This introductory chapter discusses the goals and methodology of the book. The study addresses specific controversies surrounding the codifications of the four successor languages to Serbo-Croatian: Serbian, Montenegrin, Croatian, and Bosnian. The analysis is based on close readings of the recently published works on each of the successor languages. The types of consulted works can be categorized as instruments of codification; articles and monographs by linguists from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia discussing specific linguistic concerns; blueprints for the new successor languages, or reinterpreting the years of the unified language; and articles from the popular press on language issues. The chapter also explains language as a marker of ethnic identity and language in the context of Balkan nationalism. Furthermore, the chapter expounds on Serbo-Croatian as a dying tongue.
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