Once again, I have to leave the village when I already felt at home! Anyway, those last three weeks have been very intensive. I have had the chance to interview more people in the neighbouring villages (mostly in Sičyw and Tatar’ja). In spite of the fact that they are less than 10 km away from each other, and they are within the Torokanian subgroup, I have been able to find differences in their speech
[Yes, the veggies keep growing so quickly!].
But, most of the time I have been working with a speaker in Torokan (Imyaniny), Baba Ženja, who has an enormous heart and who has been very patient with me. Last Friday (10/06/2016), a journalist from TUT.by (the main news portal in Belarus) was during our session. You can read the article here [http://news.tut.by/society/500313.html].
[Meet this week’s star on Belarusian media]
I have also interviewed the people I have been living with. Baba Katja is a bit shy, but when she started sharing stories she happened to be the best storyteller interviewed so far, and she knows a bunch of them! But not only that, she also provided me awesome comments on grammar, which I appreciate endleslly (as I was a bit stuck). Apart from it she is an excellent cook (and partly responsible of the few kilos I have gained) and a gardener, with an enviable memory and creativity.
[Here is one of her tales https://youtu.be/l5b7tPjMMTI]
I also got to interview djadja Kolja, one of the last original dwellers of Tatar’ja, who is a speaker of a gorgeous Torokanian variety. When I first heard him speaking, I instantly adored his idiolect: he uses almost all the grammar structures I had been looking for months! But it took me a whole month to convince him to let me record his stories. He is full of joy, very friendly and sociable, but unfortunatelly, he doesn’t his stories to be published (at least he was OK with publishing his photos) So here you have one of my heroes!
One of the topics I have dealt with during those last weeks (although, not the main) is postnominal possessors. Postnominal possessors in the studied variety(ies) are characterised by a quite free word order, which allows the insertion of different elements between the noun and the possessor:
(T3.10 00:29) ʃtʃe o’dɪn u’tʃytɪl ʒy’ve mɪj.
(T3.10 00:45) ‘batjko ska’zav̞ jo’mu mɪj […] pa’bɪj jak, ʃtʃo nɪ ‘znaje.
(T7.8 01:38) mu’ʒyk ‘toʒe mɪj ʒ so’sjednoj dɪ’revni
It seems that the prenominal position is optional for most of the cases (especially when they do not involve kinship terms), which raises the question of whether postnominal possessors are ‘more authentic’ and they are evolving under the pressure of Russian (and for some reason, some terms are more resilient to that change than others).
They say I only publish about food, but I haven’t for a month. I think I deserve a treat!! Here you have some of the local specialities
[Schabjel soup, goat milk tvorah (a kind of quark), and sirniki with cherry jam]
Да пабачэння! See you soon!