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History Brod Moravice

ENGLISH
History of Brod Moravice

Brod Moravice was once known as Moravice, Gornje Moravice, Turanj, Brodske Moravice. The name was first recorded in one of Bela IV's documents in 1260. The first settlements appeared in Gorski kotar as early as the 10t or 11th centuries, due to the fact that routes to the coast passed through this area. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Brod Moravice area endured numerous Turkish raids which caused a portion of inhabitants to move to Kranjska. Later on, the Zrinski-Frankopan nobles, who were the lords of this area, populated their lands with immigrants from Primorje, Bosnia and other regions. Some descendants of the original inhabitants who took refuge in Slovenia later returned, which consequently left a mark in the language of this area. The TURANJ turret that prince Zrinski built in Gornje Moravice for defense against the Turks in the 16th century stands as a reminder of these tumultuous times. The turret is constructed from stone blocks, and it consisted of three floors with loop-holes and mobile wooden stairs. In the 19th century, the turret was turned into a bell-tower and later on heavily damaged in an air raid in 1944. It was partially renewed later. Another unique monument in this area emerged in the 17th century. It is located at the crossroads between Moravice, Moravička sela and Maklen villages. Some historians claim that this monument was of sacral nature, while others consider it to have been a watch-point that served to alert the people of Turkish raids. It is the well known high stone monument called PILJDAK. In 1682, the widow of one of Zrinski descendants waved her rights to all her husband's lands in favor of the Austrian Chamber, and thus began the period of strong and long-lasting exploitation of Moravice area by the Austrian government and foreign feudal lords. The hard life of highlanders continues. In 1893, Brod Moravice district was formed, and in 1993 it became a district within a free and independent Croatia.

Linguistic history and modernity of Brod Moravice

Up to the 17th century, čakavica dialect was used in the Brod Moravice area. Due to the Turkish raids and consequent relocation of inhabitants, čakavica dialect also vanished. The dialect used today is kajkavština, but the version used here is fairly different than the one used in other parts of Croatia. One linguistic feature that is particular for Brod Moravice dialect is the use of a semi-vowel that is easy to hear in speech, but somewhat more difficult to write down, and usually it is marked with an apostrophe. Replacing vowels o with a (doma>damuh), e with a (čekat>čakat) is fairly common, and consonants h and v are often replaced with f (hvala>fala). There are only three types of accents (one for short and two for long syllables), unlike the standard Croatian language that has four accents. Also, every syllable of the word can have an accent, including the last one, which is not possible in the standard language. These are just some linguistic traits that serve as a reminder of the particularity, importance and autochthonism of the Brod Moravice dialect that shouldn't be allowed to become repressed or neglected, or even forgotten. With help from the older folk, the youth in Brod Moravice strive to preserve the "domacu reč" ("native word") of the area, along with the old customs, traditions, legends, songs and artifacts; by keeping them alive, they are binding their rich heritage with the modern way of life and thinking, when true values are proving hard to find. This is no small task in the times where we are witnesses to the anglization of "small languages" all over Europe. Therefore, the accomplishments of young literates in Brod Moravice dialect on a national level stand as a mirror of the entire community and reflect the humane and moral values adopted from the good people and magical scenery of the highlands.

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