Maleševo-Pirin dialect

The term Maleševo-Pirin dialect (also spelt Maleshevo) is used in South Slavic linguistics to refer to a group of related varieties that are spoken on both sides of the border of Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia. Some linguists treat them as dialects of the Bulgarian language,[1][2][3] while Victor Friedman views them as part of the Macedonian language.[4] According to some authors, they are linguistically transitional between the two national languages, Bulgarian and Macedonian and form part of the larger dialect continuum between them. The dialect group is named after the mountain ranges of Pirin in Bulgaria and Maleševo in Macedonia. When referring specifically to the dialects on the Bulgarian side, the term Petrich-Blagoevgrad dialect, after the two major towns in the area, is also used.[5][6]

Some Macedonian linguists tend to treat the whole group as part of the Macedonian language, classifying it as part of a southeastern group of Macedonian dialects; others, like Krume Kepeski do not classify it as part of Macedonian,[7] whereas from the perspective of Bulgarian linguistics, the varieties in Bulgaria are classified as parts of the eastern subgroup of the southwestern group of Bulgarian.[5] This dialect is spoken in the towns of Delčevo, Pehčevo, Berovo and the surrounding villages in the east of the Republic of Macedonia, and in the regions of Blagoevgrad, Petrich and Sandanski in Bulgaria.[8]

The Blagoevgrad-Petric dialect is also closely related to the neighbouring Kyustendil and Samokov dialects, and especially to the Dupnitsa dialect,[8] whereas the Maleshevo dialect is closely related especially with the Strumica dialect.[9]

Linguistic properties

The following is a table of distinctive phonological and grammatical features, comparing the values found in the Maleshevo and Blagoevgrad-Petrich dialects with Standard Bulgarian, Standard Macedonian and two neighbouring Western Bulgarian dialect areas.

Comparison of the Maleshevo dialect and the Blagoevgrad-Petrich dialect with Standard Bulgarian and Standard Macedonian
Parameter Maleshevo dialect Blagoevgrad-Petrich dialect Standard Bulgarian (based on Eastern Bulgarian) Standard Macedonian Dupnitsa dialect Samokov dialect English
Proto-Slavic *tʲ/*dʲ – Old Church Slavonic щ/жд (ʃt/ʒd)шч/жџ ʃtʃ//dʒ/ (in some areas also щ/жд (ʃt/ʒd) and ќ/ѓ (c/ɟ) лешча/межџу (in some areas леща/между or леќа/меѓу)щ/жд (ʃt/ʒd) леща/междущ/жд (ʃt/ʒd) леща/междуќ/ѓ (c/ɟ) леќа/меѓущ/жд (ʃt/ʒd) леща/междущ/жд (ʃt/ʒd) леща/междуlentils/between
Proto-Slavic *ɡt/kt – Old Church Slavonic щ (ʃt)ќ (c) (in some areas also щ (ʃt) ноќ (in some areas нощ)щ (ʃt) нощщ (ʃt) нощќ (c) ноќщ (ʃt) нощщ (ʃt) нощnight
Old Church Slavonic ѣ (yat)е (ɛ) бел/белие (ɛ) бел/белия/е (ʲa/ɛ) бял/белие (ɛ) бел/белие (ɛ) бел/белие (ɛ) бел/белиwhite
Old Church Slavonic ѫ (yus), approx. ɔ̃а (a) мажа (a) мажъ (ə) мъжа (a) мажа (a) мажа (a) мажman
Old Church Slavonic ъ (ə)о (ɔ) соно (ɔ) сонъ (ə) съно (ɔ) соно (ɔ) сона (a) санdream
Old Church Slavonic ръ/рьvocalic r/ро () врох, крфръ () връх, кръвръ/ър (/ər) връх, кръвvocalic r врв, крвvocalic r врх, крфvocalic r врх, крфsummit, blood
Old Church Slavonic лъ/льъ (ə) съзаъ (ə) съзалъ/ъл (/əl) сълзаoл (ɔl) солзаvocalic l/ъ (ə) слза/съза depending on regionу (u) сузаtear
Old Church Slavonic x /x/Mixed бех, убавоMixed бех, убавоPreserved бях, хубавоLost or replaced by ф/в (f/v) бев, убавоMixed бех, убавоMixed бех, убавоwas, nice
Vowel reductionNoNoYesNoNoNo
Definite articleSingle definite article момчетоSingle definite article момчетоSingle definite article момчетоTriple definite article момчето, момчево, момченоSingle definite article момчетоSingle definite article момчетоthe boy
Ending of verbs in 1st person sing. present timeа – 1st and 2nd conjugation, ам – 3rd чета, пишаа – 1st and 2nd conjugation, ам – 3rd чета, пишаа (я) – 1st and 2nd conjugation, ам (ям) – 3rd чета, пишаonly ам читам, пишувама – 1st and 2nd conjugation, ам – 3rd чета, пишаonly (и/е)м четем, пишем(I) read, (I) write
Formation of past perfect tenseбeх + past participle бех писал, бех молилбeх + past participle бех писал, бех молилбях + past participle бях писал, бях молилимам + past passive aorist participle имам пишувано, имам моленобeх + past participle бех писал, бех молилбех + past participle бех писал, бeх молил(I) had read, (I) had written
Word stressDynamic доˈбиток, пеˈреDynamic доˈбиток, пеˈреDynamicдоˈбитък, пеˈреFixed antepenultimateˈдобиток, ˈпереDynamic доˈбиток, пеˈреDynamic доˈбиток, пеˈреcattle, (he/she/it) washes

As shown by the table, the Maleshevo and the Blagoevgrad-Petrich dialect show mixed Bulgarian and Macedonian phonological traits and mostly Bulgarian grammatical traits (several instead of one conjugation, single definite article, formation of past perfect tense with бeх, etc.), with the Maleshevo dialect ranging mostly towards Macedonian and the Blagoevgrad-Petrich dialect ranging mostly towards Bulgarian (cf. table). The transitional nature of the dialect is further demonstrated by the reflexes of the Proto-Slavic *tʲ/*dʲ: from the typically Bulgarian щ/жд (ʃt/ʒd) in the Blagoevgrad-Petrich dialect and the far East of the Maleshevo dialect, along the border with Bulgaria, through the transitional шч/жџ (ʃtʃ//dʒ/) in the central parts, and to the typically Macedonian ќ/ѓ (c/ɟ) in the western parts of the Maleshevo dialect[8]

Other phonological characteristics

  • shortening of words
  • use of the plural suffix -ove as in Bulgarian instead of -ovi as in Macedonian: клучове ('keys')
  • use of the old consonant group caf- instead of the consonant group cv-: цев- цаф (cev, 'pipe')
  • use of /v/ at the beginning of the word as in Bulgarian instead of /j/ as in Macedonian: важе ('rope')[9]

Morphological characteristics

  • use of the preposition sus/sos: – сус/сос рака ('with the hand');
  • the clitic possessive forms follow the verb: му рече – рече му ('He told him');
  • use of the dative form with na: на нас ни рече ( na nas ni reche, 'He told us')
  • the form of the verb to be for third person plural is sa as in Bulgarian, instead of se as in Macedonian: тие се – тие/тия са ('those are'), они са ('they are')
  • use of the pronouns on, ona, ono, oni instead of toj, tja, to, te[9]


  1. Стойков, Стойко. Българска диалектология, София 2002, с. 170-186
  2. Селищев, Афанасий. Избранные труды, Москва 1968, с. 580-582
  3. Mladenov, Stefan. Geschichte der bulgarischen Sprache, Berlin-Leipzig, 1929, § 213
  4. V. Friedman, "Macedonian", in: B. Comrie and G. Corbett (eds.), The Slavonic Languages, New York: Routledge
  5. Sussex, Roland; Paul Cubberley (2006). The Slavic Languages. Cambridge University Press. p. 510. ISBN 0-521-22315-6.
  6. Стойков, Стойко (2006). Българска диалектология. Акад. изд. "Проф. Марин Дринов".
  7. Кепески, Круме – "Македонска граматика", Државно книгоиздателство на Македонија, Скопје, 1946, page 7
  8. Стойков, Стойко (2006). Българска диалектология. Акад. изд. "Проф. Марин Дринов".
  9. The sociolinguistics of literary Macedonian, VICTOR A. FRIEDMAN, THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO LIBRARY
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.