Босански језик и његова инаугурација: Cудбина бившег српскохрватског или хрватскосрпског језика

Translated title of the contribution: Bosnian language and its inauguration: The fate of the former Serbo Croat or Croatoserb language

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper examines the fate of the Serbocroatian or Croatoserb language after the disappearance of the former common state for all the South Slavs except the Bulgarians in 1991 with the main emphasis on the phenomena of inauguration and promotion of the Bosnian language – one of the youngest Slavic and European languages today. The aim of this study is to present the ways of development of the successor languages of the former Serbocroat or Croatoserb language with a crucial focus on its most delicate part – the Bosnian. This language was officially inaugurated in 1996 and up today is practically spoken only by the Muslim South Slavs in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Sandžak region which is today divided between Serbia and Montenegro. However, the speakers of the Bosnian language are selfidentifying themselves as the Bosniaks, but not as the Bosnians in the ethnonational sense. The specificity of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian ethnolinguistic situation in the last two decades is marked by the fact that in this republic officially are spoken three ethnic languages (Bosnian, Serb, Croat) although supporters of the Bosnian language are trying to prove that the mother tongue for all inhabitants of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Sandžak (Raška) region is only Bosnian one. A specific position of the Bosnian language among all Slavic languages is visible and in the fact that its name is different from the name of the state (Bosnia-Herzegovina) in which is spoken as well as from the name of a nation who speak it (Bosniaks). From linguistic point of view, the
Croatian, Bosnian, Montenegrin and Serbian languages after the dissolution of the Socialist Yugoslavia still today consider one linguistic system, but from sociolinguistic point we can speak about four internationally recognized separate and independent languages. It is a matter of “linguistic engineering” to make in the future more factual differences between these four up today only de jure separate languages in syntax, vocabulary, orthography and grammar rules in order that they will become in reality and de facto different languages. The fact is that today all three emerging languages (Bosnian, Serb, Croat) on ruins of the ex-Serbocroat or Croatoserb language in Bosnia- Herzegovina are standardized on the basis of the ijekavian dialect that is a common component which still connects them into a single linguistic system. However, it is expected that in the future a technology of “linguistic engineering” is going to be focused on the creation of “ethnic” differences within this common dialect. It will be difficult, but not utterly unmanageable, work. In this short analysis of a sociolinguistic aspect of disappearance of the former Yugoslavia, with emphasis on the phenomenon of the inauguration of the Bosnian language, in order to realize our research goal we used the comparative method and the method of analysis of the text as a form of sociolinguistic penetration into the role and function of the language in the creation of the national identity and the nation- state boundaries. In addition, we also used a method of the mutual complement of the data from the sources and literature.
Original languageOther
Pages (from-to)47-61
JournalSustainable multilingualism = Darnioji daugiakalbystė
Publication statusPublished - 2013



  • Serbocroat language
  • Croatoserb language
  • Bosnian language

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