Bačka dialect

Bačka dialect. The language of Ukrainian settlers in the provinces of Bačka and Srem in Yugoslavia. The dialect, used since 1904 in Ruski Krstur, the cultural center of Bačka, became the basis for the distinct Bačka (Ruthenian) literary language. It gained in popularity after the First World War. Like other dialects stemming from the Zemplén komitat (in the 18th century, when the settlers left the area, part of Hungary; now, part of Slovakia), the Bačka dialect is a transitional and mixed one, combining Ukrainian, Polish, and Slovak (with a predominance of Slovak elements) and incorporating many Hungarian, German, and recent Serbian borrowings, especially in the vocabulary. The most important peculiarities of the dialect include: (1) the preservation of the Common Slavic clusters dl, tl, gv, kv, and the initial Special fontevedol, vedla (Standard Ukrainian: viv, vela ‘led’), hvizda (Standard Ukrainian: zirka ‘star’), ješen' (Standard Ukrainian: osin' ‘autumn’), but ozero (Standard Ukrainian: ozero ‘lake’); (2) c, dz in place of the Common Slavic clusters tSpecial font, kt', dSpecial fontnoc (Standard Ukrainian: nič ‘night’), medzi (Standard Ukrainian: miž ‘between’), and in place of the palatalized d', t'šedzic (Standard Ukrainian: sydity ‘to sit’); (3) non-pleophonic forms of the type štredn'i (Standard Ukrainian: serednij ‘middle’), krava (Standard Ukrainian: korova ‘cow’), mladi (Standard Ukrainian: molodyj ‘young’), alongside forms such as mlodi (groom), solovej (nightingale); (4) palatal pronunciation of dental consonants before the reflexes of Common Slavic e, ě, e, i, ьn'esc (Standard Ukrainian: nesty ‘to carry’); (5) i in place of the Common Slavic y and isin (Standard Ukrainian: syn ‘son’); (6) the group ar in place of the Common Slavic Special font’—karčma (Standard Ukrainian: korčma ‘tavern’); (7) the groups ol, oSpecial font, lu in place of the Common Slavic Special font and Special font’—polni (Standard Ukrainian: povnyj ‘full’), voSpecial fontk (Standard Ukrainian: vovkwolf’), dluhi (Standard Ukrainian: dovhyj ‘long’); (8) traces of Slovak quantity in reflexes of the Common Slavic ę, ě, e: the long vowels (with original neo-acute pitch) are represented here by: ja, i, i respectively—pjati (Standard Ukrainian: p'jatyj ‘fifth’), bili (Standard Ukrainian: bilyj ‘white’), pirko (Standard Ukrainian: perce ‘feather’), and the corresponding short vowels all by epejc (Standard Ukrainian: p'jat' ‘five’), belavi (Standard Ukrainian: biljavyj ‘whitish’), pero (Standard Ukrainian: pero ‘pen’); (9) u, o, e in place of the Common Slavic Special font and strong jers (ъ, ь)dup (Standard Ukrainian: dub ‘oak’), son (Standard Ukrainian: son ‘dream’), dzen' (Standard Ukrainian: den' ‘day’); (10) š, ž in place of the palatalized s', z'šerco (Standard Ukrainian: serce ‘heart’); (11) the loss of -t' in verb forms of the third person present—čita, čitaju (Standard Ukrainian: čytaje, -jut' ‘he reads, they read’); (12) accent on the penultimate syllable of a word; (13) sandhi phonetics of the type zrop to (Standard Ukrainian: zroby ce ‘do this’), snob žita (Standard Ukrainian: snip žyta ‘sheaf of rye’); (14) endings: -ox in the genitive plural of nouns—sinox (Standard Ukrainian: syniv ‘of the sons’), ženox (Standard Ukrainian: žinok ‘of the women’), mestox (Standard Ukrainian: mis'c' ‘of places’); -em, -am, -im in the first person singular present tense—vjažem (Standard Ukrainian: v'jažu ‘I tie’), čitam (Standard Ukrainian: čytaju ‘I read’), robim (Standard Ukrainian: roblju ‘I work’); -me in the first person plural—čitame (Standard Ukrainian: čytajemo ‘we read’); and forms of the past tense of the type čital som, -ši, čital, čitali zme, -sce, čitali (Standard Ukrainian: ja čytav ‘read’, etc.); (15) the loss of gender distinction in the plural of adjectives.

Oleksa Horbach

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