Exploring The Croatian Language – The Eastern Kajkavian Dialect

Lauren Simmonds

eastern kajkavian dialect
Damir Spehar/PIXSELL

March the 23rd, 2024 – If you’re into linguistics, you’ve probably heard of the Kajkavian dialect – but what of the Eastern Kajkavian dialect?

A brief history of the eastern kajkavian dialect

The Eastern Kajkavian dialect, one of the main dialects which make up Kajkavian as a whole, was once considerably more widely spoken than it is now. Sometimes referred to as the Krizevci-Podravina dialect (Krizevacko-Podravski), it is characterised primarily by several ”far-reaching” alterations when it comes to accentuation, and the placement of the accent is more or less entirely limited to the last two syllables of any given word.

In the past, the spread of spoken Eastern Kajkavian spanned different areas of the ”old” Krizevci County, and continued on into the Scakavian-Kajkavian regions of the wider Danube Region.

where is it still spoken now?

Fast forward to the modern day, and this particular dialect is spoken in the general area of Moslavina and Podravina from Koprivnica all the way to the parts of western Slavonia which are more or less entirely diominated by Neo-Stokavian-Jekavian (also known as the southern dialect) speakers. In the eastern part of that same region, it intertwines with the Podravina subdialect of Slavonian Skakavica, with which it was once more closely linguistically connected.

Like with many lesser spoken languages, dialects and subdialects, there is always at least a little bit of controversy, and the Eastern Kajkavian dialect, like an array of others, can be divided into several smaller subdialects which some linguists consider to be independent dialects of their own.

Mijo Loncaric, a very well respected Croatian linguist and an expert in not only dialects but in Kajkavian itself, is one of those language experts who consider the so-called ”subdialects” of the Eastern Kajkavian dialect to be dialects in their own right.


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