Introductory survey of the South Estonian language islands

  • Uldis Balodis University of Latvia Livonian Institute, LV; Western Institute for Endangered Language Documentation, US
  • Karl Pajusalu University of Tartu, EE
Keywords: endangered languages, minority languages, language contact, Finnic languages, South Estonian, Leivu, Lutsi, Kraasna, ohustatud keeled, vähemuskeeled, keelekontakt, läänemeresoome keeled, lõunaeesti

Abstract

The South Estonian language islands – Leivu, Lutsi, Kraasna – are three historically South Estonian-speaking exclaves located not only beyond the borders of Estonia, but also geographically separated from the main body of South Estonian speakers for at least several centuries. Two of these communities – Leivu and Lutsi – were located in present-day Latvia. The third community – Kraasna – was located near the northernmost Lutsi communities – only about 35 kilometres distant across the present-day Latvian border in Russia. This article acts as an introduction to the studies in this volume by describing the history and current state of the communities at its focus. It gives an overview of the location of the language island communities, their origins, linguistic status, and self-identity as well as provides a survey of their research history dating from its beginnings in the late 19th century to the present.

Kokkuvõte. Uldis Balodis, Karl Pajusalu: Sissejuhatav ülevaade lõunaeesti keelesaartest. Lõunaeesti keelesaared – Leivu, Lutsi, Kraasna – on kolm ajaloolist lõunaeestikeelset enklaavi, mis ei jää üksnes väljapoole Eesti piire, vaid mis on olnud Lõuna-Eesti põhialast eraldatud vähemalt mitu sajandit. Kaks nendest keelesaartest – Leivu ja Lutsi – asuvad tänapäeva Lätis. Kolmas keelesaar – Kraasna – paiknes teisel pool Läti piiri Venemaal, jäädes põhjapoolsest Lutsi asualast ainult u 35 kilomeetri kaugusele. Artikkel tutvustab sissejuhatavalt selle erinumbri artiklite teemasid, kirjeldades lõunaeesti keelesaarte ajalugu ja praegust olukorda. Esitatakse ülevaade keelesaarte asendist ja päritolust, keelelisest staatusest, kõnelejate identiteedist ning ka uurimisloost 19. sajandist tänaseni.

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Published
2021-12-20