Styrian and Carinthian in Slovenian popular music

By Mihaela Koletnik & Melita Zemljak Jontes (University of Maribor, Slovenia)

Abstract & Keywords

The article focuses on the use of the non-standard Slovenian elements in Slovenian popular music based on the analysis of Styrian popular music bands and Carinthian song writers and performers. The analysis is based on phonetic, morphological and lexical analysis of written and sung language.

Keywords: Slovenian language, dialectology, Slovenian popular music, Styrian dialects, Carinthian dialects

©inTRAlinea & Mihaela Koletnik & Melita Zemljak Jontes (2016).
"Styrian and Carinthian in Slovenian popular music"
inTRAlinea Special Issue: The Translation of Dialects in Multimedia III
Edited by: Koloman Brenner & Irmeli Helin
This article can be freely reproduced under Creative Commons License.
Stable URL: http://www.intralinea.org/specials/article/2183

1. Introduction

In the last twenty years writers of Slovenian popular music have increasing-ly included dialectal features into their songs. The reasons for this phenomenon can be found (1) in the globalization of society forcing the individual to its opposite, namely to the use his/her mother tongue, the dialect, with which he/she most easily identifies, (2) within the importance of the Slovenian language becoming the state language after achieving Slovenian independence, (3) in the use of the dialect as a means of semantical marking in comparison to the literary language. It should be noted that the dialect is never fully integrated into the song, but is usually included with certain phonetic, morphological and lexical elements.

List of abbreviations used:

Aust.:Austrian
Bav.: Bavarian
Cro.: Croatian
Fr: French
G.: German
It.: Italian
MHG.: Middle High German
OHG.: Old High German
SSl.: Standard Slovene
SNBSJ: Slovar novejšega besedja slovenskega jezika.

2. The analysis

2.1. The Styrian dialect

The first part of the paper focuses on the use of the Styrian dialectal songs of the three Styrian bands, Nude, Mi2 and Orlek. Although bands originate from various Styrian dialects, they still show common dialectal characteristics, identified mostly as phonetic, morphological and lexical.

The Styrian dialects are spoken in the wide area of central-eastern part of Slovenia bordered by the Upper Cariniolan dialectal group on the west, Carinthian dialectal group on the north, Pannonian dialectal group on the north-east, Lower Carniolan group on the south and Croatian language on the east. The Styrian dialectal group (Zorko 1994:  333;  2009: 160) is divided to the northern and southern area due to the late new acute lengthening of yat /ě/, of /o/ and /e/ in comparison to long yat /ě/, /o/ and /e/ in the northern area. All the Styrian dialects know no tonemic contrasts (they have lost the distinction between low and is acute and circumflex intonation). All the Styrian dialects have a falling word intonation on long and short vowels, some of them have nevertheless lost their quantity opposition causing partial or complete lengthening of short vowels, thus sometimes also diphtongizing narrow /e/ and /o/ into [ie] and [uo]. The long /i/ and /u/ have diphtongized and the long /a/ has become fairly or completely labialized and thus at some areas pronounced as standard broad /o/. The diphtongization of yat /ě/ to [e] or [a] is common to all the Styrian dialects, also the diphtongization of long /o/ to [o] or [a]. Some dialects have undergone late monophtongization. All the Styrian dialects pronounce the long semi-vowel /ə/ and nasal vowel /ę/ as a narrow or broad variant of /e/. In the eastern area of the middle Styrian and the Kozjansko-Bizeljsko dialect the vowel /ü/ instead of standard /u/ is commonly pronounced.

Vowel reduction is more common in the southern Styrian dialects, mostly in word endings thus causing masculinization. Non-stressed /o/ is pronounced as a very narrow vowel. The syllabic /r/ is pronounced mostly with prior semi-vowel or non-labialized /a/. Syllabic /l/ is mostly pronounced as [o] or [a].

Typical of the consonant system are the following phenomena (Logar 1993: 136–141): in front of the voiceless consonants or before the pause /v/ shows a strong tendency to become /f/, the consonant cluster /šč/ is mostly reduced to /š/, /ń/ is mostly reduced to /j/ or undergoes the change to /jn/, /ĺ/ is mostly reduced to /l/. The secondary /dl/ is usually reduced to /l/, the pronunciation of the hard /l/ especially in front of the vowels /u/, /o/ and /a/ is partly preserved; the prothetic /j/ can still be heard, voiced consonants (except /l, r, m, n, v, j/) in front of other voiceless consonants and before a pause usually become voiceless.

According to Zorko (2009: 160–161), the southern area of the Styrian dialectal group has masculinized most of the neutral nouns and the northern area has undergone feminization mostly of the neutral nouns in plural. There is a strong tendency towards the loss of dual particularly in feminine gender. Conjungation does not apply the rule of changing /o/ to /e/ after /c, č, ž, š, j, dž/ (s kovačom, mojo delo). The instrumental case of singular feminine nouns has the instrumental ending -oj: z ženoj 'with wife', which developed into -i or -o: z ženi, z ženo. The most common demonstrative pronoun is toti, teti, titi. Most frequently verbs undergo suffix conjungation, hence the forms for first person dual are mostly date ‘you giveʼ (pl.), vete ‘you knowʼ (pl.), grete ‘you goʼ(pl.), rarely also vajste ‘you knowʼ (pl.), grajste ‘you goʼ(pl.), instead of the standard ones daste, veste, greste.

2.2. The Styrian popular music bands

The chapter focuses on the lyrics of the songs written by the three men-tioned Styrian musicians, trying to establish to what degree their texts mirror the spoken Styrian dialect. All the three bands originate from the Styrian dialectal group, Nude from the regional colloquial language of Celje, Orlek from the dialect of Posavje and Mi2 from the middle Styrian dialect. All the three bands started performing in the 1990s and have been writing their own lyrics and music from the start, offering their listeners the dialectal overtone, as well.

Nude is a Slovenian pop-rock band established in 1993 of currently five members. During its existence, the band has recorded a number of hits as singles and seven CDs, five of them in the studio. The band has played more than one thousand concerts and has won numerous Slovenian music and other awards. Most of the lyrics are intertwined with love themes but they also point out to the life problems. The lyrics offer the sensation of dialectal nevertheless the hearing perception is somehow deceiving, i.e. a literary variety of Standard Slovenian language is mostly used, sometimes intertwined with the regional colloquial language of Celje, the urban dialectal speech of the third biggest city in Slovenia. Its most evident features are very rare, considering mostly omissions of short unstressed vowels in its written form as graphic marks: R'd te 'mam 'I love you', and sometimes the extreme broadness of stressed /e/ and /o/ not characteristic of the Standard Slovenian language: žezlo 'scepter' (sg.).

Mi2 is a rock band established in 1995 of originally two and cur-rently five members originating from the middle Styrian dialectal area (Ro-gatec, Šmarje pri Jelšah). The band has been increasing its popularity over the years, especially after 1999 when releasing its second album of seven altogether. The lyrics deal with everyday topics of an everyman from the perspective of the members of the band, from love themes to political situa-tion. Every CD includes lyrics sung both in non-standard Slovenian regional colloquial language and in standard literary and colloquial variety. Chrono-logically, the band shows a tendency of increasing the number of lyrics using standard Slovenian variety of language up to the present time. Most of the lyrics are written by the band on their official web site and do not include accentuation marks, information on quantity and quality of vowels, marks on omission of unstressed vowels and pronunciation of diphthongs, although audible in the execution. Non-standard words are written as pronounced: tišler ← G. Tischler (SSl. mizar) 'carpenter', jes (SSl. jaz) 'I'. The lyrics often contain loan words and vulgarisms.

The band's pronunciation in non-standard lyrics is largely dialectal, taking vowels and consonants into consideration: mostly complete vocal reduction: al (SSl. ali) 'or', bla (SSl. bila) 'I was' (F. Sg.), drgač (SSl. drugače) 'on the other hand', kak (SSl. kako) 'how', htela (SSl. hotela) 'we wanted', sn (SSl. sem) 'I am', tedn (SSl. teden) 'week', zmenla (SSl. zmenila) 'agreed' (F. Sg.); pronunciation of short stressed vowel /a/ as /e/: jes (SSl. jaz) 'I'; there is no conjungation applying the rule of changing /o/ to /e/ after /c, č, ž, š, j, dž/: s Fikijom (SSl. s Fikijem) 'with Fiki'; the syllable /l/ is pronounced as /u/: vuna (SSl. volna) 'wool'; pronunciation of consonants which mostly differs in prepositional u and prefixal f (SSl. v): u toplice (SSl. v toplice) 'to the spa', fčasih (SSl. včasih) 'sometimes', ftegnem (SSl. utegnem) 'I manage to do in time', bi ftopil (SSl. bi utopil) 'would drown sb.', ftrpne (SSl. otrpne) 'he/she freezes'; pronunciation of /lj/ as [l]: lubezn (SSl. ljubezen) 'love', pospravlene (SSl. pospravljene) 'cleared up'; pronunciation of /nj/ is maintained or pronounced as [j]: v živlenji (SSl. v življenju) 'in life', škrija (SSl. zmrzovalnik) 'freezer'; reduction of final consonants: ka (SSl. kaj) 'what'. In rare lyrics the dialectal diphtongs are heard, as well: fsje (SSl. vse) 'all', problejm (SSl. problem, težava) 'problem', skrbejlo (SSl. skrbelo) 'worried'.

In morphology, long and short infinitives are used: sma htela iti (SSl. sva hotela iti) 'we wanted to go', naročiti (SSl. naročiti) 'to order', se ga vliti (SSl. se ga vliti, se ga napiti) 'to get drunk'; hočeš bit (SSl. hočeš biti) 'you want to be'. The verb 'to be', first person dual, is always used as sma (SSl. sva). Verb endings -il, -el, -al are usually Styrian dialectal -o: je oceno (SSl. je ocenil) 'he judged'; sn našo (SSl. sem našel) 'I have found', je prišo (SSl. je prišel) 'he came'; sn delo (SSl. sem delal) 'I have worked', but not always: vzel mere (SSl. vzel mere) 'he took measures', narisal (SSl. narisal) 'he drew', zračunal (SSl. izračunal) 'he calculated'. The ending -i in the dative and locative of singular masculine and originally neutral (masculinized) nouns developed from Standard -u: na Boči (S. na Boču) 'on the hill Boč', v živlenji (SSl. v življenju) 'in life'.

The use of  colloquial or lower colloquially colored vocabulary: ajmrček (SSl. majhno vedro) 'small bucket' ← G. Eimer, britof (SSl. pokopališče) ‘cemeteryʼ ← G. Friedhof, crkniti (SSl. umreti) ‘to die’, fajn (SSl. fino) ‘fineʼ ← G. Fein, kufer (SSl. kovček) 'suit-case' ← G. Koffer, lušten (SSl. čeden, ljubek) 'pretty' ← MHG. lustec, lustic, matrati (SSl. truditi) 'to make effort' ← G. martern, rugzak (SSl. nahrbtnik) 'backpack' ← G. Rucksack, sekirati (SSl. vznemirjati) 'to be upset' ← G. sekkieren, šajba (SSl. šipa) 'pane' ← G. Scheibe, štrik (SSl. vrv) ‘ropeʼ ← G. Strick, tenf (SSl. tolmun) 'pool', zastopiti (SSl. razumeti) 'to understand', also from English: emajl (SSl. e-pošta) ← E. 'e-mail', do fula (SSl. popolnoma) 'completely'; pejorative vocabulary: majmun (SSl. opica) 'monkey' ← Cro. majmun; vulgar vocabulary: fukniti (SSl. grdo vreči; SNBSJ (fuck) odklonilen odnos do česa) 'to fuck, to be negative towards sth. or sbd.', prdniti (SSl. izločiti pline iz črevesja) 'fart', rigniti (SSl. spahniti se) 'burb', scati (SSl. izpraznjevati sečni mehur) 'pee'. All of the written is indicative of a highly regional colloquial nature of lyrics of Mi2 and is further exemplified by German loanwords that have not been accepted into Standard Slovene, e.g. fajn (SSl. fino) ‘fineʼ ← G. Fein, luft (SSl. zrak) ‘airʼ ← G. Luft, pucati (SSl. čistiti) ‘to cleanʼ ← G. putzen, pocartati (SSl. pretirano negovati, razvajati, ljubkovati) ‘caressʼ ← G. zärtlich, rarely from Croatian: kao (SSl. kot) 'as' ← Cro. kao, odmah (SSl. takoj) 'right now' ← Cro. odmah.

Occasionally, the lyrics of Mi2 contains slang expressions that are most often borrowed from foreign languages, e.g. folk ‘peopleʼ ← G. Volk, fajt (SSl. borba/bitka) ← E. fight, fotr ‘fatherʼ ← G. Vater, do fula (SSl. do polnega) ← E. 'to the full', plata ‘gramophone recordʼ ← G. Schalplatte.

Orlek is a band of currently nine members, established in 1998 and playing an original blend of rock and roll, a kind of »folk punk rock polka«. Its domicile is in Zagorje ob Savi, dialectologically speaking the Styrian dialect of Posavje (the speech of Zagorje and Trbovlje). The name of the band originates in the name of the hill at the edge of Zagorje, in the heart of the mining grounds. Their specialties are texts with social and humorous contents, rich in many expressions typical of the hard work and life of a miner. Their music is a diverse instrumental ensemble, which, besides tradi-tional rock instruments, also uses a brass section and an accordion, and places the band into the ethnic folk music category. The band has provided the audience a lot of successful performances at festivals in Slovenia as well as abroad. The band has issued nine CDs so far.

The band's official web site presents lyrics written by the authors (members of the band) themselves. In the song lyrics and interpretation a literary and partially colloquial variety of standard Slovenian is used containing a lot of German loan words and specific dialectal mine terminology which makes the band very populistic and creates an audible illusion of dialectal speech. The band's pronunciation in non-standard lyrics is dialectal, mostly concerning complete vocal reduction. In central word position the omission of un-stressed vowels is usually marked: rož'ca (SSl. rožica) 'flower', rok'n'roll (SSl. rokenrol) 'rock and roll', sometimes also at word endings: tud' (SSl. tudi) 'as well', skoz' (SSl. skozi) 'through', although not consistently: spomlad (SSl. spomladi) 'in spring'.

The most distinctive dialectal lexical characteristic are loanwords adopted to Slovenian language, largely from German and not accepted to the standard Slovenian langage: ajzenpon (SSl. železnica) 'railways' ← G. Eisenbahn, britof (SSl. pokopališče) 'cemetery' ← G. Friedhof, cajg, cajk (SSl. orodje) 'tools' ← G. Wergzeug, colnga (SSl. plača) 'pay' ← G. Zahlung, faulast (SSl. len) 'lazy' ← G. faul, ksiht (SSl. obraz) 'face' ← G. Gesicht, kufer (SSl. kovček) 'suit-case' ← G. Koffer, luft (SSl. zrak) 'air' ← G. Luft, matrati (SSl. truditi) 'to make effort' ← G. martern, mušter (SSl. vzorec) 'sample' ← G. Muster, pauri (SSl. kmetje) 'farmers' ← G. Bauer, penzijon (SSl. pokojnina) 'pension' ← G. Pension, rajš (SSl. riž) 'rice' ← G. Reis, rekelc (SSl. suknjič) 'jacket' ← G. Rock, rugzak (SSl. nahrbtnik) 'backpack' ← G. Rucksack, šajba (SSl. šipa) 'pane' ← G. Scheibe, rarely also from English: fajt (SSl. borba/bitka) ← E. fight. The band's official website nevertheless presents the mine dictionary, terminology used by the local miners and passed from generation to generation originating largely in German terminology under the influence of the mine owners, the political system of the time and the names of the tools brought to the area alongside with the tools. The web site does not provide the reader with the information of the origin of translation thus one should believe that the band members translated the terminology into standard Slovenian by themselves, e.g. ferdinst (SSl. plačilni list) 'pay' ← G. Verdienst, gverk (SSl. rudnik) 'mine' ← G. Bergwerk, nohšiht (SSl. nočna izmena) 'night shift' ← G. Nachtschicht, šafla (SSl. lopata) 'shovel' ← G. Schaufel, štil (SSl. ročaj pri lopati) 'handle for shovel' ← G. Stiel, vahtar (SSl. čuvaj) 'watchman' ← G. Wächter, urmohar (SSl. urar) 'watchmaker' ← G. Uhrmacher, ziherica (SSl. rudarska delavska svetilka) 'safe lamp' ← G. sicher (SSl. gotov, varen; varna svetilka).

2.3. The Carintihan Mežica dialect

This second part of the paper focuses on the use of the Carinthian dialect in the songs of Milan Pečovnik – Pidži, Milan Kamnik, Adi Smolar and Marijan Smode. All three grew up speaking the Carinthian Mežica dialect.

 

The Slovene Carinthian dialects are spoken in the area of eastern Alps, which spread across three countries: the Republic of Slovenia (the north-western part of the Slovene language territory), Austria (the Zilja Valley from Šmohor/Hermagor to Beljak/Villach and its surroundings as well as the area between the Karavanke mountain, the Kamniško-Savinjske Alps and the Slovene ethnic boundary up to Dravograd on the Slovene side of the state border), and in northern Italy (the Kanal Valley – Trbiž/Travisio and its surroundings). They are divided into the Zilja, Rož, Obirsko and Podjuna dialects, vhile in  Slovenia two other dialects are spoken: the Mežica dialect and the dialect of northern Pohorje and Remšnik. The Carinthian dialects have retained a lot of archaisms on all linguistic levels. In addition, they contain many German loanwords and calques due to its contact with German and the process of Germanization (this is true especially of the Slovene Carinthian dialects spoken in Austria).

The Mežica dialect is spoken in the valleys of the rivers Meža and Mislinja. In the south, it borders on the Styrian dialects, in the west on the Carinthian  Podjuna dialect and in the east on  the Carinthian Northern Pohorje-Remšnik dialect. The Mežica dialect knows no tonemic contrasts (it has lost the distinction between low and high, i.e. acute and circumflex intonation). It has a falling word intonation and has retained a singing sentence melody. It is characterized by a late denazaliazation of Proto-Slavonic nasal vowels /ę/ and /ǫ/, and the diphthongization of Proto-Slavonic long yat /ě/ [ie > iǝ] and of the long /o/ [uo > uǝ]. These phenomena are typical not only of all the Carinthian dialects, but also of the norhtern dilalects of the present-day Litoral dialect group. Later, the Carinthian dialects developed links with Eastern Slovene dialects (the Styrian and the Pannonian ones), which ac-counts for the shared vocalization of the Proto-Slavonic semi-vowel into the vowel e, examples of which are the Mežica dialect den (SSl. dan) ‘dayʼ and meša (SSl. maša) ‘massʼ. Contrary to the neighboring Carinthian dialects, the Mežica dialect also retains the non-labialized vowel a, which is a reflex of the Proto-Slavonic long a. Short stressed vowels show a strong tendency toward reduction into semi-vowels and are, due to the more recent stress reductions, found in all word syllables: mǝš (SSl. miš) ‘mouseʼ, sǝno (SSl. seno) ‘hayʼ, kǝk (SSl. kako) ‘howʼ, lǝdi (SSl. ljudje) ‘peopleʼ.

Typical of the consonant system are the following phenomena: the pronun-ciation of the once hard /l/ in front of the vowels /u/, /o/ and /a/ as unrounded bilabial [w],[1] e.g. kwop (SSl. klop) ‘a tickʼ, šwa (SSl. šla) ‘wentʼ (past participle, fem.), diǝwawa (SSl. delala) ‘workedʼ (past participle, fem.), the pronunciation of the final sonorant velar /g/ as [x], e.g. buǝx (SSl. bog) ‘Godʼ, sniǝx (SSl. sneg) ‘snowʼ, the prosthetic /j/ and /w/: jǝme (SSl. ime) ‘nameʼ, woni (SSl. oni) ‘theyʼ and the addition of the consonant š to demonstrative and adverbial pronouns: šǝta (SSl. ta) ‘thisʼ (fem.), šǝti (SSl. ti) ‘thisʼ (pl. masc.), štak (SSl. tako) ‘soʼ, štam (SSl. tam) ‘thereʼ.

According to Zinka Zorko (2009: 94), the Mežica dialect has preserved the majority of old morphological forms, and all three genders in the singular, but lost the neuter gender in the plural and the dual. The instrumental case of singular masculine nouns has the ending -u instead of the standard -om: z bratu ‘with brotherʼ, while dialectal feminine nouns have the instrumental ending  -i instead of the standard -o: z bici ‘with grandmotherʼ. The singular of neuter gender nouns is preserved in its entirety, while in the dual and plu-ral these nouns become either feminine or masculine. The genitive ending of masculine and neuter nouns belonging to adjectival declension is -iga: waxkiga (SSl. lahkega)’lightʼ. Verbs, on the other hand, have only suffix conjugation, hence the forms date ‘you giveʼ (pl.), viǝte ‘you knowʼ (pl.), grete ‘you goʼ(pl.) instead of the standard ones daste, veste, greste.

2.4. The Carinthian song-writers and performers

The chapter focuses on the lyrics of the songs written by the three men-tioned Carinthian musicians, trying to establish to what degree their texts mirror the spoken Carinthian dialect.

Marijan Smode is, along with Milan Pečovnik – Pidži and Milan Kamnik, the first representative of the so-called Carinthian wave of song-writers and performers from the early 1980s.[2] During his career, he record-ed a number of hits on five CDs. Some of his lyrics are playful and humor-ous, and frequently intertwined with love themes. Others are more profound and personal, pointing to the problems that we face in life. These are written and sung in Standard Slovene and lack any dialectal coloring.

Milan Pečovnik – Pidži is one of the leading singers of country music. Impressed with the rich colorfulness of the genre, he started his music career as a member of the band D'Drava Country Dečki back in 1981. He has then continued his solo career with the audio cassette Prve brazde, releasing six more albums, the first one in 1991 and the most recent one in 2004. His opus consists of seventy songs, either original works or arranged Slovene folk songs. The CD To nisem jaz, ne ti (2001) features ten songs by the legendary California rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, which are arranged and sung in Standard Slovene. The only exception is the song Dons zvčer dčva moja si from his last album Tiho v noč odmeva pesem (2004), which is written and sung in the dialect.

As far as phonology and morphology of this song are concerned, both its orthography and its interpretation deviate somewhat from the Mežica dia-lect. Instead of the dialectal diphthongs /iǝ/ and /uǝ/ he uses standard mon-ophthongs, e.g. dewa (SSl. dela) ‘he worksʼ (dialectal: diǝwa), grem ‘I goʼ (dialectal: griǝm), domo (SSl. domov) ‘homeʼ (dialectal: duǝmo). Also, short stressed and unstressed vowels, reduced to semi-wovels in the dialect, remain unchanged: kok (SSl. kako) ‘howʼ (dialectal: kǝk), si ‘you areʼ (dia-lectal: sǝ). The same is true of the consonant dn-, which has a dialectal equivalent in gn-: dnar ‘moneyʼ (dialectal: gnar). In morphology, we notice deviations in the locative of singular masculine nouns, where the standard -u is used instead of the dialectal -o (na peronu ‘on the platformʼ), and in the use of standard pronouns and conjunctions, e.g. vǝs ‘wholeʼ (dialectal: ciǝu), in ‘andʼ (dialectal: pa).

Adi Smolar is one of the most popular and successful Slovene song-writers and performers. Ever since his first album Naš svet se pa vrti released in 1989, his music has been embraced by Slovene audiences. His opus recorded on fifteen CDs is very extensive and consists entirely of his own songs. His lyrics are very topical (timeless), smart and permeated with poetic inspiration. They do not play on emotions only, but rather appeal to the intellect. They are often humorous and teasing, and contain well-intentioned criticism as well as a good-natured pedagogical tone.They are written and sung in General Colloquial Slovene,[3] but often contain non-Standard colloquial features and, at times, Carinthian and slang words.

Smolar's pronunciation of vowels is standard both as far as their quality and quantity are concerned, while his non-Standard features are seen primarily in the following:

– strong complete or partial (i.e. to the level of sem-vowel) vowel reduction:  bla (SSl. bila) ‘was’, travca (SSl. travica) ‘grass’, gnar (SSl. denar) ‘money’, zlo (SSl. zelo) ‘very’, dobr (SSl. dobro) ‘good’, mal (SSl. malo) ‘little’;

– pronunciation of short stressed /a/ as [e] and of /i/ and /u/ as [ǝ]: zdej (SSl. zdaj) ‘nowʼ, nǝč (SSl. nič) ‘nothingʼ, skǝp (SSl. skupaj) ‘togetherʼ;

– pronunciation of non-stressed participles -el, -il,-al as [ u ]: reku (SSl. rekel) ‘said’, mislu (SSl. mislil) ‘thoughtʼ, ponuju (SSl. ponujal) ‘offered’;

– pronunciation of /lj/ as [l]: bol (SSl. bolj) ‘more’, školka (SSl. školjka) ‘lavatory bowlʼ;

– pronunciation of /nj/ as [n]: lukna (SSl. luknja) ‘hole’, svina (SSl. svinja) ‘pig’;

– use of only short infinitive: sem ga dal popravlat (SSl. popravljati) ‘I had it fixed’, treba bo napisat (SSl. napisati) ‘it will have to be written’.

The use of  colloquial or lower colloquially colored vocabulary, e.g. arest (SSl. zapor) ‘prisonʼ ← G. Arrest, britof (SSl. pokopališče) ‘cemetaryʼ ← G. Friedhof, crkniti (SSl. umreti) ‘to die’, koštati (SSl. poskusiti) ‘to costʼ ← G. kosten, lušten (SSl. čeden, ljubek) ‘prettyʼ ← MHG. lustec, lustic, merkati (SSl. paziti) ‘to pay attention toʼ ← G. merken, špancirati (SSl. sprehajazi) ‘to go for a walkʼ ← G. spanzieren, štrik (SSl. vrv) ‘ropeʼ ← G. Strick, zastopiti (SSl. razumeti) ‘to understandʼ, sekirati (SSl. vznemirjati) ‘to be upsetʼ ← G. sekkieren, expressive vocabulary: klatiti (SSl. potepati, pohajkovati) ‘to roamʼ, primajati (SSl. opotekajoče se priti) ‘to come totteringʼ, pejorative vocabulary: baba (SSl. ženska) ‘womenʼ, gobcati (SSl. veliko, predrzno govoriti) ‘to mouth offʼ, kreten (SSl. omejen, neumen človek) ‘a jerkʼ, lajdra (SSl. prostitutka) ‘prostituteʼ ← It. ladra and vulgar vocabulary: sekret (SSl. stranišče) ‘toiletʼ ← G. Sekret, kupleraj (SSl. javna hiša, bordel) ‘a brothelʼ ← G. Kupplerei. All of the described is indicative of a highly regional colloquial nature of Smolar's lyrics and is further exemplified by German loanwords that have not been accepted into Standard Slovene, e.g. cajtnge (SSl. časopis) ‘a newspaperʼ ← G. Zeitung, fajn (SSl. fin) ‘fineʼ ← G. Fein, luft (SSl. zrak) ‘airʼ ← G. Luft, pucati (SSl. čistiti) ‘to cleanʼ ← G. putzen, šravf (SSl. vijak) ‘a screwʼ ← G. Schraube.

Smolar's lyrics occasionally contain slang expressions that are most often borrowed from foreign languages, e.g. folk ‘peopleʼ ← G. Volk,  fotr ‘fatherʼ ← G. Vater, mat ‘motherʼ, plata ‘gramophone recordʼ ← G. Schalplatte,  žur ‘a house partyʼ ← Fr. jour fixe. Furthermore, they contain phrases that are particularly expressive from the perspective of Standard Slovene, e.g. biti na tapeti ‘to be gossiped aboutʼ, imeti krompir ‘to have a streak of good luckʼ, lesti v rit ‘to butter someone upʼ, past zijala ‘to be a nosy parkerʼ.

Milan Kamnik, whose trade mark is his vernacular dialectal speech, began his music career in 1995 after the disintegration of the Duo Kora, a duet that he had founded in 1975 together with a friend of his. He is inspired by country style music. At the same time he remains faithful to his native Carinthia and its dialect, which is why it comes as no surprise that more than half of his songs are written in the Carinthian dialect. 

In his songs, both original and arranged ones, recorded on seven CDs (the most recent one Za mušter is from 2010 and was recorded in Nashvill, USA), he reacts with much wit to the current social situation, singing about people and their (social) problems.

All of Kamnik's lyrics reflect very accurately the phonological, morphologi-cal and lexical features of the Carinthian dialect. They are written with the vowel system of the Mežica dialect, but their quality and quantity are not orthographically marked. Also, there are no stress markings.

We thus find both dialectal diphthongs: /ie/, e.g., brieh (SSl. breg) ‘a river bank/hillʼ, liepa (SSl. lepa) ‘beautifulʼ, viem (SSl. vem) ‘I knowʼ, and /uo/, e.g., gospuod (SSl. gospod) ‘Mister/gentlemanʼ, nuoč (SSl. noč) ‘nightʼ, skuozi (SSl. skozi) ‘throughʼ; the long narrow /e/, which developed from the Proto-Slavonic semi-vowel, is written as e: den (SSl. dan) ‘dayʼ, tenka (SSl. tanka) ‘thinʼ. Kamnik is also consistent in his use of the so-called akanje:[4] adn (SSl. eden) ‘oneʼ, deklata (SSl. dekleta) ‘a girl nom. pl.ʼ, ambrt (< enobart) ‘once/once upon a timeʼ. The reduction of short stressed and unstressed vowels into semi-vowels is usually marked by an apostrophe: g'r (< gor) ‘upʼ, k'r (< kar) ‘which/what/since’, lit'r (< liter) ‘literʼ, 'majo ( < imajo) ‘they haveʼ, n'č ( < nič) ‘nothingʼ,  t'k (tako) ‘soʼ.

In accordance with dialectal pronunciation, Kamnik writes the final sonorant velar  /g/ as  [h]: brieh (SSl. breg) ‘a river bank/hillʼ; and the word-final /l/ as [v]: dav (SSl. dal) ‘he gaveʼ, piv (SSl. pil) ‘he drankʼ, dov (SSl. dol) ‘downʼ. The palatal /l'/, hardened into /l/, and /nj/, which has developed into /j/ are also reflected in spelling: bol (SSl. bolj) ‘moreʼ, nedela (SSl. nedelja) ‘Sundayʼ, pelem (SSl. peljem) ‘I driveʼ; gospodija (SSl. gospodinja) ‘housewifeʼ, svija (SSl. svinja) ‘pigʼ. The verb ‘molitiʼ has preserved the Proto-Slavonic cluster /dl/modlt; velars preceeding front vowels are marked for secondary palatalization:  noje (SSl. noge) ‘feet/legsʼ, druj (SSl. drug) ‘an(other)ʼ. Also marked is assimilation of /šč/ into /š/: dvoriše (SSl. dvorišče) ‘a courtyardʼ, zapušaš (SSl. zapuščaš) ‘you leaveʼ. The Carinthian labiodental /v/ and biliabial /w/ú/ are written as v: tvuoj (SSl. tvoj) ‘yourʼ, sviet (SSl. svet) ‘worldʼ, vsak ‘eachʼ, hvače (SSl. hlače) ‘pantsʼ. The sonorants /v/ and /j/ appear also in prosthetic function: voni (SSl. oni) ‘theyʼ, voha (SSl. uho) ‘earʼ, jimene (SSl. imena) ‘names nom. pl.ʼ. Furthermore, the texts are characterized by consonant shifts such as /dn//gn/: gnar (SSl. denar) ‘moneyʼ, /li//j/: tejko (SSl. toliko) ‘as muchʼ, vejka (SSl. velika) ‘bigʼ, /vi//j/: prajimo (SSl. pravimo) ‘we sayʼ.

In morphology, the ending -o in the dative and locative of singular masculine nouns developed from Standard -u: h Tonijo ‘to Tonyʼ, na krajo ‘at the endʼ, whereas the ending -i in the instrumental of singular feminine nouns developed from -oj under the influence of Styrian dialects: za p'či (SSl. za pečjo) ‘behind the stoveʼ. The genitive of masculine nouns in the plural ends in -u: volu (SSl. -ov) ‘of oxenʼ, the locative in  -ah (SSl. -ih): pr gospudah ‘at gentlemen’. Additional features include a strong feminization of neuter gender nouns in the plural: stare lete (SSl. stara leta) ‘old yearsʼ, the genitive ending -iga instead of the standard -ega in the masculine nouns belonging to the adjectival declension: topliga ‘of warmʼ, vsakiga ‘of eachʼ, the 1st person suffix -ma in the dual instead of the standard -va in the verbal conjugation: grema ‘ we goʼ, and numerous archaic dialectal adverbs: ambrt (< enobart) ‘once/once upon a timeʼ, naambrt (< naenobart) ‘suddenlyʼ, pole (< potle, potlej) ‘thenʼ, prvobarti 'the first timeʼ, venč (< več) ‘moreʼ, venčbarte (< večbart) ‘several timesʼ.

Kamnik's lyrics are characterized by rich Carinthian vocabulary. Many of these lexical items were borrowed as early as the Old High German and Middle High German periods, e.g.: ajznpon (SSl. železnica) ‘railwayʼ ← G. Eisenbahn, barati (SSl. vprašati) ‘to askʼ, dečva (SSl. dekle) ‘a girlʼ, devžej (SSl. žep) ‘a pocketʼ ← Bav. Aust. Diebsack, Deubsack, farba (SSl. barva) ‘colorʼ ← MHG. varwe, fehtati (SSl. prositi, prosjačiti) ‘to ask/to begʼ ← MHG. vëhten, gajžva (SSl. bič) ‘a whipʼ ← MHG. geisel, gmajten (SSl. vesel) ‘cheerful/joyfulʼ ← MHG. gameit, gorica (SSl. ograjen prostor za svinje) ‘a pigstyʼ, grivati (SSl. jeziti) ‘to aggravate/angerʼ, gvant (SSl. (moška) obleka) ‘(men's) suitʼ ← MHG. gewant, huba (SSl. posest, na kateri ne živi lastnik) ‘an estate with no owner living on itʼ, ibržnik  (SSl. odvečen človek) ‘a good-for-nothing personʼ ← G. übrig, ofnat (SSl. odpreti) ‘to openʼ ← G. öffnen, pavr (SSl. kmet) ‘a farmerʼ ← G. Bauer, puob (SSl. fant) ‘a boyʼ ← MHG. bav. puobe, r'pica (SSl. krompir) ‘potatoeʼ, ruse (SSl. brki) ‘moustacheʼ, šikana (SSl. elegantna, urejena) ‘elegant/smartly dressedʼ ← G. schick, šrajati (SSl. kričati) ‘shout/yellʼ ← G. schreien, štinge (SSl. stopnice) ‘stairsʼ ← MHG. stëge, štrom (SSl. elektrika) ‘electricity/currentʼ ← G. Strom, vuržeh (SSl. biti kriv) ‘be guiltyʼ ← G. Ursache, žvahta (SSl. sorodniki) ‘relativesʼ ← OHG. slahta.

3. Conclusion

Similar to the situation elsewhere in Europe and as a possible consequence of globalization, Slovenia has recently seen an improvement in the status of dialects. Slovene dialects in general, and dialect prose and lyrical poetry in particular, are becoming more and more common in various kinds of media and in popular culture.

The article focuses on the use of the non-standard Slovenian elements in popular music. The lyrics in pop music, which have to be sensitive to musical expression such as rhythm, represent a fairly accurate imitation of spoken dialect, especially on phonological, morphological and lexical levels.
The most Styrian dialectal characteristics are evident in the lyrics of a popu-lar music band Mi2, mostly on phonetic and lexical levels including colloquial or lower colloquially colored vocabulary, also pejorative and vulgar vocabulary. The popular band Orlek brings as the most distinctive dialectal lexical characteristic loanwords adapted to Slovenian language, largely from German. The popular band Nude's lyrics show almost no non-standard Slo-venian characteristics.

The Carinthian pop lyrics written and sung in the dialect represent its accu-rate and faithful reflection. Marijan Smode's lyrics show almost no non-standard Slovenian characteristics. As far as phonology and morphology of the lyrics of Milan Pečovnik – Pidži are concerned, both its orthography and its interpretation deviate somewhat from the Mežica dialect. Adi Smolar's lyrics strongly show both, phonetic and lexical dialectal characteristic. All of Kamnik's lyrics reflect very accurately the phonological, morphological and lexical features of the Carinthian dialect.

Globalization of society forcing the individual to its opposite, Slovenian language becoming the state language after achieving state independence and the use of the dialect as a means of semantical marking in comparison to the literary language are the main reasons for increasing inclusion of dialectal features into Slovenian popular music. The changes in the use of social varieties of Slovenian language are thus obvious and present an interesting synchronous point of view on language changes for the future use.

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Acknowledgments

This paper was written as a part of the research project on Slovenian language, literature and teaching of Slovenian language (P6-0156).

Notes

[1] The name of the phenomenon švapanje originates from the phonological change in the feminine participle of the verb iti ‘go’:  šla → šwa ‘(she) went’.

[2] The first wave of Slovene song-writers and performers appeared in late 1960s under the influence of Bob Dylan. Two most prominent representatives of this wave were Tomaž Pengov and Tomaž Domicelj.

[3] This is a less strict variant of the Standard Slovene norm. It is largely based on the gen-eral non-dialectal language of communication used thorughout Slovenia, particularly in in its central part, i.e. Ljubljana and its more or less urbanized surroundings.

[4] Akanje is the pronunciation of a instead of e.

About the author(s)

Mihaela Koletnik holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics and is a Professor of the Slovene language at the Faculty of Arts, University of Maribor, where she teaches diachronic Slovene linguistics. Her research interests include the study of north-eastern Slovene dialects, dialectical lexicography, language contact and the changing role of dialects within the context of globalization, in particular their use in media and in popular culture. She is the author of three scientific monographs and over hundred scientific articles. As a researcher, Mihaela Koletnik has been actively involved in national and international projects. As a visiting professor, she has lectured at various universities in Austria, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary and Croatia. She is a member of the Scientific Council for the Humanities at Slovenian Research Agency (appointed in 2015) and Bologna expert for Slovenia at Ministry of Higher Education and Science. Previously: Head of Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Chair of the Commission for Quality Assurance, a Vice Dean for research at the Faculty of Arts, a Vice-Rector for Education at the University of Maribor. Membership in associations and committees: Member of the International Society of Dialectology and Geolinguistics (SIDG); Member of the Nominating Committee of the SIDG; Member of the Scientific Committee of MMDT (MultiMeDialecTranslation); Member of the Slavic studies Association of Maribor and of Slovenia, Member of the Mixed Commission for the Establishment of Cooperation in the Field of Higher Education training in the region of Friuli.

Melita Zemljak Jontes is a researcher, an associate professor at the Faculty of Arts, University of Maribor, researching the Slovenian language, especially Slovenian dialects and (Slovenian) language culture.

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©inTRAlinea & Mihaela Koletnik & Melita Zemljak Jontes (2016).
"Styrian and Carinthian in Slovenian popular music"
inTRAlinea Special Issue: The Translation of Dialects in Multimedia III
Edited by: Koloman Brenner & Irmeli Helin
This article can be freely reproduced under Creative Commons License.
Stable URL: http://www.intralinea.org/specials/article/2183

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