the body of literature produced in the Slovak language. Until the 18th century there was no systematic attempt to establish a literary language on the basis of the Slovak dialects, which, though closely related to Czech, had developed a separate identity from the early Middle Ages. The decline of literary Czech in the early 18th century, however, generated an increase of local colouring in devotional texts in Slovakia. Shortly after, Anton Bernolak produced a grammar (1790) and dictionary (1825-27) of the Slovak language and codified its literary usage. In an era of reviving national consciousness, this language was taken up by a number of writers, above all Jan Holly, who used Slovak to produce lyrics, idylls, and national epics. Jozef Ignac Bajza's novel Rene (1783-85), using Slovakized Czech, also had a strong impact.
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