The attempt to establish the place of the so-called 'simple language' in the system of linguistic communication of the Poles living in Latvia. From the field research in Latgalia
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An attempt was made in this study to establish the place of the 'simple language' in the system of linguistic communication of the Poles residing in Latvia. The materials were derived from the texts written down in Latgalia, Latvia, within the framework of the project initiated by Bjorn Wiemer from the University of Konstanz, whose objective was the specify the area of occurrence of the 'simple language' within the entire area of the borderland's Polish language. On the basis of the interviews made in 17 settlements, mostly with persons who declared their Polish origin, it was stated that the 'simple language' occurs in Latgalia in the borderline area, along the Latvian-Lithuanian and Latvian-Belarusian borders. The further to the north, the weaker the reach of the said 'simple language', which is the language of the rural population. In the majority of cases, it is a family language which is also used among the neighbors. In the said regions, the Polish language is the 'sacrum' language, i.e. the language of prayers and religious service. All respondents could speak the Russian language, (at least its colloquial, informal version). The older generation does not understand the Latvian language. Only the people who studied in the Latvian schools can use the Latvian language. The knowledge of the Latgalia dialect is minimal.
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