The Boyash in Hungary

A Comparative Study among the Arĝeleni and Munĉeni Communities

The first book of the newly established VLACH series examines the language and culture of the Boyash “Gypsies” in southern Hungary, who speak archaic dialects of Romanian and call themselves Boyash. Up until the beginning of the 20th century, Boyash communities were almost completely disregarded in the countries in which they lived. Over the past couple of decades, several research projects have looked at these communities in Serbia, Croatia and Hungary, leaving other Boyash peoples in Greece and Ukraine largely unstudied. This study, then, aims to undertake a linguistic and sociolinguistic comparison of the vernaculars spoken by the two sub-groups of the Boyash in Hungary: the Munĉeni and Arĝeleni. The Arĝelean vernacular is the only one for which linguistic standardization efforts have been made. Hungary has emerged as the only country in which lessons are taught in Boyash at high school, expanding possibilities for the future preservation of the Boyash language, which has had a considerable impact on the prestige and eQmancipation of the minority language. Kahl and Nechiti analyze the aforementioned dialects and their sociolinguistic situation on the basis of field recordings carried out among Boyash speakers in southern Hungary in the villages of Alsószentmárton and Gilvánfa and in the city of Pécs between 2010 and 2015.

KAHL, Thede and NECHITI, Ioana (2019): The Boyash in Hungary. A Comparative Study among the Arĝeleni and Munĉeni Communities. Vienna, Austrian Academy of Sciences. Vanishing Languages and Cultural Heritage, Vol. 1. 

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