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

Robert D. Greenberg


Language rifts in the Balkans are endemic and have long been both a symptom of ethnic animosity and a cause for inflaming it. But the breakup of the Serbo-Croatian language into four mutually unintelligible languages within a decade is, by any previous standard of linguistic behaviour, extraordinary. This book describes how it happened. Basing the account on first-hand observations in the region before and since the communist demise, the book evokes the drama and emotional discord as different factions sought to exploit, prevent, exacerbate, accelerate, or just to make sense of the chaotic and ... More

Keywords: language rifts, Balkans, ethnic conflict, Serbo-Croatian language, communism, language change, identity, Yugoslavia, politics, nationalism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780199208753
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208753.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert D. Greenberg, author
University of New Haven and Yale University
Author Webpage