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Molise Croatian dialect (also: Molise Slavic, Slavisano, na-našo) is a Slavic dialect spoken in the province of Campobasso, in the Molise Region of southern Italy, in the villages – of Montemitro (Mundimitar), Acquaviva Collecroce (Živavoda Kruč) and San Felice del Molise (Štifilić). These have approximately 3,000 speakers.

The dialect has been preserved since a group of Croats emigrated from Dalmatia abreast of advancing Ottoman Turks. The residents of these villages speak a Western Štokavian dialect, with Ikavian reflex of yat. The name Molise Croats is attested in literature, and justified by the modern convention of classifying all Catholics (the Bunjevci and Janjevci among them) on the territory of the Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovian and Serbia as Croats.[1] Some speakers call themselves Zlavi and call their language simply na našo ("our language").

Contents

History

The inhabitants of these villages would say that their ancestors came Z onu banu mora ("From other side of the sea"), and inhabited villages in Molise and Abruzzo, abandoned because of the plague. Originally the area inhabited by Slavs was much wider than today. Because these people have migrated away from the rest of their kinsmen so long ago, their diaspora language is somewhat distinct from the Croatian Štokavian Ikavian idioms spoken at the other side of the Adriatic.

The language was preserved until today only in the aforementioned three villages, although several villages in Molise and Abruzzo region are aware of their Slavic and Croat ancestry. The existence of this Slavic colony was unknown outside Italy until 1855 when Medo Pucić, a linguist from Dubrovnik, during one of his journeys in Italy overheard a tailor in Naples speaking with his wife in a language very similar to Pucić's own. The tailor then told him that he came from the village of Kruč, then part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Subsequently the Gajica, the modern Croatian alphabet, was adopted to the language. Croatian linguist Milan Rešetar published a comprehensive monography about Molise Slavic under title "Serbo-Croatian Colony in Southern Italy" ("Die Serbokroatischen Kolonien Süditaliens") Vienna 1911, Italian translation: "Le colonie serbocroate nell'Italia Meridionale", Campobasso 1997. (Note: Milan Rešetar belong to the scientific current that treated speakers of Shtokavian dialect as Serbs; he himself was politically engaged as "Serb Catholic", so that influenced his works.)

The language is highly Italianized. As has been mentioned above, the literati generally borrow forgotten words from modern (ijekavian - the dialect is ikavian) Croatian, but the obligatory Italian translations are seen to follow these words in print. It also retains many archaic features. As the colony was established before the discovery of the Americas, all the names of animals and plants introduced from the Americas are borrowed from Italian or created from whole cloth.

The language is taught in primary schools and the signs in villages are bilingual.

Features

  • The analytic do + genitive replaces the synthetic independent genitive.
  • do superseded od.
  • Slavic verb aspect is preserved, except in the past tense imperfective verbs are attested only in the Slavic imperfect tense (bihu, they were), and perfective verbs only in the perfect tense (je izaša, he came out). There is no colloquial imperfect in the modern West South Slavic languages.
  • Slavic conjunctions superseded by Italian or local ones: ke (Cr. što, what, also ke - Cr. da, that); e, (Cr i, and); ma (Cr. ali, no, but); si (Cr. ako, if).
  • An indefinite article is in regular use: na, often written 'na.
  • Structural changes in genders. Notably, njevog does not agree with the possessor's gender (Cr. njegov or njezin, his or her).
  • The perfective enclitic is tightly bound to the verb and always stands before it: je izaša (Cr. facul. je izašao or izašao je).

Sample

An anonymous poem (reprinted in Hrvatske Novine: Tajednik Gradišćanskih Hrvatov, winner of a competition in Molise):

SIN MOJ

    Mo prosič solite saki dan
    ma što činiš, ne govoreš maj
    je funia dan, je počela noča,
    maneštra se mrzli za te čeka.
    Letu vlase e tvoja mat
    gleda vane za te vit.
    Boli život za sta zgoro,
    ma samo mat te hoče dobro.
    Sin moj!
    Nimam već suze za još plaka
    nimam već riče za govorat.
    Srce se guli za te misli
    što ti prodava, oni ke sve te išće!
    Palako govoru, čelkadi saki dan,
    ke je dola droga na vi grad.
    Sin moj!
    Tvoje oč, bihu toko lipe,
    sada jesu mrtve,
    Boga ja molim, da ti živiš
    droga ja hočem da ti zabiš,
    doma te čekam, ke se vrniš,
    Solite ke mi prosiš,
    kupiš paradis, ma smrtu platiš.

Dictionaries

  • From: Josip Lisac: Dva moliškohrvatska rječnika, Mogućnosti 10/12, 2000.
  • Walter Breu-Giovanni Piccoli (con aiuto di S. Marčec), Dizionario croatomolisano di Acquaviva-Collecroce, 2000, Campobasso 2000
  • Ag. Piccoli-Antonio Samartino, Dizionario dell' idioma croato-molisano di Montemitro/Rječnik moliškohrvatskih govora Mundimitra, Matica hrvatska Mundimitar-Zagreb, 2000.
  • Giovanni Piccoli: Lessico del dialetto di Acquaviva-Collecroce, Roma, 1967
  • Božidar Vidov: Rječnik ikavsko-štokavskih govora molizanskih Hrvata u srednjoj Italiji, Mundimitar, Štifilić, Kruč, Toronto, 1972.
  • Tatjana Crisman: Dall' altra parte del mare. Le colonie croate del Molise, Roma, 1980
  • Angelo Genova: Ko jesmo bolje: Ko bihmo, , Vasto, 1990.

Notes

  1. ^ In some reference works at the beginning of the 20th century and at from 19th century, the names Dalmatian, Slavonian, and Croat designated three different parts of Croat nation.

Sources

  • Aranza, Josip (1892), Woher die südslavischen Colonien in Süditalien (Archiv für slavische Philologie, XIV, pp. 78-82, Berlin 1892)
  • Badurina, Teodoro (1950), Rotas Opera Tenet Arepo Sator (Roma, 1950)
  • Barone, Charles, La parlata croata di Acquaviva Collecroce. Studio fonetico e fonologico, Firenze, Leo S. Olschki Editore, MCMXCV, p. 206 (Accademia toscana di scienze e lettere »La Colombaria«. »Studi CXLVI)
  • Breu, W. (1990), Sprache und Sprachverhalten in den slavischen Dörfern des Molise (Süditalien). In: W. BREU (a cura di), Slavistische Linguistik 1989. München, 35 65
  • Breu, W. (1998), Romanisches Adstrat im Moliseslavischen. In: Die Welt der Slaven 43, 339-354
  • Breu, W. / Piccoli, G. con la collaborazione di Snježana Marčec (2000), Dizionario croato molisano di Acquaviva Collecroce. Dizionario plurilingue della lingua slava della minoranza di provenienza dalmata di Acquaviva Collecroce in Provincia di Campobasso. Dizionario, registri, grammatica, testi. Campobasso
  • Breu, W. (2003a), Bilingualism and linguistic interference in the Slavic-Romance contact area of Molise (Southern Italy). In: R. ECKARDT et al. (a cura di), Words in Time. Diacronic Semantics from Different Points of View. Berlin/New York, 351-373
  • Breu, W. a cura di (2005), L'influsso dell'italiano sulla grammatica delle lingue minoritarie. Università della Calabria. In questo volume: W. Breu, Il sistema degli articoli nello slavo molisano: eccezione a un universale tipologico, 111-139; A. Marra, Mutamenti e persistenze nelle forme di futuro dello slavo molisano, 141-166; G. Piccoli, L'influsso dell'italiano nella sintassi del periodo del croato (slavo) molisano, 167-175.
  • Gliosca, N. (2004). Poesie di un vecchio quaderno (a cura di G. Piscicelli). In: Komoštre/Kamastra. Rivista bilingue di cultura e attualità delle minoranze linguistiche degli Arbëreshë e Croati del Molise 8/3, 8-9.
  • Heršak, Emil (1982), Hrvati u talijanskoj pokrajini Molise", Teme o iseljeništvu. br. 11, Zagreb: Centar za istraživanje migracija, 1982, 49 str. lit 16.
  • Hraste, Mate (1964), Govori jugozapadne Istre (Zagreb, 1964)
  • Muljačić, Žarko (1996), Charles Barone, La parlata croata di Acquaviva Collecroce (189-190), »Čakavska rič« XXIV (1996) • br. 1-2 • Split • siječanj - prosinac 1996.
  • Piccoli A. / Sammartino A. (2000), Dizionario croato-molisano di Montemitro, Fondazione “Agostina Piccoli”, Montemitro – Matica hrvatska, Zagreb
  • Reissmüller, Johann Georg (1969) Slavenske riječi u Apeninima (Frankfurter Allgemeine, n. 212 del 13.11.1969
  • Rešetar, M. (1997), Le colonie serbocroate nell'Italia meridionale. A cura di W. Breu e M. Gardenghi (traduzione italiana dell'originale tedesco Die Serbokroatischen Kolonien Süditaliens, Wien 1911 con prefazione, note e bibliografia aggiornata). Campobasso
  • Sammartino A. (2004), Grammatica della lingua croatomolisana, Fondazione “Agostina Piccoli”, Montemitro – Profil international, Zagreb
  • Žanić, Ivo, Nemojte zabit naš lipi jezik! , Nedjeljna Dalmacija, Split, 18. ožujka 1984. (18. marzo 1984)

See also

External links

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