The Scientific Centre of Excellence for Croatian Glagolitism

Principal Investigator: Silvana Vranić

Considering that within the diachronic or historical dialectology an earlier linguistic situation is reconstructed on the basis of field research of contemporary idioms, that is, that the procedure whereby we depart from old texts which serve as models and compare them with the contemporary dialectological information enables us to determine with more precision to which area the analyzed texts belong, for this particular project, besides the contributions of linguists whose fields of study are paleography, textology, history of literature and history of language, the contribution of dialectologists is of crucial importance. The main task of this segment of the project is to attempt, on the basis of comparative analysis of linguistic levels of works produced by the Beram Scriptorium and the data collected during the field research of the contemporary Beram idiom, to determine more specifically to which Čakavian area, and even to which dialectological point, the works produced by the Beram Scriptorium belong (assuming that it was the scribes’ intention to reflect the then contemporary idiom of Beram). However, one must bear in mind the well known fact that many older texts are in fact literary stylizations (such as various codices/statutes, e.g. those of Veprinac, Trsat, Mošćenice, etc.), and as a result they cannot serve as reliable dialectological models for the diachronic approach to a particular organic idiom. But, judging by the previous diachronic dialectological studies of the Croatian language, authors’ interventions can be identified on the basis of comparison to the extant norm. In this regard, medieval texts are less obscure, that is, literary-linguistic stylizations based on one dialect or hybrid did not yet exist at this period. Therefore, once the linguistic similarities or differences of the chosen texts with respect to the characteristics present at the beginning of the Croatian recension of the Old Church Slavonic, that is, to those that were present at the same time when the works of the Beram Scriptorium were created, have been determined, the main task will be to identify Čakavian elements, on all linguistic levels, present in the texts. Considering that the Čakavian dialect was not homogenous, it can be assumed that excerption of dialectal data will be an efficient method of determining the mother idiom of a particular author or scribe, that is, that this method will help answer the questions of whether the works produced by the Beram Scriptorium were used only in Beram and whether they were actually, and to what extent, created there. These data will, bearing in mind the aforementioned methodological caveats, be compared with those obtained during recent field studies and those that will be obtained during the research that will be conducted for the purposes of this project in Beram, but also in the wider area to which this dialectal point belongs.


In the dialectological literature the idiom of Beram has been described on the level of belonging to a hierarchically higher system. Synthetic studies and reports identify it as a part of the Ekavian Čakavian dialect. The fact that it belongs to the central Istrian sub-dialect of the Ekavian Čakavian dialect was confirmed during a field study conducted by S. Vranić (2005), and on the level of the accent (stress) system also during a field study conducted by S. Zubčić (2006).


The expected outcome of this segment of the project is therefore a more precise localization of the works created in the Beram Scriptorum with respect to the language competence of a particular author or scribe. In addition to this, the obtained data will also contribute to the creation of a more precise diachronic image of the central Istrian idioms, that is, to a better understanding of the diachronic dialectology of Croatian.