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Linguistic nationalism: The case of Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian



报告题目Linguistic nationalism: The case of Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian

人:Vesna Požgaj Hadži University of Ljubljana







Turbulent social and political circumstances in the Western South Slavic language area caused the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the formation of new countries in the 1990s, which, consequently, had a major influence on the change of language status and on changes in the languages themselves. The result of these events was the “death” of the prestigious Serbo-Croatian language and the emergence of new standard languages based on the Štokavian dialect (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and Montenegrin). Following a short description of the linguistic identity of the Serbo-Croatian language, this lecture reveals how the language was nationalised in the newly-formed states after 1991 (in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro). At that time a symbolic (and not communicative) function of language was in the foreground along with the language status (national language naming and language affirmation). Language is a means of connecting with the national identity that the advocates of nationalist politics used to promote their political ideologies by enforcing linguistic changes with the aim of creating as many differences as possible between Our language and Their language.


Vesna Požgaj Hadži is Full Professor of Croatian at the Department of Slavistics, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Throughout her academic and scientific career her main research interests have been the Croatian standard language and methodology of teaching Croatian as a foreign / second language, as well as the contrastive research of Croatian and Slovenian and the sociolinguistic studies of the South Slavic languages. Her publications include several monographs, four coursebooks and more than 200 research articles and reviews in journals and collective volumes.

She has also carried out a number of bilateral projects between Slovenia and the newly‑established states of former Yugoslavia, the results of which were published in two renowned monographs. In 2009 she was a co-editor of the monograph Med politiko in stvarnostjo: jezikovna situacija v novonastalih državah bivše Jugoslavije [Between Politics and Reality: Language Situation in the Newly Established States of Former Yugoslavia], and in 2013 she edited the monograph Jezik između lingvistike i politike [Language Between Linguistics and Policy].


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