A. Sujoldžić: Molise Croatian Idiom, Coll. Antropol. 28 Suppl. 1 (2004) 263-274






A (text from bilingual local newspaper Riča Živa-Parola viva)


Prvi sporazum je potpisan u Zagrebu 26. veljače. Govori i o inicijativama za našu manjinu. (Croatian)


Il primo accordo e stato firmato a Zagabria il 26 febbraio. Si parla pure delle iniziative in favore di nostra minoranza. (Italian)


Prvi AKORD* je bija FIRMAN u Zagreb LU 26 FREBARA. Se govore PUR do inicjativi za našu MINORANDZU. (Na-našo)


(The first agreement was signed in Zagreb on 26 February. It also contains initiatives for our minority.)


B (everyday speech)


Jednom nedjeljno jedemo domaću tjesteninu. (Croatian)


Una volta la settimana mangiamo le lasagne di casa. (Italian)


NU VOTU* na nedilj idemo LAZANJE do doma. (Na-našo)


(Once a week we eat homemade pasta.)


* Capitalized lexemes are of Italian origin


tion would  also make it unintelligible anywhere in Croatia.


The given examples show a type of new language variety or what Thomason8 in her typology of language contact re-sults calls a bilingual mixed language characterized by a highly mixed lexicon and its compartmentalization.


The local dialect is restricted to home, bar and shops, everyday life in the streets and traditional activities, while Italian language has absolute domination in church, school, administration, media. Grammatical features are not strictly restricted to separate subsystems but we can see their progressive intrusion from Italian into Na-našo.


The comparison of current conditions with the description of this language pro-vided in an elaborate study by Rešetar in 19112 indicates a gradual and slow accumulation of interference features and only minor new changes introduced through a period of almost 100 years9,10. In spite of unfavorable conditions and the forecasts

by Rešetar himself that the language will die during the second half of the last cen­tury it is still alive due to a slow rate of change and relatively stable situation.


Ethnolinguistic Vitality


The vitality of an ethnolinguistic group is defined as »that [which] makes a group likely to behave as a distinctive and active collective entity in intergroup situations«11. According to Giles et al.11, if ethnolinguistic minorities have little or no group identity, they would eventually cease to exist as distinctive groups. The structural variables most likely to influ­ence the vitality of ethnolinguistic groups are: 1) Status variables: economic status, social status, sociohistorical status and language status, 2) Demographic varia­bles: sheer numbers of group members and their distribution throughout the territory, 3) Institutional support variables: the extent to which a language group receives formal and informal representation in various activities such as mass







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