Home » Structure » Bulgarian dialectology and linguistic geography » Map of the Dialectal Division of the Bulgarian Language

Map of the Dialectal Division of the Bulgarian Language

The Bulgarian language is characterised by the structural unity and diversity of regional dialects. The knowledge about the vernacular languages is essential for the study of the history of Bulgarian, for determining its place among other related and neighbouring languages, the nature and path of development of its norm.

The Department of Bulgarian Dialectology and Linguistic Geography at the Institute for Bulgarian Language (BAS), prepares and publishes the multi-volume Bulgarian Dialect Atlas, which tracks in detail dialectal features of the Bulgarian language at phonetic, morphological, syntactic, and lexical level. The Department also publishes other maps and atlases – regional and general.

The map we are preparing is the first stage of the project for creating an Electronic Interactive Map of the Bulgarian Dialectal Division. The map tracks the main dialect areas throughout the Bulgarian language territory and introduces the main Bulgarian dialects and their borders to the general public.

The main bipartition of the Bulgarian dialects into eastern (with pronunciation b’аl) and western dialects (pronunciation bel) is represented by distinctive colours – warm and cool. Further, the boundaries of the dialect areas are represented by shades of the colours, and the boundaries of dialects in the areas are marked by internal lines uniting groups of specific dialect phenomena that are characteristic of them. Internal isoglosses and patterns reflect some additional typological features of dialects and connect not only adjacent but also geographically distant dialects.

The first version of the electronic interactive map demonstrates how characteristic samples of the main dialects of each area, collected under the Program of Bulgarian Dialect Atlas, are to be presented.

The old variant of the map can be seen here.

The Map of the Dialectal Division of the Bulgarian Language will be usefulby scholars and students, historians, cultural anthropologists, sociologists, journalists, and all who want to learn about the Bulgarian language and its dialects.