Moravian dialects (Czech: moravská nářečí, moravština) are the forms of the Czech language spoken in Moravia, a historical region in the southeast of the Czech Republic. There are more forms of the Czech language used in Moravia than in the rest of the Czech Republic. The main four groups of dialects are the Bohemian-Moravian group, the Central Moravian group, the Eastern Moravian group and the Lach (Silesian) group (which is also spoken in Czech Silesia). While the forms are generally viewed as regional variants of Czech, some Moravians (62,908 in the 2011 Census) claim them to be one separate Moravian language.
Southeastern Moravian dialects form a dialect continuum with the closely related Slovak language, and are thus sometimes viewed as dialects of Slovak rather than Czech.
Until the 19th century, the language used in Slavic-speaking areas of Moravia was referred to as “Moravian” or as “Czech”. When regular censuses started in Austria-Hungary in 1880, the choice of main-communication languages in the forms prescribed in Cisleithania did not include Czech language but included the single item Bohemian–Moravian–Slovak (the others being German, Polish, Rusyn, Slovene, Serbo-Croatian, Italian, Romanian and Hungarian). Respondents who chose Bohemian–Moravian–Slovak as their main communicating language were counted in the Austrian censuses as Czechs.
On the occasion of 2011 Census of the Czech Republic, several Moravian organizations (political party Moravané and Moravian National Community amongst others) led a campaign to promote the Moravian nationality and language. The Czech Statistical Office assured the Moravané party that filling in “Moravian” as language would not be treated as ticking off “Czech”, because forms were processed by a computer and superseding Czech for Moravian was technically virtually impossible.
According to the results of the census, there was a total number of 108,469 native speakers of Moravian in 2011. Of them, 62,908 consider Moravian to be their only native language, and 45,561 are native speakers of both Moravian and Czech.
Read more about Moravian Language: Dialects
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