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Cieszyn silesian dialect

The meaning of «cieszyn silesian dialect»

The Cieszyn Silesian dialect or Teschen Silesian dialect[2] (Cieszyn Silesian: cieszyńsko rzecz; Polish: gwara cieszyńska or narzecze cieszyńskie; Czech: těšínské nářečí) is one of the Silesian dialects. It has its roots mainly in Old Polish and also has strong influences from Czech and German and, to a lesser extent, from Vlach and Slovak. It is spoken in Cieszyn Silesia, a region on both sides of the Polish-Czech border. It remains mostly a spoken language. The dialect is better preserved today than traditional dialects of many other West Slavic regions.[3]

On the Czech side of the border (in Zaolzie, a region created in 1920) it is spoken mainly by the Polish minority,[4] where it was and still is strongly influenced mainly by Czech (mainly lexicon and syntax).[5] It is used to reinforce a feeling of regional solidarity.[6]

Polish and Czech linguists differ in their views on the classification of the dialect. Most Czech linguists make a distinction between the dialect as spoken in Czechia and in Poland, and classify the dialect spoken on the Czech side of the border as a "mixed Czech-Polish dialect",[7] a designation already used in the 19th century. Polish linguists tend to classify the language on both sides of the border under the Silesian dialects of Polish.[8] Although the dialect has its roots mainly in Polish (phonology and morphology are consistently shared with Polish),[5] the diachronic development of the dialect is of a transitional nature.[3]

The Cieszyn Silesian dialect has been known by various names over the years. Speakers today usually refer to it as "po naszymu", which means "in our own way", a self-designation also encountered for other Slavic varieties in the Carpathians.[9] In the past, the dialect has been mostly lumped together with other, territorially bigger languages/dialects: beginning with Polish (Latin concio Polonica),[note 1][10] "Moravian" ("moravski / po moravsku"),[note 2][11] diluted Polish (Wasserpolnisch)[note 3] or less pejoratively Silesian-Polish (schlesisch-polnisch)[note 4],[12] but mostly with Silesian by the Upper Silesians and Poles. The Polish linguists have mostly seen it as part of the Silesian dialect, first in 1974 recognising the Cieszyn Silesian dialect (narzecze cieszyńskie) as a specific and distinct subgroup of that dialect (Stanisław Bąk, 1974; Alfred Zaręba, 1988; Bogusław Wyderka, 2010). As such, from the 1990s the Cieszyn Silesian dialect became an object of the debate, whether Silesian is a separate language or just a dialect.[13]

The language of Cieszyn Silesia was a result of a historical evolution, shaped by the territory's geographical location, affected by political affiliation and migrations of people. The region was almost always peripheral—at the south-eastern edge of Silesia and the Diocese of Wrocław, in Poland under the Piast dynasty, and as a fee of the Kingdom of Bohemia—however it is located near the wide, northern opening of the Moravian Gate, on the most popular if not the shortest route from Prague or Vienna to Cracow, and from Wrocław to Upper Hungary (modern day Slovakia).

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