Title of the article:



Ksenia A. Klimova

Elena S. Uzeneva

Information about the author/authors

Ksenia A. Klimova ― PhD in Philology, Associate Professor of the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Philology, Faculty of Philology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie Gory, 1, 119991 Moscow, Russia; Researcher, Scientific and Educational Center for Slavic Studies, Institute of Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky Ave., 32 A, 119334 Moscow, Russia.

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0105-6543
E-mail: kaklimova@gmail.com

Elena S. Uzeneva ― PhD in Philology, Associate Professor, Leading Research Fellow, Department of Ethnolinguistics and Folklore, Head of the Scientific and Educational Center for Slavic Studies, Deputy Director, Institute of Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky Ave., 32 A, 119334 Moscow, Russia.

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6919-4750
E-mail: lenuzen@mail.ru 


Philological sciences




Vol. 66


pp. 148–160


August 31, 2022

Approved after reviewing

October 01, 2022

Date of publication

December 28, 2022



Index UDK


Index BBK



The paper comes up with a synchronous-diachronic analysis of the linguistic situation in one of the isolated cultural and linguistic enclaves of the Balkan Peninsula: the district of Xanthi in the region of Thrace in Northern Greece, on the Bulgarian-Greek border. Here, in a remote mountainous area, live Muslim Slavs, ethnic Bulgarians, representing a minority ethnolinguistic and cultural-confessional group that has existed for a long time in a foreign language and other religious environment among Orthodox Greeks. In the historical past, this community formed a single whole with the Muslim Bulgarians who now live within the boundaries of the Republic of Bulgaria. This minority is the object of the language and cultural policy of three states: Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria. Note that the Greek authorities for a long time 1920s–1990s (excluding the period of Bulgarian rule in 1941–1944) pursued a policy of de-Bulgarization of this population. As a result, today the degree of its Turkicization (due to the influence of Islam, the study of the Koran in Turkish and the active position of Turkey) is quite high. It should be noted that the Bulgarian-speaking communities in Northern Greece are not the object of the Bulgarian language policy, which is carried out by disinterested officials and politicians who ignore the opinions and assessments of Bulgarian dialectologists and sociolinguists. The study focuses on ethnonyms and exonyms as important factors in the formation of the Pomaks' linguistic identity: the self-name of the speakers of these dialects is Pomaks, Ahryans. The ethnonym Pomaks was introduced and continues to be actively used to discuss the new Greek policy towards the Bulgarian-speaking population of Greece; the linguonym Pomaks was also formed from it. Earlier in Greece, the term Slavophones ('speakers of the Slavic language') was used, cf. new pomakophones. In the 90s of the 20th century and early 21th century a number of scientists (V. Friedman, A. D. Dulichenko, A. Ioannidou, K. Voss, M. Nomati, M. Henzelmann, K. Steinke) considered Pomak to be one of the literary microlanguages of the southern Slavia, noting that it is characterized by the diversity of the script used and poor functionality. There were appropriate grounds for this (codification, publication of dictionaries and grammar, textbooks, etc.). But the impetus for the “creation” of the literary language of the Pomaks was the political task of the country's leadership. At present, Pomak (Southern Rodhopian, Bulgarian) dialects in Greece have an unwritten character (they are used exclusively for oral communication in the family and village, microsociety). Despite the presence of certain signs of the formation of the literary language among the Pomaks, the modern language situation and language policy do not contribute to its existence and functioning. We rely on both published sources and our own field materials collected during two ethnolinguistic expeditions carried out in 2018 and 2019, as well as online in 2021, and will try to present preliminary results of the study of the current state of the language and language policy. Let us note the importance of modern interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the phenomenon of intercultural communication, which are based on the dialogue of languages and cultures, and which necessitated the description of new linguistic conditions and consideration of the importance of not so much Greek as Turkish as a means of intra — and interethnic communication in the specific geopolitical conditions prevailing in this region.


Language Situation, Language Policy, Muslim Slavs, Bulgarian Dialects, Interlingual Communication, Northern Greece.


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