Двуязычие и двукультурие польских старообрядцев сувальско-августовского региона
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The Old Believers were migrating to the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania shortly after the schism in the Russian Orthodox Church to avoid persecutions. They consisted a bilingual and bicultural society, as well as an ethnic minority. Their bilingualism is connected with diglossia, and biculturism – with di-ethnia. The Old Believers managed to preserve their language and culture only in the domain of religion, neighbourhood and home and the other realms of their life did not differ from their Polish surroundings. More intensive contacts with Poles, Polish administration, and especially education caused growing influence of Polish language on Russian dialect, and of Polish culture on the Old Believers’ culture. After the Second World War the Old Believer population in Poland diminished and the outer influence got stronger. Serious socio-economic changes were underway in the end of the 20th century and brought about the question of language shift and cultural assimilation of the community of our interest. Many domains which belonged to the traditional culture and to the Russian dialect were absorbed by the Polish language and culture. However, despite the accomplished changes, the Old Believers’ language and culture can be maintained. Nowadays there is only one domain completely free from the Polish influence – the domain of religion. Unfavourable demographical, social and economic factors will probably bring to the end of the Old Believers’ language and culture, but some factors are still unpredictable.
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