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Minority groups in Hungary (was: Rotokas (was: California Cheeseburger))

From:Racsko Tamas <tracsko@...>
Date:Monday, June 21, 2004, 20:56
On 20 Jun 2004 John Cowan <cowan@...> wrote:

> > I have real experiences in language contacts (1) I am bilingual, a > > member of a minority ethnic group in Hungary; > > I'd be interested to know about which minority group, and what its > circumstances are, if you don't mind discussing it.
I am a Slovak. My ancestors settled here on the Great Hungarian Plains 250 years ago. Hungary was liberated from Turkish occupation that time. Due to the near continuous skirmishing of the one and a half century of the occupation, the central part of Hungary lost its inhabitants. Mainly German and Slovak settlers were planted to these depopulated areas. After the World War I -- among others -- the northern parts were separated as the present-day Slovakia (as a part of Czechoslovakia), thus we were isolated from our ethnic body. After the World War II there was a dirty population exchange between Czechoslovakia and Hungary. During this the vast majority of Slovak intellectuals living in Hungary transmigrated to Czechoslovakia. This was followed by the communist "ethnic politics". All these factors resulted that nowadays only 12,000 people consider themselves as Slovak and 20,000 Hungarian citizen speaks Slovak as a native tongue (census data of 1990). Due to the small population and dissolution of the compact rural communities, were are about to be assimilated within a few generation. Our language is a local mixture of 18th century Slovak dialects under a strong influence of the Hungarian vocabulary. That is I am a trilingual: I had to learn my home dialect, the Slovak stardard and the Hungarian standard. Probably this was the reason why I was (and why I am) interested in linguistics.


John Cowan <cowan@...>