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Latvian has two standard forms: Latvian (or Low Latvian) and Latgalian. Written Latgalian, i.e. standard Latgalian has a written tradition that is more than two hundred years old, and which was formed on the basis of eastern dialects of Latvian. Linguistic research on this dialect is treated in two ways: some researchers consider these eastern dialects as Latvian possessing special Latgalian elements, while others declare it to be a separate language called Latgalian.

Standard Latgalian is still less standardized and described than standard Latvian. Interest in Latgalian grew at the end of the 1980s with the start of the Rebirth movement. With the publication of Tāvu zemes kalendars 1991. gadam (“The 1991 Calendar of the Homeland”), Latgalian publications returned in Latgale, where the Latgale Culture Centre Publishing House was set up. Led by Prof. A. Breidaks, the Latgalian Orthographic Commission (since 2013 known as the Latgalian Written Language Expert Commission) began their work. At the beginning of the 21st century, the written tradition of Latgalian was mentioned in the law on the state language of Latvia. Today books and periodicals in Latgalian are published using the approved “Orthographic Rules of Latgalian”. Latgalian has found its place in media, and is taught in schools and kindergartens. Learning material is also developed for studying Latgalian. The interest in Latgalian is also growing among researchers: it is studied in schools of higher education, annual conferences are organized that are devoted to Latgalian language and culture, and collections of scholarly articles and monographs are published. Despite this, it is necessary to intensify linguistic research on this language, and include not only Latvian experts in this research, but also Baltic language experts, as well as experts of general linguistics. The Latgalian workshop of the 12th International Congress of Balticists (i.e. the 8th Conference of Latgalian Studies) welcomes papers that would discuss both the system of standard Latgalian as well as its usage, along with research on written Latgalian sources and studies on language typology and areal linguistics.

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