Language and Identity in the Balkans: Serbo-Croatian and Its Disintegration
Language rifts in the Balkans are endemic and have long been a symptom of ethnic animosity and a cause for inflaming it. But the break-up of the Serbo-Croat language into four languages on the path towards mutual unintelligibility within a decade is, by any previous standard of linguisticbehaviour, extraordinary. Robert D. Greenberg describes how it happened. Basing his account on first-hand observations in the region before and since the communist demise, he evokes the drama and emotional discord as different factions sought to exploit, prevent, exacerbate, accelerate, or just makesense of the chaotic and unpredictable language situation. His fascinating account offers insights into the nature of language change and the relation between language and identity. It also provides a uniquely vivid perspective on nationalism and identity politics in the former Yugoslavia and itssuccessor states."The book will become a classic reference for those who wish to study the dramatic rise and fall of the language-formerly-known-as-Serbo-Croatian." Award citation
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Academy accepted According adopted alphabet appeared authors Balkans became Belgrade borrowings Bosnia-Herzegovina Bosnian language called Central century claimed considered Constitution continue controversies Croatian language Croats cultural Cyrillic debates decision dialect dictionary differences discussion Eastern ekavian English establishment ethnic exist forms four future given grammar groups Halilović identity idiom ijekavian independent Institute issues jezika joint Kajkavian language planners Latin linguistic literary language literature Matica srpska minority Montenegrin language Muslim nationalist native Neo-Vukovite norms official origin orthographic manual phonological planning political Pravopis pronunciation publication published referred regarding region rejected remained represented Republic rules script separate Serbian language Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian language Serbs and Croats single Slavs Southern speak speakers speech spoken standard language status Štokavian successor term territory tradition unified language unity University variant Vuk's Western writing writing system written Yugoslav Yugoslavia Zagreb