Exploring The Croatian Language – The Eastern Kajkavian Dialect

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

Damir Spehar/PIXSELL
Damir Spehar/PIXSELL

We’ve explored many of the dialects, subdialects and indeed languages in their own right as some linguists consider them to be which are spoken across modern Croatia. From the Dubrovnik subdialect (Ragusan) in the extreme south of Dalmatia to Northwestern Kajkavian in areas like Zagorje, the ways in which people speak in this country deviate from what we know as standard Croatian language enormously. That goes without even mentioning much about old DalmatianZaratin, once widely spoken in and around Zadar, Istriot, or Istro-Venetian

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 spoken now?

Fast forward to the modern day, and the Eastern Kajkavian 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.


For more on the Croatian language, including information on dialects, subdialects, history and even learning how to swear in Croatian, make sure to keep up with our dedicated lifestyle section. An article on Croatian language is published every Monday.


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