Rusyn (//; Carpathian Rusyn: русиньскый язык (rusîn'skyj jazyk), русиньска бесїда (rusîn'ska bes'ida); Pannonian Rusyn: руски язик (ruski jazik), руска бешеда (ruska bešeda)), also known in English as Ruthene (UK: //, US: //; sometimes Ruthenian), is an East Slavic language spoken by the Rusyns of Eastern Europe.
|русиньскый язык; руски язик|
rusîn'skyj jazyk; ruski jazik
Census population: 70,000. These are numbers from national official bureaus for statistics:
Slovakia – 33,482
Serbia – 15,626
Ukraine – 6,725
Poland – 10,000
Croatia – 2,337
Hungary – 1,113
Czech Republic – 777
|Cyrillic script (Rusyn alphabets)|
Latin script (Slovakia)
There are several controversial theories about the nature of Rusyn as a language or dialect. Czech, Slovak and Hungarian as well as American and some Polish and Serbian linguists treat it as a distinct language (with its own ISO 639-3 code), whereas other scholars (especially in Ukraine but also Poland, Serbia and Romania) treat it as a Southwestern dialect of Ukrainian.
Carpathian Rusyn is spoken in:
- the Transcarpathian Region of Ukraine
- northeastern Slovakia
- Poland (traditionally in the southeast, but now mainly scattered throughout the north and west). The Rusyn variety of Poland is generally known as Lemko (лемківскій язык lemkivskij jazyk), after the characteristic word лем (lem) meaning "only", "but" and "like"
- Hungary (where the people and language are called Ruszin in Hungarian)
- northern Maramureș, Romania, where the people are called Ruteni and the language Ruteană in Romanian
The classification and identification of Rusyn is historically and politically problematic. Before World War I, Rusyns were recognized as the Ukrainians of Galicia within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, however in the Hungarian part they were recognized as Rusyns/Ruthenes. Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand had planned to recognize a Rusyn-majority area as one of the states of a planned United States of Greater Austria before his assassination. After the war, the former Austria and Hungary was partitioned, and Carpathian Ruthenia was appended to the new Czechoslovak state as its easternmost province. With the advent of World War II, Carpatho-Ukraine declared its independence, lasting not even one day, until its occupation and annexation by Hungary. After the war, the region was annexed by the Soviet Union as part of the Ukrainian SSR, which proceeded with an anti-ethnic assimilation program. Poland did the same, using internal exile to move all Ukrainians from the southern homelands to western areas incorporated from Germany, and switch everyday language to Polish.
Scholars with the former Institute of Slavic and Balkan Studies in Moscow (now the Institute of Slavonic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences) formally re-acknowledged Rusyn as a separate language in 1992, and trained specialists to study the language. These studies were financially supported by the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Ukrainian politicians do not recognise Rusyns as a separate ethnicity, regardless of Rusyn self-identification. Ukraine officially considers Rusyn a dialect of Ukrainian, related to the Hutsul dialect of Ukrainian.
It is not possible to estimate accurately the number of fluent speakers of Rusyn; however, their number is estimated in the tens of thousands.
Serbia has recognized Rusyn, more precisely Pannonian Rusyn, as an official minority language. Since 1995, Rusyn has been recognized as a minority language in Slovakia, enjoying the status of an official language in municipalities where more than 20 percent of the inhabitants speak Rusyn.
Rusyn is listed as a protected language by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia and Romania.
Grammars and codification
There are three Rusyn standard varieties: one in Slovakia, one in Poland, and one in Serbia and Croatia (Pannonian Rusyn). Pannonian Rusyn was first standardised in 1923, Slovakia (Prešov) Rusyn in 1995, and Poland (Lemko) Rusyn in 2000. Early grammars include Dmytrij Vyslockij's (Дмитрий Вислоцкий) Карпаторусский букварь (Karpatorusskij bukvar') Vanja Hunjanky (1931) and Metodyj Trochanovskij's Буквар. Перша книжечка для народных школ. (Bukvar. Perša knyžečka dlja narodnıx škol.) (1935).
A soft consonant combination sound [ʃʲt͡ʃʲ] exists more among the northern and western dialects. In the eastern dialects the sound is recognized as [ʃʲʃʲ], including the area on which the standard dialect is based. It is noted that a combination sound like this one, could have evolved into a soft fricative sound [ʃʲ].
The Carpathian Rusyn alphabets
Each of the three Rusyn standard varieties has its own Cyrillic alphabet. The table below shows the alphabet of Slovakia (Prešov) Rusyn. The alphabet of the other Carpathian Rusyn standard, Lemko (Poland) Rusyn, differs from it only by lacking ё and ї. For the Pannonian Rusyn alphabet, see Pannonian Rusyn language#Writing system.
|Ё||ё||ё||jo/'o||/jo/||not present in Lemko Rusyn or Pannonian Rusyn|
|І||і||i||i||/i/||not present in Pannonian Rusyn|
|Ї||ї||ї||ji/'i||/ji/||not present in Lemko Rusyn|
|И||и||и||î||/ɪ/||the Pannonian Rusyn alphabet places this letter directly after з, like the Ukrainian alphabet|
|Ы||ы||ы||y||/ɨ/||not present in Pannonian Rusyn|
|Ь||ь||мягкый знак (ірь)||'||/ʲ/||"Soft Sign": marks the preceding consonant as palatalized (soft)|
|Ъ||ъ||твёрдый знак (ір)||"Hard Sign": marks the preceding consonant as NOT palatalized (hard). Not present in Pannonian Rusyn|
Until World War II, the letter Ѣ ѣ (їть) was used, and was pronounced /ji/ or /i/.
Number of letters and relationship to the Ukrainian alphabet
The Lemko Rusyn alphabet of Poland has 34 letters. It includes all the Ukrainian letters with the exception of ї, plus ы and ъ.
The Lemko and Prešov Rusyn alphabets place ъ at the very end, while the vast majority of Cyrillic alphabets place it after щ. They also place ы before й, while the vast majority of Cyrillic alphabets place it after ш, щ (if present), and ъ (if present).
In the Prešov Rusyn alphabet, і and ї come before и, and likewise, і comes before и in the Lemko Rusyn alphabet (which doesn't have ї). In the Ukrainian alphabet, however, и precedes і and ї, and the Pannonian Rusyn alphabet (which doesn't have і) follows this precedent by placing и before ї.
|Rusyn edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
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|Rusyn edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
|Rusyn test of Wiktionary at Wikimedia Incubator|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rusyn language.|