Resian is part of the Slovenian minority varieties protected by the 482/1999 law. From the perspective of Slovenian dialectology, the local varieties of the Resia Valley constitute the most northwestern group of Littoral dialects (primorščino narečje) (see SLA, p. 11-14). Differently from the other Slovenian varieties in Italy, the Resian dialects do not have a continuation in the Slovenian or Austrian territory (see Šekli 2024, p. 219). The Resia Valley community has always claimed a high degree of autonomy from Slovenia. Both in its own folk traditions and in the Friulian contact culture there is a myth of Russian descent (cf. Dapit 2001). As an ethnonym, both by Friulians and the community itself roseàns ‘Resians,’ not ‘Slovenes’ or even ‘Slavs’ is used (Dapit 2001, p. 309). Since the 1990s, on behalf of the Resia municipal administration, a normative-didactic orthography and grammar have been developed as an expression of a standard Resian language (various publications, see below; according to project leader Han Steenwijk, the project has been blocked for political reasons since 2020).

The local varieties are still used by about 1,300 people (Dapit 2001, p. 312). The standard Slovenian language has no functional domains in the Resia Valley: in contrast to the areas which belonged to Austria until 1919 (most of all the provinces of Gorizia and Trieste) there are no Slovenian-Italian bilingual schools. Standard Slovenian is nout taught in public schools in the Resia valley (see Šekli 2024, p. 222-223).


Further reading

Websites of the Resian community