Sociolinguistics Lunch: Robert Greenberg

MAR 22, 2013 | 2:00 PM TO 4:00 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue




March 22, 2013: 2:00 PM-4:00 PM




Language and Identity Among the Muslims of the Balkans: The Status of the Bosnian Language

In this paper, I concentrate on the sociolinguistic status of the language of the Bosniaks in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro. While the majority of the Bosniaks in these three successor states to the former Yugoslavia have declared their mother tongue to be the Bosnian language, this language has an enhanced status in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Montenegro as opposed to Serbia. Moreover, Key decisions on corpus planning for Bosnian have emanated from Sarajevo, and the Montenegrin authorities have symbolically embraced that version of the Bosnian language. By contrast, the Serbian authorities have embarked on a separate codification of a local variety of the Bosnian language spoken among the Bosniaks of Southwestern Serbia in a region known as the Sand┼żak. These divergent language policies have resulted in the potential confusion regarding the nature of the Bosnian language; they also have significant political implications, and provide a partial explanation for an increase in tensions between Bosniaks and Serbs within the Republic of Serbia in the period since 2006.