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An Introduction to Ukrainian Dialectology


Salvatore Del Gaudio

The book intends to render available to a wide range of students of Slavic languages, and particularly of Ukrainian, an outline of Ukrainian dialectology. The author presents the fascinating world of geographical variation of contemporary Ukrainian to all students of Slavic languages. A basic knowledge of Ukrainian dialects is likewise important to complete the theoretical and practical background of a Slavist, especially if focusing on Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian. It is also a valuable aid to a better understanding of diachronic and synchronic language processes, e.g. the Ukrainian-Russian mixed speech «suržyk».

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Akannja (aкання): the merge of unstressed /a/ and /o/ is called akannja (cf. Russian аканье). It contrasts with okannja: the tendency of keeping the original pronunciation of non-accented [o].

Areal (ареал): an area in dialectology means a geographical region isolated on the basis of its linguistic characteristics.

Diakrytyčni znaky (діакритичні знаки): marks (or ‘diacritics’) added to a symbol to alter the way it is pronounced.

Dialektnyj masyv (діалектний масив): totality of more or less homogeneous (uniform) dialectal/language features typical of a larger dialectal area (cf. Ukr. cукупність однорідних мовних явищ).

Dyverhencija (дивергенція): divergence is a process of dialect change in which the dialects become less like each other (or diverge).

Konverhencija (конвергенція): the opposite effect or convergence. It happens when dialects become more like each other (or converge).

Dyferenciacija (диференціація: a process similar to that of divergence.

Hovir (говір): a larger formation of local dialects make a hovir. The term dialect (діалект) is also used as synonym for hovir.

Hovirka (говірка): minimal localized dialectal unit endowed with its micro-system and spoken in one or few rural villages.

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