Berger - Slovaks in Czechia — Czechs in Slovakia TILMAN...

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Unformatted text preview: Slovaks in Czechia — Czechs in Slovakia TILMAN BERGER Abstract The article gives an overview of the relations of Czechs and Slovaks and their languages under various points of view. The first part concentrates on an external view of the history of both nations, the migration between the two countries and demographic data, and the legal situation. It is shown that for most of history the political and cultural influence of Czech on Slovak was much stronger than the other way around The types of migration also differed since Czechs went to Slovakia as teachers, clerks, etc, whereas the Slovak immigration to Czechia concentrated on workers. The legal situation of the two languages was asymmetric until 1938; real equality began only in 1968. Since the division of Czechoslovakia there are quite a lot of regulations on language use in Slovakia (’ though they concern Czech only to some extent) and so far no regulations in the Czech republic. The second part of the paper is concerned with the presence of written and spoken Czech texts in Slovakia and Slovak texts in Czechia. Written Czech texts have always played an important role in Slovakia and continue to do so in a diminished form today; Slovak texts came to Czechia mainly in the short period of equality within one state. Spoken Czech texts are present in Slovakia in the media, in films, etc, and the same is true to a lesser extent for Slovak texts in Czechia. Mixed texts, which were characteristic for the time between 1968 and 1992, have nearly disappeared, with the exception of information on packages, which is often written in both languages for economic reasons. The third part of the paper deals with linguistic issues such as the mutual intelligibility of the two languages and the real influence of Czech on Slovak and vice versa. The mutual intelligibility, which can be explained by the close relationship of the two languages, is nevertheless variable and to a great extent dependent on the experiences of the individual speaker. In everyday life members of each nation use their own language when communicating with members of the other nation (so-called semicommunication). The influence 0165—2516/0310162—0019 Int’l. J. Soc. Lang. 162 {2003}, pp. 19—39 © Walter de Gruyter 20 'II Berger of Czech on Slovak concerned nearly all parts of the lexicon and of phraseol— ogy; ‘parallel neologisms” and “quotations” have played a huge role here. In recent years borrowings have declined, but many old doublets are still alive. In some minor cases influence of Slovak on Czech could be noted as well. 1 . Introduction Czech and Slovak are two closely related languages, which together form the Czecho-Slovak subgroup of the West Slavonic languages, to which belong two further subgroups, the Lusatian and the Lechitic. In spite of their similarity and a nearly complete mutual intelligibility (see below), the literary languages are clearly differentiated, which is among other things due to the fact that they were standardized on the basis of different dialects of the Czecho-Slovak dialectal continuum (Czech on the basis of the Central Bohemian dialects in the Prague area, Slovak on the basis of the Central Slovak dialects in the area of the town of Martin). Although Czechs and Slovaks lived together in one state for the relatively short period of 68 years (1918-1938 and 1945—1992) (compared to their long literary tradition—the first Czech texts were written in the second half of the thirteenth century), their linguistic relations have been very close since the Middle Ages. Most of the time, however, it was an asymmetrical relationship: Czech was used as a written language in the territory of contemporary Slovakia (at that time Upper Hungary) from the early fifteenth century, and even when slovakized varieties of Czech began to emerge (in the sixteenth century) and eventually a Slovak literary lan- guage was introduced (in the late eighteenth century), the Slovak literary tradition always developed in opposition to and in permanent contact with the Czech literary language. For some time Slovak was used to a larger extent by the Catholic part of the population, whereas the Protestants continued to write in Czech, the language in which their Bible was written. After a period during which the use of the Czech language had been weakened, mainly due to the centralist reforms of Maria Theresia and Joseph II, which strengthened the importance of German as the language of the Empire, the Czech National Movement was successful in developing a new literary norm in the first half of the nineteenth century. This new norm was based on the language of the so-called “Golden Era” at the end of the sixteenth century and was quite different from the language as it was really spoken toward the end of the eighteenth century. From the 18503, the National Movement managed to strengthen its influence on the educational system, and soon Czech was used in schools at all levels. In 1882, Prague University was divided into a Czech and a German school. , Slovaks in Czechz'a — Czechs in Slovakia 21 Czech was also freely used in newspapers and fine arts, though the National Movement did not gain any major success in the field of politics. On the other hand, the situation of Slovak deteriorated in Upper Hungary under the pressure of Hungarian Nationalism. Slovak was banned from the schools after a short period of liberalization (ca. 1860—1875); Slovak newspapers and books could be published (under strict censorship), but the literary language remained the affair of a small intellectual minority. When Czechs and Slovaks gained independence in 1918 and came together in a common state, the Republic of Czechoslovakia, the situations of the two languages were very unequal, and it is not surprising that Czech teachers, clerks, etc., became very important in the Slovak part of the country, where they organized the school system and the public service. According to the constitution of 1920, the official language of the new country was to be “Czechoslovak,” but this was a legal fiction, since both languages continued to be used as literary languages. Nevertheless the situation remained asymmetrical, since literary Slovak was codified under strong Czech influence, and in many situations Czech was preferred even within Slovakia (cf. Marti 1993). After 1930 the relations between Czechs and Slovaks deteriorated, as the Slovaks had not been granted the autonomy that they had expected after gaining independence. At this time, Slovak scholars also began to protest against Czech influence on their literary language and rejected a proposal of new orthography rules, put forward in 1931. In March 1938, Slovak nationalists founded their own republic, the “Slovak State,” which was entirely dependent on Nazi Germany and also participating in World War II on the side of the German troops. During this period, the codification of literary Slovak was deliberately set apart from Czech. After the Slovak National Uprising in August 1944 and the vict01y of the Allied POWers in 1945 the Republic of Czechoslovakia was reinstituted. After 1945 the idea of a “Czechoslovak” language was not revived. The Slovak literary language was allowed to develop more freely than before the war but continued to be under Czech influence. Only in 1968, when Czechoslovakia was turned into a federal state, did Slovak gain complete equality with Czech. This situation continued after the peaceful revolution of autumn 1989. The discussions about the status of Slovak as a “state language,” which began to emerge within Slovakia from summer 1990, did not concern the relation of Slovak and Czech, but rather of Slovak and Hungarian (which is used as a minority language in Southern Slovakia). Nevertheless the division of Czechoslovakia into two independent states from January 1, 1993, caused a thorough change in the relations between these languages, since now there is no factual “need” for either side to take the other language into account in legislation, administration, the 22 T. Berger educational system, etc. On the other hand, new problems arise for the rather large Slovak minority in Czechia, but also for the much smaller Czech minority in Slovakia. This paper will give a short overview of the relation of the two languages and their speakers in former times and will concentrate on the period from 1968—1992 (equality Within one state) and the new situation since 1993. I will begin with some demographic data and a short outline of the legal situation and will then describe the presence of (written and spoken) Czech texts in Slovakia and Slovak texts in Czechia. After this I will concentrate on the questions of mutual intelligibility of the two languages and the real influence of Czech on Slovak and vice versa. 2. Migration and minorities The ancestors of modern Czechs and Slovaks lived together in one state, the so-called “Great Moravian Empire” in the beginning of their history (from about 830 to 900). Since the arrival of the Hungarians in Pannonia, those Slavs who in the future were to become the Slovak ethnic group lived within the borders of the Kingdom of Hungary, in the part called “Upper Hungary” (“Hungaria superior,” in Slovak Homé Ukry). The Czechs, on the other side, had their own state, the Kingdom of Bohemia, which comprised Moravia, Silesia, and other regions. From 1526 Hungary and Bohemia were ruled by the same dynasty, the Habsburgs, but until 1918 the two regions constituted separate administra- tive units with their own gentry, legislation, etc. The difference was even strengthened when Hungary became a part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in 1867, having equal rights, whereas Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia did not gain autonomy and remained under immediate Austrian (i.e. German-language) rule. In spite of the political division of these two nations there was some migration in both directions during the Middle Ages. Intellectuals of Slovak origin came to Prague in order to study there and eventually stayed there. Slovaks from Southern Slovakia fled to Southern Moravia after the Turkish invasion of Hungary, and their descendants still form a specific ethnic group in the region called “Slovacko,” but today they are considered to be part of the Czech nation. After the victory of Catholicism in Bohemia and Moravia many Protestants came to “Upper Hungary,” where the literary language of the Czech Bible continued to be cultivated in a slightly slovakized form (known under the name of bibliétina). In the second half of the nineteenth century economic emigration from the rural parts of Slovakia became more and more important. The Slovaks in Czechia — Czechs in Slovakia 23 largest group emigrated overseas, many others to Hungary, but also to the Czech lands. This tendency became predominant after 1918, when Slovak workers came mainly to the industrial region of Ostrava, but also to other parts of the country (cf. Prokop et a1. 1998: 56ff.). On the other hand many Czech officials, teachers, etc., came to Slovakia in order to establish a new administrative and educational system. These developments were the reason why the Slovak minority in the Czech lands and the Czech minority in Slovakia belonged to completely different social groups. In 1938, a large part of the Czech minority in Slovakia had to leave the country, and only some of them returned after 1945. In contrast, Slovak emigration to the Czech lands became even stronger after World War 11, since many Slovaks (and Roms from Slovakia) migrated to those regions in the north and west of Bohemia and Moravia from which the German population had been expelled (cf. Zeman 1995: 525; Nekvapil 1997: 1643). Together with the continuing economic migration, this caused the Slovak community in Czechia to become so much larger than the Czech community in Slovakia. When Czechoslovakia was divided into two separate states in 1992 —l993, most Czechs in Slovakia obtained the citizenship of the new state. The same applies to Slovaks in Czechia, though there was some tendency to exclude some of the Slovak-speaking Romani. A very small, but pro- minent group of Slovak intellectuals left Slovakia after it was declared independent and emigrated to the Czech Republic. The migration in both directions can be illustrated by demographic data, but only to some extent; see the distribution of the nationalities at the censuses of 1950, 1970, and 1991 shown in Table 1 (according to SRCSSR Table 1. Distribution of nationalities Absolute figures Percentages 1950 1970 1991 1950 1970 1991 Czech Republic Czechs 8344 9293 8364 93.8 94.7 81.2 Moravians 1362 13.2 Slovaks 258 309 315 2.9 3.2 3.1 Roms 33 0.3 Others 294 213 228 3.3 2.1 2.2 Slovak Republic Slovaks 2982 3884 4519 86.6 85.5 85.7 Czechs 40 48 53 1.2 1.1 1.0 Hungarians 355 554 567 10.3 12.2 10.8 Roms 76 1.4 Others 65 56 59 1.9 1.2 0.9 24 T. Berger 1971: 85; SRCR 1993: 412; absolute figures are given in thousands). There are no reliable data before World War 11 since Czechs and Slovaks Were not differentiated in official statistics and treated as one “Czechoslovak” nation until 1938. A special problem is connected with the fact that statistics were based on the “principle of confession”; this implies that immigrants who were willing to assimilate could define themselves as members of the majority. It is also relevant that until 1989 it was not possible to declare oneself as Rom (nor as Moravian, Silesian, etc.). This might explain that the number of Roms noted in the census of 1991 is much lower than one might expect (for details see Nekvapil and Neustupny 1998). A last interesting fact that should be mentioned is that recent Statistical Yearbooks of the Czech Republic (e. g. SRC‘R 1999) do not give any figures on nationalities at all. This does not apply to the Slovak yearbook (cf. SRSR 1999: 167). 3. The legal situation As mentioned before, Czechs and Slovaks were regarded as one “Czecho- slovak” nation in the first Czechoslovak republic founded in 1918. As a consequence, they enjoyed equal rights before the law (as opposed to the numerous minorities). The language situation, however, was more complicated. Although the constitution of 1920 stated that there was a Czechoslovak” language, the language law issued in the same year said that this language had two varieties, Czech and Slovak. Each of them was to be used in its own territory, but Czech was the language of the central administration. This automatically meant that Czech was in a much stronger position, also considering that the Czech literary language had been able to develop freely during the second half of the nineteenth century and was prepared to take on the role of a state language much better than Slovak. This led to a situation where Czech was clearly privileged compared to Slovak (for more detailed information see Marti 1993). After the period from 1938 to 1945 when Slovak was the sole language of the “Slovak state,” and the position of Czech was weakened by the German occupants (though books and newspapers could be issued and Czech continued to be taught in schools), Czechs and Slovaks again enjoyed equal rights in the postwar Czechoslovak republic. The idea of a “Czechoslovak” language was not renewed and the situation of Slovak improved. This was due to the fact that Slovakia gained autonomy to a certain degree, but also to the fact that by then, there were many more Slovak intellectuals than in 1918 and the literary language had developed considerably in the Slovaks in Czechz'a —- Czechs in Slovakia 25 meantime. But the situation as a whole remained rather asymmetrical: Czech prevailed in all contexts Where members of both nations were present and Czech texts played an important role in Slovakia, whereas the same could not be said in the reverse. The Czechoslovak army seems to have been the only institution where both languages were used to the same extent. In 1968 Czechoslovakia was turned into a federal state with a Czech and a Slovak republic, which were constituted in a similar way and with the same rights. The federal government transferred part of its powers to the governments of both republics, from which time there was also a Czech government (it played a much less important role than the Slovak government until 1989). Though there was no official language law, the federalization brought about a new language policy that aimed at real equality of Czech and Slovak. For the first time measures Were taken to support the use of both languages in both parts of the federation. Mixed texts with alternating passages in Czech and Slovak began to be used in many official contexts, such as in the radio and television news; the same applied to many popular and scientific journals (but not to newspapers). Consequently, Slovak was now used frequently in the Czech part of the country, and many more people became accustomed to understanding the other language passively. It must be stressed that this policy also took advantage of the fact that Czech and Slovak were closely related. Each individual had the right to use his/her native language in each part of the federation, but there was no obligation for the authorities to produce every text in both languages nor to secure formal education in the other language. Two examples shall be given to illustrate this fact: Slovak judges who worked in the Czech part of the country could write their verdicts, etc., in Slovak (cf. Pohanka 1993), but it was not possible to study Slovak in Prague or Czech in Bratislava (cf. Korensky 1998: 32)! Theoretically the Slovak minority in the Czech Republic or the Czech minority in the Slovak Republic had the right to receive education in their own language, but defacto there Were only some Slovak schools in the region of Karvina (Northern Moravia, or rather, Silesia). To my knowledge there have been no Czech schools in Slovakia since 1945. After the end of communist rule in 1989 the relations between Czechs and Slovaks, which had been stable for quite a long time, began to change. The nationalist organization “Matica slovenska” opened a discussion of the status of Slovak, which in their opinion was threatened especially in the south of the country (i.e. in the territory of the Hungarian minority). In summer 1990 they introduced a language law, according to which Slovak was to be the “state language” (stémyjazyk) in Slovakia. Such a law would have conflicted with the constitution, hence the Slovak parliament finally 26 T. Berger passed a much weaker version of the bill and declared Slovak to be the “administrative language” (maria)? jazyk) of the Slovak republic, in spite of numerous protests and demonstrations. When the nationalist parties who advocated much stronger autonomy for Slovakia or even independence won the elections in 1992, they brought forward a new constitution, which states in article 6 that “Slovak is the state language in the territory of the Slovak Republic” and that “the use of other languages in dealings with the authorities will be regulated by law.” The approval of this constitution by the Slovak parliament on September 2, 1992, confirmed the end of Czechoslovakia. The treatment of minorities in the two new states differs considerably. The new Czech constitution of December 16, 1992, does not mention a state language nor the Czech nation. The “Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms,” which has been included into the Czech constitution, says that everybody is free to determine to which nationality he belongs and guarantees the rights of minorities. On the whole, the situation of Slovaks in the Czech republic did not change. There is, for example, still one Slovak school in Silesia with 38 pupils (cf. SRCR 1999: 553; Sokolova et a1. 1997: 107f.), but it should be stressed that their numbers have decreased dramatically (two schools with 584 pupils in 199010991!)I The idea to found a Slovak secondary school in Prague could not be realized since there were too few prospective pupils (cf. Nekvapi12000: 689f.). No new legal provisions have been introduced though there have been discussions in recont times whether a language law might be necessary, but this concerns the growing influence of English and German rather than the use of minority languages like Slovak. The situation in Slovakia is completely different. The tendency that had begun with the constitution was continued by the notorious “Law on the State Language of the Slovak Republic” of December 15, 1995. This law prescribes the use of Slovak in many areas of daily life and allows the minority languages only in contexts that are guaranteed by international human rights covenants (this concerns mainly education in the mother tongue and religious services). The law even regulates that doctors and nurses have to speak with their patients in Slovak (§ 18), that foreign songs that are broadcast have to be introduced in Slovak (§ 5), etc. Audio— visual productions intended for children up to 12 years must be dubbed (§ 5[2]). On the other hand, textbooks in foreign languages may be used at universities (§ 4[5]). The “Law on the State Language of the Slovak Republic” was widely understood as a law against the Hungarian minority, but some of its prescriptions are also relevant for the use of Czech texts. As Nabelkova (1999: 78) points out, the official explication of the law contains some Slovaks in Czechz‘a —— Czechs in Slovakia 27 passages that are directed against alleged bohemisms in Slovak. On the other hand, § 5(1) says that radio and television reports can be broadcast in foreign languages if they are dubbed or “fulfil in another way the condition of fundamental intelligibility from the view of the state language.” As I have pointed out elsewhere (cf. Berger 2000: 182f.) this can refer only to Czech texts, so that Czech is still privileged in comparison to other minority languages. This became even clearer after the “Law on the Use of Minority Languages” was passed by the Slovak parliament on July 11th 1999, since this law says explicitly in § 6, “This law assumes that the use of the Czech language in official contacts complies with the conditions of basic compat- ibility with the state language, provided that international agreements to which Slovakia is a signatory do not specify otherwise.” At the end of this section I would like to mention that both minorities have their organizations. The Slovak minority in Czechia is represented, for example, by the “Community of Slovaks in the Czech Republic” (Obec Slo vékov v CR), which issues the monthly journal Karena ‘Roots’, the Czech minority in Slovakia by the “Association of Czechs in Slovakia” (Spolek Ceckzi na Slovensku, cf. Hoskova 1994: 138). Three Slovak representatives are members of the “Council for Nationalities” (Rada pro nérodnostz), which was established by the Czech government in 1993. 4. Slovak written texts in Czechia —— Czech written texts in Slovakia Czech books have played an important role in Slovakia since the Middle Ages. Even when more and more texts were written in slovakized Czech or predecessors of literary Slovak the Slovak Protestants continued to use Czech Bibles and liturgical books (some of them until about 1990; cf. Berger 1997: 176f.). Until 1918, book production in Slovakia was very low and often hindered by the Hungarian authorities. During this period Slovak books came to the Czech lands only rarely. When Czechoslovakia had gained independence in 1918 Slovak books could be printed without any problems. Nevertheless Czech texts con- tinued to be used. This was especially true for specialized literature, which developed rather slowly, but Czech newspapers and journals were read in Slovakia as well. The short period of the “Slovak State” did not suffice to limit the influence of Czech texts in a substantial way; after World War II the number of Slovak texts increased slowly. For example, Slovak texts have been included in Czech textbooks since 1945 (cf. Hedvicakova 1985). After 1968, the deliberate policy that aimed at supporting the equality of both languages led to the appearance of Slovak texts in the Czech part of the country. This happened mainly in connection with mixed texts (see 28 T. Berger above), but to some extent books were produced exclusively in Slovak, too. Sometimes a specialized publication was issued only in Slovak; this was especially true for translations of philosophical texts, which could be published in Slovakia more freely than in the Czech Republic. But also in this period Czech books played a much bigger role in Slovakia (where they constituted a large part of the assortment of bookshops) than Slovak books in Czechia; Czech newspapers were brought to the Slovak part of the country, but not vice versa; etc. (cf. Nemcova and Ondrejovié 1992). To some extent Czech texts Were translated into Slovak (this concerned legal and administrative texts, textbooks, etc.); the trans- lation of Slovak texts into Czech was rather rare (mainly fiction and other literary texts). The division of Czechoslovakia in 1992/1993 led to an end of the mixed texts. Some common institutions continued for a short period (some scientific organizations remained “Czechoslovak” until 1995/1996), but on the whole there was no need to produce such texts, with the exception of politically motivated enterpriSes like the Czecho-Slovak journal Mosty ‘Bridges’, which continues to be issued in both languages. Written Slovak texts are very rare in the Czech Republic today, though one may sometimes find books issued in Slovakia in Czech book shops. The situation in Slovakia is more complicated. Though the government supports the production of Slovak books, and texts in foreign languages are banned from many areas by the “Law on the State Language,” Czech books continue to be sold in bookshops. In this context it is interesting to note that the “Law on the State Language” allows textbooks in foreign languages to be used at uniVersities. But there are also new phenomena: Nabelkova (1996, 1998, 1999) and Rangelova (1997) have described new mixed texts, which are made for economic reasons. Since producers have to use Czech texts on packages of industrial products for sale in the Czech Republic, and since the same reason necessitates Slovak texts for the Slovak market, more and more producers simply use texts in both languages side by side. This is a relatively new phenomenon as in former times everybody was expected to be able to read texts in both languages and no necessity was seen to translate these sorts of texts. Probably all Czech and Slovak speakers are still able to understand such texts (which contain mainly terminological items), but the double version is motivated by the new legal situation. Summing up, one can state that written Czech texts are still present in Slovakia, although probably to a smaller extent than before, whereas written Slovak texts are very rare in Czechia (with the exception of the “new mixed texts” on packages). Slovaks in Czechia —— Czechs in Slovakia 29 5. Spoken Slovak in Czechia —-— spoken Czech in Slovakia The question of spoken Slovak in the Czech Republic and spoken Czech in the Slovak Republic can be regarded from two points of view. On the one hand, it is interesting to see to what extent immigrant communities maintain their own language, on the other hand the influence of the radio and of audiovisual media (films, television) should not be underestimated. From the Middle Ages until the nineteenth centuiy, Slovaks coming to the Czech lands seem to have been assimilated rather quickly; many of them regarded literary Czech as their own language (of. rather numerous writers and scientists who came to Prague in the nineteenth century). Groups of emigrants who settled together tended to preserve their lan- guage more censistently, so some of the originally Slovak dialects in Southern Moravia (the so-called kopaniédfska’ néz’eé’z', cf. Belic 1972: 26) did not possess the typically Czech phoneme /r/ until the twentieth century. After 1918, the situation changed and became asymmetrical, again in connection with Czech predorninance. The Czech officials, teachers, etc., preserved their language quite consistently. Of course, many of them learned to speak Slovak, and some of their descendants were assimilated if they stayed in Slovakia (as mentioned above, many of them left the country in 1938), but even today members of the Czech minority in Slovakia use Czech in most domains (of. Ondrejovié 1997: 1672). The situation was quite different in the case of Slovak intellectuals in the Czech lands, most of whom tend ed to acquire a pretty high level of competence in spoken Czech. Unfortunately no reliable statistics on the question of how many Czechs speak Slovak and how many Slovaks speak Czech are available. Budoviéova (1974, 1986) mentions an inquiry among Czechs made in 1971, where 12 percent said that they were able to speak Slovak actively, 55 percent said that they had passive knowledge, and 33 percent said that they did not understand Slovak at all. The fact that one-third of the group claimed something very unlikely considerably lowers the value of the inquiry. The asymmetry of Czech and Slovak speakers is still visible today: to my experience many Slovak intellectuals (even of the younger generation) are able to speak Czech, especially with a foreigner (whereas they tend to use Slovak when speaking with Czechs). On the other hand, I have met only a few Czech intellectuals who are really able to speak Slovak (though quite a lot of them pretend to be able to). Only in recent times have Slovaks in the Czech Republic intentionally begun to preserve their own language. The situation was somewhat different with the Slovak workers in Silesia, who retained their language much better in the beginning but show the “normal” tendencies of assimilation within the next generations (of. Sokolova 1985, 1991; Sokolova et al. 1997: 77ff.; Nekvapil 1997: 1644). 30 T. Berger The influence of the media began to be relevant in the 1920s. Almost from the beginning, both parts of the country had their own radio stations (in Prague since 1923, in Bratislava since 1926), whereas the Czech film industry was much more important than the Slovak one (which defacto started only after World War II). Thus, films and later television strengthened the presence of spoken Czech in Slovakia. From 1968, mixed texts were characteristic for television and newsreels in cinemas, and spoken Slovak became familiar to most Czech speakers. Since the division of Czechoslovakia, mixed texts have disappeared from the media; nevertheless the presence of both languages in both countries is still remarkable. This is quite natural in the case of Slovakia, where the film industry (which was smaller than the Czech one) suffered even more from the economic crisis. Therefore only a small number of Slovak films can be produced, and many Czech films continue to be shown in Slovak cinemas (cf. Berger 2000: 186). The same is true for television: Kompasova (1999/2000) has shown that about 20 percent of the program of the Slovak television station Markiza are broadcast in Czech. Only films for children are dubbed regularly (in accordance with the “Law on the State Language”). So one has to agree with Nabelkova (1998: 97), who says that television programs belong to the few areas where Czechoslovak bilingualism has survived. Czech broadcasting is quite rare, with the exception of musical performances. In the Czech Republic, Slovak music is broadcast from time to time, but Slovak television programs are popular as well. This is partly for political reasons, so for example the very popular satirical program by Milan Markovié was regularly shown on Czech television after it had been banned from the official Slovak television (on the other hand, more and more Czechs do not fully understand the puns; cf. Zeman 1997b). For economic reasons radio and television stations cannot afford correspondents in all countries, so it happens quite often that Czech correspondents inform the Slovak public as well (and vice versa). On the whole it can be said that Czech speakers are confronted with spoken Slovak quite often, though still to a lesser degree than Slovak speakers are confronted with Czech (spoken and written!) texts. 6. The question of mutual intelligibility All those various contacts between Czech and Slovak speakers that I have described so far are possible only in connection with the fact that both languages are mutually intelligible to a large extent. This fact makes it possible that each speaker can use his/her own language when Slovaks in Czechia — Czechs in Slovakia 31 communicating with a speaker of the other language. This phenomenon is well known and mentioned in the literature quite often, but there are only a few specialized studies dealing with it in detail. A whole series of articles has been written by V. Budoviéova who has called the phenomenon “passive bilingualism” (cf. Budoviéova 1974, 1986; also Korensky 1998: 30) and later “semicommunication” (cf. Budoviéova 1987a, 1987b). The second telm, which will be used in this article, too, can be traced back to Haugen (1967), who described inter-Scandinavian communication as “semicommunication.” Still another term was used by Horecky (1995), who speaks about “diglossic communication,” evidently not in the Fergusonian sense. Unfortunately all studies knowu to me have concentrated on the mere fact of describing that semicommunication exists and in which domains it is used. Even Budoviéova (who has contributed four studies) has not gone into more detail to find under what conditions semicommunication works, what its preconditions and its limits are. Nobody has so far dealt with the question of how semicommunication is acquired by children and since when the phenomenon has existed in Czech-Slovak relations. So far a detailed analysis of communicative strategies has been given only by Vrbova (1993) (her study being discussed in Nekvapil 2000), and a detailed description of the conversational behavior of Slovaks living in Prague has been given by Hoffmanova and Mfillerova (1993a, 1993b). Some interesting remarks can also be found in Sochova (1991) and Zeman (1995, 1997a). With regard to the historical evolution, some assumptions can be made on the basis of our remarks in section 5. It seems likely that until 1918, Slovaks spoke Czech when communicating with Czechs, whereas Czechs came to Slovakia quite rarely. The changed situation in the 1920s meant that Czechs living in Slovakia had to acquire at least a passive knowledge of Slovak. On the other hand, Slovaks who came to the Czech lands contin- ued to learn Czech rather rapidly (with the exception of the Slovak workers in Silesia). Czechs living in the Czech part of the country began to be confronted with spoken Slovak texts only after 1945 and more extensively since 1968. The extensive use of spoken Slovak by Slovaks living in the Czech part of the country seems to be a fairly recent phenomenon. The specific character of semicommunication is based on the common features and the differences of Czech and Slovak, which can be character— ized in the following way (cf. Zeman 1997a: 1653; Koi‘ensky 1998: 21ff.; Berger 1997: 153ff.): — Slovak and Czech have different phoneme systems, but most differ- ences function in a regular way, comparable to the phenomena known from dialects of one language. 32 T. Berger — In principle, the morphological systems of the two languages are similar. Both languages have nearly identical grammatical categories and differ mainly in the inflection endings. Slovak morphology is more regular and uses phoneme alternations to a smaller extent (of. Czech v Praze ‘in Prague’ vs. Slovak v Prahe, the nominative being Praha in both languages). — The syntactic structure of the two languages is more or less identical. —~ The core lexicon of both languages is identical, but there are a number of differences in those parts of the lexicon that concern the culture of everyday life (agriculture, food, etc.) and in the specialized terminology of some sciences. In general, the Slovak lexicon contains more borrowings than Czech (cf. Slovak sekunda ‘second’ vs. Czech vtefina), quite a lot of borrowings coming from different sources (cf. Hungarian words like éiz'ma boot’ or chyr ‘news’) or having a different form than in Czech (cf. Slovak s’aléz ‘salad’ in contrast to Czech saint). There are also a lot of differences in the internal structure of the lexicon, in the distribution of various models of word-formation, etc. (cf. Sochova 1991). On this basis we can expect that Czechs who try to understand Slovak and Slovaks who try to understand Czech will not have many problems in connection with phonology, morphology, and syntax. The phonological and morphological analogy goes so far that it is possible to transform every Czech word into a Slovak form (and the other way around); this has the consequence that neologisms can be borrowed in both directions without major problems. Native speakers of both languages will adapt to the other language automatically and rather quickly, maybe with the exception of some special cases (e. g. the present tense ending -em, which marks the 1st person of singular in Slovak and the lst person of plural in Colloquial Czech, cf. d’akrgjem ‘I thank’ vs. de“kujem ‘we thank’). Things are different in the lexicon because the speakers have to learn the equivalence of lexical items like vtefina vs. sekunda (see above), qu'ka vs. cemer ‘pencil’, nudle vs. rezance ‘noodles’ etc. There are also some “false friends” like Czech mévat ‘to wave’ vs. Slovak mévat’ ‘to use to have’ or sprosty, which means ‘vulgar’ in Czech and ‘silly’ in Slovak (cf. Budovicova 1987b: 35f; Korensky 1998: 27), but their number is rather limited. In connection with these facts it is clear that the functioning of semi- communication heavily depends on the theme of the conversation, and this has been noted by many scholars (cf. the articles of Budovicova and Horecky). It will be no major problem in everyday conversation (although even the visit to a food shop or a restaurant requires some terminological knowledge); it will be more complicated in specialized discussions. The understanding of artistic texts (e. g. in cabarets) requires a very good knowledge of the other language, which cannot be expected in every case. Slovaks in Czechia -—— Czechs in Slovakia 33 It is also clear that semicommunication must be acquired by the speak- ers. Rather often native speakers naively claim that the other language is so “close” (or “easy”) that they can understand it without any problems. The case of young children and of foreigners proves the contrary. Vrbova (1993) mentiones situations where Slovak speakers try to adapt to the needs of children (and sometimes also of elder people) and to speak in a register closer to Czech. The situation of foreigners is known to me from my own experience: even with a relatively good knowledge of Czech, one is not able to understand spoken Slovak well, but one gets accustomed quite quickly and “learns” to understand the major differences. After the division of Czechoslovakia into two independent states, semicommunication continues. Although there are fewer occasions for communication between Czechs and Slovaks now (especially in institu- tions), the normal everyday contact still exists with Slovak workers in Czechia, Czech tourists visiting Slovakia, etc. One might assume that the degree of comprehension of the other language is decreasing, that children have more problems in understanding than before (this has been claimed several times in discussions), but these are mere hypotheses as long as no serious research on semicommunication has taken place. A last point that should be mentioned is that semicommunication is a very unstable phenomenon. It actually arises in every situation where Czechs and Slovaks come into contact anew, but in situations where Czech and Slovak speakers are in continuous contact, they tend to develop specific varieties that are characterized by various degrees of mixing of the two languages (cf. Hoffmannova and Milllerova 1993a, 1993b; Zeman 1995, 1997a). 7. The question of factual influence Bearing in mind the historical relations of the two languages, one can expect that Czech has had much more influence on Slovak than Slovak on Czech. Slovak scholars have noted and described Czech borrowings since the nineteenth century. Most studies on this theme have been written by purists who have also tended to propose “genuine” Slovak equivalents or to ascribe the Czech word another meaning, such as, in relatively recent times, Horak (1971, 1999). Only a few studies deal with the theme in an impartial way, based on linguistic methods, but some interesting articles have been written in recent years by K. Buzassyova, J. Dolnik, and M. Sokolova. There are some minor cases of Slovak influenceon Czech, which will be dealt with in the end of this chapter. 34 T. Berger Czech-Slovak interference can be divided into three major groups. The first group may be called “parallel neologisms,” the second “quotations,” and the third group consists of doublets in the sphere of morphology, word formation and phraseologisms. As we will see, the first two types of interference are typical for languages that have been used in one state and in constant contact for quite a long time; the third group is very similar to phenomena we know from other languages in contact. The existence of “parallel neologisms” is a very important fact that is widely ignored in existing studies. Borrowings in both directions are facilitated by the similarity of the phonological and the morphological systems. As I mentioned before, it is possible to borrow every neologism and to adapt to the system of the other language. So it was no problem to use the Czech term kupo’nové privatizace ‘privatization by means of coupons’ in Slovak as kupénova’ privétizdcz‘a, and nobody would call this a Czech borrowing. The same applies to Czech zeftihlovdm' zemédélstvz' ‘slimming of the agriculture’, transformed into Slovak zostz’hl’ovam'e pol’nohospoddrstva (cf. Buzassyové 1995b: 168). Similar phenomena might also occur in the direction from Slovak to Czech. For example, the Slovak political slogan of zvz’dz'tel’nenz'e Slovenska ‘making Slovakia visible’ can be adapted in Czech as zvz'dz'telném’ Slovenska. To some extent the phe- nomenon of “parallel neologisms” can be explained by an official policy in former Czechoslovakia to unify terminology as far as possible. Joint Czecho-Slovak commissions had the task of avoiding the codification of different terms (cf. Kofensky 1998: 32; Marti 1993: 302) and produced quite elaborated terminologies for new areas of science. Although such commissions do not exist anymore, there is a strong tendency to follow the example of the other language; everything else would be conceived as a consciously puristic approach. “Quotations” play an important role in political discourse, but they can also enter into the normal language. Buzassyova (1995b: 177) has shown how utterances of Czech politicians, etc., were quoted in the Slovak press, evidently with a (mostly) negative expressive function. I myself have witnessed how the Slovak slogan dost’ bola Prahy ‘no more Prague’, lit. ‘there was enough of Prague’ was taken up by Czech speakers who playfully combined dost’ boio with many other words without changing it into Czech (the Czech form would be dost bylo). The core of Czech-Slovak interference is formed by doublets in the lexi- con, by models of word formation, and by phraseologisms. M. Sokolova (1995), who has contributed the main study on this issue, mentions phono- logical and morphological interference, too (cf. M. Sokolova 1995: l89f.), but I will not deal with these here, since many of them might also be seen as dialectal interferences (local dialects play a much bigger role in Slovakia Slovaks in Czechz'a — Czechs in Slovakia 35 than in Czechia). In the first part of her article Sokolova gives a review of different types of competition between the “contact variant” (c. g. the borrowing from Czech) and the original Slovak word according to norma- tive dictionaries. Both words can be equivalent (of. tuika — ceruzka pencil’ or poé’z’tat’—rcitat’ ‘to count’), the “contact variant” can be archaic (cf. mftvz'ca —pordika ‘infarct’), it can be colloquial (cf. hasiéwpoz’iarnik ‘fireman’), or it can belong to the substandard (cf. krabica—skatul’a ‘box’). At the end of this part (M. Sokolova 1995: 193f.), a very long listing of “wrong” and “nonfunctiona ” words is given; it contains for example the doublets kl’ud—pokoj ‘quiet’ and dopis—list ‘letter’, which are known from many purist books. In some cases it is not entirely clear why one variant is said to be Czech and the other genuinely Slovak. For example poicimz’k exists in Czech, too, and is regarded by many speakers as a more literary word than hasz'dr (as in Slovak). On the other hand, in Czech skatule is regarded as a colloquial variant of krabz'ce (unlike Slovak). In the second part of her article Sokolova presents the results of a sociolinguistic inquiry on the basis of 360 questionnaires distributed among Slovak native speakers. These native speakers were asked to classify 330 “contact variants” as “frequent,” “common,” “artificial,” or “improper.” As a result Sokolova draws up four major classes of inter- ference: in the first class (about 10%) the contact variant is seen as more adequate than the Slovak word, in the second class (about 10%) the contact variant is seen as more frequent than the Slovak word but it is evaluated more negatively, in the third class (about 10%) both items are seen as more or less equivalent. Most cases (about 60%) belong to the fourth class, which contains words where the Slovak variant is preferred by native speakers. Sokolova draws the conclusion that quite a lot of contact variants are “communicativer effective” since they make possible a semantic or a stylistic differentiation of lexemes (this is especially true for the first and the third class). These factors can be more important than the fact that a lexical item is borrowed from Czech, and Sokolova supposes that such words will play an important role in Slovak also in the future. It is possible to draw further conclusions from Sokolova’s data that are not mentioned by herself. In the first place I would like to point out that many targets of purist attacks are evaluated much better than one should expect (though they belong to the fourth class). This is true for Icl'ud, where 56.9 percent of the respondents say that it is frequent, 77.2 percent say that it is common, and only 9.4 percent say that it is “improper” (the same figures for pokoj are 74.7, 89.7, and 1.4). Similar things can be said about dopis (41.1, 68.3, 14.4) and list (81.1, 93.1, 0.5). This shows that purist propaganda is not very realistic (cf. also the remarks on these cases in Dolnik 1992) and that these words can be assumed to exist in at least some varieties of Slovak. 36 T. Berger It is also interesting to note that interference in word formation and phraseologisms seems to behave in a different way than lexical doublets. Those few cases that were included into Sokolovska’s questionnaire seem to have a rather good chance of being accepted in Slovak. This is especially true for the Czech suffix -sko, with which names of countries and regions are formed. The Czech word Chebsko ‘region around Cheb’ seems to have advantages instead of traditional Slovak okolz'e (Sheba. So Ostravsko comes into the third group and Tmavsko into the fourth (the difference can be explained by the fact the Ostrava is a Czech town and Tmava a Slovak one). The same applies for new names like Kirgz'zsko and Turkménsko, which are used quite frequently although purists advocate the use of the original names Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan (cf. Genzor 1997: l40ff.). Phraseologisms behave in a similar way so it is quite common to say vyvenc'z't’psa ‘to go out with the dog’ as in Czech, instead of the older form vyjst’ so psom (the phraseologism is part of the first group), Buzassyova (1995a: 92f, 1995b: 173) makes a similar point. Slovak influence on Czech is much rarer but can be noted in some cases; for example, Slovak devolenka ‘leave’ has become a variant of Czech dovolend (cf. Zeman 1997a: 1654). There are no cases where the Slovak word has really driven out its Czech equivalent. There is one very interest- ing case of morphological influence: Czech began to form adverbs from participles (like uklz‘driujz’cné ‘in a calming way’ from the participle uklz'dfiujz’cz) under the influence of a Slovak model (cf. Jedlicka 1978: 87ff.). Whereas Slovak influences on Czech have been noted only by specialists, real and alleged Czech influences on Slovak have been discussed in Slovakia fairly broadly. We can differentiate several attitudes here, first of all the classical purist attitude (which remained an “unofficial” stream most of the time since the political situation did not allow an open anti-Czech purism), then a more moderate position that is based on the so-called “ethnosignificative” or “nationally representative” function, which Buzassyova (1995b: 170f.) has drawn attention to, and last a “func- tionalist” position, which allows Czech words as long as they have a specific function (this is the position of M. Sokolova). How has the situation changed since the division of Czechoslovakia? It is clear that “quotations” play a smaller role than before and “parallel neologisms” are still formed, but to a smaller extent. Other Czech-Slovak interference continues, and it might even become more important as anti- Czech purist attitudes lose their significance (cf. Dolnik 1998; Nabélkova 1999) because it is no longer necessary to “defend” the Slovak literary language against Czech. On the contrary Patras (1995: 129) claims that the Czech borrowings in the lexicon are becoming rarer, but that there is a latent Bohemization of the grammar. Further empirical research will be Slovaks in Czechia ~«— Czechs in Slovakia 37 necessary to decide in which direction the Czech-Slovak interferences will develop in the new Situation. University of Tiibingen Note 1. Unfortunately, the only Slovak primary school closed at the very end of the millennium. (Editorial note). References Belic, Jaromir (1972). Ndszin éeské dialektologie [An Outline of Czech Dialectology]. Prague: SPN. Berger, Tilman (1997). Tschechen und Slowaken: Zum Scheitern einer gemeinsamen, tsche- choslowakischen Schriftsprache. In Uber Mutterspmchen and Vaterlr'z‘nder, G. Hentschel (ed.), 151—481. F rankfurt/Main: Peter Lang. —{2000). Die Rolle des Tschechischen in der heutigen Slovakei. 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