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Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a
South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branches of the Slavic languages. There are approximately 30 million speakers, mainly in the Balkans. These are separated geographically from speakers of the other two Slavic branches ( West and Eas ...
and the primary language of
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refe ...

Serbia
,
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
,
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
, and
Montenegro Montenegro (; cnr, Crna Gora, , , ; sq, Mali i zi) is a country in . It is located on the and is a part of the , sharing borders with to the northeast, to the north and west, to the east, to the southeast, the Adriatic Sea and to the ...

Montenegro
. It is a
pluricentric language A pluricentric language or polycentric language is a language with several interacting codified standard forms, often corresponding to different countries. Many examples of such languages can be found worldwide among the most-spoken languages, incl ...
with four
mutually intelligible In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include p ...
standard varieties A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety In sociolinguistics, a variety, also called an isolect or lect, is a specific form of a language or language cluster. This may include language ...
, namely
Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refer to: ** Serbian language ...
,
Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also

* Croatia (disambiguation) * Serbo-Croatian (di ...
,
Bosnian Bosnian may refer to: *Anything related to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina or its inhabitants *Anything related to Bosnia (region) or its inhabitants * Bosniaks, an ethnic group mainly inhabiting Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of three Ethnic gr ...
, and Montenegrin. South Slavic languages historically formed a
continuum Continuum may refer to: * Continuum (measurement) Continuum theories or models explain variation as involving gradual quantitative transitions without abrupt changes or discontinuities. In contrast, categorical theories or models explain variatio ...
. The turbulent history of the area, particularly due to expansion of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
, resulted in a patchwork of dialectal and religious differences. Due to population migrations,
Shtokavian Shtokavian or Štokavian (; sh, / , ) is the prestige dialect of the pluricentric Serbo-Croatian language and the basis of its Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin standards. It is a part of the South Slavic dialect continuum. Its ...

Shtokavian
became the most widespread dialect in the western Balkans, intruding westwards into the area previously occupied by
Chakavian Chakavian or Čakavian (, , , sh-Latn, čakavski proper name: or own name: ''čokovski, čakavski, čekavski'') is a South Slavic regiolect or language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speec ...

Chakavian
and
Kajkavian Kajkavian (Kajkavian noun: ''kajkavščina''; Shtokavian adjective: ''kajkavski'' , noun: ''kajkavica'' or ''kajkavština'' ) is a South Slavic languages, South Slavic regiolect or language spoken primarily by Croats in much of Central Croatia, G ...
(which further blend into
Slovenian Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
in the northwest).
Bosniaks The Bosniaks or Bosniacs ( bs, Bošnjaci, ; , ) are a and native to the an of , which is today part of . A native minority of Bosniaks live in other countries in the ; especially in the region of and (where Bosniaks form a regional ...
,
Croats Croats (; hr, Hrvati ), also known as Croatians, are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. ...

Croats
and
Serbs Serbs ( sr-Cyr, Срби, Srbi, ) are a South Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from ...
differ in religion and were historically often part of different cultural circles, although a large part of the nations have lived side by side under foreign overlords. During that period, the language was referred to under a variety of names, such as "Slavic" in general or "Serbian", "Croatian" or "Bosnian" in particular. In a classicizing manner, it was also referred to as "
Illyrian Illyrian may refer to: * Illyria, the historical region on the Balkan Peninsula ** Illyrians, ancient tribes inhabiting Illyria ** Illyrian language, a language or group of languages of ancient Illyrian tribes * Illyrian (South Slavic), a common na ...
". The process of linguistic standardization of Serbo-Croatian was originally initiated in the mid-19th-century Vienna Literary Agreement by Croatian and Serbian writers and philologists, decades before a Yugoslav state was established. From the very beginning, there were slightly different literary Serbian and Croatian standards, although both were based on the same dialect of Shtokavian, Eastern Herzegovinian. In the 20th century, Serbo-Croatian served as the official language of the
Kingdom of Yugoslavia The Kingdom of Yugoslavia ( sh, Kraljevina Jugoslavija / Краљевина Југославија; sl, Kraljevina Jugoslavija) was a state in Southeast Europe, Southeast and Central Europe that existed from 1918 until 1941. From 1918 to 1929 ...
(when it was called "Serbo-Croato-Slovenian"), and later as one of the official languages of the
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, commonly referred to as SFR Yugoslavia or simply Yugoslavia, was a Socialist state, socialist country in Southeast Europe, Southeast and Central Europe that existed from its foundation in the afte ...
. The
breakup of Yugoslavia A relationship breakup, or simply just breakup, is the termination of an intimate relationship An intimate relationship is an interpersonal relationship The concept of interpersonal relationship involves social associations, connect ...

breakup of Yugoslavia
affected language attitudes, so that social conceptions of the language separated along ethnic and political lines. Since the breakup of Yugoslavia, Bosnian has likewise been established as an official standard in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and there is an ongoing movement to codify a separate Montenegrin standard. Like other South Slavic languages, Serbo-Croatian has a simple
phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of lan ...
, with the common five-vowel system and twenty-five consonants. Its
grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...
evolved from
Common Slavic Proto-Slavic is the unattested, reconstructed Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new company *''Perestroika'' (Russian for ...
, with complex
inflection In linguistic morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines * Morphology (archaeology), study of the shapes or forms of artifacts * Morphology (astronomy), study of the shape of astronomical ob ...
, preserving seven
grammatical case Grammatical case is a term regarding a manner of categorizing s, s, s, s, and s according to their traditionally corresponding s within a given , , or . In some languages, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, s, participles, prepositions, numerals, art ...
s in nouns, pronouns, and adjectives. Verbs exhibit
imperfective The imperfective ( abbreviated or more ambiguously ) is a grammatical aspect Aspect is a grammatical category A grammatical category or grammatical feature is a property of items within the grammar In linguistics, the grammar (from Ancient ...
or
perfective aspect The perfective aspect ( abbreviated ), sometimes called the aorist Aorist (; abbreviated ) verb A verb, from the Latin ''wikt:verbum#Latin, verbum'' meaning ''word'', is a word (part of speech) that in syntax conveys an action (''bring'', ' ...
, with a moderately complex tense system. Serbo-Croatian is a
pro-drop language A pro-drop language (from "pronoun-dropping") is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a ...
with flexible word order,
subject–verb–object In linguistic typology Linguistic typology (or language typology) is a field of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for ...
being the default. It can be written in
Serbian Cyrillic The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet ( sr, / , ) is an adaptation of the Cyrillic script The Cyrillic script ( ) is a writing system used for various languages across Eurasia and is used as the national script in various Slavic languages, Slavic, ...
or
Gaj's Latin alphabet Gaj's Latin alphabet ( sh, abeceda, latinica, gajica) is the form of the Latin script Latin script, also known as Roman script, is a set of graphic signs (Writing system#General properties, script) based on the letters of the classical Latin ...
, whose thirty letters mutually map one-to-one, and the
orthography An orthography is a set of conventions for writing Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions b ...
is highly
phonemic In phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or constituent parts of signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound or sign system of any partic ...
in all standards.


Name

Serbo-Croatian generally goes by the individual names Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, and sometimes Montenegrin and Bunjevac. In the language itself, it is typically known as / "Serbo-Croatian", / "Croato-Serbian", or informally / "ours". Throughout the history of the South Slavs, the vernacular, literary, and written languages (e.g. Chakavian, Kajkavian, Shtokavian) of the various regions and ethnicities developed and diverged independently. Prior to the 19th century, they were collectively called "Illyric", "Slavic", "Slavonian", "Bosnian", "Dalmatian", "Serbian" or "Croatian". Since the nineteenth century the term ''Illyrian'' or ''Illyric'' was used quite often (thus creating confusion with the
Illyrian language The Illyrian language () was a language or group of languages spoken in the western Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent ...
). Although the word ''Illyrian'' was used on a few occasions before, its widespread usage began after
Ljudevit Gaj Ljudevit Gaj (; born Ludwig Gay; 8 August 1809 – 20 April 1872) was a Croatian Linguistics, linguist, politician, journalist and writer. He was one of the central figures of the pan-Slavist Illyrian Movement. Biography Origin He was born in K ...

Ljudevit Gaj
and several other prominent linguists met at 's house to discuss the issue in 1832. The term ''Serbo-Croatian'' was first used by
Jacob Grimm Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm (4 January 1785 – 20 September 1863), also known as Ludwig Karl, was a German linguist, philologist, jurist, and folklorist Folklore studies, also known as folkloristics, and occasionally tradition studies or fo ...

Jacob Grimm
in 1824, popularized by the Viennese philologist
Jernej Kopitar Jernej Kopitar, also known as Bartholomeus Kopitar (21 August 1780 – 11 August 1844), was a Slovene linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, inclu ...
in the following decades, and accepted by Croatian
Zagreb Zagreb ( , , , ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smalle ...

Zagreb
grammarians in 1854 and 1859. At that time, Serb and Croat lands were still part of the
Ottoman Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic masculine given name Uthman (name), Uthman (Arabic: عُثْمان ''‘uthmān''). It may refer to: Governments and dynasties * Ottoman Caliphate, an Islamic caliphate from 1517 to 1924 * Ottoman Empi ...
and
Austrian Empire The Austrian Empire (german: Kaiserthum Oesterreich, modern spelling ') was a Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It compr ...
s. Officially, the language was called variously ''Serbo-Croat, Croato-Serbian, Serbian and Croatian, Croatian and Serbian, Serbian or Croatian, Croatian or Serbian.'' Unofficially, Serbs and Croats typically called the language "Serbian" or "Croatian", respectively, without implying a distinction between the two, and again in independent
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
, "Bosnian", "Croatian", and "Serbian" were considered to be three names of a single official language. Croatian linguist Dalibor Brozović advocated the term ''Serbo-Croatian'' as late as 1988, claiming that in an analogy with Indo-European, Serbo-Croatian does not only name the two components of the same language, but simply charts the limits of the region in which it is spoken and includes everything between the limits (‘Bosnian’ and ‘Montenegrin’). Today, use of the term "Serbo-Croatian" is controversial due to the prejudice that nation and language must match. It is still used for lack of a succinct alternative, though alternative names have emerged, such as ''Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian'' (BCS), which is often seen in political contexts such as the
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was a body of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, secu ...
.


History


Early development

In
9th Century The 9th century was a period from 801 ( DCCCI) through 900 __NOTOC__ Year 900 ( CM) was a leap year starting on Tuesday A leap year starting on Tuesday is any year with 366 days (i.e. it includes 29 February) that begins on Tuesday, 1 Januar ...
,
Old Church Slavonic Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic () was the first Slavic literary language A literary language is the form of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (S ...
was adopted as the language of the
liturgy Liturgy is the customary public worship performed by a religious group. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy represents a community, communal response to and participation in the sacred through activities reflecting praise, thanksgiving, remembrance ...
in churches serving various nations. This language was gradually adapted to non-liturgical purposes and became known as the Croatian version of Old Slavonic. The two variants of the language, liturgical and non-liturgical, continued to be a part of the
Glagolitic The Glagolitic script (, ''glagolitsa''; Bulgarian and Macedonian: глаголица, romanized as ''glagolitsa'' and ''glagolica'' respectively; Croatian: ; Czech: ; Slovak: ''hlaholika'') is the oldest known Slavic alphabet An a ...
service as late as the middle of the 19th century. The earliest known Croatian Church Slavonic Glagolitic manuscripts are the ''Glagolita Clozianus'' and the ''Vienna Folia'' from the 11th century. The beginning of written Serbo-Croatian can be traced from the 10th century and on when Serbo-Croatian medieval texts were written in five scripts:
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
,
Glagolitic The Glagolitic script (, ''glagolitsa''; Bulgarian and Macedonian: глаголица, romanized as ''glagolitsa'' and ''glagolica'' respectively; Croatian: ; Czech: ; Slovak: ''hlaholika'') is the oldest known Slavic alphabet An a ...

Glagolitic
,
Early Cyrillic The Early Cyrillic alphabet, also called classical Cyrillic or paleo-Cyrillic, is a writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a class ...
,
Bosnian Cyrillic Bosnian Cyrillic, widely known as Bosančica is an extinct variant of the Cyrillic alphabets, Cyrillic alphabet that originated in medieval Bosnia. The term was coined at the end of the 19th century by Ćiro Truhelka. It was widely used in modern ...
(''bosančica/bosanica''), and
Arebica Arebica (, ) is a Bosniak variant of the Arabic script used to write the Bosnian language (). It was used mainly between the 15th and 19th centuries and is frequently categorized as part of Aljamiado literature. Before World War I there were unsu ...
, the last principally by Bosniak nobility. Serbo-Croatian competed with the more established literary languages of
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
and Old Slavonic in the west and Persian and Arabic in the east. Old Slavonic developed into the Serbo-Croatian variant of
Church Slavonic Church Slavonic (''црькъвьнословѣньскъ ѩзыкъ'', ''crĭkŭvĭnoslověnĭskŭ językŭ'', literally "Church-Slavonic language"), also known as Church Slavic, New Church Slavonic or New Church Slavic, is the conservative ...
between the 12th and 16th centuries. Among the earliest attestations of Serbo-Croatian are the
Humac tablet The Humac tablet ( sh-Latn, Humačka ploča, ) is an Old Church Slavonic, Old Slavic :wikt:epigraph, epigraph in Bosnian Cyrillic script in the form of a stone tablet, believed to be variously dated to between the 10th and 12th century, being one o ...
, dating from the 10th or 11th century, written in Bosnian Cyrillic and Glagolitic; the
Plomin tabletimage:Plomin tablet 1.jpg, The Plomin tablet. Plomin tablet ( hr, Plominski natpis) is a Glagolitic script, Glagolitic inscription in Croatian language, Croatian at the outer wall of the church of Saint George in Plomin, Croatia. Roman god of flora a ...
, dating from the same era, written in Glagolitic; the
Valun tablet The Valun tablet ( hr, Valunska ploča) is an 11th-century bilingual (Old Croatian and Latin language, Latin) and digraphic (Glagolitic script, Glagolitic and Latin script, Latin) tablet, originally serving the role of a gravestone, found at the gr ...

Valun tablet
, dated to the 11th century, written in Glagolitic and Latin; and the Inscription of Župa Dubrovačka, a Glagolitic tablet dated to the 11th century. The from the late 11th century was written in Glagolitic. It is a large stone tablet found in the small
Church of St. Lucy, Jurandvor The Church of St. Lucy ( hr, Crkva svete Lucije) in Jurandvor near Baška, Krk, Croatia is a Romanesque architecture, Romanesque Catholic church from the year 1100 with two major medieval Croatian artifacts: the Baška Tablet, and a checkerboard-pa ...
on the Croatian island of
Krk Krk (; german: link=no, Vegl; la, Curicta; it, Veglia; Vegliot Dalmatian: ''Vikla''; grc, Κύρικον, ''Kyrikon'') is a Croatia :* french: link=no, République de Croatie :* hu, Horvát Köztársaság :* it, Repubblica di Croazi ...

Krk
that contains text written mostly in
Chakavian Chakavian or Čakavian (, , , sh-Latn, čakavski proper name: or own name: ''čokovski, čakavski, čekavski'') is a South Slavic regiolect or language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speec ...
in the Croatian angular Glagolitic script. It is also important in the history of the nation as it mentions , the king of Croatia at the time. The
Charter of Ban Kulin The Charter of Ban Kulin (Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian, Bosnian- sh, Povelja Kulina bana/Повеља Кулина бана) was a trade agreement between the Banate of Bosnia and the Republic of Ragusa that effectively regulated Ragusan tra ...
of 1189, written by
Ban Kulin Kulin (d. November 1204) was the Ban of Bosnia This is a list of rulers of Bosnia, containing bans and kings of Medieval Bosnia. Early rulers (1082–1136) Banate of Bosnia (1136–1377) Kingdom of Bosnia (1377–1463) All Bosnian kings ...
of Bosnia, was an early Shtokavian text, written in Bosnian Cyrillic. The luxurious and ornate representative texts of Serbo-Croatian Church Slavonic belong to the later era, when they coexisted with the Serbo-Croatian vernacular literature. The most notable are the "
Missal A missal is a containing all instructions and texts necessary for the celebration of throughout the year. History Before the compilation of such books, several books were used when celebrating Mass. These included the gradual (texts mainly ...

Missal
of Duke Novak" from the Lika region in northwestern Croatia (1368), "Evangel from Reims" (1395, named after the town of its final destination), Hrvoje's Missal from Bosnia and Split in Dalmatia (1404), and the first printed book in Serbo-Croatian, the Glagolitic
Missale Romanum Glagolitice ''Missale Romanum Glagolitice'' ( hr, Misal po zakonu rimskoga dvora) is a Croatia :* french: link=no, République de Croatie :* hu, Horvát Köztársaság :* it, Repubblica di Croazia :* rue, Републіка Хорватія :* sr, ...

Missale Romanum Glagolitice
(1483). During the 13th century Serbo-Croatian vernacular texts began to appear, the most important among them being the "Istrian land survey" of 1275 and the "
Vinodol Codex Law code of Vinodol or Vinodol statute ( hr, Vinodolski zakonik) is one of the oldest law texts written in the Chakavian dialect of Croatian language and is among the oldest Slavic Code (law), codes. It was written in the Glagolitic alphabet. It was ...
" of 1288, both written in the Chakavian dialect. The
Shtokavian dialect Shtokavian or Štokavian (; sh, / , ) is the prestige dialect In sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural Norm (sociology), norms, expectations, and cont ...
literature, based almost exclusively on Chakavian original texts of religious provenance (
missal A missal is a containing all instructions and texts necessary for the celebration of throughout the year. History Before the compilation of such books, several books were used when celebrating Mass. These included the gradual (texts mainly ...

missal
s, breviaries, prayer books) appeared almost a century later. The most important purely Shtokavian vernacular text is the (c. 1400). Both the language used in legal texts and that used in Glagolitic literature gradually came under the influence of the vernacular, which considerably affected its
phonological Phonology is a branch of that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or constituent parts of signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound or sign system of any particular language variety. At on ...

phonological
, morphological, and lexical systems. From the 14th and the 15th centuries, both secular and religious songs at church festivals were composed in the vernacular. Writers of early Serbo-Croatian
religious Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology ...
poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its popula ...

poetry
(''začinjavci'') gradually introduced the vernacular into their works. These ''začinjavci'' were the forerunners of the rich literary production of the 16th-century literature, which, depending on the area, was Chakavian-, Kajkavian-, or Shtokavian-based. The language of religious poems, translations,
miracle A miracle is a supernatural event that seems inexplicable by physical laws, natural or scientific laws. In various religions, a phenomenon that is characterized as miraculous is often attributed to the actions of a supernatural being, (especiall ...
and
morality play The morality play is a genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Category o ...
s contributed to the popular character of medieval Serbo-Croatian literature. One of the earliest dictionaries, also in the Slavic languages as a whole, was the ''Bosnian–Turkish Dictionary'' of 1631 authored by Muhamed Hevaji Uskufi and was written in the
Arebica Arebica (, ) is a Bosniak variant of the Arabic script used to write the Bosnian language (). It was used mainly between the 15th and 19th centuries and is frequently categorized as part of Aljamiado literature. Before World War I there were unsu ...
script.


Gallery

File:Humacka ploca 2v.jpg,
Humac tablet The Humac tablet ( sh-Latn, Humačka ploča, ) is an Old Church Slavonic, Old Slavic :wikt:epigraph, epigraph in Bosnian Cyrillic script in the form of a stone tablet, believed to be variously dated to between the 10th and 12th century, being one o ...
from the 10th century File:Bascanska ploca.jpg, , Island Krk c. 1100 File:Povelja Kulina bana.jpg, Charter of Bosnian
Ban Kulin Kulin (d. November 1204) was the Ban of Bosnia This is a list of rulers of Bosnia, containing bans and kings of Medieval Bosnia. Early rulers (1082–1136) Banate of Bosnia (1136–1377) Kingdom of Bosnia (1377–1463) All Bosnian kings ...
from the 12th century File:Vinodol.jpg, The Vinodol Codex, 1288 File:Novak.jpg, Glagolitic
Missal of duke Novak Missal of duke Novak (Croatian language, Croatian: ''Misal kneza Novaka'') was a 14th-century Glagolitsa, Glagolitic missal. The letters of the missal were later used for the first Croatian printed book Missale Romanum Glagolitice. Description The ...
, 1368 File:Vatican Croatian Prayer Book.jpg, c. 1400 File:Hrvoje's missal 1.jpg, Hrvoje's Missal, 1404 File:Razvod.jpg, A page from the "Istrian land survey" of 1526


Standardization

In the mid-19th century, Serbian (led by self-taught writer and folklorist Vuk Stefanović Karadžić) and most Croatian writers and linguists (represented by the
Illyrian movement The Illyrian movement ( hr, Ilirski pokret, sr, Илирски покрет, sl, Ilirsko gibanje) was a pan- South-Slavist cultural and political campaign with roots in the early modern period, and revived by a group of young Croatia :* ...
and led by
Ljudevit Gaj Ljudevit Gaj (; born Ludwig Gay; 8 August 1809 – 20 April 1872) was a Croatian Linguistics, linguist, politician, journalist and writer. He was one of the central figures of the pan-Slavist Illyrian Movement. Biography Origin He was born in K ...

Ljudevit Gaj
and
Đuro Daničić Đuro Daničić ( sr-Cyrl, Ђуро Даничић, ; 4 April 1825 – 17 November 1882), born Đorđe Popović ( sr-cyr, Ђорђе Поповић) and also known as Đura Daničić ( sr-Cyrl, Ђура Даничић), was a Serbia Serbia (, ...

Đuro Daničić
), proposed the use of the most widespread dialect,
Shtokavian Shtokavian or Štokavian (; sh-Latn, štokavski / sh-Cyrl, italics=no, штокавски, ) is the prestige dialect of the pluricentric language, pluricentric Serbo-Croatian language and the basis of its Serbian language, Serbian, Croatian la ...
, as the base for their common standard language. Karadžić standardised the
Serbian Cyrillic alphabet The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet ( sr, / , ) is an adaptation of the Cyrillic script The Cyrillic script ( ) is a used for various languages across and is used as the national script in various , , , , and -speaking countries in , , the , , ...
, and Gaj and Daničić standardized the Croatian Latin alphabet, on the basis of vernacular speech phonemes and the principle of phonological spelling. In 1850 Serbian and Croatian writers and linguists signed the Vienna Literary Agreement, declaring their intention to create a unified standard. Thus a complex bi-variant language appeared, which the Serbs officially called "Serbo-Croatian" or "Serbian or Croatian" and the Croats "Croato-Serbian", or "Croatian or Serbian". Yet, in practice, the variants of the conceived common literary language served as different literary variants, chiefly differing in lexical inventory and stylistic devices. The common phrase describing this situation was that Serbo-Croatian or "Croatian or Serbian" was a single language. During the
Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina The campaign to establish Austria-Hungary, Austro-Hungarian Austro-Hungarian rule in Bosnia and Herzegovina, rule in Bosnia Vilayet, Bosnia and Herzegovina lasted from 29 July to 20 October 1878 against the local resistance fighters supported by t ...
, the language of all three nations was called "Bosnian" until the death of administrator von Kállay in 1907, at which point the name was changed to "Serbo-Croatian". With unification of the first the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes – the approach of Karadžić and the Illyrians became dominant. The official language was called "Serbo-Croato-Slovenian" (''srpsko-hrvatsko-slovenački'') in the 1921 constitution. In 1929, the constitution was suspended, and the country was renamed the
Kingdom of Yugoslavia The Kingdom of Yugoslavia ( sh, Kraljevina Jugoslavija / Краљевина Југославија; sl, Kraljevina Jugoslavija) was a state in Southeast Europe, Southeast and Central Europe that existed from 1918 until 1941. From 1918 to 1929 ...
, while the official language of Serbo-Croato-Slovene was reinstated in the 1931 constitution. In June 1941, the Nazi puppet
Independent State of Croatia The Independent State of Croatia ( sh, Nezavisna Država Hrvatska, NDH; german: Unabhängiger Staat Kroatien; it, Stato indipendente di Croazia) was a World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII ...

Independent State of Croatia
began to rid the language of "Eastern" (Serbian) words, and shut down Serbian schools. On January 15, 1944, the Anti-Fascist Council of the People's Liberation of Yugoslavia (
AVNOJ The Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia (, , sl, Antifašistični svet narodne osvoboditve Jugoslavije, mk, Антифашистичко собрание за народно ослободување на Југосл ...
) declared Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, and Macedonian to be equal in the entire territory of Yugoslavia. In 1945 the decision to recognize Croatian and Serbian as separate languages was reversed in favor of a single Serbo-Croatian or Croato-Serbian language. In the
Communist Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...

Communist
-dominated second Yugoslavia, ethnic issues eased to an extent, but the matter of language remained blurred and unresolved. In 1954, major Serbian and Croatian writers, linguists and literary critics, backed by
Matica srpska The Matica Srpska ( sr-Cyrl, Матица српска) is the oldest Serbian language cultural-scientific institution founded in 1826, in Pest Pest or The Pest may refer to: Science and medicine * Pest (organism), an animal or plant detrime ...
and
Matica hrvatska Matica hrvatska ( la, Matrix Croatica) is the oldest independent, non-profit and non-governmental Croatia :* french: link=no, République de Croatie :* hu, Horvát Köztársaság :* it, Repubblica di Croazia :* rue, Републіка Х ...
signed the Novi Sad Agreement, which in its first conclusion stated: "Serbs, Croats and Montenegrins share a single language with two equal variants that have developed around Zagreb (western) and Belgrade (eastern)". The agreement insisted on the The Novi Sad Agreement#The text of the Novi Sad Agreement, equal status of Cyrillic and Latin scripts, and of Ekavian and Ijekavian pronunciations. It also specified that ''Serbo-Croatian'' should be the name of the language in official contexts, while in unofficial use the traditional ''Serbian'' and ''Croatian'' were to be retained. Matica hrvatska and Matica srpska were to work together on a dictionary, and a committee of Serbian and Croatian linguists was asked to prepare a ''pravopis''. During the sixties both books were published simultaneously in Ijekavian Latin in Zagreb and Ekavian Cyrillic in Novi Sad. Yet Croatian linguists claim that it was an act of unitarianism. The evidence supporting this claim is patchy: Croatian linguist Stjepan Babić complained that the television transmission from Belgrade always used the Latin alphabet— which was true, but was not proof of unequal rights, but of frequency of use and prestige. Babić further complained that the Novi Sad Dictionary (1967) listed side by side words from both the Croatian and Serbian variants wherever they differed, which one can view as proof of careful respect for both variants, and not of unitarism. Moreover, Croatian linguists criticized those parts of the Dictionary for being unitaristic that were written by Croatian linguists. And finally, Croatian linguists ignored the fact that the material for the ''Pravopisni rječnik'' came from the Croatian Philological Society. Regardless of these facts, Croatian intellectuals brought the Declaration on the Status and Name of the Croatian Literary Language in 1967. On occasion of the publication's 45th anniversary, the Croatian weekly journal ''Forum'' published the Declaration again in 2012, accompanied by a critical analysis. West European scientists judge the Yugoslav language policy as an exemplary one: although three-quarters of the population spoke one language, no single language was official on a federal level. Official languages were declared only at the level of constituent republics and provinces, and very generously: Vojvodina had five (among them Slovak and Romanian, spoken by 0.5 per cent of the population), and Kosovo four (Albanian, Turkish, Romany and Serbo-Croatian). Newspapers, radio and television studios used sixteen languages, fourteen were used as languages of tuition in schools, and nine at universities. Only the Yugoslav Army used Serbo-Croatian as the sole language of command, with all other languages represented in the army's other activities—however, this is not different from other armies of multilingual states, or in other specific institutions, such as international air traffic control where English is used worldwide. All variants of Serbo-Croatian were used in state administration and republican and federal institutions. Both Serbian and Croatian variants were represented in respectively different grammar books, dictionaries, school textbooks and in books known as pravopis (which detail spelling rules). Serbo-Croatian was a kind of soft standardisation. However, legal equality could not dampen the prestige Serbo-Croatian had: since it was the language of three quarters of the population, it functioned as an unofficial lingua franca. And within Serbo-Croatian, the Serbian variant, with twice as many speakers as the Croatian, enjoyed greater prestige, reinforced by the fact that Slovene and Macedonian speakers preferred it to the Croatian variant because their languages are also Ekavian. This is a common situation in other pluricentric languages, e.g. the variants of German differ according to their prestige, the variants of Portuguese too. Moreover, all languages differ in terms of prestige: "the fact is that languages (in terms of prestige, learnability etc.) are not equal, and the law cannot make them equal".


Modern developments

In 2017, the "Declaration on the Common Language" (''Deklaracija o zajedničkom jeziku'') was signed by a group of NGOs and linguists from former Yugoslavia. It states that all variants belong to a common polycentric language.


Demographics

The total number of persons who declared their native language as either 'Bosnian', 'Croatian', 'Serbian', 'Montenegrin', or 'Serbo-Croatian' in countries of the region is about 16 million. Serbian is spoken by about 9.5 million, mostly in Serbia (6.7m), Bosnia and Herzegovina (1.4m), and Montenegro (0.4m). Serbian minorities are found in Kosovo, North Macedonia and in Romania. In Serbia, there are about 760,000 second-language speakers of Serbian, including Hungarians in Vojvodina and the 400,000 estimated Roma. In Kosovo, Serbian is spoken by the members of the Kosovo Serbs, Serbian minority which approximates between 70.000 and 100.000. Familiarity of Kosovo Albanians with Serbian varies depending on age and education, and exact numbers are not available. Croatian is spoken by roughly 4.8 million, including some 575,000 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A small Croatian minority that lives in Italy, known as Molise Croats, have somewhat preserved traces of Croatian. In Croatia, 170,000, mostly Italians and Hungarians, use it as a second language. Bosnian is spoken by 2.2 million people, chiefly
Bosniaks The Bosniaks or Bosniacs ( bs, Bošnjaci, ; , ) are a and native to the an of , which is today part of . A native minority of Bosniaks live in other countries in the ; especially in the region of and (where Bosniaks form a regional ...
, including about 220,000 in Serbia and Montenegro. The notion of Montenegrin as a separate standard from Serbian is relatively recent. In the 2003 census, around 150,000 Montenegrins, of the country's 620,000, declared Montenegrin as their native language. That figure is likely to increase, due to the country's independence and strong institutional backing of the Montenegrin language. Serbo-Croatian is also a second language of many Slovenians and Macedonians (ethnic group), Macedonians, especially those born during the time of Yugoslavia. According to the 2002 Census, Serbo-Croatian and its variants have the largest number of speakers of the minority languages in Slovenia. Outside the Balkans, there are over 2 million native speakers of the language(s), especially in countries which are frequent targets of immigration, such as Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, and the United States.


Grammar

Serbo-Croatian is a highly inflected language. Traditional grammars list seven Grammatical case, cases for nouns and adjectives: Nominative case, nominative, Genitive case, genitive, Dative case, dative, Accusative case, accusative, Vocative case, vocative, Locative case, locative, and Instrumental case, instrumental, reflecting the original seven cases of Proto-Slavic language, Proto-Slavic, and indeed older forms of Serbo-Croatian itself. However, in modern
Shtokavian Shtokavian or Štokavian (; sh-Latn, štokavski / sh-Cyrl, italics=no, штокавски, ) is the prestige dialect of the pluricentric language, pluricentric Serbo-Croatian language and the basis of its Serbian language, Serbian, Croatian la ...
the locative has almost merged into dative (the only difference is based on accent in some cases), and the other cases can be shown declining; namely: * For all nouns and adjectives, the instrumental, dative, and locative forms are identical (at least orthographically) in the plural: ''ženama'', ''ženama'', ''ženama''; ''očima'', ''očima'', ''očima''; ''riječima'', ''riječima'', ''riječima''. * There is an accentual difference between the genitive singular (grammatical number), singular and genitive plural of masculine and neuter nouns, which are otherwise homonyms (''seljáka'', ''seljaka'') except that on occasion an Serbo-Croatian phonology#Fleeting a, "a" (which might or might not appear in the singular) is filled between the last letter of the root and the genitive plural ending (''kapitalizma'', ''kapitalizama''). * The old instrumental ending "ju" of the feminine consonant stems and in some cases the "a" of the genitive plural of certain other sorts of feminine nouns is fast yielding to "i": ''noći'' instead of ''noćju'', ''borbi'' instead of ''boraba'' and so forth. * Almost every Shtokavian number is indeclinable, and numbers after prepositions have not been declined for a long time. Like most Slavic languages, there are mostly three Grammatical gender, genders for nouns: masculine, feminine, and neuter, a distinction which is still present even in the plural (unlike Russian language, Russian and, in part, the Chakavian dialect, Čakavian dialect). They also have two Grammatical number, numbers: singular and plural. However, some consider there to be three numbers (paucal or ''dual,'' too), since (still preserved in closely related Slovene language, Slovene) after two (''dva'', ''dvije''/''dve''), three (''tri'') and four (''četiri''), and all numbers ending in them (e.g. twenty-two, ninety-three, one hundred four) the genitive singular is used, and after all other numbers five (''pet'') and up, the genitive plural is used. (The number one [''jedan''] is treated as an adjective.) Adjectives are placed in front of the noun they modify and must agree in both case and number with it. There are seven Grammatical tense, tenses for verbs: past tense, past, present tense, present, future tense, future, exact future, aorist, imperfect, and pluperfect; and three Grammatical mood, moods: indicative, Imperative mood, imperative, and conditional mood, conditional. However, the latter three tenses are typically used only in Shtokavian writing, and the time sequence of the exact future is more commonly formed through an alternative construction. In addition, like most Slavic languages, the Shtokavian verb also has one of two Grammatical aspect, aspects: Perfective aspect, perfective or Imperfective aspect, imperfective. Most verbs come in pairs, with the perfective verb being created out of the imperfective by adding a Prefix (linguistics), prefix or making a stem change. The imperfective aspect typically indicates that the action is unfinished, in progress, or repetitive; while the perfective aspect typically denotes that the action was completed, instantaneous, or of limited duration. Some Štokavian tenses (namely, aorist and imperfect) favor a particular aspect (but they are rarer or absent in Čakavian and Kajkavian). Actually, aspects "compensate" for the relative lack of tenses, because aspect of the verb determines whether the act is completed or in progress in the referred time.


Phonology


Vowels

The Serbo-Croatian vowel system is simple, with only five vowels in Shtokavian. All vowels are monophthongs. The oral vowels are as follows: The vowels can be short or long, but the phonetic quality does not change depending on the length. In a word, vowels can be long in the stressed syllable and the syllables following it, never in the ones preceding it.


Consonants

The consonant system is more complicated, and its characteristic features are series of affricate and Palatal consonant, palatal consonants. As in English, voice (phonetics), voice is phoneme, phonemic, but aspiration (phonetics), aspiration is not. In consonant clusters all consonants are either voiced or voiceless. All the consonants are voiced if the last consonant is normally voiced or voiceless if the last consonant is normally voiceless. This rule does not apply to approximantsa consonant cluster may contain voiced approximants and voiceless consonants; as well as to foreign words (''Washington'' would be transcribed as ''VašinGton''), personal names and when consonants are not inside of one syllable. can be syllabic, playing the role of the syllable nucleus in certain words (occasionally, it can even have a long accent). For example, the tongue-twister ''navrh brda vrba mrda'' involves four words with syllabic . A similar feature exists in Czech language, Czech, Slovak language, Slovak, and Macedonian language, Macedonian. Very rarely other sonorants can be syllabic, like (in ''bicikl''), (surname ''Štarklj''), (unit ''njutn''), as well as and in slang.


Pitch accent

Apart from Slovene language, Slovene, Serbo-Croatian is the only Slavic language with a pitch accent (simple Tone (linguistics), tone) system. This feature is present in some other Indo-European languages, such as Norwegian language, Norwegian, Ancient Greek, and Punjabi language, Punjabi. Neo-Shtokavian Serbo-Croatian, which is used as the basis for standard Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian, has four "accents", which involve either a Tone contour, rising or falling tone on either long or short vowels, with optional post-tonic lengths: The tone stressed vowels can be approximated in English with ''set'' vs. ''setting?'' said in isolation for a short tonic ''e,'' or ''leave'' vs. ''leaving?'' for a long tonic ''i,'' due to the prosody (linguistics), prosody of final stressed syllables in English. General accent rules in the standard language: # Monosyllabic words may have only a falling tone (or no accent at all – enclitics); # Falling tone may occur only on the first syllable of polysyllabic words; # Accent can never occur on the last syllable of polysyllabic words. There are no other rules for accent placement, thus the accent of every word must be learned individually; furthermore, in inflection, accent shifts are common, both in type and position (the so-called "mobile paradigms"). The second rule is not strictly obeyed, especially in borrowed words. Comparative and historical linguistics offers some clues for memorising the accent position: If one compares many standard Serbo-Croatian words to e.g. cognate Russian words, the accent in the Serbo-Croatian word will be one syllable before the one in the Russian word, with the rising tone. Historically, the rising tone appeared when the place of the accent shifted to the preceding syllable (the so-called "Neo-Shtokavian retraction"), but the quality of this new accent was different – its melody still "gravitated" towards the original syllable. Most Shtokavian dialects (Neo-Shtokavian) dialects underwent this shift, but Chakavian, Kajkavian and the Old-Shtokavian dialects did not. Accent diacritics are not used in the ordinary orthography, but only in the linguistic or language-learning literature (e.g. dictionaries, orthography and grammar books). However, there are very few minimal pairs where an error in accent can lead to misunderstanding.


Orthography

Serbo-Croatian orthography is almost entirely phonetic. Thus, most words should be spelled as they are pronounced. In practice, the writing system does not take into account allophones which occur as a result of interaction between words: * bit ćepronounced ''biće'' (and only written separately in Bosnian and Croatian) * od togapronounced ''otoga'' (in many vernaculars) * iz čegapronounced ''iščega'' (in many vernaculars) Also, there are some exceptions, mostly applied to foreign words and compounds, that favor morphological/etymological over phonetic spelling: * postdiplomski (postgraduate)pronounced ''pozdiplomski'' One systemic exception is that the consonant clusters ds and dš are not respelled as ts and tš (although ''d'' tends to be unvoiced in normal speech in such clusters): * predstava (show) * odšteta (damages) Only a few words are intentionally "misspelled", mostly in order to resolve ambiguity: * šeststo (six hundred)pronounced ''šesto'' (to avoid confusion with "šesto" [sixth], pronounced the same) * prstni (adj., finger)pronounced ''prsni'' (to avoid confusion with "prsni" [adj., chest]), differentiated by tone in some areas (where the short rising tone contrasts with the short falling tone).


Writing systems

Through history, this language has been written in a number of writing systems: * Glagolitic alphabet, chiefly in
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
. * Arabic alphabet (mostly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia). * Cyrillic script. * various modifications of the Latin alphabet, Latin and Greek alphabet, Greek alphabets. The oldest texts since the 11th century are in
Glagolitic The Glagolitic script (, ''glagolitsa''; Bulgarian and Macedonian: глаголица, romanized as ''glagolitsa'' and ''glagolica'' respectively; Croatian: ; Czech: ; Slovak: ''hlaholika'') is the oldest known Slavic alphabet An a ...
, and the oldest preserved text written completely in the Latin alphabet is , from 1345. The Arabic alphabet had been used by
Bosniaks The Bosniaks or Bosniacs ( bs, Bošnjaci, ; , ) are a and native to the an of , which is today part of . A native minority of Bosniaks live in other countries in the ; especially in the region of and (where Bosniaks form a regional ...
; Greek writing is out of use there, and Arabic and Glagolitic persisted so far partly in religious liturgies. Today, it is written in both the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
and Cyrillic script, Cyrillic scripts. Serbian and
Bosnian Bosnian may refer to: *Anything related to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina or its inhabitants *Anything related to Bosnia (region) or its inhabitants * Bosniaks, an ethnic group mainly inhabiting Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of three Ethnic gr ...
variants use both alphabets, while Croatian uses the Latin only. Latin script has become more and more popular in Serbia, as it is easy to input on phones and computers. The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet was revised by Vuk Stefanović Karadžić in the 19th century. The Croatian Latin alphabet () followed suit shortly afterwards, when
Ljudevit Gaj Ljudevit Gaj (; born Ludwig Gay; 8 August 1809 – 20 April 1872) was a Croatian Linguistics, linguist, politician, journalist and writer. He was one of the central figures of the pan-Slavist Illyrian Movement. Biography Origin He was born in K ...

Ljudevit Gaj
defined it as standard
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
with five extra letters that had diacritics, apparently borrowing much from Czech language, Czech, but also from Polish language, Polish, and inventing the unique digraph (orthography), digraphs , and . These digraphs are represented as , and respectively in the , published by the former Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts in
Zagreb Zagreb ( , , , ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smalle ...

Zagreb
. The latter digraphs, however, are unused in the literary standard of the language. All in all, this makes Serbo-Croatian the only Slavic language to officially use both the Latin and Cyrillic scripts, albeit the Latin version is more commonly used. In both cases, spelling is phonetic and spellings in the two alphabets map to each other one-to-one: The digraph (orthography), digraphs ''Lj'', ''Nj'' and ''Dž'' represent distinct phonemes and are considered to be single letters. In crosswords, they are put into a single square, and in sorting, lj follows l and nj follows n, except in a few words where the individual letters are pronounced separately. For instance, ''nadživ(j)eti'' "to outlive" is composed of the prefix "out, over" and the verb "to live". The Cyrillic alphabet avoids such ambiguity by providing a single letter for each phoneme: . ''Đ'' used to be commonly written as ''Dj'' on typewriters, but that practice led to too many ambiguities. It is also used on car license plates. Today ''Dj'' is often used again in place of ''Đ'' on the Internet as a replacement due to the lack of installed Serbo-Croat keyboard layouts. Unicode has separate characters for the digraphs lj (LJ, Lj, lj), nj (NJ, Nj, nj) and dž (DŽ, Dž, dž).


Dialects

South Slavic historically formed a Dialect continuum#South Slavic continuum, dialect continuum, i.e. each dialect has some similarities with the neighboring one, and differences grow with distance. However, migrations from the 16th to 18th centuries resulting from the spread of
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
on the Balkans have caused large-scale population displacement that broke the dialect continuum into many geographical pockets. Migrations in the 20th century, primarily caused by urbanization and wars, also contributed to the reduction of dialectal differences. The primary dialects are named after the most common question word for ''what'':
Shtokavian Shtokavian or Štokavian (; sh-Latn, štokavski / sh-Cyrl, italics=no, штокавски, ) is the prestige dialect of the pluricentric language, pluricentric Serbo-Croatian language and the basis of its Serbian language, Serbian, Croatian la ...
uses the pronoun ''što'' or ''šta'',
Chakavian Chakavian or Čakavian (, , , sh-Latn, čakavski proper name: or own name: ''čokovski, čakavski, čekavski'') is a South Slavic regiolect or language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speec ...
uses ''ča'' or ''ca'', Kajkavian dialect, Kajkavian (''kajkavski''), ''kaj'' or ''kej''. In native terminology they are referred to as ''nar(j)ečje'', which would be equivalent of "group of dialects", whereas their many subdialects are referred to as ''dijalekti ''"dialects" or ''govori ''"speeches". The pluricentric Serbo-Croatian standard language and all four contemporary standard variants Ausbausprache#Interrelation of the abstand and ausbau statuses, are based on the Eastern Herzegovinian subdialect of Neo-Shtokavian. Other dialects are not taught in schools or used by the state media. The Torlakian dialect is often added to the list, though sources usually note that it is a transitional dialect between Shtokavian and the Bulgaro-Macedonian dialects. The Serbo-Croatian dialects differ not only in the question word they are named after, but also heavily in phonology, accentuation and intonation, case endings and tense system (morphology) and basic vocabulary. In the past, Chakavian and Kajkavian dialects were spoken on a much larger territory, but have been replaced by Štokavian during the period of migrations caused by Ottoman Turkish conquest of the Balkans in the 15th and the 16th centuries. These migrations caused the koinéisation of the Shtokavian dialects, that used to form the West Shtokavian (more closer and transitional towards the neighbouring Chakavian and Kajkavian dialects) and East Shtokavian (transitional towards the Torlakian and the whole Bulgaro-Macedonian area) dialect bundles, and their subsequent spread at the expense of Chakavian and Kajkavian. As a result, Štokavian now covers an area larger than all the other dialects combined, and continues to make its progress in the enclaves where non-literary dialects are still being spoken. The differences among the dialects can be illustrated on the example of Schleicher's fable. Diacritic signs are used to show the difference in accents and prosody, which are often quite significant, but which are not reflected in the usual orthography. :Neo-Štokavian Ijekavian/Ekavian : Óvca i kònji :Óvca koja níje ìmala vȕnē vȉd(j)ela je kònje na br(ij)égu. Jèdan je òd njīh vȗkao téška kȍla, drȕgī je nòsio vèliku vrȅću, a trȅćī je nòsio čòv(j)eka. :Óvca rȅče kònjima: «Sȑce me bòlī glȅdajūći čòv(j)eka kako jȁšē na kònju». :A kònji rȅkoše: «Slȕšāj, ȏvco, nȃs sȑca bòlē kada vȉdīmo da čòv(j)ek, gospòdār, rȃdī vȕnu od ovácā i prȁvī òd(j)eću zá se. I ȍndā óvca nȇmā vȉše vȕnē. :Čȗvši tō, óvca pȍb(j)eže ȕ polje. : Old Štokavian (Orubica, Posavina): :Óvca i kònji :Óvca kòjā nî ìmala vȕnē vȉdla kònje na brîgu. Jèdān od njȉjū vũkō tȇška kȍla, drȕgī nosȉjo vȅlikū vrȅću, a trȅćī nosȉjo čovȉka. : Óvca kȃza kȍnjima: «Svȅ me bolĩ kad glȅdām kako čòvik na kònju jȁšī». :A kònji kāzȁše: «Slȕšāj, ȏvco, nãs sȑca bolũ kad vȉdīmo da čòvik, gȁzda, prȁvī vȕnu od ovãc i prȁvī rȍbu zá se od njẽ. I ȍndā ōvcȁ néma vȉšē vȕnē. :Kad tȏ čȕ ōvcȁ, ȕteče ȕ polje. : Čakavian (Matulji near Rijeka): :Ovcȁ i konjı̏ :Ovcȁ kȃ ni imȅla vȕni vȉdela je konjȉ na brȇge. Jedȃn je vȗkal tȇški vȏz, drȕgi je nosîl vȅlu vrȅt'u, a trȅt'i je nosîl čovȅka. :Ovcȁ je reklȁ konjȇn: «Sȑce me bolĩ dok glȅdan čovȅka kako jȁše na konjȅ». :A konjȉ su reklȉ: «Poslȕšaj, ovcȁ, nȃs sȑca bolẽ kad vȉdimo da čovȅk, gospodãr dȅla vȕnu od ovãc i dȅla rȍbu zȃ se. I ȍnda ovcȁ nĩma vȉše vȕni. :Kad je tȏ čȕla, ovcȁ je pobȅgla va pȍje. : Kajkavian (Marija Bistrica): :õfca i kȍjni :õfca tera nı̃je imȅ̩la vȕne vȉdla je kȍjne na briẽgu. Jȇn od nîh je vlẽ̩ke̩l tẽška kȍla, drȕgi je nȍsil vȅliku vrȅ̩ču, a trẽjti je nȍsil čovȅ̩ka. :õfca je rȇkla kȍjnem: «Sȑce me bolĩ kad vîdim čovȅka kak jȃše na kȍjnu». :A kȍjni su rȇkli: «Poslȕhni, õfca, nȃs sȑca bolĩju kad vîdime da čȍve̩k, gospodãr, dȇ̩la vȕnu ot õfci i dȇ̩la oblȅ̩ku zȃ se. I ȏnda õfca nȇma vȉše vȕne. :Kad je to čȗla, õfca je pobȇ̩gla f pȍlje. : English language : The Sheep and the Horses :[On a hill,] a sheep that had no wool saw horses, one of them pulling a heavy wagon, one carrying a big load, and one carrying a man quickly. : The sheep said to the horses: "My heart pains me, seeing a man driving horses". : The horses said: "Listen, sheep, our hearts pain us when we see this: a man, the master, makes the wool of the sheep into a warm garment for himself. And the sheep has no wool". : Having heard this, the sheep fled into the plain.


Division by ''jat'' reflex

A series of isoglosses crosscuts the main dialects. The modern reflexes of the long Proto-Slavic language, Common Slavic vowel ''yat, jat'', usually transcribed *ě, vary by location as /i/, /e/, and /ije/ or /je/. Local varieties of the dialects are labeled Ikavian, Ekavian, and Ijekavian, respectively, depending on the reflex. The long and short ''jat'' is reflected as long or short */i/ and /e/ in Ikavian and Ekavian, but Ijekavian dialects introduce a ''ije''/''je'' alternation to retain a distinction. Standard Croatian and Bosnian are based on Ijekavian, whereas Serbian uses both Ekavian and Ijekavian forms (Ijekavian for Bosnian Serbs, Ekavian for most of Serbia). Influence of standard language through state media and education has caused non-standard varieties to lose ground to the literary forms. The jat-reflex rules are not without exception. For example, when short ''jat'' is preceded by ''r'', in most Ijekavian dialects developed into /re/ or, occasionally, /ri/. The prefix ''prě-'' ("trans-, over-") when long became ''pre-'' in eastern Ijekavian dialects but to ''prije-'' in western dialects; in Ikavian pronunciation, it also evolved into ''pre-'' or ''prije-'' due to potential ambiguity with ''pri-'' ("approach, come close to"). For verbs that had ''-ěti '' in their infinitive, the past participle ending ''-ěl'' evolved into ''-io'' in Ijekavian Neo-Štokavian. The following are some examples:


Present sociolinguistic situation

The nature and classification of Serbo-Croatian has been the subject of long-standing sociolinguistic debate. The question is whether Serbo-Croatian should be called a single language or a cluster of closely related languages.


Comparison with other pluricentric languages

Enisa Kafadar argues that there is only one Serbo-Croatian language with several varieties. This has made it possible to include all four varieties in new grammars of the language. Daniel Bunčić concludes that it is a pluricentric language, with four standard variants spoken in Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The mutual intelligibility between their speakers "exceeds that between the standard variants of English, French, German, or Spanish". "There is no doubt of the near 100% mutual intelligibility of (standard) Croatian and (standard) Serbian, as is obvious from the ability of all groups to enjoy each others’ films, TV and sports broadcasts, newspapers, rock lyrics etc." Other linguists have argued that the differences between the variants of Serbo-Croatian are less significant than those between the variants of English, German, Dutch, and Hindustani language, Hindustani. Among pluricentric languages, Serbo-Croatian was the only one with a pluricentric standardisation within one state. The dissolution of Yugoslavia has made Serbo-Croatian even more of a typical pluricentric language, since the variants of other pluricentric languages are also spoken in different states. As in other pluricentric languages, all Serbo-Croatian standard varieties are based on the same dialect (the Eastern Herzegovinian dialect, Eastern Herzegovinian subdialect of the
Shtokavian Shtokavian or Štokavian (; sh, / , ) is the prestige dialect of the pluricentric Serbo-Croatian language and the basis of its Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin standards. It is a part of the South Slavic dialect continuum. Its ...

Shtokavian
dialect) and consequently, according to the sociolinguistic definitions, constitute a single pluricentric language (and not, for example, several Ausbau languages). According to linguist John Bailyn, "An examination of all the major 'levels' of language shows that BCS is clearly a single language with a single grammatical system." In 2017, numerous prominent writers, scientists, journalists, activists and other public figures from Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia signed the Declaration on the Common Language, which states that in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro a common Polycentric language, polycentric standard language is used, consisting of several standard varieties, such as German language, German, English language, English or Spanish language, Spanish.


Contemporary names

The use of ''Serbo-Croatian'' as a linguistic label has been the subject of long-standing controversy. Wayles Browne calls it a "term of convenience" and notes the difference of opinion as to whether it comprises a single language or a cluster of languages. Ronelle Alexander refers to the national standards as three separate languages, but also notes that the reasons for this are complex and generally non-linguistic. She calls BCS (her term for Serbo-Croatian) a single language for communicative linguistic purposes, but three separate languages for symbolic non-linguistic purposes. The current Serbian constitution of 2006 refers to the official language as ''Serbian'', while the Montenegrin constitution of 2007 proclaimed ''Montenegrin'' as the primary official language, but also grants other languages the right of official use. * Most
Bosniaks The Bosniaks or Bosniacs ( bs, Bošnjaci, ; , ) are a and native to the an of , which is today part of . A native minority of Bosniaks live in other countries in the ; especially in the region of and (where Bosniaks form a regional ...
refer to their language as ''
Bosnian Bosnian may refer to: *Anything related to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina or its inhabitants *Anything related to Bosnia (region) or its inhabitants * Bosniaks, an ethnic group mainly inhabiting Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of three Ethnic gr ...
''. * Most
Croats Croats (; hr, Hrvati ), also known as Croatians, are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. ...

Croats
refer to their language as ''
Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also

* Croatia (disambiguation) * Serbo-Croatian (di ...
''. * Most
Serbs Serbs ( sr-Cyr, Срби, Srbi, ) are a South Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from ...
refer to their language as ''
Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refer to: ** Serbian language ...
''. * Montenegrins (ethnic group), Montenegrins refer to their language either as ''
Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refer to: ** Serbian language ...
'' or '' Montenegrin''. * Ethnic Bunjevci refer to their language as '' Bunjevac''. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has specified different Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) numbers for Croatian ''(UDC 862,'' abbreviation hr) and Serbian ''(UDC 861'', abbreviation sr), while the cover term ''Serbo-Croatian'' is used to refer to the combination of original signs (''UDC 861/862,'' abbreviation sh). Furthermore, the ''ISO 639'' standard designates the Bosnian language with the abbreviations bos and bs. While it operated, the
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was a body of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, secu ...
, which had English and French as official languages, translated court proceedings and documents into what it referred to as "Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian", usually abbreviated as BCS. Translators were employed from all regions of the former Yugoslavia and all national and regional variations were accepted, regardless of the nationality of the person on trial (sometimes against a defendant's objections), on the grounds of mutual intelligibility.Decision of 23 June 1997
''Prosecutor v. Delalic and Delic''
/ref> For utilitarian purposes, Serbo-Croatian is often called "''naš jezik'' ("our language") or "''naški'' (sic. "ourish" or "ourian") by native speakers. This term is frequently used to describe Serbo-Croatian by those who wish to avoid nationalistic and linguistic discussions. Native speakers traditionally describe their language as "''jedan ali ne jedinstven''—"one but not uniform".


Views of linguists in the former Yugoslavia


Serbian linguists

In 2021, the Board for Standardization of the Serbian Language issued an opinion that Serbo-Croatian is one language, and that it should be referred to as "Serbian language", while "Croatian", "Bosnian" and "Montenegrin" are to be considered merely local names for Serbian language. This opinion was widely criticized by Croatian government and representatives of the Croatian minority in Serbia. Serbian linguist Ranko Bugarski called this opinion "absurd" and "legacy of the 19th century linguistics". He said that Serbo-Croatian should be considered one language in a scientific sense under the "Serbo-Croatian" label, but four different languages in an administrative sense. Legally, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin are all officially recognized minority languages in Serbia. the Serbian Government also officially recognized Bunjevac speech, Bunjevac language as a standard minority language in 2018 and was approved by the Ministry of Education (Serbia), Serbian Ministry of Education for learning in schools.


Croatian linguists

The opinion of the majority of Croatian linguists is that there has never been a Serbo-Croatian language, but two different standard languages that overlapped sometime in the course of history. However, Croatian linguist Snježana Kordić has been leading an academic discussion on this issue in the Croatian journal ''Književna republika'' from 2001 to 2010. In the discussion, she shows that linguistic criteria such as mutual intelligibility, the huge overlap in the linguistic system, and the same dialect basis of the standard language are evidence that Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin are four national variants of the pluricentric Serbo-Croatian language. Igor Mandić states: "During the last ten years, it has been the longest, the most serious and most acrid discussion (…) in 21st-century Croatian culture". Inspired by that discussion, a Croatian language and nationalism, monograph on language and nationalism has been published. The view of the majority of Croatian linguists that there is no single Serbo-Croatian language but several different standard languages has been sharply criticized by German linguist Bernhard Gröschel in his monograph ''Serbo-Croatian Between Linguistics and Politics''. A more detailed overview, incorporating arguments from Croatian philology and contemporary linguistics, would be as follows: : ''Serbo-Croatian is a language'' : One still finds many references to Serbo-Croatian, and proponents of Serbo-Croatian who deny that Croats, Serbs, Bosniaks and Montenegrins speak different languages. The usual argument generally goes along the following lines: :* Standard Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin are completely mutually intelligible. In addition, they use two alphabets that perfectly match each other (Latin alphabet, Latin and Cyrillic), thanks to Ljudevit Gaj and Vuk Karadžić. Croats exclusively use Latin script and Serbs equally use both Cyrillic and Latin. Although Cyrillic is taught in Bosnia, most Bosnians, especially non-Serbs (
Bosniaks The Bosniaks or Bosniacs ( bs, Bošnjaci, ; , ) are a and native to the an of , which is today part of . A native minority of Bosniaks live in other countries in the ; especially in the region of and (where Bosniaks form a regional ...
and Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croats), favor Latin. :*The list of 100 words of the basic Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin vocabulary, as set out by Morris Swadesh, shows that all 100 words are identical. According to Swadesh, 81 per cent are sufficient to be considered as a single language. :* Typologically and structurally, these standard variants have virtually the same grammar, i.e. morphology and syntax. :* Serbo-Croatian was standardised in the mid-19th century, and all subsequent attempts to dissolve its basic unity have not succeeded. :* The affirmation of distinct
Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also

* Croatia (disambiguation) * Serbo-Croatian (di ...
,
Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refer to: ** Serbian language ...
,
Bosnian Bosnian may refer to: *Anything related to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina or its inhabitants *Anything related to Bosnia (region) or its inhabitants * Bosniaks, an ethnic group mainly inhabiting Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of three Ethnic gr ...
, and Montenegrin languages is ''politically'' motivated. :* According to phonology, morphology (linguistics), morphology and syntax, these standard variants are essentially one language because they are based on the same, Shtokavian dialect, Štokavian dialect. : ''Serbo-Croatian is not a language'' : Similar arguments are made for other official standards which are drawn from identical or nearly identical material bases and which therefore constitute pluricentric languages, such as Malaysian language, Malaysian (Malaysian Malay), and Indonesian language, Indonesian (together called Malay language, Malay), or Standard Hindi and Urdu (together called Hindustani language, Hindustani or Hindi-Urdu). However, some argue that these arguments have flaws: :* Phonology, morphology, and syntax are not the only dimensions of a language: other fields (semantics, pragmatics, stylistics, lexicology, etc.) also differ slightly. However, it is the case with other pluricentric languages. A comparison is made to the closely related North Germanic languages (or dialects, if one prefers), though these are not fully mutually intelligible as the Serbo-Croatian standards are. A closer comparison may be General American and Received Pronunciation in English, which are closer to each other than the latter is to other dialects which are subsumed under "British English". :* Since the Croatian as recorded in Marin Držić, Držić and Ivan Gundulić, Gundulić's works (16th and 17th centuries) is virtually the same as the contemporary standard Croatian (understandable archaisms apart), it is evident that the 19th-century formal standardization was just the final touch in the process that, as far as Croatian is concerned, had lasted more than three centuries. The radical break with the past, characteristic of modern Serbian (whose vernacular was likely not as similar to Croatian as it is today), is a trait completely at variance with Croatian linguistic history. In short, formal standardization processes for Croatian and Serbian had coincided chronologically (and, one could add, ideologically), but they have not produced a unified standard language. Ivan Gundulić, Gundulić did not write in "Serbo-Croatian", nor did August Šenoa. Marko Marulić and Marin Držić wrote in a sophisticated idiom of Croatian some 300–350 years before "Serbo-Croatian" ideology appeared. Marulić explicitly called his Čakavian-written ''Judita'' as ''u uerish haruacchi slosena'' ("arranged in Croatian stanzas") in 1501, and the Štokavian grammar and dictionary of Bartol Kašić written in 1604 unambiguously identifies the ethnonyms ''Slavic'' and ''Illyrian'' with ''Croatian''. The linguistic debate in this region is more about politics than about linguistics per se. The topic of language for writers from Dalmatia and Dubrovnik prior to the 19th century made a distinction only between speakers of Italian or Slavic, since those were the two main groups that inhabited Dalmatian city-states at that time. Whether someone spoke Croatian or Serbian was not an important distinction then, as the two languages were not distinguished by most speakers. However, most intellectuals and writers from Dalmatia who used the Štokavian dialect and practiced the Catholic faith saw themselves as part of a Croatian nation as far back as the mid-16th to 17th centuries, some 300 years before Serbo-Croatian ideology appeared. Their loyalty was first and foremost to Catholic Christendom, but when they professed an ethnic identity, they referred to themselves as "Slovin" and "Illyrian" (a sort of forerunner of Catholic baroque pan-Slavism) and Croats, Croatthese 30-odd writers over the span of c. 350 years always saw themselves as Croats first and never as part of a Serbian nation. It should also be noted that, in the pre-national era, Catholic religious orientation did not necessarily equate with Croat ethnic identity in Dalmatia. A Croatian follower of Vuk Karadžić, Ivan Broz, noted that for a Dalmatian to identify oneself as a Serb was seen as foreign as identifying oneself as Macedonian or Greek. Vatroslav Jagić pointed out in 1864: On the other hand, the opinion of Jagić from 1864 is argued not to have firm grounds. When Jagić says "Croatian", he refers to a few cases referring to the Dubrovnik vernacular as ''ilirski'' (Illyrian). This was a common name for all Slavic vernaculars in Dalmatian cities among the Roman inhabitants. In the meantime, other written monuments are found that mention ''srpski'', ''lingua serviana'' (= Serbian), and some that mention Croatian.Mladenovic. Kratka istorija srpskog književnog jezika. Beograd 2004, 67 By far the most competent Serbian scientist on the Dubrovnik language issue, Milan Rešetar, who was born in Dubrovnik himself, wrote behalf of language characteristics: "The one who thinks that Croatian and Serbian are two separate languages must confess that Dubrovnik always (linguistically) used to be Serbian." Finally, the former ''medieval'' texts from Dubrovnik and Montenegro dating before the 16th century were neither true Štokavian nor Serbian, but mostly specific a Jekavian-Chakavian dialect, Čakavian that was nearer to actual Adriatic Sea, Adriatic islanders in Croatia.


Political connotations

Nationalists have conflicting views about the language(s). The nationalists among the Croats conflictingly claim either that they speak an entirely separate language from Serbs and Bosniaks or that these two peoples have, due to the longer lexicographic tradition among Croats, somehow "borrowed" their standard languages from them. Bosniak nationalists claim that both Croats and Serbs have "appropriated" the Bosnian language, since
Ljudevit Gaj Ljudevit Gaj (; born Ludwig Gay; 8 August 1809 – 20 April 1872) was a Croatian Linguistics, linguist, politician, journalist and writer. He was one of the central figures of the pan-Slavist Illyrian Movement. Biography Origin He was born in K ...

Ljudevit Gaj
and Vuk Karadžić preferred the Neo-Štokavian Ijekavian dialect, widely spoken in
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
, as the basis for language standardization, whereas the nationalists among the Serbs claim either that any divergence in the language is artificial, or claim that the Shtokavian dialect, Štokavian dialect is theirs and the Chakavian dialect, Čakavian Croats'— in more extreme formulations Croats have "taken" or "stolen" their language from the Serbs. Proponents of unity among Southern Slavs claim that there is a single language with normal dialectal variations. The term "Serbo-Croatian" (or synonyms) is not officially used in any of the successor countries of former Yugoslavia. In Serbia, the Serbian standard has an official status countrywide, while both Serbian and Croatian are official in the province of Vojvodina. A large Bosniak minority is present in the southwest region of Sandžak, but the "official recognition" of Bosnian is moot. Bosnian is an optional course in 1st and 2nd grade of the elementary school, while it is also in official use in the municipality of Novi Pazar. However, its nomenclature is controversial, as there is incentive that it is referred to as "Bosniak" (''bošnjački'') rather than "Bosnian" (''bosanski'') (see Bosnian language#Controversy and recognition for details). Croatian is the official language of Croatia, while Serbian is also official in municipalities with significant Serb population. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, all three standard languages are recorded as official. Confrontations have on occasion been absurd. The academic Muhamed Filipović, in an interview to Slovenian television, told of a local court in a Croatian district requesting a paid translator to translate from Bosnian to Croatian before the trial could proceed. The
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was a body of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, secu ...
referred to the language as "Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian", usually abbreviated as BCS. Translators were employed from all regions of the former Yugoslavia and all national and regional variations were accepted, regardless of the nationality of the person on trial (sometimes against a defendant's objections), on the grounds of mutual intelligibility.


ISO classification

Since the year 2000, the ISO classification only recognizes ''Serbo-Croatian'' as a 'macrolanguage', since the original codes were removed from the ISO 639-1 and ISO 639-2 standards. That left the ISO 639-3 'macrolanguage' (a book-keeping device in the ISO 639-3 standard to keep track of which ISO 639-3 codes correspond with which ISO 639-2 codes) stranded without a corresponding ISO 639-2 code.


Words of Serbo-Croatian origin

: ''See :wikt:English terms derived from Serbo-Croatian, English terms derived from Serbo-Croatian on Wiktionary'' *''Cravat (early), Cravat'', from French ''cravate'' "Croat", by analogy with Flemish ''Krawaat'' and German ''Krabate'', from Serbo-Croatian ''Hrvat'', as cravats were characteristic of Croatian dress *''Polje'', from Serbo-Croatian ''polje'' "field" *''Slivovitz'', from German ''Slibowitz'', from Bulgarian ''slivovitza'' or Serbo-Croatian ''šljivovica'' "plum brandy", from Old Slavic *sliva "plum" (cognate with English sloe) *''Tamburitza'', Serbo-Croatian diminutive of ''tambura'', from Turkish, from Persian ''ṭambūr'' "tanbur" *''Uvala (landform), Uvala'', from Serbo-Croatian ''uvala'' "hollow"


See also

* Ausbau languages * Comparison of standard Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian * Declaration on the Common Language 2017 * Dialects of Serbo-Croatian * Language secessionism#In Serbo-Croatian, Language secessionism in Serbo-Croatian * Pluricentric language#Serbo-Croatian, Pluricentric Serbo-Croatian language * Relative clause#Serbo-Croatian, Serbo-Croatian relative clauses * Serbo-Croatian kinship


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

* * * * * * * * * (COBISS-Sr)
/small>. * * * * * * *


Further reading

* Banac, Ivo: ''Main Trends in the Croatian Language Question''. Yale University Press, 1984. * Bunčić, D., 2016. Serbo-Croatian/Serbian: Cyrillic and Latin. Biscriptality: A Sociolinguistic Typology, pp. 231–246. * Franolić, Branko: ''A Historical Survey of Literary Croatian''. Nouvelles éditions Latines, Paris, 1984. * Franolić, B., 1983. The development of literary Croatian and Serbian. Buske Verlag. * * * * * Ivić, Pavle: ''Die serbokroatischen Dialekte''. the Hague, 1958. * (COBISS-CG)
. * . * Magner, Thomas F.: ''Zagreb Kajkavian dialect''. Pennsylvania State University, 1966. * * (COBISS-CG)
. * Murray Despalatović, Elinor: ''Ljudevit Gaj and the Illyrian Movement''. Columbia University Press, 1975. * Spalatin, C., 1966. Serbo-Croatian or Serbian and Croatian?: Considerations on the Croatian Declaration and Serbian Proposal of March 1967. Journal of Croatian Studies, 7, pp. 3–13. * Zekovic, Sreten & Cimeša, Boro: ''Elementa montenegrina'', Chrestomatia 1/90. CIP, Zagreb 1991.


External links

* ''Ethnologue''the 15th edition of ''Ethnologue'' (released 2005) shows changes in this area: *
Previous ''Ethnologue'' entry for Serbo-Croatian
*
''Ethnologue'' 15th Edition report on western South Slavic languages

Integral text of Novi Sad Agreement


at Omniglot.

Radio Free Europe, February 21, 2009 * {{DEFAULTSORT:Serbo-Croatian Language Serbo-Croatian language, Dialect levelling Languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina Languages of Croatia Languages of Kosovo Languages of Montenegro Languages of Serbia Languages of Slovenia Languages of Vojvodina South Slavic languages Languages written in Cyrillic script Languages written in Latin script