The Boyash in Hungary: A Comparative Study among the Argeleni and Munceni Communities

The Boyash in Hungary: A Comparative Study among the Argeleni and Munceni Communities

by Thede Kahl, Ioana Nechiti


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The present book is concerned with the language and culture of the Boyash "Gypsies" in southern Hungary, who speak archaic dialects of Romanian and call themselves "baiasi". Their varieties may be regarded as endangered, with the spoken vernaculars, Argelean and Muncan, suffering different degrees of loss. The Muncan vernacular investigated in the village of Alsoszentmarton is most probably in the second stage of loss, during which the language of the majority increasingly spreads into the language of the minority, while the latter is used mostly within the family by the elderly. Hungarian is beginning to replace the Boyash language even in everyday life. The Argelean dialect from the village of Gilvanfa and from Pecs is in the third stage, which is characterized by the loss of vocabulary and the inability to create new words, as the majority language has definitively replaced the minority language. Factors such as way of life, social structures, the intensity of contact with the majority population, religion, the prestige of the language, the code function of minority languages and economic dependency have all played a decisive role in the progressive replacement of the Boyash language by the majority language Hungarian, a process that dramatically accelerated in the second half of the 20th century and especially after Hungary's accession to the EU. In the last three decades, the Argelean vernacular has enjoyed greater prestige than the Muncan and it is highly probable that the Argelean vernacular will become the dominant one if the Boyash language survives in the Argeleni communities.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783700182337
Publisher: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press
Publication date: 10/17/2019
Series: Vanishing Languages and Cultural Heritage , #1
Pages: 235
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.60(d)

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