|Native to||Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia (Vojvodina), Montenegro, Romania (Caraș-Severin County), Slovenia, and diaspora|
|5.5 million (2001–2004)|
|Latin (Gaj's alphabet)
Official language in
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Recognised minority language in
Austria (in Burgenland)
Hungary (in Baranya County)
Italy (in Molise)
Romania (in Carașova, Lupac)
|Regulated by||Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics|
|Linguasphere||part of 53-AAA-g|
Traditional extent of Serbo-Croatian dialects in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina
|South Slavic languages and dialects|
Croatian (hrvatski) is the standardized variety of the Serbo-Croatian language used by Croats, principally in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian province of Vojvodina and other neighbouring countries. It is the official and literary standard of Croatia and one of the official languages of the European Union. Croatian is also one of the official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina and neighbouring countries.
Standard Croatian is based on the most widespread dialect of Serbo-Croatian, Shtokavian, more specifically on Eastern Herzegovinian, which is also the basis of Standard Serbian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin. All other Serbo-Croatian dialects are also spoken by ethnic Croats (Chakavian, Kajkavian, and Torlakian (by the Krashovani)). These four dialects, and the four national standards, are usually subsumed under the term "Serbo-Croatian" in English, though this term is controversial for native speakers, and paraphrases such as "Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian" are therefore sometimes used instead, especially in diplomatic circles.
In the mid-18th the first attempts to provide a Croatian literary standard began on the basis of Neo-Shtokavian dialect which served as a supraregional lingua franca pushing back regional vernaculars in Chakavian, Kajkavian and Shtokavian. The decisive role was played by Croatian Vukovians which in the late 19th and the beginning of the 20th century cemented the usage of Ijekavian Neo-Shtokavian as a literary standard, as well as phonological orthography.
Modern language and standardization
In the late medieval period up to the 17th century, the majority of semi-autonomous Croatia was ruled by two domestic dynasties of princes (banovi), the Zrinski and the Frankopan, which were linked by inter-marriage. Toward the 17th century, both of them attempted to unify Croatia both culturally and linguistically, writing in a mixture of all three principal dialects (Chakavian, Kajkavian and Shtokavian), and calling it "Croatian", "Dalmatian", or "Slavonian". It is still used now in parts of Istria, which became a crossroads of various mixtures of Chakavian with Ekavian/Ijekavian/Ikavian dialects.
The most standardized form (Kajkavian-Ikavian) became the cultivated language of administration and intellectuals from the Istrian peninsula along the Croatian coast, across central Croatia up into the northern valleys of the Drava and the Mura. The cultural apex of this 17th century idiom is represented by the editions of "Adrianskoga mora sirena" ("Siren of Adriatic Sea") by Petar Zrinski and "Putni tovaruš" ("Traveling escort") by Katarina Zrinska.
However, this first linguistic renaissance in Croatia was halted by the political execution of Petar Zrinski and Fran Krsto Frankopan by the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I in Vienna in 1671. Subsequently the Croatian elite in the 18th century gradually abandoned this combined Croatian standard, and after an Austrian initiative of 1850, it was replaced by the uniform Neo-Shtokavian.
The Illyrian movement was a 19th-century pan-South Slavic political and cultural movement in Croatia that had the goal to standardize the regionally differentiated and orthographically inconsistent literary languages in Croatia, and finally merge them into a common South Slavic literary language. Specifically, three major groups of dialects were spoken on Croatian territory, and there had been several literary languages over four centuries. The leader of the Illyrian movement Ljudevit Gaj standardized the Latin alphabet in 1830–1850 and worked to bring about a standardized orthography. Although based in Kajkavian-speaking Zagreb, Gaj supported using the more populous Neo-Shtokavian – a version of Shtokavian that eventually became the predominant dialectal basis of both Croatian and Serbian literary language from the 19th century on. Supported by various South Slavic proponents, Neo-Shtokavian was adopted at the Vienna Literary Agreement of 1850, laying the foundation for the unified Serbo-Croatian literary language.
Differences between Standard Croatian and Standard Serbian and Bosnian
Croatian, although technically a form of Serbo-Croatian, is sometimes considered a distinct language by itself. Purely linguistic considerations of languages based on mutual intelligibility (abstand languages) are frequently incompatible with sociopolitical conceptions of language, so that varieties that are mutually intelligible may be designated separate languages. Along these lines, the various standard forms of Serbo-Croatian, whose differences are often exaggerated for political reasons., and many Croats and even Croatian linguists regard Croatian as a separate language that is considered key to national identity. Croatian is the only standardized variety exclusively in the Latin script (the others are also written in Cyrillic). The rejection of the term "Serbo-Croatian" as a cover term for all these forms is often based on the argument that the official language in Yugoslavia, a standardized form of Serbo-Croatian, was "artificial" or a political tool used to combine two distinct people. Within ex-Yugoslavia, the term has largely been replaced by the ethnic terms Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian. These have been used as language names historically as well, though not always distinctively; the Croatian–Hungarian Agreement, for example, designated "Croatian" as one of its official languages, and Croatian became an official EU language upon accession of Croatia to the EU on 1 July 2013. In 2013, the EU started publishing a Croatian language version of its official gazette.
Standard Croatian is the official language of the Republic of Croatia and, along with Standard Bosnian and Standard Serbian, one of three official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is also official in the regions of Burgenland (Austria), Molise (Italy) and Vojvodina (Serbia). Additionally, it has co-official status alongside Romanian in the communes of Carașova and Lupac, Romania. In these localities, Croats or Krashovani make up the majority of the population, and education, signage and access to public administration and the justice system are provided in Croatian, alongside Romanian. There are eight Croatian language universities in the world: the universities of Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek, Zadar, Dubrovnik, Pula, and Mostar.
There is regulatory body that determines the proper usage of Croatian. The current standard language is generally laid out in the grammar books and dictionaries used in education, such as the school curriculum prescribed by the Ministry of Education and the university programmes of the Faculty of Philosophy at the four main universities. Attempts are being made to revive Croatian literature in Italy. The most prominent recent editions describing the Croatian standard language are:
- Hrvatski pravopis by the Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics, available online
- Rječnik hrvatskoga jezika by Anić
- Rječnik hrvatskoga jezika by Šonje et al
- Hrvatski enciklopedijski rječnik, by a group of authors
- Hrvatska gramatika by Barić et al.
Also notable are the recommendations of Matica hrvatska, the national publisher and promoter of Croatian heritage, and the Lexicographical institute Miroslav Krleža, as well as the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
Numerous representative Croatian linguistic works were published since the independence of Croatia, among them three voluminous monolingual dictionaries of contemporary Croatian.
- Croatian Language Corpus
- Croatian National Corpus
- Days of the Croatian Language
- Language secessionism in Serbo-Croatian
- Mutual intelligibility
- Dialects of Serbo-Croatian
- Pluricentric Serbo-Croatian language
- Croatian at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- "Linguistic Lineage for Croatian". Ethnologue.com. Retrieved 2010-01-26.
- "Serbo-Croatian". Ethnologue.com. Retrieved 2010-04-24.
The official language of Croatia is Croatian (Serbo-Croatian). [...] The same language is referred to by different names, Serbian (srpski), Serbo-Croat (in Croatia: hrvatsko-srpski), Bosnian (bosanski), based on political and ethnic grounds. [...] the language that used to be officially called Serbo-Croat has gotten several new ethnically and politically based names. Thus, the names Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian are politically determined and refer to the same language with possible slight variations. ("Croatia: Language Situation", in Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2 ed., 2006.)
- David Dalby, Linguasphere (1999/2000, Linguasphere Observatory), pg. 445, 53-AAA-g, "Srpski+Hrvatski, Serbo-Croatian".
- Benjamin W. Fortson IV, Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, 2nd ed. (2010, Blackwell), pg. 431, "Because of their mutual intelligibility, Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian are usually thought of as constituting one language called Serbo-Croatian."
- Václav Blažek, "On the Internal Classification of Indo-European Languages: Survey" retrieved 20 Oct 2010, pp. 15–16.
- E.C. Hawkesworth, "Serbian-Croatian-Bosnian Linguistic Complex", in the Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd edition, 2006.
- Radio Free Europe – Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Or Montenegrin? Or Just 'Our Language'? Živko Bjelanović: Similar, But Different, Feb 21, 2009, accessed Oct 8, 2010
- Bičanić et al. (2013:55)
- Bičanić et al. (2013:84)
- "Croatia: Themes, Authors, Books | Yale University Library Slavic and East European Collection". Library.yale.edu. 2009-11-16. Retrieved 2010-10-27.
- Gazi, Stephen (1973). A History of Croatia. New York: Philosophical library. ISBN 978-0-8022-2108-7.
- Van Antwerp Fine, John (2006). When Ethnicity did not Matter in the Balkans. Michigan, USA: University of Michigan Press. pp. 377–379. ISBN 978-0-472-11414-6.
- Kalsbeek, Janneke (1998). "The Čakavian dialect of Orbanići near Žminj in Istria". Studies in Slavic and General Linguistics (Rodopi) 25.
- "Matica Hrvatska - Dva brata i jedna Sirena". Retrieved 9 March 2012.
- "Matica Hrvatska - Putni tovaruš - izvornik (I.)". Retrieved 9 March 2012.
- Tanner, Marcus (1997). Croatia: a Nation Forged in War. New Haven, USA: Yale University Press. p. 50. ISBN 0-300-06933-2.
- Malić, Dragica (1997). Razvoj hrvatskog književnog jezika. ISBN 953-0-40010-1.
- Uzelac, Gordana (2006). The development of the Croatian nation: an historical and sociological analysis. New York: Edwin Mellen Press. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-7734-5791-1.
- Cvetkovic, Ljudmila. "Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Or Montenegrin? Or Just 'Our Language'? – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2010". Rferl.org. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
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- Snježana Ramljak; Library of the Croatian Parliament, Zagreb, Croatia (June 2008). ""Jezično" pristupanje Hrvatske Europskoj Uniji: prevođenje pravne stečevine i europsko nazivlje" [The Accession of the Croatian Language to the European Union: Translation of the Acquis Communautaire and European Legal Terminology]. Croatian Political Science Review (in Serbo-Croatian) (Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb) 45 (1). ISSN 0032-3241. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
- David Crystal "Language Death", Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 11, 12
- "Vandoren: EU membership – challenge and chance for Croatia – Daily – tportal.hr". Daily.tportal.hr. 2010-09-30. Retrieved 2010-10-27.
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- "Službeni list Europske unije" [Official Gazette of the European Union] (in Croatian). European Union. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
- "Croatia". Cia.gov. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
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- Bičanić, Ante; Frančić, Anđela; Hudeček, Lana; Mihaljević, Milica (2013), Pregled povijesti, gramatike i pravopisa hrvatskog jezika (in Croatian), Croatica
- Banac, Ivo: Main Trends in the Croatian Language Question, YUP 1984
- Blum, Daniel (2002). Sprache und Politik : Sprachpolitik und Sprachnationalismus in der Republik Indien und dem sozialistischen Jugoslawien (1945-1991) [Language and Policy: Language Policy and Linguistic Nationalism in the Republic of India and the Socialist Yugoslavia (1945-1991)]. Beiträge zur Südasienforschung ; vol. 192 (in German). Würzburg: Ergon. p. 200. ISBN 3-89913-253-X. OCLC 51961066.
- Franolić, Branko: A Historical Survey of Literary Croatian, Nouvelles Editions Latines, 1984
- Franolić, Branko: A Bibliography of Croatian Dictionaries, Paris, Nouvelles Editions Latines, 1985 139p
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- Franolić, Branko and Mateo Žagar: A Historical Outline of Literary Croatian & The Glagolitic Heritage of Croatian Culture, Erasmus & CSYPN, London & Zagreb 2008 ISBN 978-953-6132-80-5
- Greenberg, Robert David (2004). Language and identity in the Balkans: Serbo-Croatian and its disintegration. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-925815-4. (reprinted in 2008 as ISBN 978-0-19-920875-3)
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- Kačić, Miro: Croatian and Serbian: Delusions and Distortions, Novi Most, Zagreb 1997
- Kordić, Snježana (2010). Jezik i nacionalizam [Language and Nationalism]. Rotulus Universitas (in Croatian). Zagreb: Durieux. p. 430. ISBN 978-953-188-311-5. LCCN 2011520778. OCLC 729837512. OL 15270636W. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- Moguš, Milan: A History of the Croatian Language, NZ Globus, 1995
- Težak, Stjepko: "Hrvatski naš (ne)zaboravljeni" [Croatian, our (un)forgotten language], 301 p., knjižnica Hrvatski naš svagdašnji (knj. 1), Tipex, Zagreb, 1999, ISBN 953-6022-35-4 (Croatian)
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (April 2010)|
|Croatian edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Croatian language.|
|Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Croatian|
|For a list of words relating to Croatian language, see the Croatian language category of words in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Croatian Swadesh list of basic vocabulary words (from Wiktionary's Swadesh-list appendix)
- EUdict – online dictionary – translation from Croatian into many languages and vice versa
- Croatian Language Corpus
- Croatian Language Portal (Croatian)
- Croatian Language E-Learning Center
- Croatian Old Dictionary Portal
- Croatian Glagolitic Script
- Croatian Cyrillic Script
- Croatian Glagolitic Manuscripts held outside of Croatia
- The Croatian Language Today, a lecture given by dr. Branko Franolić
- History of Croatian Dictionaries and Grammar books at Yale University Library – Slavic and East European Collection