Acquaviva Collecroce

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The Language

1. Characterisation and Name 

  • Molise Slavic is a minority language with Italian as the dominant language.
  • The closest genetically related language is Croatian, due to the Dalmatian origin of the one-time immigrants, hence the terms "Molise Croatian, Italo-Croatian" along with "Slavic (slavo, schiavone), Molise Slavic" and the neologism "Slavisian".
  • Among the inhabitants of Acquaviva, the language is simply referred to as na jezik 'our language', in the adverbial usage kjikjarijat na-našu 'speak in our manner'.
  • The inhabitants of Acquaviva, Montemitro and San Felice refer to each village respectively as na grad 'our village'. While Acquaviva is known as Kruč in the other communities, the Slavic terms for the two remaining villages are respectively Mundimitar and Filič.


2. Status of the Language

  • In spite of a few attempts at creating an own literature, which started in the 19th century, Molise Slavic still must be seen as a language which is only spoken without written norms. 
  • The dialectal differences between the three villages are not insignificant despite the characteristic similarities at all language levels. A standardisation on the basis of the language use in Acquaviva can be seen in the first large dictionary of Molise Slavic (Dizionario croato molisano), which has been compiled at the Chair for Slavic Linguistics of the University of Constance.
  • In Acquaviva the Slavic minority language has currently started to obtain an official status, for since the municipal statute was changed a few years ago, it can now be spoken at meetings of the town council, etc. Its lacking development and the language habits caused by previous restrictions and bans provide, however, for the absolute dominance of Italian in the administration, church, and school.
  • When dealing with Croatian visitors, a few intellectuals use a language form which has adopted some elements of standard Croatian.
  • Regardless of first small attempts, there are no regular Slavic language classes (in whatever variety of the language).



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