Mulgi dialect

Mulgi dialect

Mulgi dialect

The geographical boarders of a dialect were formed by administrative units, as well as by natural boundaries and access roads. 
Northern and Southern Estonian languages distinguish from each other most clearly, consisting in total of eight dialects and 117 subdialects. At least in terms of the language, Estonia is a big country with many colourful dialects (Viikberg, 2015).

“There are few nations and languages in the world that are as blessed with dialects as Estonian language,“ said the Estonian and Mulgi poet Nikolai Baturin.

After all, a dialect is also an invaluable source of language that offers novel and interesting additions to the written language and thus broadens the spoken language and the whole world of literature“ (Viikberg, 2015).

In the 18th century, and earlier, when Estonians were less mobile compared to nowadays, the unique features of spoken language related directly to the speaker’s home place.  
The geographical boarders of a dialect were formed by administrative units, as well as by natural boundaries and access roads. 
Northern and Southern Estonian languages distinguish from each other most clearly, consisting in total of eight dialects and 117 subdialects. At least in terms of the language, Estonia is a big country with many colourful dialects (Viikberg, 2015).
“There are few nations and languages in the world that are as blessed with dialects as Estonian language,“ said the Estonian and Mulgi poet Nikolai Baturin. After all, a dialect is also an invaluable source of language that offers novel and interesting additions to the written language and thus broadens the spoken language and the whole world of literature“ (Viikberg, 2015).
Estonian location specific languages have evolved from ancient Balto-Finnic tribal languages among which North Estonian and South Estonian have been mentioned.
Thus, Mulgi language (mulgi kiil) is an ancient Estonian regional language or regional colloquial language which belongs to the group of Balto-Finnic languages.
Mulgi dialect, i.e. the South Estonian western dialect is historically much older than the standard Estonian language. Mulgi dialect was distinctive from other ancient South Estonian dialects already at the end of the first millennium, the main rules of the standard Estonian written language were established just a little more than a hundred years ago (Prof. Karl Pajusalu, 2016).
Mulgi dialect is mostly spoken in rural areas, in major urban-type settlements it is less common.
As at schools standard Estonian is taught and used as a teaching language, then at home parents speak to their children also mainly in standard Estonian. Therefore, Mulgi dialect has almost disappeared from the everyday speech of younger generation.
In order to introduce and teach Mulgi dialect, there are dialect speaking groups (keelepesä) at day-cares in Mulgimaa, the teachers in Mulgimaa can take courses of Mulgi dialect, and  there are Mulgi dialect hobby groups in Tarvastu, Lillis, Karksi, Viljandi, Tartu and Tõrva.