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The work which forms the bulk of the present study was carried out on the basis of numerous pieces of field material collected by means of an ethnolinguistic questionnaire in villages inhabited by Burgenland Croats in Western Hungary and Southern Slovakia (where part of the Hungarian territory was annexed after World War II). The field data contain a number of latent and obvious borrowings from Hungarian folk culture. By latent borrowings we mean cultural phenomena that were initially feebly expressed in a particular tradition (and tended to be lost), but during long coexistence with a neighboring heterogeneous tradition they were eventually maintained due to the developed state of the similar phenomena in the neighboring population. We also include here cultural phenomena that are typical of both traditions and have deep roots in the universal model of the naive world view. Analyzing the popular culture and dialects of enclave villages of Burgenland Croats in Hungary and Slovakia, we show that traditional folk culture with the corresponding vocabulary nevertheless acts as an important marker of identity for the population living in a foreign language environment.

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