History of the Macedonian language
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Standard Macedonian was adopted as an official language in August 1944 by a provisional government run by the Anti-Fascist Assembly for the National Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM) when it declared the formation of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia—a constituent state within the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia—and formal codification was finalized in the same period. Efforts at standardizing the Macedonian language prior to 1944 were unsuccessful on an official level. This date is imprecise; however, Victor Friedman states it was a symbolic act which signified the beginning of a period in which the standard was able to be implemented.
The history of the Macedonian language can be described according to nine developmental stages:
- The "canonical" Old Church Slavonic period (9th–11th century);
- Macedonian recension of Old Church Slavonic (12th–13th century);
- Macedonian recension of Old Church Slavonic with Serbian elements (14th–15th century, and again in the 18th century);
- The period of 'damascenes'—religious and edifying texts (16th–18th century);
- The period of Russian Church Slavonic influence (18th century);
- The period of two styles: vernacular Macedonian and literary Church Slavonic (first half of the 19th century);
- Discussion about the shape of the standard Macedonian language (second half of the 19th century);
- First steps toward the standardization of the Macedonian language (late 19th century — early 20th century);
- Codification and standardization of the Macedonian language (1940s).
Byzantine era 
The Slavs ﬁrst began arriving to the Balkan peninsula in the 6th and 7th centuries. In the 9th century, the monks Cyril and Methodius developed the ﬁrst writing system for the Slavonic languages. At this time, the Slavic dialects were so close as to make it practical to develop the written language on the dialect of a single region. There is dispute as to the precise region, but it is likely that they were developed on the dialect of the region of Thessaloniki. This written standard came to be known as Old Bulgarian language, and some linguists refer to this as the "ﬁrst standardization of a Slavic Macedonian dialect".
The earliest texts showing specifically Macedonian phonetic features are Old Church Slavonic classical texts written in Glagolitic which date from the 10th to 11th centuries (Codex Zographensis, Codex Assemanianus, Psalterium Sinaiticum). By the 12th century the Church Slavonic Cyrillic become the main alphabet. Texts reflecting vernacular Macedonian language features appear in the second half of the 16th century (translations of the sermons of the Greek writer Damascene Studite).
Ottoman era 
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In the 14th century, the Ottoman Turks conquered most of the Balkans. While the written language remained static as a result of Turkish domination, the spoken dialects moved further apart. Only very slight traces of texts written in the Macedonian language survive from the 16th and 17th centuries.
The ﬁrst printed work that included written specimens of the Macedonian language was a multilingual "conversational manual", that was printed during the Ottoman era. It was published in 1793 and contained texts written by a priest in the dialect of the Ohrid region. In the Ottoman Empire, religion was the primary means of social differentiation, with Muslims forming the ruling class and non-Muslims the subordinate classes.
The Eastern Orthodox Church, to which the majority of Christian Slavs are members, was and is still headed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Patriarchate embarked[weasel words] on a policy of Hellenisation. In the view of[weasel words] the Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Christian Slavs were Greek, and so should speak Greek. During the renaissance of South Slavic nationalism in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Bulgarians of Macedonia and Bulgaria fought against this policy. This fight culminated in the formation of the Bulgarian Exarchate, an autonomous religious authority for Bulgarians, in 1870.
The East Bulgarians intended[weasel words] for the standard language of the Orthodox Slavs to be Bulgarian based on the eastern variety spoken in Thraco-Moesian, the Macedonian Bulgarians[who?] rejected this in favour of a standard Bulgarian language,[verification needed] but signiﬁcantly inﬂuenced by the more western dialects of Macedonia.[dubious ]
Balkan nationalism 
During the increase of national consciousness in the Balkans, standards for the languages of Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian and Bulgarian were created. As Turkish inﬂuence in Macedonia waned, schools were opened up that taught the Bulgarian standard language.
Although literature had, as mentioned, been written in the dialects of Macedonia before, arguably the most important[why?] book published in relation to the Macedonian language was On Macedonian Matters by Krste Misirkov, a native of Thessaloníki. In his book, published in 1903, Misirkov argued for the creation of a standard literary Macedonian language from the central dialects of Macedonia which would use a phonetic orthography. Krste Misirkov outlined the principles of the Macedonian language based on the Veles-Prilep-Bitola dialect group of the west central region.
After the ﬁrst two Balkan wars, the region of Macedonia was split between Greece, Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Serbia. After the World War I the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later renamed into Yugoslavia was formed and the territory of Macedonia, which was part of the Kingdom of Serbia, was incorporated in. During the period of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the area that is currently the Republic of Macedonia was incorporeted into the Kingdom as "Southern Serbia". During this time, the language used publicly, in education and the church was Serbo-Croatian, the dialects spoken by the local population were described as dialects of Serbo-Croatian, although limited literature, mostly of a folkloric character was permitted[by whom?] to be published. Friedman writes that:
- "Forcing Macedonians to attend Serbian schools had the effect of increasing Macedonian self-awareness and unity by bringing together Macedonians from different parts of the country and compelling them to learn a language which was obviously different from their native one."
In the other two states, Greece and Bulgaria, and in the regions they held, the respective national languages were imposed by the authorities, in Bulgaria, the local dialects were described as dialects of Bulgarian.
There was a limited literary activity between the two World wars as attested in the dramas[original research?] by Vasil Iljoski, Anton Panov and Risto Krle and the poetry of Koco Racin and Kole Nedelkovski.
Second World War 
During the second World War, parts of the region of Macedonia were annexed by the Bulgarians who were allied with the Axis. The Bulgarian language was introduced into schools and the church. The Bulgarians were initially welcomed[by whom?] as "liberators" from Serbian domination,[weasel words] although as a result of excessive[specify] assimilatory policies reminiscent of both the Serbs and the Greeks before them, they were quickly seen[by whom?] as "conquerors".
There were a number[specify] of groups ﬁghting the Bulgarian occupying force, some advocating independence and others union with Bulgaria, but the eventual outcome was that part of Macedonia region was incorporated into the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a constituent Socialist Republic with the Macedonian language holding ofﬁcial status[chronology citation needed] within both the Federation and Republic. The present orthography was established in 1945 and in the next ten years the literary language was standardised.[by whom?] The codifiers took Misirkov’s choice of a west-central dialectal base.
See also 
- Friedman, V. (1998) "The implementation of standard Macedonian: problems and results" in International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Vol. 131, pp. 31-57
- Spasov, Ljudmil. Periodizacija na istorijata na makedonskiot jazik. Skopje: St. Cyril and Methodius University.
- Topolinjska, Z. (1998) "In place of a foreword: facts about the Republic of Macedonia and the Macedonian language" in International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Vol. 131, pp. 1-11
- Price, G. (2000) Encyclopedia of the Languages of Europe. (Oxford : Blackwell) ISBN 0-631-22039-9
- Lunt, H. (1953) "A Survey of Macedonian Literature" in Harvard Slavic Studies, Vol. 1, pp. 363-396
- Lunt, H. (1952) Grammar of the Macedonian Literary Language (Skopje)
- Lunt, H. (1986) "On Macedonian Nationality" in Slavic Review, Vol. 45, pp. 729-734
- Friedman, V. (1985) "The sociolinguistics of literary Macedonian" in International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Vol. 52, pp. 31-57
- Tomić, O. (1991) "Macedonian as an Ausbau language" in Pluricentric Languages: Differing Norms in Different Nations, pp. 437-454
- Mahon, M. (1998) "The Macedonian question in Bulgaria" in Nations and Nationalism, Vol. 4, pp. 389-407
- The first phonological conference for Macedonian with short history, Victor Friedman.