Possibilities of cultural and linguistic revitalization of a specificic German ethnic group in Slovakia

Katarína Slobodová Nováková, Slovakia, ID LLCE2016-374;      The article discusses the influence of macro-social processes and issues of assimilation, acculturation, ethnic and linguistic revitalization on the example of one particular group of German woodsmen in the social context of Western Slovakia. It attempts to analyse how historical and political transformations during the 20th century influenced changes in the structure, system of values and hierarchy of the ethnic group and whether that contributed to assimilation or prevented the assimilation of the group’s members. The article also attempts to indicate the possibilities of their contemporary ethnic and linguistic revitalization.The uniqueness of the members of this group lies in a specific way of coping with the new conditions and also in their way of identification with their own group and its cultural traditions. Peculiarity of the life of Huncokári was determined above all by cultural and language distinctness, geographical and social isolation (life in hamlets, endogamy) and also by specific forms of communication within the group as well as outside the group. These factors resulted in conservation and long-term preservation of multiple archaic elements of their traditional culture. Huncokári of the Little Carpathians present a specific form of adaptation and acculturation of a group in different ethnic surroundings. Therefore we consider them to be an important component of European and global cultural heritage.

Key words: ethnic group, woodsmen, German colonization, identity, dialect, Little Carpathians, revitalization