Montenegrin alphabet

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The Montenegrin alphabet is the collective name given to "Abeceda" (Montenegrin Latin alphabet) and "Азбука" (Montenegrin Cyrillic alphabet) writing systems used to write the Montenegrin language. It was adopted on 9 June 2009 by the minister of education of Montenegro, Sreten Škuletić[1] and replaced the Serbian Cyrillic and Croatian Latin alphabets.[citation needed] Although Latin and Cyrillic alphabets enjoy equal status under the Constitution of Montenegro, the government and proponents of Montenegrin language prefer to use the Latin script.[2]


Efforts to create a Latin character based Montenegrin alphabet go back at least to World War I, when a newspaper was published in Cetinje using both Latin and Cyrillic characters. [3]

Latin alphabet[edit]

The Montenegrin Latin alphabet (Montenegrin: црногорска латиница/crnogorska latinica, црногорска абецеда/crnogorska abeceda or црногорски алфабет/crnogorski alfabet) is proposed for writing the Montenegrin language in Latin script.

It uses most letters of the ISO basic Latin alphabet (with the exception of the consonants Q, W, X and Y, only used for writing common words or proper names directly borrowed from foreign languages).

Montenegrin Latin is based on Serbo-Croatian Latin, with the addition of the two letters Ś and Ź, to replace the digraphs SJ and ZJ.[4] These parallel the two letters of the Montenegrin Cyrillic alphabet not found in Serbian, С́ and З́. These, respectively, could also be represented in the original alphabets as šj and žj,[5] and шj and жj.[citation needed]

It also uses some Latin extended letters, composed with a basic Latin letter and one of two combining accents (the acute accent or caron, over C, S, and Z), and a supplementary base consonant Đ: they are needed to note additional phonetic distinctions (notably to preserve the distinctions that are present in the Cyrillic script with which the Montenegrin language has also long been written, when it was still unified in the former Yugoslavia within the written Serbo-Croatian language).


The alphabet also includes some digraphs built from the previous characters (that are considered as single letters for collation purpose): , Nj, and Lj.

Cyrillic alphabet[edit]

The Montenegrin Cyrillic alphabet (Montenegrin: црногорска ћирилица/crnogorska ćirilica or црногорска азбука/crnogorska azbuka) is officially proposed for Cyrillic writing of the Montenegrin language.

Its first version was developed by Vojislav P. Nikčević in the 1970s who was a dissident of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and considered that Montenegrin speech is unique and deserves consideration as a separate language from Serbo-Croatian.

The modern version was officially passed by the Ministry of Education of Sreten Škuletić when it adopted in early 2009 the first Montenegrin Orthography (with the addition of the Orthographic Dictionary), replacing the Serbian Cyrillic script which was official until then. The act is a component part of the process of standardization of the Montenegrin language, starting in mid 2008 after adopting Montenegrin as the official language of Montenegro.

Collation order[edit]


  1. ^ "Donijet Pravopis crnogorskog jezika". 9 July 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-01-10. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  2. ^ Lowen, Mark (February 19, 2010). Montenegrin language disputes "Montenegro embroiled in language row" Check |url= value (help). BBC News. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Semi-Official War Newspaper to Start". Bakersfield Californian (Bakersfield, California). April 3, 1916. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Dva nova slova u pravopisu". 10 July 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  5. ^ "News - Montenegrin authorities introduce new alphabet". B92. Retrieved 2012-05-17.