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An Introduction to Ukrainian Dialectology

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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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Introductory remarks

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The reasons which led me to write an introduction to Ukrainian dialectology are multifold. The main motivation was to render available to a wide range of students of Slavic languages, and particularly of Ukrainian, an outline of Ukrainian dialectology and its dialects. The lack of introductory accounts of Ukrainian dialects in more accessible western European languages represents a great limit to all those students of Slavic languages who wish to approach the fascinating world of geographical variation of contemporary Ukrainian. All manuals on Ukrainian dialects in fact, with the exception of a limited number of short American and German contributions, are written in Ukrainian. This represents an obvious hindrance to students of Ukrainian, whose initial level does not always allow a deep understanding of the contents of these books. A basic knowledge of Ukrainian dialects is important to complete the theoretical and practical background of a Slavist, especially if studying the Eastern group of Slavic languages (Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian).

A knowledge of territorial variation is a valuable aid to a better understanding of diachronic (historical variation and its reflection in documents of various geographic provenance) and synchronic language processes. Additionally it helps to better assess some contemporary sociolinguistic issues and various forms of language/dialectal mixture such as, for example, the Ukrainian-Russian mixed speech “suržyk”.

With the purpose of filling this theoretical and practical gap, this guidebook aims to elaborate on the existing dialectological data with some recent studies on the topic. In ← 7...

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