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New Insights into Slavic Linguistics


Edited By Jacek Witkos and Sylwester Jaworski

This volume presents a number of contributions to the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Slavic Linguistics Society held in Szczecin, Poland, October 26–28. The largest number of articles address issues related to the (morpho)syntactic level of language structure, and several papers describe results of recent research into different aspects of Slavic linguistics as well. The current volume proves conclusively that Slavic linguists make a remarkable contribution to the development of various theoretical frameworks by analysing linguistic evidence from richly inflected languages, which allows them to test and modify contemporary theories and approaches based on other types of data.
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Dialect Leveling and Local Identity in Slovenia


Grant H. Lundberg

Brigham Young University

1. Introduction

Because of centuries of inclusion in multiethnic and multi-linguistic states, Slovenes have long felt the need to struggle to find and maintain a common identity. Language has played an important role in this process, especially because, for most of their history, Slovenes were not bound by a common dynasty, a unified state or even a single religious faith (Nećak 1997: 19). It is well known and widely accepted that language influences identity and that a national language is an important factor in the formation of the identity of a people (Anderson 1991: 6). This influence also goes the other way. Identity influences and changes language. According to accommodation theory speakers choose forms and pronunciation variants partly based on their perceptions of others and the way they want to be perceived by interlocutors (Giles et al. 1973: 179). In fact, one of the proposals of perceptual dialectology is that there is a connection between attitudes about dialects and the likelihood that those dialects will be maintained or lost. “It seems obvious that instances of language change… might be profoundly influenced by folk beliefs about language, particularly beliefs about the status of language varieties and the speakers of them” (Preston 1999: xxiv). It may be that “language and identity are ultimately inseparable” (Joseph 2004: 13). This two-way process by which language influences identity and identity influences language is taking place in the dialects of Slovene, particularly in...

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