The most significant results and challenges in latgalian studies (2008–2017)

Keywords: Latgalian studies (Latgalistics), State Language Law, Latgalian (literary) language, language and education policy, studies of local culture
Language: In Latvian

The article consists of two parts: the first one describes the most important events and their outcome in Latgalian studies (Latgalistics) (2008–2017), giving reference to more detailed information; the second part highlights discourses prevailing in the society and media that hinder the development of Latgalian studies, negatively affecting the development of the region as a whole. The article also addresses the current status of the Latgalian language in the legislation and from the viewpoint of the language history researchers. There are three main tasks set for Latgalian studies (2011–2017): public education, development of study materials and interdisciplinary research. No distinct lines can be drawn to clearly separate these areas of activity, but there are individual, productive measures that focus on one direction or another. An innovative step is to provide for the establishment and implementation of a cultural training course in general education schools. One of the most important results of Latgalian studies includes the international conferences and collected papers published after the conferences. They can be viewed in two applications:, where the attachments of the human sciences magazine Via Latgalica — Materials of the Congress of Latgalistics are available and the journal itself at http://journals. Other events have also been productive. At the same time, disregard or “failure to notice” the achievement of Latgalian studies at the national level makes it necessary to return to the same issues again and again for years, thus hindering the expansion of the functioning of the Latgalian language and the review of the content of the teaching materials for schools, in order to correctly reflect the diverse history of Latgale. Hence, Latgalian studies still has to face many challenges. In the absence of a clear definition of the status of the Latgalian written language, there still arise infertile disputes over the names of the Latvian language types. Misunderstandings and unnecessary outrage are sometimes caused by the frequently used term ‘the Latgalian language’, although behind this term no search of the “third living Baltic language” is hidden, not at least by Latvians themselves. Just for the sake of simplicity, we usually speak about ‘the Latvian language’, thus understanding the Latvian literary language, and with the term ‘the Latgalian language’, we usually understand the Latgalian written or literary language. Is the demand of the 4th World Summit of Latgalians, to respect a second type of the Latvian language in order to maintain, cultivate and develop it in the future, to be more widely used in Latgale and elsewhere in Latvia, a separatist intention? Should the 165 000 of Latgalian language users registered during the 2011 Population Census, shrink to some critical level for the state language policy makers to begin to strengthen the Latvian identity with the Latgalian component and to actually support the full existence and succession of the Latgalian language?