Slavic microlanguages

Slavic microlanguages

Slavic microlanguages are literary and linguistic forms that exist alongside the better-known Slavic languages of historically prominent nations. The term "literary microlanguages" was coined by Aleksandr Dulichenko at the end of the 1970s and subsequently became a standard term in Slavistics.[citation needed]

Slavic microlanguages exist both as geographically and socially peripheral dialects of more well-established Slavic languages and as completely isolated speech forms. They often enjoy a written form, a certain degree of standardization and are used in a variety of circumstances typical of literary languages, albeit in a limited fashion and always alongside a national literary language.


Insular and peripheral microlanguages

Native speakers (or users) of contemporary Slavic microlanguages either live among unrelated linguistic communities, thereby constituting an ethnic "island," or live on the geographical periphery of their historical ethnic group. Correspondingly, these microlanguages can be divided into insular and peripheral categories (the later of which can also be called "regional languages.") The principle insular forms are: Rusyn, Burgenland Croatian, Molise Croatian, Resian dialect (which may also be characterized as "peninsular") and Banat Bulgarian. The main peripheral forms include Prekmurian, East Slovak, Lachian, Carpatho-Russian, West Polesian and others.

Functional characteristics

The precise hierarchical relationship between national literary languages and microlanguages can be ascertained by examining internal attributes, such as the disparity between strictly enforced standardization in the case of the former and, in the case of the latter, a more relaxed standard. The national language often displays a standardized spoken form whereas such a regularity is absent from microlanguages (whose spoken form often consists of divergent dialects.) Likewise, the difference can be seen in external attributes such as extensive functionality and explored genres in the case of national languages, compared to the narrowness of genres and limited functional role of microlanguages.

As literary microlanguages are, in terms of functionality, more expansive than their corresponding dialects, they display a tendency toward standardized norms, which entails a significant enlargement of the lexicon and a more systematized, codified grammar, often by way of foreign borrowings, and recourse to a previous literary and linguistic tradition alien to dialects. In contrast to a dialect exploited for artistic purposes, every minor literary Slavic language is to a greater or lesser degree governed by an organized literary and linguistic process that provides for the establishment and development of a literary microlanguage, and which presents it as such.

In terms of location, Slavic microlanguages exist in both predominantly Slavic and non-Slavic areas, earning some the designation of linguistic "islands" resulting from a past migration, whereas others exist indigenously, having never been entirely separated from their genetic and geographic points of origin.



  • Dulichenko A. D. Malyje Slavjanskije literaturnyje jazyki (mikrojazyki) // Jazyki Mira: Slavjanskije Jazyki. М.: Academia, 2005
  • Dulichenko A. D. Slavjanskije literaturnyje mikrojazyki. Voprosy formirovanija i rasvitija. Tallinn, 1981.
  • Dulichenko A. D Jazyki Malyx etnicheskix grupp: funkcional'nyj status i problemy razvitija slovarja (na slavjanskom materialje) // Modernisierung des Wortschatzes europäischer Regional- und Minderheitensprachen. Tübingen, 1999.
  • Duličenko А. D. Kleinschriftsprachen in der slawischen Sprachenwelt // Zeitschrift für Slawistik, 1994, Bd. 39.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • South Slavic languages — South Slavic Geographic distribution: Eastern Europe Linguistic classification: Indo European …   Wikipedia

  • Proto-Slavic — is the proto language from which Slavic languages later emerged. It was spoken before the seventh century AD. As with most other proto languages, no attested writings have been found; the language has been reconstructed by applying the… …   Wikipedia

  • Old East Slavic — рѹсьскъ rusĭskŭ Spoken in Eastern Europe Era developed into the various East Slavic languages Language family Indo …   Wikipedia

  • Pan-Slavic language — A pan Slavic language is a zonal constructed language for communication among Slavic people. Similarity of the Slavic languages has constantly inspired different people to create Pan Slavic languages. Contents 1 Creation of Pan Slavic languages… …   Wikipedia

  • West Slavic languages — West Slavic Geographic distribution: Eastern Europe Linguistic classification: Indo European Balto Slavic Slavic West Slavic …   Wikipedia

  • Old Church Slavonic — словѣньскъ ѩзꙑкъ slověnĭskŭ językŭ Spoken in formerly in Slavic areas, under the influence of Byzantium (both Catholic and Orthodox) Region Eastern Europe Era …   Wikipedia

  • Macedonian language — This article is about the modern Slavic language. For the extinct Paleo Balkan language, see Ancient Macedonian language. For other uses, see Macedonian (disambiguation). Macedonian Македонски јазик Makedonski jazik Pronunciation …   Wikipedia

  • Bulgarian language — Not to be confused with Bulgar language. Bulgarian Български език Bălgarski ezik Spoken in Bulgaria, Turkey, Serbia, Greece, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Albania, Kosovo, Repub …   Wikipedia

  • Russian language — Russian русский язык (russkiy yazyk) Pronunciation [ˈrusʲkʲɪj jɪˈzɨk] Spoken in Russia, countries of the fo …   Wikipedia

  • Polish language — Polski redirects here. For the car brand, see Polski Fiat. Polish język polski Pronunciation [ˈpɔlski] Spoken in …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.