Kostur dialect

  Kostur dialect

The Kostur dialect (Macedonian: Костурски дијалект, Kosturski dijalekt), is a member of the Southwestern subgroup of the Southern group of dialects of the Macedonian language.[1] This dialect is mainly spoken in and around the town of Kastoria, known locally in Macedonian as Kostur, and in the surrounding Korešta region, (Macedonian: Корешта; in the Kostur dialect: Korèshcha/Корèшча) which encompasses most of the area to the northwest of the town. The Kostur dialect is also partially spoken in Albania, most notably in Bilisht and the village of Vërnik (Vrabnik).[2] The dialect is partially preserved among the descendants of Muslim immigrants from the region of Kastoria in Turkey.[3]

The Kostur dialect shares strong similarities with the Nestram-Kostenar dialect and the Korča dialect. Linguist Stoyko Stoykov regards the Nestram dialect as a subgroup of the Kostur dialect, part of Bulgarian language.[4]

Phonological characteristics

Morphological characteristics


The dialect is commonly viewed as one of the most divergent forms of the Macedonian dialect continuum. Today it is primarily restricted to oral communication among native speakers; however, in the past the dialect was frequently used in its written form. As late as the Greek Civil War the dialect was being used in newspapers and other print. The Nova Makedonka (Macedonian: Нова Македонка, New Macedonian Woman) newspaper published in the period 1948–1949, was published both in the Kostur dialect and in Greek.[7] The Edinstvo newspaper published from 1947–1949 also solely made use of the Kostur dialect.[8]

In 2011 a memoir book in the Kostur dialect using a Bulgarian orthography was published.[9]


The first written materials in the Kostur dialect were of different types of folklore texts, such as songs and folk tales, which were collected in the 19th century. The Bulgarian folklorists Miladinov brothers published 13 folk songs from region of Kostur in their important collection of folk songs, Bulgarian Folk Songs.[10] In Western European Slavic studies relevant to the research of the dialect is the book by André Mazon about the Slavic songs and the dialects from southwestern Macedonia, published in 1923.[11]

The first complete dictionary of the Kostur dialect was published by Blagoy Shklifov.[12] Afterwards, Shklifov analyzed his native Kostur dialect, comparing it and Standard Bulgarian with Old Church Slavonic, and explained the development of many sounds in Bulgarian language, notably ѫ.[13]


  1. Македонските дијалекти во Егејска Македонија: (Обид за класификација). Македонските дијалекти во Егејска Македонија: научен собир, Скопје 23-24 декември 1991. Скопје: МАНУ, 1994, стр. 23-60.
  2. According to some dialectologists the dialect of Vrabnik is a part from Kostur dialect only in general terms – see Христова, Евдокия. Българска реч от Албания. Говорът на село Връбник, Университетско издателство “Неофит Рилски”, Благоевград 2003, с. 10 [Hristova, Evdokia. Bulgarian speech from Albania. The dialect of the village Vrabnik, University Press "Neophyte Rilski", Blagoevgrad 2003, p. 10.] (in Bulgarian)
  3. Koroloff, Larry Labro. Notes on the Dialect of Zhèrveni, Kostur Region, as Spoken by Their Descendants in Mustafapaşa and Cemilköy, Turkey. In: „Slověne“, №2, p. 112-116.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Стойков, Стойко (2002). "Българските диалекти във Вардарска и Егейска Македония" [The Bulgarian Dialects of Vardar and Aegean Macedonia]. Българска диалектология [Bulgarian Dialectology] (in Bulgarian). Акад. изд. "Проф. Марин Дринов". pp. 180–181. ISBN 978-954-430-846-9.
  5. Mihaljević, M (2002). Slavenska poredbena gramatika [Slavic Comparative Grammar] (in Serbo-Croatian). Školska knjiga. p. 212.
  6. Шклифов, Благой и Екатерина Шклифова, Български диалектни текстове от Егейска Македония, София 2003, с. 9, 17–18 (Shklifov, Blagoy and Ekaterina Shklifova. Bulgarian dialect texts from Aegean Macedonia, Sofia 2003, p. 9, 17–18)
  7. Boro Mokrov, Tome Gruevski, Overview of Macedonian Print (1885–1992), Skopje, 1993, pp. 150–151
  8. Risto Kirjazovski, Macedonian print in the Aegean Part of Macedonia during the Greek Civil War, Skopje, 1971, "History" 8(2), pp. 93–119
  9. Шклифов, Благой. На кол вода пиехме. Записки за Христовите мъки на българите в Егейска Македония през ХХ век, София 2011, 399 с. [Shklifov, Blagoy. At stake drinking water, Notes on Christ's passion of Bulgarians in Aegean Macedonia during the twentieth century, Sofia 2011] (in Bulgarian)
  10. Бѫлгарски народни пѣсни. Собрани отъ братья Миладиновци, Димитрıя и Константина и издадени отъ Константина. Въ Загребъ. Въ книгопечатница-та на А. Якича, 1861, с. 386–389. [Miladinov, Dimitar and Konstantin Miladinov, Bulgarian Folk Songs, Zagreb 1861, p. 386-389] (in Bulgarian)
  11. Mazon, André. Contes slaves de la Macédoine sud-occidentale: étude linguistique ; textes et traduction ; notes de folklore, Paris, 236 p.
  12. Шклифов, Благой. Речник на костурския говор, Българска диалектология, София 1977, с. кн. VIII, с. 201–328 (Shklifov, Blagoy. The dictionary of Kostur dialect, Sofia 1977, Bulgarian Dialectology, Sofia 1977, vol. VIII, p. 201-328)
  13. Тот, Имре. Предговор към Шклифов, Благой. Проблеми на българската диалектна и историческа фонетика с оглед на македонските говори, София 1995, с. 7–8 (Thoth, Imre. Preface, in: Shklifov, Blagoy. Problems of the Bulgarian dialectal phonology from the point of view of the Macedonian dialects, Sofia 1995, p. 7-8)


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