Acknowledgements, We are grateful to many teachers colleagues friends and other speakers. who helped us over the years particularly to the late Prof Rudolf Filipovi who. brought us into contact with most of these valued people He organized the. contrastive grammar projects which we both worked on in Zagreb and directed. W Browne s thesis We further thank Milka Ivi and the late Pavle Ivi. professors under whom W Browne earlier studied in Novi Sad. We thank Grace Fielder for inviting us to create the present site for. inclusion in the University of North Carolina Duke University series Edna. Andrews head of the Slavic and East European Language Resource Center. Troy Williams both Slavist and computer expert and his colleague Cal Wright at. the Center who both did valiant work converting our archaic fonts into universally. readable pdf format, Bernard Comrie and Greville Corbett kindly invited W Browne to write the. Serbo Croat chapter Browne 1993 for their book The Slavonic Languages. Much of this web publication stems from Browne 1993 but has been rewritten for. clarity and simplicity Most of what Browne 1993 said about accents language. history and dialects is not used here so those interested will still need to look. there This text also includes material that did not fit into Browne 1993 because. of length limits Finally this text includes much new material. Material of all these sorts has been checked against the Oslo Bosnian. corpus at http www tekstlab uio no Bosnian Corpus html and the Croatian. National Corpus at http www hnk ffzg hr korpus htm see web resources in the. Bibliography and we hereby express our gratitude to both these corpora. Our gratitude also goes to Sasha Skenderija of the Cornell Law School. Library for letting us use the Text Samples from his short story ToFa. Table of Contents,Abbreviations 6,0 Introduction 7. 0 1 Geography 7,0 2 History 7,0 3 Dialects 8,0 4 Standard languages 9. 1 Sound system 10,1 1 Vowels and consonants 10,1 1 1 Vowels 10. 1 1 2 Consonants 12,1 1 3 Alphabets 12,1 2 Accent and vowel length 15. 1 2 1 Long and short vowels 15,1 2 2 Accents 15,1 3 Alternations 16. 1 3 1 Consonant changes 16,1 3 2 Vowel changes 18,1 3 3 Alternations from later sound changes 19. 2 Morphology 21,2 1 Noun pronoun and adjective endings 21. 2 1 1 Categories 21,2 1 1 1 Numbers 21,2 1 1 2 Cases 21. 2 1 1 2 1 Uses of the cases 21,2 1 1 2 2 Fewer case forms in plural 28. 2 1 1 3 Genders 28,2 1 2 Noun declensions 28,2 1 2 1 Nouns with a in genitive singular 29. 2 1 2 1 1 Masculine zero ending nouns 29,2 1 2 1 2 Neuter o e ending nouns 30. 2 1 2 2 Nouns with e in genitive singular 31,2 1 2 3 Nouns with i in genitive singular 32. 2 1 2 4 Nouns declining as adjectives 32,2 1 3 Pronoun declensions 33. 2 1 3 1 Personal and reflexive pronouns 33, 2 1 3 2 Demonstrative possessive and other pronouns 33. 2 1 3 3 All 35, 2 1 3 4 Interrog pronouns demonstrative and interrogative forms 35. 2 1 4 Adjectival declensions 36,2 1 4 1 Long and short endings 38. 2 1 4 2 Soft stems 38,2 1 4 3 Short and long contrasted 38. 2 1 4 4 Possessive adjectives 38,2 1 4 5 Passive participles 38. 2 1 4 6 Comparatives and superlatives 38,2 1 4 7 Adverbs derived from adjectives 39. 2 1 5 Numeral declensions 39,2 2 Verbal forms 39,2 2 1 Categories expressed 39. 2 2 1 1 Finite forms vs compound tenses 39,2 2 1 2 Simple tenses 40. 2 2 1 3 Compound tenses 40,2 2 1 4 Aspect 41,2 2 1 5 Verbs of motion 41. 2 2 1 6 Imperative and conditional 42,2 2 1 7 Active and passive 42. 2 2 1 8 Non finite verb forms L participle 43,2 2 2 Conjugation 43. 2 2 2 0 General remarks about conjugations 43,2 2 2 1 Present tenses in e 44. 2 2 2 2 Present tenses in a 47,2 2 2 3 Present tenses in i 48. 2 2 2 4 The verb to be 49,2 2 2 5 The verb to eat 49. 2 2 2 6 The verb want will 49,2 3 Word formation 50. 2 3 1 Major patterns of noun derivation 50,2 3 2 Major patterns of adjective derivation 51. 2 3 3 Major patterns of verb derivation 53,3 Syntax 53. 3 1 Element order in declarative sentences 53,3 1 1 Topic comment structure 53. 3 1 2 Adverbs and adverbials 54,3 1 3 Typical subject verb order 54. 3 1 4 Existential verbs 54,3 1 5 Enclitic placement 55. 3 1 6 Ordering of elements within noun phrases 56,3 2 Non declarative sentence types 57. 3 2 1 Interrogative sentences 57,3 2 2 Commands 59. 3 3 Copular sentences 60,3 4 Coordination 62,3 5 Subordination 64. 3 5 1 Complement clauses as subjects or objects 64. 3 5 2 Verbal adverbs verbal noun participle 66,3 5 3 Relative clauses and their antecedents 67. 3 5 4 Relative clauses and order of elements 68,3 6 Negation 69. 3 6 1 Sentence negation 69,3 6 2 Negative conjunction niti 69. 3 6 3 Agreement in negativity 69,3 6 4 Negation and infinitive complements 70. 3 6 5 Genitive vs accusative in negated objects 70. 3 6 6 Subject of negated sentences 70,3 7 Using pronouns in discourse 70. 3 7 1 Personal pronoun agreement with antecedent 71. 3 7 2 Identity of sense vs identity of reference 71. 3 7 3 When personal pronoun cannot be used 71,3 7 4 Demonstratives 71. 3 7 5 Antecedents outside of the clause 72,3 7 6 Dropping the personal pronoun 72. 3 7 7 Pronoun subjects in complex sentences 73,3 7 8 Short answers 73. 3 8 Reflexives and reciprocals 73,3 8 1 Reflexives sebe se svoj 73. 3 8 2 Reciprocals like jedan drugog 74,3 9 Possession 75. 3 9 1 The verb to have 75,3 9 2 The preposition u 76. 3 9 3 Dative for possession 76,3 9 4 Genitive for possession 76. 3 9 5 Possessive adjective 77,3 9 6 Possessor omitted 77. 3 10 Quantification 78,4 The vocabulary 81,4 1 General composition of the word stock 81. 4 2 Patterns of borrowing 81,4 3 Incorporation of borrowings 83. 4 4 Lexical fields 84,4 4 1 Color terms 84,4 4 2 Body parts 84. 4 4 3 Kinship terms 85,5 Dialects 85,6 Text Samples 89. Bibliography 92,Web resources 95,Abbreviations,ACC accusative. ADJ adjective,AG accusative and genitive,AN animate. AUX auxiliary,BCS Bosnian Croatian and Serbian,DAT dative. DL dative and locative,DLI dative locative and instrumental. F feminine,GEN genitive,IL instrumental and locative. INST instrumental,LOC locative,LP L participle,M masculine. NA nominative and accusative,NAV nominative accusative and vocative. NOM nominative,NV nominative and vocative,PF perfective. SG singular,SOV subject object verb order,SV subject verb order. SVO subject verb object order,VOC vocative,phonetic transcription. English glosses,1 first person,2 second person,3 third person. 234 234 numerals,comes from,turned into,is derived from. 0 Introduction, Bosnian Croatian and Serbian are three standardized forms based on very similar. linguistic material For many people the term language means standardized form. of a language and in this meaning we can speak of a Bosnian language a. Croatian language and a Serbian language Language can also be a system that. permits communication and in this meaning we can consider all three to make up. one language Serbo Croatian was the traditional term The non native learner will. usually want to choose to concentrate on Bosnian or Croatian or Serbian but. learning any of these actively plus some knowledge of the differences will permit. the learner to take part in the communication system throughout the whole area. This description will use the term BCS to denote what the three standards have in. common The differences in grammar are not very numerous and will be discussed. as we go along The differences in vocabulary are more numerous some will be. pointed out in the vocabulary section,0 1 Geography. 0 1 1 Standard Croatian is used in Croatia Standard Serbian is used in Serbia and. Montenegro Crna Gora presently a single country until recently called. Yugoslavia 1991 2003 Standard Bosnian is used in Bosnia Hercegovina. although some residents prefer standard Croatian or standard Serbian Serbia. Montenegro Croatia and Bosnia Hercegovina were four of the six republics of. former Yugoslavia 1945 1991, 0 1 2 Croatia has just over 4 4 million inhabitants nearly all of whom speak. Croatian Census figures are incomplete for the other new countries Bosnia. Hercegovina has a population of over 3 5 million virtually all speakers of the. language Serbia and Montenegro have about 10 5 million inhabitants but Serbia s. multilingual northern province Vojvodina includes many Hungarians Slovaks. Romanians and Rusyns and a disputed southern province Kosovo has an. Albanian majority of over one million, 0 1 3 There are Serbs who have lived within present day Romania and Hungary for. several centuries There are Croatians who have lived in eastern Austria Slovakia. Hungary and Romania for hundreds of years There are also scattered emigrant. communities that preserve the language in the United States Canada Australia. New Zealand Argentina Chile and other countries In the neighboring countries of. Slovenia and Macedonia many people speak Bosnian Croatian or Serbian as a. second language,0 2 History, 0 2 1 Slavic speakers arrived in the Balkans and spread throughout their present. territories in approximately the sixth and seventh centuries AD They settled in. small scattered groups interspersed with groups of speakers of other languages. Only gradually over many centuries did any of these languages come to be spoken. over large contiguous areas Those South Slavs who settled closer to the Adriatic. soon came under the influence of the Roman Catholic Church whereas those. further east came under the Byzantine Empire and its Eastern Orthodox Church. The cultural division between the Eastern and Western churches predated by. several centuries the formal split of 1054 Eastern Orthodoxy came to be a. distinguishing mark of the Serbs and Roman Catholicism of the Croatians. 0 2 2 In the 860s prior to the complete breakup of the two churches two Byzantine. missionaries Cyril and Methodius worked in Moravia They created a special. Slavic alphabet called Glagolitic which was very well suited to the early Slavic. sound system Disciples of theirs took the alphabet hundreds of miles south It took. root in the Adriatic coastal regions Further east the system of Glagolitic was. preserved but the shapes of the letters were revised to look like the Greek. alphabet The result is what we now call Cyrillic It came to be used by all the. different Eastern Orthodox peoples including the Serbs. 0 2 3 There were medieval Serbian Croatian and Bosnian states with shifting. boundaries In the 14th century the Ottoman Turks began to take over large parts. of the Balkans Considerable populations were displaced Serbia and Bosnia. Hercegovina were under Turkish rule for 400 to 500 years During this period many. Bosnians converted to Islam In general the cultural impact of the Ottoman Empire. was greatest in Bosnia Northernmost Serbia Vojvodina and much of Croatia. were conquered later by the Turks and broke away earlier The Dalmatian coast. was never under Turkish rule but was heavily influenced by Italian states. Northwestern Croatia did not fall to the Turks but to the Habsburgs Montenegro. remained independent throughout, 0 2 4 As the Ottoman Empire receded the rest of inland Croatia and Vojvodina. became parts of the Habsburg Empire Austria Hungary In the late 17th century. the Habsburg Empire enticed Serbs to cross over and in exchange for various. privileges populate the Military Frontier around the Ottoman borders In the early. 19th century the part of Serbia immediately south of Beograd broke away from the. Ottoman Empire and become an independent kingdom Over a century more parts. joined until by 1913 none of Serbia was left under Turkey Bosnia and Hercegovina. remained Ottoman until 1878 when it was given to Austria Hungary to administer. 0 2 5 World War I brought fighting throughout the Balkans and the breakup of the. Austro Hungarian Empire In the aftermath a new country the Kingdom of the. Serbs Croatians and Slovenes Yugoslavia was created within the approximate. boundaries of the later 1945 1991 Yugoslavia It thus included most areas. populated by speakers of Bosnian Croatian Serbian as well as Slovenian speaking. areas in the northwest and Macedonian speaking areas in the southeast Thanks. in part to internal dissensions the whole country fell to or allied with Germany and. Italy in World War II The victorious Partisans under Tito who eventually liberated. it reconstituted it in 1945 as a federation of republics that took language and. national identities into account However identity conflicts remained Slovenia. Croatia and Macedonia declared independence in 1991 Bosnia Hercegovina in. 1992 In 2003 acknowledging reality the remaining Yugoslavia changed its name. to Serbia and Montenegro,0 3 Dialects, 0 3 1 Speakers are conscious of local dialects and are able to name the one they. belong to There are three main dialects called tokavski akavski and Kajkavski. They are named for the question word what which is to or ta a or kaj In fact. these dialects differ not only in this word but in sounds accent patterns endings. the case and tense system and vocabulary Some of these differences. presumably go back to the time when the Slavs first reached the Balkans i e the. sixth century Undoubtedly the boundaries have moved tokavski now covers a. much bigger area than the other two put together It covers all of Bosnia all of. Montenegro all of Serbia except for an area in the southeast that shades into. Macedonian and Bulgarian some scholars call this a fourth dialect named Torlak. and a large part of Croatia akavski covers parts of the Croatian coast and most. of the islands Kajkavski is spoken around Zagreb near the Slovenian border. tokavski was the dialect of the first populations that fled northward and westward. from the advancing Turks and this brought it to formerly Kajkavski and akavski. 0 3 2 tokavski is subdivided into Ekavski Ikavski and Ijekavski also called. Jekavski In most of Serbia including Torlak areas people say dete for child This. is Ekavski pronunciation It is also the basis of the standard language in Serbia. Montenegro has dijete which is called Ijekavski pronunciation So does a large. part of Bosnia Hercegovina and parts of inland Croatia Ijekavski is the basis for. the standard language in Croatia Bosnia Hercegovina and Montenegro Several. scattered areas have the pronunciation dite but this is not used as a standard. 0 3 3 Note that neither the older dialect divisions into tokavski vs akavski vs. Kajkavski nor the later subdivision into Ekavski vs Ijekavski vs Ikavski correspond. geographically to the major religious cultural and political boundaries See section. 5 for more details,0 4 Standard languages, 0 4 1 Serbian Croatian and Bosnian went through language standardization. separately, 0 4 1 1 Serbia had a culturally advanced medieval state After defeat by Ottoman. Turk invaders the most famous of many battles was at Kosovo Polje 1389. Serbia experienced a period of stagnation Only the Orthodox Church kept literacy. and learning alive The Church s language and Cyrillic alphabet writings in Church. Slavonic heavily influenced what secular writing was done in Turkish ruled Serbia. and in Vojvodina which was under Austria Hungary from about 1700 The. resulting Slaveno Serbian used for literary purposes from the late 1700s varied. from writer to writer and was easily intelligible only to those schooled in the Church. 0 4 1 2 Meanwhile the Croats linked administratively and by their Catholic religion. with European countries to the north and west cultivated literature in neighboring. languages and in their own Writers on the Adriatic coast employed Latin and. Italian as well as the local language of Dubrovnik tokavski dialect and Split. akavski dialect those in northern Croatia used German Hungarian Latin and. their own local Kajkavski varieties Orthography was mainly Latin rendering non. Latin sounds by Hungarian or Italian like graphic conventions Since Croatia. manifests the greatest dialect differentiation of all the BCS territory considerable. differences existed between writing done in Zagreb or Vara din in the north and. works emanating from the coast, 0 4 1 3 Croats also had a Church Slavonic tradition Coastal and island regions. often rather against the hierarchy s wishes held Catholic services with Glagolitic. alphabet Slavonic texts a practice lasting into the twentieth century on the island. of Krk Glagolitic served secular writings too special Croatian square inscriptional. characters and cursive script developed,0 4 2 Modern standards. 0 4 2 1 In the early 1800s for Serbs Vuk Karad i a largely self taught writer and. folklorist proposed a reformed Serbian literary language based on tokavski folk. usage without Church Slavonic features He advocated Ijekavski tokavski His. 1818 dictionary showed how to write his new Serbian in a modified Cyrillic After. fifty years of polemics the newly independent kingdom of Serbia adopted his. language and alphabet though his Ijekavski yielded to Ekavski typical of most of. 0 4 2 2 In Zagreb the cultural center of Croatia since the late 1700s intellectuals. resented Austrian and Hungarian domination Their Illyrian Movement sought unity. of all South Slavs in the 1820s 1830s and hence shifted in writing and publishing. from local Kajkavski to the more widespread tokavski They introduced a Latin. alphabet system borrowing diacritical marks from Czech and Polish Discussion. continued throughout the century about which sort of tokavski to adopt. Eventually they standardized on Vuk s Ijekavski tokavski Puristic tendencies led. to maintenance or reintroduction of many words from older literature and to newly. coined domestic terms These terminological differences some grammatical. preferences and virtually exclusive use of Latin orthography lend Croatia s. Ijekavski standard a somewhat different aspect from that of Serbia Ekavski. Cyrillic and Latin alphabets and Montenegro Ijekavski mostly Cyrillic. 0 4 2 3 Medieval Bosnia shared an early Cyrillic alphabet Church Slavonic heritage. with Serbia Under Ottoman rule Turkish was the language of government The. local language was sometimes written in Cyrillic or an offshoot of it called. Bosan ica sometimes in Latin letters and sometimes in the Arabic alphabet by. Moslem scholars When Bosnia Hercegovina reemerged as a part of Yugoslavia it. adopted the Ijekavski standard and consciously used both the Latin and Cyrillic. 1 Sound system,1 1 Vowels and consonants,1 1 1 Vowels. The five vowels i e a o u may occur in any position in a word beginning middle. end Each can be long or short see 1 2 Accent and vowel length below I and e. are classified as front vowels while a o and u are back vowels. 1 1 1 1 In addition r can act as a vowel long in crn black short in vrt garden. This vocalic syllabic r is not specially marked in normal writing The. pronunciation is almost completely predictable the rule being r vowel when not. next to another vowel and in a few other rare instances. 1 1 1 2 Medieval Slavic had an extra vowel linguists call it jat Knowing its. later developments reflexes is important for understanding the classification of. dialects the difference between the standard languages and the spelling rules of. the Croatian Bosnian and Montenegrin standards Reflexes of jat vary. geographically a fact on which one well known dialect classification is based. Most Eastern tokavski dialects are Ekavski having e from jat r ka reka river. v ra vera faith this holds for the Ekavski standard Some north central and. coastal dialects termed Ikavski have consistent i for jat rika vira An area in. western Serbia has a separate vowel between i and e Remeti 1981 as do. some settlers in non BCS surroundings Other central and southern coastal. tokavski dialects have a reflex customarily described as ije in long syllables. see 1 2 je in short rijeka long vjera short the terms Ijekavski and Jekavski. are both used for such dialects They typically have i before o which comes. from l dio part but dijel in the rest of the forms of this word It is this. understanding of the I jekavski reflex which has led to the traditional spelling and. accentuation marking of the standard language of Croatia Montenegro and. Bosnia Hercegovina vj ra in a short syllable rij ka in a long It has however. been demonstrated Brozovi 1973 that standard Croatian s long syllable jat. reflex does not really consist of two syllables each with a short vowel. Contrasting alleged Nij mac from n mac German with the genuine sequence of. short syllables seen in ni j dan not one shows that ije in German is optionally. one or two syllables but in either case begins with a brief i followed by long e i. thus we here adopt Brozovi s notation rij ka Nij mac Similarly in examples with. falling accent traditional n jem Brozovi and here nije m ni m mute onje s. dictionary 2000 writes or over the entire group ije to indicate a long rising or. long falling accent on the group see 1 2, 1 1 1 2 1 A further I jekavski complication is that the short syllable reflex is e not. je after consonant r when all three sounds are in the same root hr n hr n. horseradish Compare r rje avati to solve with no preceding consonant. and raz rje avati to release when z is part of a prefix. 1 1 1 2 2 The akavski dialects are Ekavski Ikavski and mixed Ikavski Ekavski. Kajkavski dialects show varied vowel systems usually with e. 1 1 2 The consonants of BCS are shown in Table 1, Bilabial Labio dental Dental Alveo palatal Palatal Velar. obstruents,stops voiceless p t k,voiced b d g,fricatives voiceless f s h. voiced v z,affricates voiceless c,nasals m n nj,liquids laterals l lj. Table 1 BCS consonants, 1 1 3 The letters for consonants should be familiar to Slavic scholars We can add. the following comparisons with English c ts as in bats j y as in boy or yet lj l. with a simultaneous y sound as in million but closer together nj n with a. simultaneous y sound as in canyon but closer together h varies between. English h and German ch as in Bach is like English ch as in church the tip of. the tongue is raised to a point just behind the upper teeth D is like English j as in. judge again with the tongue tip raised is similar to but the entire tongue is. raised towards the palate roof of the mouth English speakers may practice. saying cheap and each and smiling while doing it is similar to d but with the. entire tongue raised practice saying squeegee while smiling. 1 1 3 1 If a typewriter or a computer font lacks writers frequently use Dj dj as. a replacement even though this can lead to ambiguities. 1 1 3 2 The Latin alphabetical order is a b c d d e f g h i j k l lj m n nj o p r s. t u v z Each letter with a differentiator follows its counterpart without the. digraphs d lj nj behave as units filling one square of a crossword puzzle for. example and follow d l n respectively The corresponding Cyrillic letters are. Cyrillic alphabetical order,differs somewhat A, few Cyrillic letters have handwritten shapes different from those of Russian. is written like i with a vertical stroke below,1 1 3 3 The alphabets are shown in Tables 2 and 3. Table 2 The Latin alphabet in alphabetical order,Cyrillic Latin Equivalent. Table 3 The Cyrillic alphabet in alphabetical order. 1 1 3 4 As the sample sentence illustrates there is a one to one correspondence. between Latin and Cyrillic writing,a i pita hod a odgovara. The little pupil asks the religious teacher answers. 1 1 3 5 The only exceptions to one to one correspondence between Latin and. Cyrillic writing are instances where Latin d and nj notate a sequence rather than. a single sound This occurs when d is the final consonant of a prefix and is part. of a root as nad iv j eti PF to outlive and when n is part of an abbreviation or.
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