About us

Zvjezdana Vrzić

Zvjezdana is the principal investigator and director of the project Preservation of the Vlaški and Žejanski Language. She holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from New York University. Currently, she teaches linguistics at the University of Rijeka and New York University. She is also president of Traces, a non-profit organization which promotes the documentation, description and maintenance of the languages and dialects of her native Istria and Kvarner.

The work on this project combines her personal interest in family history and native area with her professional interest in the documentation, maintenance and revitalization of endangered languages, language rights, global linguistic diversity, and linguistic processes through which one language influences another.

E-mail: zvjezdana.vrzic@gmail.com

Viviana Brkarić

Viviana was born in Rijeka where she also grew up. She is a musician and plays in a pop music band. She has a Bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Rijeka's Faculty of Hotel Administration in Opatija, with a specialization in the economics of tourism and hotel management.

For the last seven years, she has been living in Nova Vas, a village where she spent all her winter and summer vacations as a child and where she learned the Vlaški language. She is the president of the local Spod Učke Association. She loves the native area of her ancestors, their Vlaški mother tongue, and the nature that surrounds them. She joined the Preservation of the Vlaški and Žejanski Language project with great enthusiasm.

E-mail: viviana.brkaric@vlaski-zejanski.com

Robert Doričić

Robert was born in Rijeka, Croatia, and grew up in Mošćenička Draga and Lovran, where he now lives. He has completed his Master's degree in Health Administration at the University of Rijeka's School of Medicine. He is the president of the Žejane Association and a member of Lovran and of Mošćenička Draga sections of the Chakavian Alliance.

He is interested in everyday history and ethnography of his native area and the language of his ancestors-the Žejanski language, which he learned from his grandmother. He has been an active participant in the Preservation of the Vlaški and Žejanski Language project from its beginnings, having been attracted to its vision and approach to this language community.

E-mail: robert.doricic@vlaski-zejanski.com

Adrijana Gabriš

Adrijana was born in Rijeka and grew up in her native village of Žejane. She has a degree in international business from the University of Rijeka. Since she was twenty, she has lived in Kastav, near Rijeka. She joined the OVŽJ project several years ago when she became aware of the fact that the Zheyanski language is dying. She's been leading the Žejančići Children's Language Playroom since 2013. Together with the children who are part of this group, she's been working on the revitalization of the Zheyanski language. She is the treasurer of the local Žejane Associaton, where, together with other members, she strives to contribute to the preservation of her mother tongue.

Website credits

Author and project director: Zvjezdana Vrzić, Ph.D.

Assistant: Robert Doričić

Introductory text for the Music Library: Robert Doričić

Preparation of photographs for the Photo Albums: Robert Doričić

Interactive map development and photography: Valter Zulijani, Visual Lab

Žejane interactive map photography: Ivan Gabriš

Translation to Croatian and Croatian language copyediting: Ivana Eterović

Translation to English: Zvjezdana Vrzić, Beti Gal Jurić

English language copyediting: Ana Stojanović

Home page photograph: Toni Roce

Past collaborators

Ana Montan

Ivana Sanković

Project sponsors and acknowledgments

The Preservation of the Vlaški and Žejanski Language project has resulted from the cooperation between the Traces Association and the Ethnographic Museum of Istria. It continues in 2011 through the collaboration of the Traces/Tragovi Association and Associations Spod Učke and Žejane.

We would like to acknowledge and thank all project sponsors on their continued financial support. This project would not be possible without them.

The author would like to acknowledge the grant received from the Endangered Language Fund in 2005 for a pilot-project which helped jumpstart this initiative.

Last but certainly not least, we'd especially like to thank all speakers, members of their families and other members of the community, in Croatia and in New York, who helped us in any way with the collection of the materials and information presented on this website and included in the Preservation of the Vlaški and Žejanski Language project. This website is dedicated to them!