Vernacular We Speak in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Dublin Core


Vernacular We Speak in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Bujak, Samra
Akbarov, Azamat


Bosnian language has long been, and continues to be, a sensitive question to discuss about. This paper will present the language history of Bosnia and Herzegovina, introduce some linguistic features such as high and low variety of Bosnian language, codification, pragmatics, prestige etc. Issues that affected and are affected by the standardization of Bosnian as individual language. I will also discuss about how much politics affected language in Bosnia and Herzegovina. How much war in Bosnia affected the progress of language? All of these issues will be presented throughout this paper. Serbo-Croatian, less commonly Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian (BCMS), is a South Slavic language and the primary language of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Because it has four standard variants, it is a pluricentric language. The language was standardized in the mid 19th century, decades before a Yugoslav state was established. From the very beginning, it has had pluricentric standardization. Croats and Serbs differ in religion and have historically lived under different empires, and have adopted slightly different literary forms as their respective standard variants. Since independence, Bosnian has likewise been established as an official standard in Bosnia and Herzegovina. All four standard variants are based on the same dialect (҆tokavian). In the 20th century, Serbo-Croatian had served as the official language of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (as "Yugoslavian"), and later as one of the official languages of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The dissolution of Yugoslavia affected language attitudes, so that social conceptions of the language separated on ethnic and political lines. Bosnian is a standardized register of the Serbo-Croatian language, a South Slavic language, spoken by Bosnians. As a standardized form of the Shtokavian dialect, it is one of the three official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The same subdialect of Shtokavian is also the basis of standard Croatian and Serbian, as well as Montenegrin, so all are mutually intelligible. Until the dissolution of SFR Yugoslavia, they were treated as a unitary Serbo-Croatian language, and that term is still used in English to subsume the common base (vocabulary, grammar and syntax) of what are today officially four national standards, although the term is no longer used by native speakers.


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