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Language Ferments in Dubrovnik Renaissance Literature

Sanja Vulić   ORCID icon ; Hrvatski studiji Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (398 KB) str. 229-255 preuzimanja: 1.379* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Vulić, S. (2016). Jezična previranja u dubrovačkoj renesansnoj književnosti. Colloquia Maruliana ..., 25. (25), 229-255. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Vulić, Sanja. "Jezična previranja u dubrovačkoj renesansnoj književnosti." Colloquia Maruliana ..., vol. 25., br. 25, 2016, str. 229-255. Citirano 12.06.2021.
Chicago 17th Edition
Vulić, Sanja. "Jezična previranja u dubrovačkoj renesansnoj književnosti." Colloquia Maruliana ... 25., br. 25 (2016): 229-255.
Vulić, S. (2016). 'Jezična previranja u dubrovačkoj renesansnoj književnosti', Colloquia Maruliana ..., 25.(25), str. 229-255. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 12.06.2021.)
Vulić S. Jezična previranja u dubrovačkoj renesansnoj književnosti. Colloquia Maruliana ... [Internet]. 2016 [pristupljeno 12.06.2021.];25.(25):229-255. Dostupno na:
S. Vulić, "Jezična previranja u dubrovačkoj renesansnoj književnosti", Colloquia Maruliana ..., vol.25., br. 25, str. 229-255, 2016. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 12.06.2021.]

Dubrovnik 16th century authors still to a considerable extent preserve numerous features of archaic Shtokavian usage that are compatible with Chakavian and Kaikavian. Notwithstanding their knowledge of the written word from previous centuries and the vigorous and constant communication with their Chakavian speaking fellow nationals, many non-Neo-Shtokavian features of these writers did not originate under this influence but were simply the result of the fact that Dubrovnik speech at that time was still to a considerable extent not Neo-Shtoka-vian. The results of a neglect of the phenomenon of archaic Croatian Shtokavian in Croatian philology have been manifested in the attitude of researchers to the language of the Dubrovnik Renaissance writers. Thus it has happened that the various dualities that we meet in their language, the result of the gradual transition of the Dubrovnik idiom with its archaic Shtokavian to Neo-Shtokavian, have been interpreted in terms of Shtokavian-Chakavian contacts. What is usually called Chakavian in Dubrovnik Renaissance writing mostly has Western Shtokavian Dubrovnik features, that is, the features of archaic Croatian Shtokavian. Thinking about the Chakavian influence has largely been determined by the fact that the literary language of the earlier periods in Croatian philology has often been sharply demarcated from historical dialectology. And so it happened that some linguistic approaches were considered the influence of literary works from older period or even the influence of other speech idioms, while the fact that Dubrovnik writers could simply have adopted a given linguistic usage from their own local speech was ignored.
There has been particular discussion of the considerable mingling of Shtokavian and Chakavian in analyses of the language of the Ranjina Miscellany. Since the poetic language of the authors of the first half of the collection, Šiško Menčetić and Džore Držić, is more archaic than the literary language of later authors of the th century, this literary language has regularly aroused the particular attention of philologists and many of the linguistic features of these authors have been considered signs of Chakavian usage. It can be said in general that in the language of the Ranjina Miscellany there are some Chakavian influences (for example, verbs of the vaze type), but many other older manifestations belong equally to Chakavian and archaic Croatian Western Shtokavian. In Dubrovnik Renaissance literary works the compatibility of the two Shtokavian – old and new – systems is particularly marked. Dubrovnik speech still at that time contained significant features of archaic Shtokavian at all linguistic levels, but at the same time this was the period when Neo-Shtokavian innovations began gradually to break this system down, some more rapidly and some more slowly. So it was in Dubrovnik speech, and so in literary writing, for changes of organic idiom had an influence of the language of writers. Naturally, in works in verse one also has to take into consideration the various needs of the form, such as rhyme, metre, rhythm and refined nuances of style. In prose works, however, much of this is missing, and in such texts it is much easier to follow the merging and fusion of the old and the new Shtokavian system.
In brief, when it is borne in mind that the grammatical system and lexical inventory of archaic Shtokavian and Chakavian at the time of the Croatian Renaissance, and at a later time as well, contained many common features, then it becomes superfluous to discuss the Chakavianisms in the Dubrovnik idiom of that period.
Since it is often also gladly claimed that Marin Držić, unlike his literary predecessors in the city, endorsed the language of the Dubrovnik commoners, it has to be concluded that the speech of these ordinary people was in many features not yet Neo-Shtokavian, but preserved some features of archaic Shtokavian. This is shown incontrovertibly by language analysis of the prose parts of the texts of Marin Držić and the exchanges of Dubrovnik figures.
Nor are the differences among the languages of the individual Dubrovnik authors as big as is usually pointed out, for the many overlaps at all language levels have been overlooked. Many concrete examples from diverse works of diverse Dubrovnik authors from the 16th century clearly show that the most important linguistic features in these works are comparable. It is usually said, for example, that Nikola Dimitrović, through his many innovations and introduction of elements of the vernacular and Italianisms, paved the way for Marin Držić. But it has to be pointed out that, notwithstanding this, there are very recognisable features of archaic Shtokavian at various language levels, in the lexis as well, in spite of the many new lexemes he included in his work. Also visible in this writer is the parallel existence of the old system and the new system that gradually began to replace it. The parallelism in the two systems can be seen in the works of Nikola Nalješković. Examples incontrovertibly show that the biggest turn towards Neo-Shtokavian was made by Dinko Ranjina, although naturally in his language there are influences of archaic Western Shtokavian and some others as well. The prose texts of Dinko Zlatarić are usually taken as an example of advanced Neo-Shtokavian, but in Zlatarić too there is still a far from negligible proportion of old declensions. The prose idiom of Frano Lukarević also has partially older forms of declensions, and also usages that do not have the new iotation. The differences in the literary languages of Šiško Menčetić and Džore Držić on the one hand, Marin Držić, for example, on the other, Dinko Ranjina as a third way and Dinko Zlatarić as a fourth, actually to a considerable extent reflect changes in the Dubrovnik vernacular, which was gradually shifting from the archaic Western Shtokavian dialect into the Neo-Shtokavian. However, this process was not in any way concluded in the period of the Renaissance. The language of some of the Dubrovnik Baroque authors, of the 17th and first half of the 18th, is still in many elements non-Neo-Shtokavian-ised, while under the influence of the literary tradition of previous centuries, archaic Croatian Shtokavian case forms were still being used by some authors even in the 19th century; for example, in the second half of the century, by Antun Kaznačić in his versified works.

Ključne riječi
Dubrovnik; Renaissance; 16th century; archaic Shtokavian; Neo-Shtokavian; literary language

Hrčak ID: 157724



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