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Pluricentric Languages and Non-Dominant Varieties Worldwide

Part I: Pluricentric Languages across Continents. Features and Usage


Edited By Rudolf Muhr

This is the first of two thematically arranged volumes with papers that were presented at the "World Conference of Pluricentric Languages and their non-dominant Varieties" (WCPCL). It comprises papers about 20 PCLs and 14 NDVs around the world. The second volume encompasses a further 17 papers about the pluricentricity of Portuguese and Spanish. The conference was held at the University of Graz (Austria) on July 8th-11th 2015. The papers fall into five categories: (1) Theoretical aspects of pluricentricity and the description of variation; (2) Different types of pluricentricity in differing environments; (3) African pluricentric languages and non-dominant varieties; (4) The pluricentricity of Arabic and Asian languages; (5) The pluricentricity of European languages inside Europe (Austrian German, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, Hungarian, Belgium Dutch, French, Greek, Swedish, Russian).

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An insight into Serbian Hungarian



The Hungarian language spoken in Vojvodina (Serbia) can be considered as a regional language, and according to Muhr’s criteria (2012) for pluricentric languages, the Hungarian language belongs to the third level of pluricentricity: its varieties lack the appropriate formal status.

There is a two-way process going on: their speakers are moving regional varieties to the background, and at the same time regional vernaculars are being developed, which are somewhere in between regional varieties and the official standard. There are three main factors affecting the development and the characteristics of the Serbian Hungarian variety: local or regional varieties, the state language and the affection for the national standard variety.

Serbian Hungarian is not homogeneous in its spoken form: there are differences according to the type of settlement, communication situation, linguistic domains, age and level of education of the speaker. Most differences can be found on the phonological and morphological level.

1.   Introduction

According to the latest Serbian Census (2011) there are 253.899 Hungarian-speaking citizens living in Serbia. The majority of them live in Vojvodina, the province that borders Hungary. Their number there is 251.136. Due to the treaty of Trianon in 1920, present-day Vojvodina got included into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and due to this event, Hungarians became the largest minority group there. The highest number of the Hungarian population was in 1961 (449.587) and since then their number has been gradually decreasing: from 430.314...

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