologie. Československé státní pedagogické nakladatelství. p. 173. 
  11. ^ a b Skulina, Josef. "O šíření obecné hanáčtiny". Naše řeč. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Map of Czech Dialects". 2003. Katedry českého jazyka a literatury s didaktikou. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Czech". UCLA Language Materials Project. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  14. ^ http://www.osu.cz/fpd/kcd/dokumenty/cestinapositi/igstema1.htm
  15. ^ a b Hannan, Kevin (Winter 1996). "The Lachian Literary Language of Óndra Łysohorsky". The Slavic and East European Journal 40 (4): 726–743. doi:10.2307/310109. JSTOR 310109. 
  16. ^ Bermel, Neil (2007). Linguistic Authority, Language Ideology, and Metaphor: The Czech Orthography Wars. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 60–61. ISBN 3110188260. 
  17. ^ Ertl, Václav. "K smrti, k jídlu, k pláči, k dostání a pod.". Naše řeč. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  18. ^ http://brnensky.denik.cz/zpravy_region/moravane-tvori-spisovnou-moravstinu20081112.html

References[edit]

  • BLÁHA, Ondřej. Moravský jazykový separatismus: zdroje, cíle, slovanský kontext. In Studia Moravica. Acta Universitatis Palackianae Olomucensis Facultas Philosophica - Moravica. Olomouc : UP v Olomouci, 2005. ISSN 1801-7061. Svazek III.
  • Bartoš, František. Moravian Dialectology, Brno 1895.
  • Stich, Alexandr (November 2000). "O spisovné moravštině a jiných "malých" jazycích". Naše řeč (Ústav pro jazyk český Akademie věd ČR) 83 (5): 260–264. ISSN 0027-8203. 
  • Šustek, Zbyšek: Otázka kodifikace spisovného moravského jazyka (The question of codifying a written Moravian language). University of Tartu, 1998. Available online (Czech)
  • Šrámek, R.: Zur heutigen Situation des Tschechischen. In: Ohnheiser, I. / Kienpointner, M. / Kalb, H.: Sprachen in Europa. Sprachsituation und Sprachpolitik in europäischen Ländern. Innsbruck 1999.
  • Vintr, Josef: Das Tschechische. Hauptzüge seiner Sprachstruktur in Gegenwart und Geschichte. München: Sagner 2001.

External links[edit]