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Resian dialect

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Title: Resian dialect  
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Subject: Prekmurje Slovene, Torlakian dialect, Slavic microlanguages, Montenegrin language, Užican dialect
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Resian dialect

Pater Noster in the old Resian dialect

The Resian dialect (self-designation Rozajanski langač, or lengač, Slovene: rezijansko narečje, rezijanščina) is a distinct dialect of Slovene spoken in the Resia Valley, Province of Udine, Italy, close to the border with Slovenia. Because of its remote location outside of Slovenia, the dialect has phonetic properties different from standard Slovene, and from most other Slovene dialects.


Although not a regulated dialect (scholars consider it a dialect of Slovene rather than a different language), and without any official status in Italy, Resian is written with a Latin script different from that used for standard Slovene. The alphabet contains the letter w, a letter that few Slavic languages use (only Polish and Upper and Lower Sorbian). This grapheme—according to the Italian linguist Bartoli—is characteristic of the Ladin language of the eastern Alps and indicates the autochthonous Neolatin population's strong influence on Resian.

Historical development and linguistic features

A bilingual sign in Italian and Resian in the Resia Valley

Most contemporary scholars consider Resian a transitional dialect between the Tarvisio, and in the towns of Rateče and Kranjska Gora in Slovenia). In the 14th century, with the German and Friulian colonization of the Canale and Reccolana valleys, the connection of Resian with Carinthian dialects was interrupted. Starting from the 15th century, Resian acquired specific features of Venetian Slovenian dialects (especially the vocabulary). The third layer is represented by specific innovations and developments, which are unique to Resian and cannot be found in any other Slovene dialect.

In addition, Resian has maintained a number of archaisms (including the aorist) that have disappeared both in standard Slovene and most other Slovene dialects. Atypical for a Slavic language, Resian has a definite article: masculine te, feminine ta (the only standard Slavic languages to contain definite articles are Bulgarian and Macedonian).

This historical development helps to understand the specifics of Resian in regards to other Slovene dialects. Regarding the vocabulary, Resian is very similar to other western Slovene dialects, both from the Littoral and Carinthian dialect group: especially the Natisone Valley dialect, Torre Valley dialect, Gail Valley dialect, Brda dialect and upper Soča dialect. It however distinguishes sharply from these

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