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International Journal of the Sociology of Language

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The Rusyn language in Slovakia: between a rock and a hard place

Juraj Vaňko1

1

Citation Information: International Journal of the Sociology of Language. Volume 2007, Issue 183, Pages 75–96, ISSN (Online) 1613-3668, ISSN (Print) 0165-2516, DOI: 10.1515/IJSL.2007.005, February 2007

Publication History

Published Online:
2007-02-09

Abstract

The first section of this article provides a brief explanation of the notion of “Rusyn language” and presents the development of four standard Rusyn languages based on dialects in the countries where Rusyns live. This section also presents linguistic phenomena reflecting the specific location of the Rusyn language in Slovakia, anchored between two Slavic language groups, East and West, and primarily between the Ukrainian and the Slovak languages. The adaptation of Slovak lexemes and expressions dealing with various aspects of modern life to Rusyn phonological and morphological rules is one of the most striking features of the contemporary Rusyn language of Eastern Slovakia. Special attention is paid to linguistic and extra-linguistic factors that back or reinforce the influence of Slovak as a large language upon the Rusyn language in Slovakia as a small language.

In the second part of the article, some questions of the sociology of the Rusyn language in Slovakia are presented, for example, its legal situation, and mainly, the usage of Rusyn in some communicative areas.

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