Glottocode: bana1308, ISO 639-3: none

The Bulgarians of the Banat region (Bulgarian: банатски българи, Serbian: банатски бугари, Romanian: bulgari bănățeni), also known as Paulicians (Banat Bulgarian: palćene, standard Bulgarian: pavlikeni, Romanian: paulicheni, German: Paulikaner, less commonly Paulikianer, Paulizianer), belong to the Catholic Church. As the Paulicians were originally a religious grouping that emerged in the Middle Ages, this is likely to be a case of name transfer which must have occurred after the decline of the Bogomils at a time when conversions to Catholicism abounded. The Banat Paulicians were refugees from northern Bulgaria who escaped to the Habsburg empire, in particular after the Turkish suppression of the 1688 Čiprovci Uprising (Steinke 2016), and eventually settled in the villages of Vinga and Dudeştii Vechi (Romania) as well as in several villages on Serbian territory, notably Ivanovo (Kálápiš 2014: 111). While some of the Paulicians live in Bulgaria – a southern group settled around Plovdiv and a northern one around Nikopol on the Danube – the part of the group to be discussed here lives in the Banat region. Their separate Banat Bulgarian language was able to achieve the status of a literary microlanguage due its early alphabetization using the Latin alphabet.

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