Bednjanski is a dialect of Kaikavian language in North Croatia. It is archaic, due to the far-off geographical position of "Bednjanci". On the other side Bednjanski has developed its specific charecteristics like using different vowels. It was first described by Jedvaj in 1956.
Because Bednjanski has further modified some of original Kaikavian characteristics, we can't say it is its oldest dialect, or as some wrongly understand it, the primordial "Kaikavian".On the historical development of Kaikavian language
The alleged connection with White Croatia is more a mythological
one, not scientific.
There were no Croats before Turk wars in Kaikavian kingdom which was called "Slovenski orsag
" or in Latin Slavonia
. Actually there were shortly in 925, but disappeared soon after the areas was conquered by Hungarians. Before that ancestors of Kaikavians often fought with Croats - as did the most famous Kaikavian prince Ljudevit who ruled the todays Kaikavian area from Sisek.
Croats around 925 did not speak Kaj, but Ikavian (Ča-) dialect, and lived in hinterlands of Dalmatia towards North. KAJ-speakers were the Pannonian Slavs who settled down in the areas from lake Balaton to the Slovenian alps. So prince Ljudevit from his land which Carolingian sources always call "Lower Pannonia", associated with other Kaj-speakers in the North from Carantania and Karnia, as their leader against Carolingians, but eventually lost the war. Croats were against prince Ljudevit and supported Carolingians.
It is only in 18th century that Kaikavians became croatized and now form a modern Croat nation. Similar happened to Prussians who were Baltic and now are German.
If it wasn't for Croatian nobility fleeding from Croatia to Kaikavian kigndom in 15th and 16th century, Kaikavian would have still been called by its original name that it had until 18th century - Slovenski
! It must be noted that Slovenski spoken in "Slovenski orsag" was different from what we call today Slovenski of Slovenia, since it did not include Slovenian areas Kranjska or Štajerska, nor it did include (Croatia) Harvatska areas.
There are many books written in what we call today Kaikavian literary language
, books that have on their front pages clearly written - In "Slovenski jezik
", for "Slovenski folk
", so we can by no means associate it with more southern and clearly defined Harvatska/Croatia.
did not have that many books at that times, by the way
They had a great Renaissance literature in Čakavian language, but their literature started to decline in 16th century when literature in Kaikavian literary language started to develop.)
" were of course the today called Kaikavians, which have the continuity of culture in that areas since the end of 6th century. Kaikavians kept in their mythology and language the old Slavic elements, even though they are ethnically modern day Croats. But this doesn't mean only Croatia has been there since times immemorial. There have been also other folks around.
I will conclude this little historical Ausflug
with a great Kaikavian Bednjanski song - completely intelligible to me even if i am not native speaker of Bednjanski.Šterči, šterći moula!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTjtttz692k