|Native to||Poland (Silesian Voivodeship, Opole Voivodeship), Czech Republic (Moravia–Silesia, Jeseník)|
|Region||Upper Silesia / Silesia|
|Native speakers||510,000 (2011 census)|
Silesian or Upper Silesian (Silesian: ślōnskŏ gŏdka, ślůnsko godka, Czech: slezský jazyk, Polish: język śląski) is a West Slavic lect, closely related to Polish and Czech. Its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by the German language due to the existence of numerous Silesian German speakers in the area prior to World War II and after, until the 1990s.
There is no consensus on whether Silesian is a separate language or a somewhat divergent dialect of Polish. The issue is largely unanswerable based on linguistic criteria, due to the existence of a dialect continuum between Polish and Czech formed by the Silesian and Lach varieties. The issue of whether language forms like Silesian and Lach represent minority languages in their own right is generally quite contentious in Europe due to the increased linguistic and political rights generally enjoyed by speakers of recognized minority languages, and Silesian is no exception. In this instance, local Silesians tend to advocate in favor of language status, while Poles and Czechs from other regions tend to advocate against this. International linguists tend toward giving it dialect status.
Silesian speakers currently live in the region of Upper Silesia, which is split between southwestern Poland and the northeastern Czech Republic. At present Silesian is commonly spoken in the area between historical border of Silesia on the east and a line from Syców to Prudnik on the west as well as in the Rawicz area. Until 1945 Silesian was also spoken in enclaves in Lower Silesia, as Lower Silesian, a German dialect, was spoken by the ethnic German majority population of that region at the time.
According to the last official census in Poland in 2011, about 509,000 people declared Silesian as their native language (in census 2002, about 60,000), and in the censuses in Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia, nearly 0.9 million people declared Silesian nationality.
In 2003, the National Publishing Company of Silesia (Narodowa Oficyna Śląska) commenced operations. This publisher was founded by the Alliance of the People of the Silesian Nation (Związek Ludności Narodowości Śląskiej) and it prints books about Silesia and books in Silesian language.
On 30 June 2008 in the edifice of the Silesian Parliament in Katowice, a conference took place on the status of the Silesian language. This conference was a forum for politicians, linguists, representatives of interested organizations and persons who deal with the Silesian language. The conference was titled "Silesian — Still a Dialect or Already a Language?" (Śląsko godka — jeszcze gwara czy jednak już język?).
Ślabikŏrzowy szrajbōnek is the relatively new alphabet created by the Pro Loquela Silesiana organization to cover speech of all Silesian dialects. It was approved by Silesian organizations affiliated in Rada Górnośląska. Ubuntu translation is in this alphabet and also Silesian Wikipedia use this alphabet. It's used in few books, including Silesian alphabet book.
- Letters: A, Ã, B, C, Ć, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, Ł, M, N, Ń, O, Ŏ, Ō, Ô, Õ, P, R, S, Ś, T, U, W, Y, Z, Ź, Ż.
One of the first alphabets created specifically for Silesian was created in the Interwar period Steuer's Silesian alphabet, used by Feliks Steuer to write his poems in Silesian. The alphabet consists of 30 graphemes and eight digraphs:
- Letters: A, B, C, Ć, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, Ł, M, N, Ń, O, P, R, S, Ś, T, U, Ů, W, Y, Z, Ź, Ż
- Digraphs: Au, Ch, Cz, Dz, Dź, Dż, Rz, Sz
Sometimes other alphabets are also used, for example "Tadzikowy muster" (for National Dictation Contest of the Silesian language) or the Polish alphabet, however writing in this alphabet is problematic, it is impossible to save and appropriately emphasise all Silesian sounds.
While the morphological differences between Silesian and the neighboring language of Polish have been researched extensively, grammatical differences have not been studied in great depth. One example is that, in contrast with Polish, Silesian retains the pluperfect (joech śe była uobaliyła — "I had slipped") and separate past conditional (jo bych śe była uobaliyła — "I would have slipped").
Another major difference is in question-forming. In Polish, questions that do not contain interrogative words are formed either by using intonation or the interrogative particle czy. In Silesian, questions that do not contain interrogative words are formed by using intonation (with a markedly different intonation pattern than in Polish) or inversion (e.g. je to na mapie?); there is no interrogative particle.
The Lord's Prayer in Silesian, Polish and Czech.
|Silesian (Steuer spelling)||Polish||Czech|
Dialects of Silesian
The Silesian language has many local dialects:
- Dialects spoken in areas which are now part of the Czech Republic:
- Dialects spoken in areas which are now part of Poland:
Dialect vs language
Opinions are divided among linguists about whether Silesian is a distinct language or a dialect of Polish. The issue can be contentious, as some Silesians consider themselves to be a nationality within Poland. Some linguists from Poland such as Jolanta Tambor, Juan Lajo, dr Tomasz Wicherkiewicz and philosopher dr hab Jerzy Dadaczyński, sociologist dr Elżbieta Anna Sekuła and sociolinguist Tomasz Kamusella support its status as a language. According to Stanisław Rospond, it is impossible to classify Silesian as a dialect of the contemporary Polish language because he considers it to be descended from the Old Polish language. Other Polish linguists, such as Jan Miodek and Edward Polański, do not support its status as a language.
The Silesian linguist Reinhold Olesch supported the status of Silesian as a Slavic language. Norman Davies from the United Kingdom shows Silesian among Slavic languages in a diagram at the end of his book.
Most linguists writing in English, such as Alexander M. Schenker, Robert A. Rothstein, and Roland Sussex and Paul Cubberley in their respective surveys of Slavic languages, list Silesian as a dialect of Polish, as does Encyclopædia Britannica.
A similar disagreement exists concerning the neighboring Lach varieties, sometimes considered separate languages and sometimes dialects of Czech, although the latter opinion appears currently dominant,
Gerd Hentschel wrote "Das Schlesische ... kann somit ... ohne Zweifel als Dialekt des Polnischen beschrieben werden" ("Silesian ... can thus ... without doubt be described as a dialect of Polish"). but, in a later scientific work - in his book Das Schlesische — eine neue (oder auch nicht neue) slavische Sprache (Silesian — a new (or not new) Slavic language?) he concludes that it's a language.
The Silesian language has recently seen an increased use in culture, for example:
- TV and radio stations (for example: TV Silesia, Sfera TV, Slonsky Radio, Radio Piekary);
- music groups (for example: Hasiok, Dohtor Miód, FEET);
- theatre (for example: Polterabend in Silesian Theatre);
- film (for example: Grzeszny żywot Franciszka Buły ("The Sinful Life of Franciszek Buła")
- books (for example, the so-called Silesian Bible; poetry: "Myśli ukryte" by Karol Gwóźdź)
- teaching aids (for example, a Silesian basal reader)
- Narodowy Spis Powszechny Ludności i Mieszkań 2011. Raport z wyników - Central Statistical Office of Poland
- "Ethnologue report for language code: szl". Ethnologue. Languages of the World.
- Tomasz Kamusella. 2013. The Silesian Language in the Early 21st Century: A Speech Community on the Rollercoaster of Politics (pp 1-35). Die Welt der Slaven. Vol 58, No 1.
- (Polish) "Ludność według języka używanego w kontaktach domowych i deklaracji narodowościowej w 2002 roku" [Population by language used at home and declarations of nationality in 2002] (XLS). Main Statistical Office of the Polish Government: report of Polish census of 2002.
- "Obyvatelstvo podle národnosti podle krajů" (PDF). Czech Statistical Office.
- "Národnost ve sčítání lidu v českých zemích" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-16.
- National Minorities in the Slovak Republic - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic
- (Polish) "Narodowa Oficyna Śląska" [National Publishing Company of Silesia].
- (English) "ISO documentation of Silesian language". SIL International.
- (Polish) Dziennik Zachodni (2008). "Śląski wśród języków świata" [Silesian Among the Languages of the World]. Our News Katowice.
- (Silesian) / (Polish) "National Dictation contest of the Silesian language".
- (Polish) "Śląski wśród języków świata" [The Silesian language is a foreign language]. Dziennik Zachodni. 2008.[dead link]
- (Polish) "Śląska Wikipedia już działa" [Silesian Wikipedia already operating]. Gazeta Wyborcza-Gospodarka. 2008.
- (Polish) "Katowice: konferencja dotycząca statusu śląskiej mowy" [Katowice: Conference concerning the status of the Silesian language]. Polish Wikinews. 1 July 2008. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
- Dz.U. 2012 nr 0 poz. 309 - Internet System of Legal Acts
- Mirosław Syniawa: Ślabikŏrz niy dlŏ bajtli. Pro Loquela Silesiana. ISBN 978-83-62349-01-2
- "Ekspertyza naukowa prof. UŚ dr hab. Jolanty Tambor" (en: "The scientific expertise of Juan Lajo"), 2008
- "Ekspertyza naukowa pana Juana Lajo" (en: "The scientific expertise of Juan Lajo"), 2008
- "Ekspertyza naukowa dra Tomasza Wicherkiewicza" (en: "The scientific expertise of Tomasz Wicherkiewicz"), 2008
- "Ekspertyza naukowa ks. dra hab. Jerzego Dadaczyńskiego") (en: "The scientific expertise of Jerzy Dadaczyński"), 2008
- "Ekspertyza naukowa dr Elżbiety Anny Sekuły" (en: "The scientific expertise of Elżbieta Anna Sekuła"), 2008
- (Polish) Tomasz Kamusella. Schlonzska mowa — Język, Górny Śląsk i nacjonalizm [Silesian speech — language, Upper Silesia and nationalism]. ISBN 83-919589-2-2.
- (English) Tomasz Kamusella (2003). "The Szlonzoks and their Language: Between Germany, Poland and Szlonzokian Nationalism" (PDF). European University Institute — Department of History and Civilization and Opole University.
- "Polszczyzna śląska" - Stanisław Rospond, Ossolineum 1970, p. 80-87
- (German) Reinhold Olesch (1987). Zur schlesischen Sprachlandschaft: Ihr alter slawischer Anteil [On the Silesian language landscape: their old Slavic share]. pp. 32–45.
- (Polish) Joanna Rostropowicz. Śląski był jego językiem ojczystym: Reinhold Olesch, 1910–1990 [Silesian was his mother tongue: Reinhold Olesch, 1910–1990].
- Krzysztof Kluczniok, Tomasz Zając (2004). Śląsk bogaty różnorodnością — kultur, narodów i wyznań. Historia lokalna na przykładzie wybranych powiatów, miast i gmin [Silesia, a rich diversity — of cultures, nations and religions. Local history, based on selected counties, cities and municipalities]. Urząd Gm. i M. Czerwionka-Leszczyny, Dom Współpracy Pol.-Niem., Czerwionka-Leszczyny. ISBN 83-920458-5-8.
- (English) Norman Davies. Europe: A History. p. 1233. ISBN 0-19-820171-0.
- Alexander M. Schenker, "Proto-Slavonic," The Slavonic Languages (1993, Routledge), pages 60-121.
- Robert A. Rothstein, "Polish," The Slavonic Languages (1993, Routledge), pages 686-758.
- Roland Sussex & Paul Cubberley, The Slavic Languages (2006, Cambridge University Press).
- "Silesian". Encyclopædia Britannica.
- (German) Dušan Šlosar. "http://www.uni-klu.ac.at/eeo/Tschechisch.pdf" (PDF ).
- (German) Aleksandr Dulichenko format=PDF. "Lexikon der Sprachen des europäischen Ostens".
- (Czech) Pavlína Kuldanová (2003). "Útvary Českého Národního Jazyka" [Services of the Czech National Language].
- (English) Ewald Osers (1949). Silesian Idiom and Language. New York.
- (English) Slavonic Encyclopedia. pp. 1149–51.
- (German) Gerd Hentschel. "Schlesisch".
- Gerd Hentschel (Band 2, 2001). "Das Schlesische – eine neue (oder auch nicht neue) slavische Sprache?". Mitteleuropa – Osteuropa. Oldenburger Beiträge zur Kultur und Geschichte Ostmitteleuropas. ISBN 3-631-37648-0.
- (Silesian) "www.slonskyradio.eu".
- (Polish) "Po śląsku w kaplicy" [Once in the chapel of Silesia]. e-teatr.pl.
- (Polish) "Stanisław Mutz — Polterabend". Silesian Theatre.
- (Silesian) Przemysław Jedlicki, Mirosław Syniawa (13 February 2009). "Ślabikorz dlo Slůnzokůw". Gazeta Wyborcza Katowice. Archived from the original on 13 February 2009.
|Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Silesian|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Silesian language.|
|Wikinews has related news: Silesian language granted ISO code|
|Silesian edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
- (English) Silesian dictionary
- (Silesian) Pů našymu
- (Silesian) Slonsko Lauba
- (Silesian) Slunskoeka
- (Silesian) Jynzyk S'loonski