World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Slavic microlanguages

Article Id: WHEBN0017270802
Reproduction Date:

Title: Slavic microlanguages  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Slavic languages, Aleksandr Dulichenko, West Polesian dialect, Meillet's law, Havlík's law
Collection: Slavic Languages
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Slavic microlanguages

Slavic microlanguages are literary and linguistic forms that exist alongside the better-known Slavic languages of historically prominent nations. Aleksandr Dulichenko coined the term "literary microlanguages" at the end of the 1970s; it subsequently became a standard term in Slavistics.

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 1
  • Functional characteristics 2
  • References 3
  • Bibliography 4

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 latter of which can also be called "regional languages.") The principal 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.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.