Contrasts in Demographic Structure and Linguistic Variation on the Island of Korčula and the Pelješac Peninsula, Yugoslavia.

Abstract

Around 800 A.D. the Adriatic Island of Korčula and adjacent Pelješac Peninsula commenced upon distinct courses in population movement, the results of which are evident today in demographic structure and linguistic patterns. This divergence encompasses contrasting experiences in political control, land tenure, economic development, epidemics, and physical-social isolation. Korčula and Pelješac fell under different political-economic spheres of influence, which imposed different restrictions upon land tenure and population mobility. Korčula retained relatively greater autonomy and isolation, while Pelješac was the regular recipient of off-peninsular settlers. As a consequence, demographic characteristics of the current population of Pelješac reflect a "mechanical" increase over the past twelve centuries while expansion on Korčula has been based mainly upon natural population growth. Additionally, Korčula exhibits more clearly defined dialect areas while Pelješac is linguistically more heterogeneous.

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Bennett, L. A. & Rudan, P., (1988) “Contrasts in Demographic Structure and Linguistic Variation on the Island of Korčula and the Pelješac Peninsula, Yugoslavia.”, Ethnologia Europaea 19(1), p.139-166. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.1397

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Linda A. Bennett (Memphis State University)
Pavao Rudan (University of Zagreb)

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