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Novi nadgrobni natpisi na vlaškom u istočnoj Srbiji

New Funeral Inscriptions in Vlach in Eastern Serbia


Фолклористика 1/2 (2016): 27‒42
Аутори: Monika Huțanu, Annemarie Sorescu-Marinković
Текст: PDF

 

U ovom radu ukazujemo na nekoliko odlika jezičkog pejzaža grobalja istočne Srbije, a fokus analize je pojava epitafa na vlaškom, manjinskom govoru čija se kodifikacija i standardizacija naglo razvijaju u poslednje vreme. Pojava epitafa i drugih javnih natpisa na vlaškom, od 2005. na ovamo, verovatno je rezultat ovih mera ili opštejezičke i sociolingvističke klime. U metodologiji prikupljanja i analize podataka nismo se držale kvantitativnog pristupa koji se obično koristi u studijama jezičkog pejzaža, pošto smo smatrale da samo kvalitativna perspektiva može da pruži relevantne rezultate u našem konkretnom slučaju. Iako je sama pojava natpisa na vlaškom za sada beznačajna iz statističkog ugla (našle smo samo sedam takvih natpisa), ona je svakako simptomatična budući da „to što je statistički beznačajno može biti znak važne promene“ (Blommaert 2013: 46). Uprkos činjenici da je jezik Vlaha jedva vidljiv u jezičkom pejzažu groblja, što je odraz celokupne demografske i sociolingvističke situacije vlaške zajednice, prisustvo vlaških natpisa u javnom prostoru groblja predstavlja poseban znak napretka u odnosu na prethodne godine. Epitafi imaju uglavnom simboličku vrednost i koriste se kao markeri identiteta ili kao podrška za legitimisanje manjinskog govora. U severoistočnoj Srbiji još uvek ne postoje zvanični propisi u vezi sa korišćenjem vlaškog u javnom prostoru, bez obzira na njegovu standardizaciju. Stoga ostaje da se u narednim godinama vidi kako će se ovi prvi koraci nastaviti i da li će prisustvo manjinskog jezika u javnom prostoru moći da ospori postojeće stereotipe, deluje na percepciju većine i podrži korišćenje jezika u više domena.
Ključne reči: jezički pejzaž, epitafi, nadgrobni natpisi, vlaški jezik, rumunski jezik, Vlasi, istočna Srbija 

In this paper we discuss the linguistic landscape of the graveyards of Eastern Serbia, with a special focus on a very recent phenomenon: the appearance of epitaphs in Vlach, a minority language whose codification and standardization have been developing at a fast pace in recent years. The creation of an official script for the Vlach language, the publication of various translations in Vlach, as well as the decision of standardization of Vlach (September 2015) testify to the fact that members of this community have started to openly express their ethnic and linguistic identity. Therefore, the appearance of epitaphs and other public signs in Vlach can be seen both as the result of these measures or of the general linguistic and sociolinguistic climate, and as a possible trigger of change. The linguistic landscape reflects the relative strength and status of various languages in a specific sociolinguistic and multilingual context, but at the same time contributes to building the sociolinguistic context, influencing the way people perceive the status of different languages.
As far as the methodology of collecting and analyzing the data is concerned, we depart from the quantitative approach commonly used in linguistic landscape studies. While we recognize the importance of a quantitative approach, due to its contextualized, comparative and diachronic potential, we believe that only a qualitative approach can render relevant results in our particular case. Therefore, even if the appearance of funeral inscriptions in Vlach is insignificant from a statistical angle (we found only seven such signage), it is certainly symptomatic, sinče “the statistically insignificant can be a sign of momentous change” (Blommaert 2013: 46).
From the meager photographic material at our disposal, we can conclude that most of the gravestones with Vlach inscriptions have been erected starting with 2005, many of them by and during the life of the ones to be buried there. Due to the absence of a commonly accepted linguistic norm (in spite of the recent – but contested – standardization), we noticed a high degree of variability in writing the Vlach speeches. As well, there is an obvious advantage of the Latin alphabet over the Cyrillic (five inscriptions in Latin, two in Cyrillic).
Although the language of the Vlachs is barely visible in the linguistic landscape of the graveyard, which is a reflection of the overall demographic and sociolinguistic situation of the Vlachs, the presence of Vlach inscriptions in the public space of the cemetery indicates progress compared to the previous years. Epitaphs have a largely symbolic value and are used as markers of identity or as support for the legitimacy of the minority speech. In Eastern Serbia there are still no official regulations regarding the use of Vlach in the public space, regardless of its standardization. Therefore, it remains to be seen, in the coming years, whether the presence of this minority language in the public space will be able to challenge the existing stereotypes, will impact on the perception of the majority and support the use of the languages in other domains. 
Key words: linguistic landscape, epitaphs, funeral inscriptions, Vlach language, Romanian language, Vlachs, Eastern Serbia