Linguistic and cultural revitalisation of the specific German minority in Slovakia

Katarína Slobodová Nováková, UCM Trnava, Slovakia, ID CLEaR2017-473;   Abstract: The article is aimed at rescue research of a unique German minority of mountain woodcutters called Huncokári living in Western Slovakia, isolated in a mountainous environment, with a preserved culture and their own language. Due to the previous political environment and unacknowledged rights of minorities in the 2nd half of the 20th century in Slovakia, this group has so far not been the subject of systematic research and scientific interest. Thanks to their isolation and specific socio-professional status they have preserved peculiar manifestations of material, spiritual and social culture as well as their own unique language. The language belongs to the German Middle Bavarian dialects and its occurrence outside the compact German speaking territories, particularly in the territory of Slovakia, is unique. In cooperation with the group's civic associations aims to document and save this language and culture, to revitalise and to popularise them. Since there are only  three last surviving native speakers, or  more accurately semi- speakers, the language research and documentation is crucial to us. Our objective is to revitalise the dialect of the Huncokári community. The expected benefit of revitalising activities is a more visible reflection of local traditions in present time as well as supporting the values of bilingualism and multiculturalism.

Key words:  Linguistic revitalisation, german ethnic group, European cultural heritage