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Molise Slavic language
Molise Slavic language is a dialect of Serbo-Croatian language spoken in three villages — Montemitro (Mundimitar), Aquaviva Collercroce (Živavoda Kruč) and San Felice del Molise (Filić) — in Campobasso province of the Molise region in Italy. The number of speakers is approximately 3,000. It belongs to ikavian variant of Shtokavian dialect. The people call themselves Zlavi (Slavs) and call their language simply na-našo or "our language".
The Slavs came to this region in 15th century from Croatian coast around Makarska and Ploče when it was invaded by the Turks. They say that their ancestors came Z onu banu mora/From other side of the sea. They inhabited villages in Molise and Abruzzo region that were abandoned because of the plague. Originally the area inhabited by Slavs was much wider than today. Because these people have migrated away from the rest of their kinsmen so long ago, their diaspora language is rather distinct from the standard languages at the other side of the Adriatic. In addition, their migration caused them not to have been influenced by romantic nationalism of the 19th century so they didn't evolve strictly into Molise Croats or Molise Serbs. Currently they are generally considered to be Croatian rather than Serbian.
The language was preserved until today only in the aforementioned three villages, although several villages in Molise and Abruzzo region are aware of their Slavic ancestry. What is more interesting that existence of this Slavic colony was unknown outside Italy until 1855 when Medo Pucić linguist from Dubrovnik during one of his journeys in Italy heard in Naples taylor speaking with his wife with language very similar to his own. He told Pucić that he comes from village of Kruč, then part of Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
The language is highly Italianized and almost half of the words are borrowed from Italian. It also has many archaic features. Beacuse they came before discovery of America all the names for animals and plants introduced from America are borrowed from Italian or they created their one like the word for tobacco, they didnt took Italian word tabacco but instead they created their own word dimač (dim means smoke in Serbo-Croatian) which cannot be find in any other Slavic languages. One of the main differences with modern Croatian and Serbian is that Molise Slavic doesn't have a neutral noun gender.
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