On the Phonological Characteristics of the Statute of Poljica and Contemporary Speech of Srijane

Journal of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split, No. 5, 2012

Review article

Marijana Tomelić Ćurlin ; University of Split, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences 

pages 195-209


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The analysis of Croatian medieval legal documents, which stand as monuments to their times, results in an overview of the historical development of both the Croatian language and its dialects along with Latin, Glagolitic and Cyrillic scripts. The main object of the analysis presented in this paper is the Statute of Poljica, a medieval Croatian document written in Cyrillic and a rich source for the analysis of linguistic content, as well as a number of historical, social, legal, ethnographic and sociological elements. However, this paper focuses on the analysis of the Statute of Poljica as a linguistic document. The main thesis of the paper follows that of P. Šimunović (1978) who considers the Statute a monument of the Čakavian dialect. This is followed by an analysis of authentic field recordings of the speech of the village of Srijane in the Republic of Poljica, never before described in linguistic studies. The analysed recordings of Srijane speech are especially interesting to dialectologists. Namely, Poljica is defined as a space of contact of two dialects, Čakavian and Štokavian. By comparing the language of the Statute of Poljica and Srijane speech, the author attempts to prove a genetic classification of Srijane speech as a Čakavian dialect and to define to what extent the Čakavian dialect has been preserved in Srijane speech along with the frequency of the occurrence of Štokavian innovations. The goal of this paper is to define the process of interference between these two dialects. Analysis will take place only on the phonological level.


Poljica; the Statute of Poljica; language; Čakavian dialect; Štokavian dialect; dialect interference; phonology