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Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
/ˌsɜːrboʊkroʊˈeɪʃən, -bə-/ ( listen),[7][8] also called Serbo-Croat /ˌsɜːrboʊˈkroʊæt, -bə-/,[7][8] Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB),[9] Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS),[10] or Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS),[11] is a South Slavic language and the primary language of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. It is a pluricentric language with four[12] mutually intelligible standard varieties. South Slavic dialects historically formed a continuum. The turbulent history of the area, particularly due to expansion of the Ottoman Empire, resulted in a patchwork of dialectal and religious differences. Due to population migrations, Shtokavian
Shtokavian
became the most widespread in the western Balkans, intruding westwards into the area previously occupied by Chakavian
Chakavian
and Kajkavian
Kajkavian
(which further blend into Slovenian in the northwest). Bosniaks, Croats
Croats
and Serbs
Serbs
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", "Illyrian", or according to region, "Bosnian", "Serbian" and "Croatian", the latter often in combination with "Slavonian" or "Dalmatian". Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
was standardized in the mid-19th-century Vienna Literary Agreement by Croatian and Serbian writers and philologists, decades before a Yugoslav state was established.[13] From the very beginning, there were slightly different literary Serbian and Croatian standards, although both were based on the same Shtokavian
Shtokavian
subdialect, Eastern Herzegovinian. In the 20th century, Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
served as the official language of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
(when it was called "Serbo-Croato-Slovenian"),[14] and later as one of the official languages of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The breakup of Yugoslavia affected language attitudes, so that social conceptions of the language separated on 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. Serbo-Croatian thus generally goes by the ethnic names Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, and sometimes Montenegrin and Bunjevac.[15] Like other South Slavic languages, Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
has a simple phonology, with the common five-vowel system and twenty-five consonants. Its grammar evolved from Common Slavic, with complex inflection, preserving seven grammatical cases in nouns, pronouns, and adjectives. Verbs exhibit imperfective or perfective aspect, with a moderately complex tense system. Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
is a pro-drop language with flexible word order, subject–verb–object being the default. It can be written in Serbian Cyrillic
Serbian Cyrillic
or Gaj's Latin
Latin
alphabet, whose thirty letters mutually map one-to-one, and the orthography is highly phonemic in all standards.

Contents

1 Name 2 History

2.1 Early development 2.2 Gallery 2.3 Modern standardization

3 Demographics 4 Grammar 5 Phonology

5.1 Vowels 5.2 Consonants 5.3 Pitch accent

6 Orthography

6.1 Writing systems

7 Dialects

7.1 Division by jat reflex

8 Present sociolinguistic situation

8.1 Comparison with other pluricentric languages 8.2 Contemporary names 8.3 Views of linguists in the former Yugoslavia

8.3.1 Serbian linguists 8.3.2 Croatian linguists

8.4 Political connotations

9 Words of Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
origin 10 See also 11 Notes and references

11.1 Notes 11.2 References

12 Bibliography 13 Further reading 14 External links

Name 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".[16] As such, the term Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
was first used by Jacob Grimm
Jacob Grimm
in 1824,[17][18] popularized by the Viennese philologist Jernej Kopitar in the following decades, and accepted by Croatian Zagreb
Zagreb
grammarians in 1854 and 1859.[19] At that time, Serb and Croat lands were still part of the Ottoman and Austrian Empires. Officially, the language was called variously Serbo-Croat, Croato-Serbian, Serbian and Croatian, Croatian and Serbian, Serbian or Croatian, Croatian or Serbian. Unofficially, Serbs
Serbs
and Croats
Croats
typically called the language "Serbian" or "Croatian", respectively, without implying a distinction between the two,[20] and again in independent Bosnia and Herzegovina, "Bosnian", "Croatian", and "Serbian" were considered to be three names of a single official language.[21] Croatian linguist Dalibor Brozović advocated the term Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
as late as 1988, claiming that in an analogy with Indo-European, Serbo-Croatian
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’).[22] Today, use of the term "Serbo-Croatian" is controversial due to the prejudice that nation and language must match.[23][24][25] It is still used for lack of a succinct alternative,[26] though alternative names have been used, such as Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS),[27] which is often seen in political contexts such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. History Early development

Humac tablet, ~1000 AD

Hval's Codex, 1404

Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic
was adopted as the language of the liturgy. 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
Glagolitic
service as late as the middle of the 19th century. The earliest known Croatian Church Slavonic
Church Slavonic
Glagolitic
Glagolitic
manuscripts are the Glagolita Clozianus and the Vienna Folia from the 11th century.[28]

Speech example

An example of Old Croatian used in Baška tablet.

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The beginning of written Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
can be traced from the 10th century and on when Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
medieval texts were written in five scripts: Latin, Glagolitic, Early Cyrillic, Bosnian Cyrillic (bosančica/bosanica),[29] and Arebica, the last principally by Bosniak nobility. Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
competed with the more established literary languages of Latin
Latin
and Old Slavonic in the west and Persian and Arabic in the east. Old Slavonic developed into the Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
variant of Church Slavonic between the 12th and 16th centuries. Among the earliest attestations of Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
are the Humac tablet, dating from the 10th or 11th century, written in Bosnian Cyrillic
Cyrillic
and Glagolitic; the Plomin tablet, dating from the same era, written in Glagolitic; the Valun tablet, dated to the 11th century, written in Glagolitic
Glagolitic
and Latin; and the Inscription of Župa Dubrovačka, a Glagolitic
Glagolitic
tablet dated to the 11th century. The Baška tablet
Baška tablet
from the late 11th century was written in Glagolitic.[30] It is a large stone tablet found in the small Church of St. Lucy, Jurandvor on the Croatian island of Krk
Krk
that contains text written mostly in Chakavian
Chakavian
in the Croatian angular Glagolitic script. It is also important in the history of the nation as it mentions Zvonimir, the king of Croatia
Croatia
at the time. The Charter of Ban Kulin
Charter of Ban Kulin
of 1189, written by Ban Kulin
Ban Kulin
of Bosnia, was an early Shtokavian
Shtokavian
text, written in Bosnian Cyrillic. The luxurious and ornate representative texts of Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
Church Slavonic belong to the later era, when they coexisted with the Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
vernacular literature. The most notable are the "Missal of Duke Novak" from the Lika region in northwestern Croatia
Croatia
(1368), "Evangel from Reims" (1395, named after the town of its final destination), Hrvoje's Missal
Missal
from Bosnia and Split in Dalmatia (1404),[31] and the first printed book in Serbo-Croatian, the Glagolitic
Glagolitic
Missale Romanum Glagolitice
Missale Romanum Glagolitice
(1483).[28] During the 13th century Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
vernacular texts began to appear, the most important among them being the "Istrian land survey" of 1275 and the "Vinodol Codex" of 1288, both written in the Chakavian dialect.[32][33] The Shtokavian
Shtokavian
dialect literature, based almost exclusively[citation needed] on Chakavian
Chakavian
original texts of religious provenance (missals, breviaries, prayer books) appeared almost a century later. The most important purely Shtokavian
Shtokavian
vernacular text is the Vatican Croatian Prayer Book (c. 1400).[34] 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, 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
Serbo-Croatian
religious 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.[28] The language of religious poems, translations, miracle and morality plays contributed to the popular character of medieval Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
literature. One of the earliest dictionaries, also in the Slavic languages
Slavic languages
as a whole, was the Bosnian–Turkish Dictionary of 1631 authored by Muhamed Hevaji Uskufi
Muhamed Hevaji Uskufi
and was written in the Arebica
Arebica
script.[35][36] Gallery

Humac tablet
Humac tablet
from the 10th century

Baška tablet, Island Krk
Krk
c. 1100

Charter of Bosnian Ban Kulin
Ban Kulin
from the 12th century

The Vinodol Codex, 1288

Glagolitic
Glagolitic
Missal
Missal
of Duke Novak, 1368

Vatican Croatian Prayer Book
Vatican Croatian Prayer Book
c. 1400

Hrvoje's Missal, 1404

A page from the "Istrian land survey" of 1526

Modern standardization

Đuro Daničić, Rječnik hrvatskoga ili srpskoga jezika (Croatian or Serbian Dictionary), 1882

Gramatika bosanskoga jezika (Grammar of the Bosnian Language), 1890

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
Illyrian movement
and led by Ljudevit Gaj and Đuro Daničić), proposed the use of the most widespread dialect, Shtokavian, as the base for their common standard language. Karadžić standardised the Serbian Cyrillic
Serbian Cyrillic
alphabet, and Gaj and Daničić standardized the Croatian Latin
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.[37] Thus a complex bi-variant language appeared, which the Serbs
Serbs
officially called "Serbo-Croatian" or "Serbian or Croatian" and the Croats
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
Serbo-Croatian
or "Croatian or Serbian" was a single language. During the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 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".[38][39][40] 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.[14] In 1929, the constitution was suspended,[41] and the country was renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, while the official language of Serbo-Croato-Slovene was reinstated in the 1931 constitution.[14] In June 1941, the Nazi puppet Independent State of Croatia
Croatia
began to rid the language of "Eastern" (Serbian) words, and shut down Serbian schools.[42] On January 15, 1944, the Anti-Fascist Council of the People's Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ) declared Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, and Macedonian to be equal in the entire territory of Yugoslavia.[43] In 1945 the decision to recognize Croatian and Serbian as separate languages was reversed in favor of a single Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
or Croato-Serbian language.[43] In the 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
Matica srpska
and Matica hrvatska
Matica hrvatska
signed the Novi Sad Agreement, which in its first conclusion stated: "Serbs, Croats and Montenegrins
Montenegrins
share a single language with two equal variants that have developed around Zagreb
Zagreb
(western) and Belgrade (eastern)". The agreement insisted on the equal status of Cyrillic
Cyrillic
and Latin
Latin
scripts, and of Ekavian
Ekavian
and Ijekavian
Ijekavian
pronunciations.[44] It also specified that Serbo-Croatian
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.[44] Matica hrvatska
Matica hrvatska
and Matica srpska
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
Ijekavian
Latin
Latin
in Zagreb
Zagreb
and Ekavian
Ekavian
Cyrillic
Cyrillic
in Novi Sad.[45] Yet Croatian linguists claim that it was an act of unitarianism. The evidence supporting this claim is patchy: Croatian linguist Stjepan Babić
Stjepan Babić
complained that the television transmission from Belgrade always used the Latin alphabet[46]— 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,[46] 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.[47] And finally, Croatian linguists ignored the fact that the material for the Pravopisni rječnik came from the Croatian Philological Society.[48][49] 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.[50] West European scientists judge the Yugoslav language policy as an exemplary one:[51][52] although three-quarters of the population spoke one language, no single language was official on a federal level.[53] Official languages were declared only at the level of constituent republics and provinces,[54][55][56] and very generously: Vojvodina had five (among them Slovak and Romanian, spoken by 0.5 per cent of the population), and Kosovo
Kosovo
four (Albanian, Turkish, Romany and Serbo-Croatian).[54][57] Newspapers, radio and television studios used sixteen languages,[58] fourteen were used as languages of tuition in schools, and nine at universities.[54][59] Only the Yugoslav Army used Serbo-Croatian
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,[60] or in other specific institutions, such as international air traffic control where English is used worldwide. All variants of Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
were used in state administration and republican and federal institutions.[54] 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).[61] Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
was a kind of soft standardisation.[62] 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.[63] And within Serbo-Croatian, the Serbian variant, with twice as many speakers as the Croatian,[64] enjoyed greater prestige, reinforced by the fact that Slovene and Macedonian speakers preferred it to the Croatian variant because their languages are also Ekavian.[65] 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.[66] 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".[67] In 2017, the "Declaration of the Common Language" (Deklaracija o zajedničkom jeziku), signed by a group of NGOs and linguists from former Yugoslavia, argues that all variants belong to a common polycentric language.[68][69] Demographics

  Countries where a standard form of Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
is an official language.   Countries where one or more forms are designated as a minority languages.

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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
Serbia
(6.7m), Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
(1.4m), and Montenegro
Montenegro
(0.4m). Serbian minorities are found in the Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
and in Romania. In Serbia, there are about 760,000 second-language speakers of Serbian, including Hungarians
Hungarians
in Vojvodina
Vojvodina
and the 400,000 estimated Roma. Familiarity of Kosovo
Kosovo
Albanians with Serbian in Kosovo
Kosovo
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 the Croatian language. In Croatia, 170,000, mostly Italians
Italians
and Hungarians, use it as a second language. Bosnian is spoken by 2.2 million people, chiefly Bosniaks, including about 220,000 in Serbia
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 Montenegrin language. Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
is also a second language of many Slovenians
Slovenians
and Macedonians, especially those born during the time of Yugoslavia. According to the 2002 Census, Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
and its variants have the largest number of speakers of the minority languages in Slovenia.[70] 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
Sweden
and the United States. Grammar

Tomislav Maretić's 1899 Grammar of Croatian or Serbian.

Further information: Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
grammar Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
is a highly inflected language. Traditional grammars list seven cases for nouns and adjectives: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative, locative, and instrumental, reflecting the original seven cases of Proto-Slavic, and indeed older forms of Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
itself. However, in modern Shtokavian
Shtokavian
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, instrumental = dative = locative (at least orthographically) in the plural: ženama, ženama, ženama; očima, očima, očima; riječima, riječima, riječima. There is an accentual difference between the genitive singular and genitive plural of masculine and neuter nouns, which are otherwise homonyms (seljaka, seljaka) except that on occasion an "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
Shtokavian
number is indeclinable, and numbers after prepositions have not been declined for a long time.

Like most Slavic languages, there are mostly three genders for nouns: masculine, feminine, and neuter, a distinction which is still present even in the plural (unlike Russian and, in part, the Čakavian dialect). They also have two numbers: singular and plural. However, some consider there to be three numbers (paucal or dual, too), since (still preserved in closely related 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 tenses for verbs: past, present, future, exact future, aorist, imperfect, and plusquamperfect; and three moods: indicative, imperative, and conditional. However, the latter three tenses are typically used only in Shtokavian
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
Shtokavian
verb also has one of two aspects: perfective or imperfective. Most verbs come in pairs, with the perfective verb being created out of the imperfective by adding a 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 Main article: Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
phonology Vowels The Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
vowel system is simple, with only five vowels in Shtokavian. All vowels are monophthongs. The oral vowels are as follows:

Latin
Latin
script Cyrillic
Cyrillic
script IPA Description English approximation

a а /a/ open central unrounded father

e е /e/ mid front unrounded den

i и /i/ close front unrounded seek

o о /o/ mid back rounded lord

u у /u/ close back rounded pool

The vowels can be short or long, but the phonetic quality doesn't 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 consonants. As in English, voice is phonemic, but aspiration is not.

Latin
Latin
script Cyrillic
Cyrillic
script IPA Description[71] English approximation

trill

r р /r/ alveolar trill rolled (vibrating) r as in carramba

approximants

v в /ʋ/ labiodental approximant roughly between vortex and war

j ј /j/ palatal approximant year

laterals

l л /l/ alveolar lateral approximant light

lj љ /ʎ/ palatal lateral approximant roughly battalion

nasals

m м /m/ bilabial nasal man

n н /n/ alveolar nasal not

nj њ /ɲ/ palatal nasal news or American canyon

fricatives

f ф /f/ voiceless labiodental fricative five

s с /s/ voiceless dental sibilant some

z з /z/ voiced dental sibilant zero

š ш /ʃ/ voiceless postalveolar fricative sharp

ž ж /ʒ/ voiced postalveolar fricative television

h х /x/ voiceless velar fricative loch

affricates

c ц /t͡s/ voiceless dental affricate pots

dž џ /d͡ʒ/ voiced postalveolar affricate roughly eject

č ч /t͡ʃ/ voiceless postalveolar affricate roughly check

đ ђ /d͡ʑ/ voiced alveolo-palatal affricate roughly Jews

ć ћ /t͡ɕ/ voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate roughly choose

plosives

b б /b/ voiced bilabial plosive book

p п /p/ voiceless bilabial plosive top

d д /d/ voiced dental plosive dog

t т /t/ voiceless dental plosive it

g г /ɡ/ voiced velar plosive good

k к /k/ voiceless velar plosive duck

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 approximants – a 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. /r/ 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 /r/. A similar feature exists in Czech, Slovak, and Macedonian. Very rarely other sonorants can be syllabic, like /l/ (in bicikl), /ʎ/ (surname Štarklj), /n/ (unit njutn), as well as /m/ and /ɲ/ in slang.[citation needed] Pitch accent Further information: Pitch accent
Pitch accent
§ Serbo-Croatian, and Serbo-Croatian phonology
Serbo-Croatian phonology
§ Pitch accent Apart from Slovene, Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
is the only Slavic language with a pitch accent (simple tone) system. This feature is present in some other Indo-European languages, such as Swedish, Norwegian, and Ancient Greek. Neo- Shtokavian
Shtokavian
Serbo-Croatian, which is used as the basis for standard Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian, has four "accents", which involve either a rising or falling tone on either long or short vowels, with optional post-tonic lengths:

Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
accent system

Slavicist symbol IPA symbol Description

e [e] non-tonic short vowel

ē [eː] non-tonic long vowel

è [ě] short vowel with rising tone

é [ěː] long vowel with rising tone

ȅ [ê] short vowel with falling tone

ȇ [êː] long vowel with falling tone

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 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
Serbo-Croatian
words to e.g. cognate Russian words, the accent in the Serbo-Croatian
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 "Neoshtokavian retraction"), but the quality of this new accent was different – its melody still "gravitated" towards the original syllable. Most Shtokavian
Shtokavian
dialects (Neoshtokavian) dialects underwent this shift, but Chakavian, Kajkavian
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

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Serbo-Croatian
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 će – pronounced biće (and only written separately in Bosnian and Croatian) od toga – pronounced otoga (in many vernaculars) iz čega – pronounced 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 do not change into 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]) prstni (adj., finger) – pronounced prsni (to avoid confusion with "prsni" [adj., chest])

Writing systems Main articles: Gaj's Latin
Latin
alphabet, Serbian Cyrillic
Serbian Cyrillic
alphabet, and Yugoslav Braille Through history, this language has been written in a number of writing systems:

Glagolitic
Glagolitic
alphabet, chiefly in Croatia. Arabic alphabet
Arabic alphabet
(mostly in Bosnia). Cyrillic
Cyrillic
script. various modifications of the Latin
Latin
and Greek alphabets.

The oldest texts since the 11th century are in Glagolitic, and the oldest preserved text written completely in the Latin
Latin
alphabet is "Red i zakon sestara reda Svetog Dominika", from 1345. The Arabic alphabet had been used by Bosniaks; Greek writing is out of use there, and Arabic and Glagolitic
Glagolitic
persisted so far partly in religious liturgies. Today, it is written in both the Latin
Latin
and Cyrillic
Cyrillic
scripts. Serbian and Bosnian variants use both alphabets, while Croatian uses the Latin only. The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet
Serbian Cyrillic alphabet
was revised by Vuk Stefanović Karadžić in the 19th century. The Croatian Latin
Latin
alphabet (Gajica) followed suit shortly afterwards, when Ljudevit Gaj
Ljudevit Gaj
defined it as standard Latin
Latin
with five extra letters that had diacritics, apparently borrowing much from Czech, but also from Polish, and inventing the unique digraphs "lj", "nj" and "dž". These digraphs are represented as "ļ, ń and ǵ" respectively in the "Rječnik hrvatskog ili srpskog jezika", published by the former Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts
Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts
in Zagreb.[72] The latter digraphs, however, are unused in the literary standard of the language. All in all, this makes Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
the only Slavic language to officially use both the Latin
Latin
and Cyrillic
Cyrillic
scripts, albeit the Latin
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: Latin
Latin
to Cyrillic

A a B b C c Č č Ć ć D d Dž dž Đ đ E e F f G g H h I i J j K k

А а Б б Ц ц Ч ч Ћ ћ Д д Џ џ Ђ ђ Е е Ф ф Г г Х х И и Ј ј К к

L l Lj lj M m N n Nj nj O o P p R r S s Š š T t U u V v Z z Ž ž

Л л Љ љ М м Н н Њ њ О о П п Р р С с Ш ш Т т У у В в З з Ж ж

Cyrillic
Cyrillic
to Latin

А а Б б В в Г г Д д Ђ ђ Е е Ж ж З з И и Ј ј К к Л л Љ љ М м

A a B b V v G g D d Đ đ E e Ž ž Z z I i J j K k L l Lj lj M m

Н н Њ њ О о П п Р р С с Т т Ћ ћ У у Ф ф Х х Ц ц Ч ч Џ џ Ш ш

N n Nj nj O o P p R r S s T t Ć ć U u F f H h C c Č č Dž dž Š š

Sample collation

Latin
Latin
collation order   Cyrillic collation order

Latin Cyrillic equivalent

Ina Ина Ина Инверзија Инјекција Иње

Injekcija Инјекција

Inverzija Инверзија

Inje Иње

The 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 nad- "out, over" and the verb živ(j)eti "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
Unicode
has separate characters for the digraphs lj (LJ, Lj, lj), nj (NJ, Nj, nj) and dž (DŽ, dž). Dialects Main article: Dialects of Serbo-Croatian

See also: South Slavic dialect continuum

South Slavic historically formed a 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
Ottoman Empire
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
uses the pronoun što or šta, Chakavian
Chakavian
uses ča or ca, Kajkavian
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
Serbo-Croatian
standard language and all four contemporary standard variants 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
Torlakian
dialect is often added to the list, though sources usually note that it is a transitional dialect between Shtokavian
Shtokavian
and the Bulgaro-Macedonian dialects.

Likely distribution of major dialects prior to the 16th-century migrations

Shtokavian
Shtokavian
subdialects (Pavle Ivić, 1988). Yellow is the widespread Eastern Herzegovinian subdialect that forms the basis of all national standards, though it is not spoken natively in any of the capital cities.

Mid-20th-century distribution of dialects in Croatia

The Serbo-Croatian
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
Chakavian
and Kajkavian
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
Shtokavian
dialects, that used to form the West Shtokavian
Shtokavian
(more closer and transitional towards the neighbouring Chakavian
Chakavian
and Kajkavian
Kajkavian
dialects) and East Shtokavian (transitional towards the Torlakian
Torlakian
and the whole Bulgaro-Macedonian area) dialect bundles, and their subsequent spread at the expense of Chakavian
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.[73] The differences among the dialects can be illustrated on the example of Schleicher's fable. Diacritic
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.

Neoštokavian 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
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
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 Main article: yat A basic distinction among the dialects is in the reflex of the long Common Slavic vowel jat, usually transcribed as *ě. Depending on the reflex, the dialects are divided into Ikavian, Ekavian, and Ijekavian, with the reflects of jat being /i/, /e/, and /ije/ or /je/ respectively. The long and short jat is reflected as long or short */i/ and /e/ in Ikavian
Ikavian
and Ekavian, but Ijekavian
Ijekavian
dialects introduce a ije/je alternation to retain a distinction. Standard Croatian and Bosnian are based on Ijekavian, whereas Serbian uses both Ekavian
Ekavian
and Ijekavian
Ijekavian
forms ( Ijekavian
Ijekavian
for Bosnian Serbs, Ekavian
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
Ijekavian
dialects developed into /re/ or, occasionally, /ri/. The prefix prě- ("trans-, over-") when long became pre- in eastern Ijekavian
Ijekavian
dialects but to prije- in western dialects; in Ikavian
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
Ijekavian
Neoštokavian. The following are some examples:

English Predecessor Ekavian Ikavian Ijekavian Ijekavian
Ijekavian
development

beautiful *lěp lep lip lijep long ě → ije

time *vrěme vreme vrime vrijeme

faith *věra vera vira vjera short ě → je

crossing *prělaz prelaz prеlaz or prijelaz prеlaz or prijelaz pr + long ě → prije

times *vrěmena vremena vrimena vremena r + short ě → re

need *trěbati trebati tribat(i) trebati

heat *grějati grejati grijati grijati r + short ě → ri

saw *viděl video vidio vidio ěl → io

village *selo selo selo selo e in root, not ě

Present sociolinguistic situation Comparison with other pluricentric languages Enisa Kafadar argues that there is only one Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
language with several varieties.[74] This has made it possible to include all four varieties in a new grammar book.[11] Daniel Bunčić concludes that it is a pluricentric language, with four standard variants spoken in Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro
Montenegro
and Bosnia and Herzegovina.[75] The mutual intelligibility between their speakers "exceeds that between the standard variants of English, French, German, or Spanish".[76] Other linguists have argued that the differences between the variants of Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
are less significant than those between the variants of English,[77] German,[78] Dutch,[79] and Hindi–Urdu.[80] Among pluricentric languages,[81][82] Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
was the only one with a pluricentric standardisation within one state.[83][84] The dissolution of Yugoslavia has made Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
even more of a typical pluricentric language, since the variants of other pluricentric languages are also spoken in different states.[85][86] See also: Differences between Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
standard varieties Contemporary names

Ethno-political variants of Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
as of 2006.

The current Serbian constitution of 2006 refers to the official language as Serbian,[87] while the Montenegrin constitution of 2007 proclaimed Montenegrin as the primary official language, but also grants other languages the right of official use.[88]

Most Bosniaks
Bosniaks
refer to their language as Bosnian. Most Croats
Croats
refer to their language as Croatian. Most Serbs
Serbs
refer to their language as Serbian. Montenegrins
Montenegrins
refer to their language either as Serbian or Montenegrin. Ethnic Bunjevci
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
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
Bosnian language
with the abbreviations bos and bs. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia considers what it calls BCS (Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian) to be the main language of all Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian defendants. The indictments, documents, and verdicts of the ICTY are not written with any regard for consistently following the grammatical prescriptions of any of the three standards – be they Serbian, Croatian, or Bosnian. For utilitarian purposes, the Serbo- Croatian language
Croatian language
is often called "Naš jezik" ("Our language") or "Naški" (sic. "Ourish" or "Ourian") by native speakers. This politically correct term is frequently used to describe the Serbo- Croatian language
Croatian language
by those who wish to avoid nationalistic and linguistic discussions.[citation needed] Views of linguists in the former Yugoslavia Serbian linguists The majority of mainstream Serbian linguists consider Serbian and Croatian to be one language, that is called Serbo-Croatian (srpskohrvatski) or Croato-Serbian (hrvatskosrpski).[citation needed] A minority of Serbian linguists are of the opinion that Serbo-Croatian did exist, but has, in the meantime, dissolved.[citation needed] Croatian linguists The opinion of the majority of Croatian linguists[citation needed] is that there has never been a Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
language, but two different standard languages that overlapped sometime in the course of history. However, Croatian linguist Snježana Kordić
Snježana Kordić
has been leading an academic discussion on that issue in the Croatian journal Književna republika[89] from 2001 to 2010.[90][91] In the discussion, she shows that linguistic criteria such as mutual intelligibility, huge overlap in linguistic system, and the same dialectic basis of standard language provide evidence that Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin are four national variants of the pluricentric Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
language.[92][93] Igor Mandić
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".[94] Inspired by that discussion, a monograph on language and nationalism has been published.[95] The views of the majority of Croatian linguists that there is no Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
language, but several different standard languages, have been sharply criticized by German linguist Bernhard Gröschel in his monograph[96] Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
Between Linguistics and Politics.[97] A more detailed overview, incorporating arguments from the Croatian philology and contemporary linguistics, would be as follows:

Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
is a language One still finds many references to Serbo-Croatian, and proponents of Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
who deny that Croats, Serbs, Bosnians and Montenegrins speak different languages. The usual argument generally goes along the following lines:

Standard Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin are completely mutually intelligible.[98][99] In addition, they use two alphabets that perfectly match each other ( Latin
Latin
and Cyrillic), thanks to Ljudevit Gaj
Ljudevit Gaj
and Vuk Karadžić. Croats
Croats
exclusively use Latin
Latin
script and Serbs
Serbs
equally use both Cyrillic
Cyrillic
and Latin. Although Cyrillic
Cyrillic
is taught in Bosnia, most Bosnians, especially non- Serbs
Serbs
( Bosniaks
Bosniaks
and 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.[100] According to Swadesh, 81 per cent are sufficient to be considered as a single language.[101] Typologically and structurally, these standard variants have virtually the same grammar, i.e. morphology and syntax.[102][103] The Serbo- Croatian language
Croatian language
was standardised in the mid-19th century, and all subsequent attempts to dissolve its basic unity have not succeeded. The affirmation of distinct Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin languages is politically motivated. According to phonology, morphology and syntax, these standard variants are essentially one language because they are based on the same, Štokavian dialect.[104]

Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
is not a language Similar arguments are made for other official standards which are nearly indistinguishable when spoken and which are therefore pluricentric languages, such as Malaysian, and Indonesian (together called Malay),[105] or Standard Hindi
Standard Hindi
and Urdu
Urdu
(together called Hindustani or Hindi-Urdu).[106] 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.[107] A comparison is made to the closely related North Germanic languages
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
General American
and Received Pronunciation
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 language
Croatian language
as recorded in Držić and 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 the Croatian language
Croatian language
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 haven't produced a unified standard language. Gundulić did not write in "Serbo-Croatian", nor did August Šenoa. Marko Marulić
Marko Marulić
and Marin Držić
Marin Držić
wrote in a sophisticated idiom of the Croatian language 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
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. This has been used as an argument to state that Croatian literature Croatian per se, but also includes Serbian and other languages that are part of Serbo-Croatian, These facts undermine the Croatian language
Croatian language
proponents' argument that modern-day Croatian is based on a language called Old Croatian. 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
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 Croat – these 30-odd writers over the span of c. 350 years always saw themselves as Croats
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
Vatroslav Jagić
pointed out in 1864:

"As I have mentioned in the preface, history knows only two national names in these parts—Croatian and Serbian. As far as Dubrovnik is concerned, the Serbian name was never in use; on the contrary, the Croatian name was frequently used and gladly referred to" "At the end of the 15th century [in Dubrovnik and Dalmatia], sermons and poems were exquisitely crafted in the Croatian language
Croatian language
by those men whose names are widely renowned by deep learning and piety."

(From The History of the Croatian language, Zagreb, 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.[108] 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."[108] 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-Čakavian that was nearer to actual Adriatic islanders in Croatia.[109] Political connotations Nationalists have conflicting views about the language(s). The nationalists among the Croats
Croats
conflictingly claim either that they speak an entirely separate language from Serbs
Serbs
and Bosnians or that these two peoples have, due to the longer lexicographic tradition among Croats, somehow "borrowed" their standard languages from them.[citation needed] Bosniak nationalists claim that both Croats
Croats
and Serbs
Serbs
have "appropriated" the Bosnian language, since Ljudevit Gaj
Ljudevit Gaj
and Vuk Karadžić
Vuk Karadžić
preferred the Neoštokavian- Ijekavian
Ijekavian
dialect, widely spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the basis for language standardization, whereas the nationalists among the Serbs
Serbs
claim either that any divergence in the language is artificial, or claim that the Štokavian dialect is theirs and the Čakavian Croats'— in more extreme formulations Croats
Croats
have "taken" or "stolen" their language from the Serbs.[citation needed] 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 language
Serbian language
is the official one, 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 language
Bosnian language
is moot.[110] 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.[111] However, its nomenclature is controversial, as there is incentive that it is referred to as "Bosniak" (bošnjački) rather than "Bosnian" (bosanski) (see Bosnian language
Bosnian language
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 languages are recorded as official but in practice and media, mostly Bosnian and Serbian are applied. 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.[citation needed] Words of Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
origin

See Category:English terms derived from Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
on Wiktionary

Cravat, from French cravate "Croat", by analogy with Flemish Krawaat and German Krabate, from Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
Hrvat,[112] as cravats were characteristic of Croatian dress Polje, from Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
polje "field"[113] Slivovitz, from German Slibowitz, from Bulgarian slivovitza or Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
šljivovica "plum brandy", from Old Slavic *sliva "plum" (cognate with English sloe)[114] Tamburitza, Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
diminutive of tambura, from Turkish, from Persian ṭambūr "tanbur"[115] Uvala, from Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
uvala "hollow"[116]

See also

Language portal Linguistics portal Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
portal Croatia
Croatia
portal Montenegro
Montenegro
portal Serbia
Serbia
portal

Language secessionism in Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
relative clauses Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
kinship

Notes and references Notes

^ a b Kosovo
Kosovo
is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo
Kosovo
and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo
Kosovo
has received formal recognition as an independent state from 113 out of 193 United Nations
United Nations
member states.

References

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and Its Disintegration. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press. p. 188. ISBN 0-19-925815-5.  Gröschel, Bernhard (2003). "Postjugoslavische Amtssprachenregelungen – Soziolinguistische Argumente gegen die Einheitlichkeit des Serbokroatischen?" [Post-Yugoslav Official Languages Regulations – Sociolinguistic Arguments Against Consistency of Serbo-Croatian?]. Srpski jezik (in German). 8 (1–2): 135–196. ISSN 0354-9259. Retrieved 18 May 2015.  (COBISS-Sr). —— (2009). Das Serbokroatische zwischen Linguistik und Politik: mit einer Bibliographie zum postjugoslavischen Sprachenstreit [ Serbo-Croatian
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Between Linguistics and Politics: With a Bibliography of the Post-Yugoslav Language Dispute]. Lincom Studies in Slavic Linguistics ; vol 34 (in German). Munich: Lincom Europa. p. 451. ISBN 978-3-929075-79-3. LCCN 2009473660. OCLC 428012015. OL 15295665W. COBISS 43144034.  Kordić, Snježana (2006), Serbo-Croatian, Languages of the World/Materials; 148, Munich & Newcastle: Lincom Europa, ISBN 3-89586-161-8, OCLC 37959860, OL 2863538W  —— (2010). Jezik i nacionalizam [Language and Nationalism] (PDF). Rotulus Universitas (in Serbo-Croatian). Zagreb: Durieux. p. 430. ISBN 978-953-188-311-5. LCCN 2011520778. OCLC 729837512. OL 15270636W. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2015.  Lencek, Rado (1976). "A few remarks for the history of the term 'Serbocroatian' language". Zbornik za filologiju i lingvistiku. 19 (1): 45–53. ISSN 0514-6143.  Mappes-Niediek, Norbert (2005). Die Ethno-Falle: der Balkan-Konflikt und was Europa daraus lernen kann [The Ethnic Trap: the Balkan conflict and what Europe can learn from it] (in German). Berlin: Christoph Links Verlag. p. 224. ISBN 978-3-86153-367-2. OCLC 61665869.  Pohl, Hans-Dieter (1996). "Serbokroatisch – Rückblick und Ausblick" [ Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
– Looking backward and forward]. In Ohnheiser, Ingeborg. Wechselbeziehungen zwischen slawischen Sprachen, Literaturen und Kulturen in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart : Akten der Tagung aus Anlaß des 25jährigen Bestehens des Instituts für Slawistik an der Universität Innsbruck, Innsbruck, 25. – 27. Mai 1995. Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Kulturwissenschaft, Slavica aenipontana ; vol. 4 (in German). Innsbruck: Non Lieu. pp. 205–219. OCLC 243829127.  Thomas, Paul-Louis (2003). "Le serbo-croate (bosniaque, croate, monténégrin, serbe): de l'étude d'une langue à l'identité des langues" [ Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
(Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Serbian): from the study of a language to the identity of languages]. Revue des études slaves (in French). 74 (2–3): 311–325. ISSN 0080-2557. OCLC 754204160. ZDB-ID 208723-6. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 

Further reading

Alexander, R., 2006. Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, a grammar: With sociolinguistic commentary. Univ of Wisconsin Press. Banac, Ivo: Main Trends in the Croatian Language Question. Yale University Press, 1984. Franolić, Branko: A Historical Survey of Literary Croatian. Nouvelles éditions Latines, Paris, 1984. —— (1988). Language Policy in Yugoslavia with special reference to Croatian. Paris: Nouvelles Editions Latines.  ——; Žagar, Mateo (2008). A Historical Outline of Literary Croatian & The Glagolitic
Glagolitic
Heritage of Croatian Culture. London & Zagreb: Erasmus & CSYPN. ISBN 978-953-6132-80-5.  Ivić, Pavle: Die serbokroatischen Dialekte. the Hague, 1958. Jakobsen, Per (2008). "O strukturalno-lingvističkim konstantama srpskohrvatskog jezika (inventar fonema i fonotaktička struktura)" [Serbocroatian structural-linguistic constants (inventory of phonemes and phonotactic structure)]. In Ostojić, Branislav. Jezička situacija u Crnoj Gori – norma i standardizacija (in Serbo-Croatian). Podgorica: Crnogorska akademija nauka i umjetnosti. pp. 25–34. ISBN 978-86-7215-207-4.  (COBISS-CG). Kristophson, Jürgen (2000). "Vom Widersinn der Dialektologie: Gedanken zum Štokavischen" [Dialectological Nonsense: Thoughts on Shtokavian]. Zeitschrift für Balkanologie (in German). 36 (2): 178–186. ISSN 0044-2356.  ZDB-ID 201058-6. Magner, Thomas F.: Zagreb
Zagreb
Kajkavian
Kajkavian
dialect. Pennsylvania State University, 1966. —— (1991). Introduction to the Croatian and Serbian Language (Revised ed.). Pennsylvania State University.  Merk, Hening (2008). "Neka pragmatična zapažanja o postojanju srpskohrvatskog jezika". In Ostojić, Branislav. Jezička situacija u Crnoj Gori – norma i standardizacija (in Serbo-Croatian). Podgorica: Crnogorska akademija nauka i umjetnosti. pp. 295–299. ISBN 978-86-7215-207-4.  (COBISS-CG). Murray Despalatović, Elinor: Ljudevit Gaj
Ljudevit Gaj
and the Illyrian Movement. Columbia University Press, 1975. Zekovic, Sreten & Cimeša, Boro: Elementa montenegrina, Chrestomatia 1/90. CIP, Zagreb
Zagreb
1991. Spalatin, C., 1966. Serbo-Croatian
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. Franolić, B., 1983. The development of literary Croatian and Serbian. Buske Verlag. Bunčić, D., 2016. Serbo-Croatian/Serbian: Cyrillic
Cyrillic
and Latin. Biscriptality: A Sociolinguistic Typology, pp.231-246.

External links

Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
edition of, the free encyclopedia

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
language.

Ethnologue – 15th edition of the 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
Novi Sad Agreement
(In Serbo-Croatian). IKI Translate: Translating between different dialects of Serbo-Croatian Serbian and Croatian alphabets at Omniglot. Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Or Montenegrin? Or Just 'Our Language'?, Radio Free Europe, February 21, 2009 Browne, Wayles; Alt, Theresa (2004), A Handbook of Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian (PDF), SEELRC 

Links to related articles

v t e

Languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Official languages

Bosnian Croatian Serbian

Minority languages

Albanian Czech German Hungarian Italian Ladino Macedonian Montenegrin Polish Romanian Rusyn Slovak Slovene Turkish Ukrainian Yiddish

Sign languages

Yugoslav Sign Language

v t e

Languages of Croatia

Official languages

Croatian

Minority languages

Bosnian Czech Hungarian Italian Ruthenian Serbian Slovakian

Sign languages

Yugoslav Sign Language

See Also: Minority languages of Croatia

v t e

Languages of Montenegro

Official language

Montenegrin

Minority languages

Albanian Bosnian Croatian Serbian

Sign languages

Yugoslav Sign Language

See Also: Minority languages of Montenegro

v t e

Languages of Serbia

Official language

Serbian

Minority languages

Albanian Bosnian Croatian Hungarian Slovak Romanian Rusyn

Sign languages

Yugoslav Sign Language

See Also: Minority languages of Serbia

v t e

Slavic languages

History

Proto-Balto-Slavic Up to Proto-Slavic Proto-Slavic (Accent) Old Church Slavonic Modern languages Cyril and Methodius Cyrillic
Cyrillic
script Glagolitic
Glagolitic
alphabet

West Slavic languages

Czech Kashubian Polabian Middle Polish Old Polish Polish Pomeranian Slovak Slovincian Lower Sorbian Upper Sorbian

East Slavic languages

Belarusian Iazychie Old East Slavic Old Novgorodian Russian Ruthenian Ukrainian

South Slavic languages

Bulgarian Macedonian Serbo-Croatian

Bosnian Croatian Montenegrin Serbian

Slovene

Constructed languages

Church Slavonic Pan-Slavic language

Interslavic Slovio

Slavonic-Serbian

Separate Slavic dialects and microlanguages

Balachka Banat Bulgarian Burgenland Croatian Carpathian Rusyn Canadian Ukrainian Chakavian Cieszyn Silesian Czechoslovak Eastern Slovak Kajkavian Knaanic Lach Lesser Polish Masovian Masurian Moravian Molise Croatian Pannonian Rusyn Podhale Prekmurje Slovene Resian Shtokavian Silesian Slavic dialects of Greece Surzhyk Torlakian Trasianka West Polesian

Historical phonology

Slavic first palatalization Slavic second palatalization Slavic liquid metathesis and pleophony Dybo's law Havlík's law Hirt's law Illič-Svityč's law Ivšić's law Meillet's law Pedersen's law Ruki sound law Winter's law

Italics indicate extinct languages.

v t e

Dialects of Serbo-Croatian

Shtokavian

Old-Shtokavian

East Bosnian

Zeta–Raška

Kosovo-Resava dialect1

Prizren-Timok1 Smederevo–Vršac1

Slavonian

Neo-Shtokavian

Bosnian–Dalmatian

Bunjevac

Dubrovnik Eastern Herzegovinian

Užican

Šumadija–Vojvodina

Chakavian

Buzet Middle Chakavian Northern Chakavian Southern Chakavian Southeastern Chakavian
Chakavian
dialect Southwest Istrian

Kajkavian

Zagor–Međimurje Turopolje-Posavina Križevci-Podravina Prigorje Lower Sutlan Gora

Other dialects and varieties

Burgenland Croatian Molise Slavic

1 Also referred to as Torlakian
Torlakian
dialect which is transitional between Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Serbo-Croatian.

Authority control

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