Diglossia Analysis

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In Bulgarian linguistics, works dedicated to bilingualism and diglossia are scarce and with no exception, were written in the last 15 years. Among them, we find only three books: one, published in 2004, analyses mostly the historical aspects of the Bulgarian-Turkish and Bulgarian-Greek bilingualism (Nikolova 2004), another discusses a specific case of regional diglossia in a particular town (Dimitrova 2004), and the third, written in 2005, is virtually the only work that examines and analyses diglossia in Bulgaria in general and its relationships with bilingualism (Videnov 2005). In all other works, these topics remain secondary issues to which attention is drawn only occasionally. This paper examines some particular forms of diglossia and/or…show more content…
Each variety has its own spheres of interaction and fixed functions. One is considered "high" or valued, prestigious and is mainly used in writing (especially in literature and in education) or in formal oral discourse. The other is considered "low", non-prestigious and is typical for ordinary communication, in daily life, and in folklore. Yet, according to Fergusson, in a situation of a dichotomy “standard vs. dialect” there are people who naturally speak the standard (H) variety, while in a diglossic situation nobody uses (H) in everyday conversations. This position seems rather restrictive and we can even ask if there is a diglossia in countries where there is no a high (H) variety of the type similar to the katharevousa in Greece. Taking into account the limits of Fergusson’s approach, Joshua Fishman enlarged the definition of diglossia to include the use of unrelated languages as high and low varieties. Therefore, the two varieties may be forms of the same language or belong to two different languages. The two language varieties coexist in a given area and, for historical and/or political reasons, have distinct status and social…show more content…
While the old generation still keeps in line with their dialects, uses them largely and has very limited command of the standard, the younger generations prefer using the Standard Bulgarian in their everyday contacts, even though they have a pretty good knowledge of the Turkish dialects. In both cases, this traditional bilingualism in its group type remains to this day, though “in its social form is not typical for the Bulgarians but only for the Turkish minority in Bulgaria”. Furthermore, since the fall of the communist regime and the newly obtained freedom to learn at school and to use their mother tongue, great parts of the Turkish population can listen to the official Turkish radio stations and watch Turkish channels on TV. This gives them the opportunity to acquire more easily the Turkish Standard language and to replace the old non-prestigious
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