Language and Identity in the Balkans: Serbo-Croatian and Its Disintegration

Paperback | September 15, 2007

byRobert D. Greenberg

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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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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 de...

Robert Greenberg is Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New Haven and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1991 where he taught 1991-1992. He then taught at Georgetown University and the U...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:200 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.5 inPublished:September 15, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199208751

ISBN - 13:9780199208753

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Serbo-Croatian: United or Not We Fall3. Serbian: Isn't My Language Your Language?4. Montenegrin: A Mountain out of a Mole Hill?5. Croatian: We are Separate but Equal Twins6. Bosnian: A Three-Humped Camel?7. ConclusionWorks CitedIndex

Editorial Reviews

Review from previous edition BEST BOOK IN SLAVIC LINGUISTICS 2005, awarded by the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages. liThe detailed exposition and copious citation of relevant scholarly literature in many languages, together with the eminently readable text providing a masterful summation of a unique constellation of sociolinguistic phenomena, suggest that the book will become a classic reference for those whowish to study the dramatic rise and fall of the language-formerly-known-as-Serbo-Croatian.r