Rusyn (was: General)
|From:||Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>|
|Date:||Monday, November 25, 2002, 9:22|
--- Joseph Fatula skrzypszy:
> > Last, what is the dialect/language called "Rusyn"?
> I can't help you with any Russian dialects, but Rusyn is something I know a
> little about. In English it is often known as "Ruthenian". It is spoken
> around the area of the old kingdom of Ruthenia, an area centered around the
> part of Ukraine just touching Slovakia. It is most closely related to
> Ukranian, but has borrowed a great deal of Slovak and Polish. Apparently
> the easternmost Slovak dialects share some innovations with Rusyn, such as
> the change of t' > c. [tj > ts] Sometimes it is called Carpatho-Rusyn or
> Any experts on this, please correct me. Rusyn is just something I came
> across while I was researching eastern Slovak, so I'm certainly not an
> authority on this.
Well, I'm not exactly an expert, but I have been doing research to the
Ukrainian minority in Poland and of course during that process I often stumbled
upon the Rusyns.
What you write is basically correct. There are a few things I can add:
The name "Ruthenian" has its roots in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, where it
was used to designate all Ukrainians. Hence, the term is at least ambiguous,
and I prefer to call it "Rusinian". In Poland they call themselves "Rusini", in
Slovakia "Rusnaky". Other names for the language are: "Carpatho-Rusyn",
There are three major groups/dialects:
- the Lemkos (ca. 50,000 in Poland, a number I don't remember in Slovakia);
- the Boikos (East of the Lemkos; some in Poland, most in Ukraine);
- the Hutsuls (further South, close to Romania).
Language or dialect?
I've heard claims that Rusinian is the Slavic language closest to Proto-Slavic,
and that it can be understood by any other Slav. I've never been able to try
this personally. However, I doubt it. Like many mountaineers' languages, the
Rusinian dialects are very archaic, but looking closely at them, I tend to
agree with those who classify them as "Ukrainian peripheric mountain dialects".
Various. Some consider themselves Ukrainians, others Rusinians. There is a
minority current among Lemkos to consider themselves Lemkos (i.e. having
nothing in common particularly with other Rusinians). And many consider
themselves "tutejszy" (locals); they identify themselves rather with the place
where they live than with their language or religion.
A difference between the Lemkos and the other Ukrainians in Poland is that the
Lemkos are in majority Orthodoxe, while the Ukrainians are Greek Catholic.
"Originality is the art of concealing your source." - Franklin P. Jones
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