South Estonian emerged in the 17th century as a distinct language in Swedish Livonia aside the North Estonian language spoken in Swedish Estonia.The first South Estonian grammar was compiled by Johann Gutslaff in 1648.
The South Estonian literary language (also Tartu literary language ) declined by the end of 19th century as the northern Estonian literary language (also Tallinn literary language ) became the standard for the Estonian literary language.
After Estonia gained independence in 1918 the standardized Estonian language policies were implemented further throughout the country. The government officials during the era believed that the Estonian state needed to have one standard language for all its citizens that led to exclusion of South Estonian at schools. The ban on the instruction and speaking of South Estonian dialects in schools continued during Soviet occupation (1940-1990).
After Estonia regained independence in 1991 the Estonian government has begun supporting the protection and development of regional languages. The policy has led to the revival of South Estonian, a modernized literary form founded on historical South Estonian dialect Võro has been created.
The other dialects of South Estonian language... Read More