definition of Wikipedia
|Spoken in||Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia (Vojvodina), Montenegro, Romania (Caraş-Severin County), Slovenia, and diaspora|
|Region||Central Europe, Southern Europe|
|Native speakers||5.55 million (2001)|
|Official language in|| Croatia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
|Recognised minority language in|| Montenegro
Austria (in Burgenland)
Italy (in Molise)
Romania (in Caraşova, Lupac)
|Regulated by||Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics (Council for Standard Croatian Language Norm)|
|Linguasphere||part of 53-AAA-g|
Dialectal map of Croatian language in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina
|Western South Slavic|
|Eastern South Slavic|
|1 Includes Banat Bulgarian alphabet.|
Croatian (hrvatski jezik) is a form of the Croato-Serbian dyasistem spoken by Croats, principally in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian province of Vojvodina and other neighbouring countries.
Standard and literary Croatian is based on the central dialect, Shtokavian (Štokavian), more specifically on Eastern Herzegovinian, which is also the basis of standard Serbian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin. The other dialects spoken by Croats are Chakavian (Čakavian), Kajkavian, and Torlakian (by the Krashovani). These four dialects, and the four national standards, are sometimes 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.
Vernacular texts in the Chakavian dialect first appeared in the 13th century, and Shtokavian texts appeared a century later. Standardization began in the period sometimes called "Baroque Slavism" in the first half of the 17th century, while some authors date it back to the end of 15th century. The modern Neo-Shtokavian standard that appeared in the mid 18th century was the first unified Croatian literary language.
The beginning of the Croatian written language can be traced to the 9th century, when Old Church Slavonic was adopted as the language of the liturgy. This language was gradually adapted to non-liturgical purposes and became known as the Croatian version of Old Slavonic. The two variants of the language, liturgical and non-liturgical, continued to be a part of the Glagolitic service as late as the middle of the 19th century. The earliest known Croatian Church Slavonic Glagolitic manuscripts are the Glagolita Clozianus and the Vienna Folia from the 11th century.
Until the end of the 11th century Croatian medieval texts were written in three scripts: Latin, Glagolitic, and Croatian Cyrillic (arvatica, poljičica, bosančica/bosanica), and also in three languages: Croatian, Latin and Old Slavonic. The latter developed into what is referred to as the Croatian variant of Church Slavonic between the 12th and 16th centuries.
The most important early monument of Croatian literacy is the Baška tablet from the late 11th century. It is a large stone tablet found in the small church of St. Lucy on the Croatian island of Krk which contains text written mostly in Chakavian, today a dialect of Croatian, and in Croatian angular Glagolitic script. It is also important in the history of the nation as it mentions Zvonimir, the king of Croatia at the time. However, the luxurious and ornate representative texts of Croatian Church Slavonic belong to the later era, when they coexisted with the Croatian vernacular literature. The most notable are the "Missal of Duke Novak" from the Lika region in northwestern Croatia (1368), "Evangel from Reims" (1395, named after the town of its final destination), Hrvoje's Missal from Bosnia and Split in Dalmatia (1404), and the first printed book in Croatian language, the Glagolitic Missale Romanum Glagolitice (1483).
During the 13th century Croatian vernacular texts began to appear, the most important among them being the "Istrian land survey" of 1275 and the "Vinodol Codex" of 1288, both written in the Chakavian dialect.
The Shtokavian dialect literature, based almost exclusively on Chakavian original texts of religious provenance (missals, breviaries, prayer books) appeared almost a century later. The most important purely Shtokavian vernacular text is the Vatican Croatian Prayer Book (ca. 1400).
Both the language used in legal texts and that used in Glagolitic literature gradually came under the influence of the vernacular, which considerably affected its phonological, morphological and lexical systems. From the 14th and the 15th centuries, both secular and religious songs at church festivals were composed in the vernacular.
Writers of early Croatian religious poetry (začinjavci) gradually introduced the vernacular into their works. These začinjavci were the forerunners of the rich literary production of the 16th century literature, which, depending on the area, was Chakavian, Kajkavian or Shtokavian-based. The language of religious poems, translations, miracle and morality plays contributed to the popular character of medieval Croatian literature.
The first purely vernacular texts in Croatian date back to the 14th century (e.g. the Vatican Croatian Prayer Book from ca. 1400) and are distinctly different from Church Slavonic. In the 14th and 15th centuries the modern Croatian language emerged, with morphology, phonology and syntax only slightly differ from the contemporary Croatian standard language.
The standardization of the Croatian language can be traced back to the first Croatian dictionary written by Faust Vrančić (Dictionarium quinque nobilissimarum Europae linguarum—Latinae, Italicae, Germanicae, Dalmatiae et Ungaricae, Venice 1595), and to the first Croatian grammar written by Bartul Kašić (Institutionum linguae illyricae libri duo, Rome 1604).
Jesuit Kašić's translation of the Bible (Old and New Testament, 1622–1636; unpublished until 2000), written in the ornate Shtokavian-Ijekavian dialect of the Dubrovnik Renaissance literature is, despite orthographical differences, as close to the contemporary standard Croatian language as are the French of Montaigne's "Essays" or the English of the King James Bible to their respective successors—the modern standard languages.
This period, sometimes called "Baroque Slavism", was crucial in the formation of the literary idiom that was to become the Croatian standard language. The 17th century witnessed three developments that shaped modern Croatian:
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" (sometimes using regional names such as "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 standardised form (Kajkavian-Ikavian) became the cultivated elite 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 apogee of this unified standard in the 17th century 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 movement in Croatia to standardise the Croatian language in order to merge it into a common South Slavic language. Specifically, Croatian had three major dialects, 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 standardised Croatian literary script. Although based in Kajkavian-speaking Zagreb, Gaj supported using the more populous neo-Shtokavian–—a version of Shtokavian that became the main Croatian and Serbian literary language from the 18th century on——as the common literary standard for Croatian and Serbian. Supported by various South Slavic proponents, neo-Shtokavian was adopted at the Vienna Literary Agreement of 1850, uniting the Croat and Serb languages. The 19th century linguists' and lexicographers' main concern was to achieve a more consistent and unified written norm and orthography, which led to a "passion for neologisms" or vigorous word coinage, originating from the purist nature of Croatian literary language, which was not shared by Serbian.
Croatian has pitch accent: a vowel can be pronounced short or long, and when stressed (otherwise it is non-tonic) it carries either falling or rising tone. The following diacritical marks are used when vowels are stressed: short falling ⟨◌̏⟩ (double grave accent), short rising ⟨◌̀⟩ (grave accent), long falling ⟨◌̑⟩ (inverted breve), long rising ⟨◌́⟩ (acute accent). Unstressed long syllables are marked with a macron ⟨◌̄⟩ on vowels, and unstressed short vowels are not marked. This notation is used in linguistic literature, or when precision is necessary, such as to disambiguate between homographs. Apart from these signs, in general-purpose texts, the circumflex (denoting a long vowel) can also be used to disambiguate homographs.
Croatian, like most other Slavic languages, has a rich system of inflection. Pronouns, nouns, adjectives and some numerals decline (change the word ending to reflect case, i.e. grammatical category and function), while verbs conjugate for person and tense. As in all other Slavic languages, the basic word order is SVO; however, due to the use of declension to show sentence structure, word order is not as important as in languages that tend toward analyticity such as English or Chinese. Deviations from the standard SVO order are stylistically marked and may be employed to convey a particular emphasis, mood or overall tone, according to the intentions of the speaker or writer. Often, such deviations will sound literary, poetical or archaic.
Nouns have three grammatical genders (masculine, feminine and neuter) that correspond to a certain extent with the word ending, so that most nouns ending in -a are feminine, -o and -e neuter and the rest mostly masculine with a small but important class of feminines. Grammatical gender of a noun affects the morphology of other parts of speech (adjectives, pronouns and verbs) attached to it. Nouns are declined into 7 cases: Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Vocative, Locative and Instrumental.
Verbs are divided into two broad classes according to their aspect, which can be either perfective (signifying a completed action) or imperfective (action is incomplete or repetitive). There are seven tenses, four of which (present, perfect, future I and II) are used in contemporary standard Croatian, with the other three (aorist, imperfect and plusquamperfect) used much less frequently – the plusquamperfect is generally limited to written language and some more educated speakers, while aorist and imperfect are considered stylistically marked and rather archaic. Note, however, that some non-standard dialects make considerable (and thus unmarked) use of those tenses.
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) frequently clash with sociopolitical conceptions of language, so that varieties which are mutually intelligible may be designated separate languages. Along these lines, the various varieties of Serbo-Croatian have distinct standard forms, the differences are often exaggerated for political reasons, and many Croats and even Croatian linguists regard Croatian as a separate language, and language is considered key to national identity. Croatian is unique in being written exclusively in the Latin script rather than in Cyrillic. The rejection of the term "Serbo-Croatian" as a cover term for all these forms is often based upon 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 the ex-Yugoslavia, the term has largely been replaced by the ethnic terms Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian, which have developed largely independently since the dissolution of Yugoslavia. 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 will become an official EU language with the accession of Croatia, though when the other states accede, translation might not normally be provided between the various Serbo-Croat standards, and documents in other EU languages might not necessarily be translated into all of them.
The 19th century language development overlapped with the upheavals that befell the Serbian language. It was Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, a self-taught linguist and folkorist, whose scriptory and orthographic stylization of Serbian folk idiom made a radical break with the past; until his activity in the first half of the 19th century, Serbs had been using the Serbian redaction of Church Slavonic and a hybrid Russian-Slavonic language[which?]. His Serbian Dictionary, published in Vienna 1818 (along with the appended grammar), was the single most significant work of Serbian literary culture that shaped the profile of Serbian language (and, the first Serbian dictionary and grammar thus far)[clarification needed].
Following the incentive of Austrian bureaucracy which preferred a common literary language of Serbs and Croats languages for practical administrative reasons, in 1850, Slovene philologist Franc Miklošič initiated a meeting of two Serbian philologists and writers, Vuk Stefanović Karadžić and Đuro Daničić together with five Croatian "men of letters": Ivan Mažuranić, Dimitrija Demeter, Stjepan Pejaković, Ivan Kukuljević and Vinko Pacel. The Vienna Literary Agreement on the basic features of a common literary language based on the NeoShtokavian dialect with Ijekavian accent was signed by all eight participants (including Miklošič).
Karadžić's influence on Croatian standard idiom was only one of the reforms for Croats, mostly in some aspects of grammar and orthography; many other changes he made to Serbian were already present in Croatian literary tradition (which also historically flourished in other dialects). Both literary languages shared the common basis of South Slavic NeoShtokavian dialect, but the Vienna agreement didn't have any real effect until a more unified standard appeared at the end of 19th century when Croatian sympathizers of Vuk Karadžić, known as the Croatian Vukovians, wrote the first modern (from the vantage point of dominating neogrammarian linguistic school) grammars, orthographies and dictionaries of the language which they called Serbo-Croatian, Croato-Serbian or Croatian or Serbian. Monumental grammar authored by pre-eminent fin de siècle Croatian linguist Tomislav Maretić (Grammar and stylistics of Croatian or Serbian language, 1899), dictionary by Ivan Broz and Franjo Iveković (Croatian dictionary, 1901), and an orthography by Broz (Croatian Orthography, 1892) fixed the elastic (grammatically, syntactically, lexically) standard[editorializing] of Croatian literary idiom that is used to this day.
The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (1918–1929), after the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1929–1941) was pronounced, tried to use a joint language of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs ─ in the spirit of supra-national Yugoslav ideology. This meant that Croatian and Serbian were no longer officially developed individually side by side, instead there was an attempt to forge all three into one language.[editorializing] As Serbs were by far the largest single ethnic group in the kingdom, this forging was resultant in a Serbian-based language, which meant a certain degree of Serbianization of the Croatian language. E.g., Croatian terminology in penal legislation was significantly Serbianized after 1929, with unification of terminology in Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the lexical, syntactical, orthographical and morphological characteristics of "Serbo-Croato-Slovene" were officially prescribed for Croatian textbooks and general communication. This process of "unification" into one Serbo-Croatian language was preferred by neo-grammarian Croatian linguists, the most notable example being the influential philologist and translator Tomislav Maretić. However, this school was virtually extinct by the late 1920s and since then leading Croatian linguists (such as Petar Skok, Stjepan Ivšić and Petar Guberina) were unanimous in the re-affirmation of the Croatian purist tradition.
The situation somewhat eased in the run-up to World War II (cf. the establishment of Banovina of Croatia within Yugoslavia in 1939), but with the capitulation of Yugoslavia and the creation of the Axis puppet regime (the Independent State of Croatia, 1941–1945) came another, this time hardly predictable and grotesque attack on standard Croatian:[editorializing] the totalitarian dictatorship of Ante Pavelić pushed natural Croatian purist tendencies to ludicrous extremes and tried to re-impose older morphonological orthography preceding Ivan Broz's orthographical prescriptions from 1892. An official order signed by Pavelić and co-signed by Mile Budak and Milovan Žanić in August 1941 deprecated some imported words and forbade the use of any foreign words that could be replaced with Croatian neologisms.
However, Croatian linguists and writers were strongly opposed to such "language planning" in the same way that they rejected pro-Serbian forced unification in monarchist Yugoslavia. Not surprisingly,[editorializing] no Croatian dictionaries or Croatian grammars were published in this period. In the Communist period (1945 to 1990), it was the by-product of Communist centralism and "internationalism". Whatever the intentions, the result was the same: the suppression of the basic features that differentiate Croatian from Serbian, both in terms of orthography and vocabulary.[editorializing] No Croatian dictionaries (apart from historical "Croatian or Serbian", conceived in the 19th century) appeared until 1985, when centralism was well in the process of decay.
In Communist Yugoslavia, Serbian language and terminology were un-officially dominant in a few areas: the military (officially: 1963–1974), diplomacy, Federal Yugoslav institutions (various institutes and research centres), state media, and jurisprudence at the federal level. Also encouraged by the state, language in Bosnia and Herzegovina was gradually Serbianized in all levels of the educational system and the republic's administration. Virtually the only institution of any importance where the Croatian language was dominant had been the Yugoslav Lexicographical Institute in Zagreb, headed by Croatian writer Miroslav Krleža.
Notwithstanding the declaration of intent of AVNOJ (The Antifascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia) in 1944, which proclaimed the equality of all languages of Yugoslavia (Slovene, Croatian, Serbian and Macedonian) – everything had, in practice, been geared towards the supremacy of the Serbian language.[neutrality is disputed] This was done under the pretext of "mutual enrichment" and "togetherness", hoping that the transient phase of relatively peaceful life among peoples in Yugoslavia would eventually give way to one of fusion into the supra-national Yugoslav nation and, arguably, provide a firmer basis for Serbianization. However, this "supra-national engineering" was arguably doomed from the outset.[editorializing] The nations that formed the Yugoslav state were formed long before its incipience and all unification pressures only poisoned and exacerbated inter-ethnic/national relations, causing the state to become merely ephemeral. However legal texts were translated to all four official Slavic languages (from 1944), as well as to Albanian and Hungarian (from 1970).
The single most important effort by ruling Yugoslav Communist elites to erase the "differences" between Croatian and Serbian – and in practice impose the Serbian Ekavian accent, written in Latin script, as the "official" language of Yugoslavia – was the so-called "Novi Sad Agreement".[neutrality is disputed] Twenty five Serbian, Croatian, and Montenegrin philologists came together in 1954 to sign the Agreement. A common Serbo-Croatian or "Croato-Serbian" orthography was compiled in 1960 in an atmosphere of state repression and fear. There were 18 Serbs and 7 Croats in Novi Sad. The "Agreement" was seen by the Croats as a defeat for the Croatian cultural heritage.[editorializing] According to the eminent Croatian linguist Ljudevit Jonke, it was imposed on the Croats. The conclusions were formulated according to goals which had been set in advance, and discussion had no role whatsoever. In the more than a decade that followed, the principles of the Novi Sad Agreement were put into practice.
A collective Croatian reaction against such de facto Serbian imposition erupted[editorializing] on March 15, 1967. On that day, nineteen Croatian scholarly institutions and cultural organizations dealing with language and literature (Croatian Universities and Academies), including foremost Croatian writers and linguists (Miroslav Krleža, Radoslav Katičić, Dalibor Brozović and Tomislav Ladan among them) issued the "Declaration on the Status and Name of the Croatian Standard Language". In the Declaration, they asked for amendment to the Constitution expressing two claims:
Notwithstanding the fact that "Declaration" was vociferously condemned by Yugoslav Communist authorities as an outburst of "Croatian nationalism", Serbo-Croatian forced unification was essentially halted and an uneasy status quo remained until the end of Communism.[neutrality is disputed] The "Declaration" succeeded in establishing a Constitutional norm by which in the Socialist Republic of Croatia the official language was the Croatian literary language which could be called Croatian or Serbian.
In the decade between the death of Marshall Tito (1980) and the final collapse of communism and the Yugoslavian federal state (1990/1991), major works that manifested the irrepressibility of Croatian linguistic culture had appeared.[editorializing] The studies of Brozović, Katičić and Babić that had been circulating among specialists or printed in the obscure philological publications in the 60s and 70s (frequently condemned and suppressed by the authorities) have finally, in the climate of dissolving authoritarianism, been published. This was a formal "divorce" of Croatian from Serbian.[editorializing] These works, based on modern fields and theories (structuralist linguistics and phonology, comparative-historical linguistics and lexicology, transformational grammar and areal linguistics) revised or discarded older "language histories",[neutrality is disputed] and restored the continuity of the Croatian language by definitely reintegrating and asserting specific Croatian characteristics (phonetic, morphological, syntactic, lexical, etc.) that had been constantly suppressed in both Yugoslavian states and finally gave modern linguistic description and prescription to the Croatian language. Among many monographs and serious studies, one could point to works issued by the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, particularly Katičić's Syntax and Babić's Word-formation.
After the collapse of Communism and the birth of Croatian independence (1991), the situation with regard to the Croatian language has become stabilized. No longer under negative political pressures and de-Croatization impositions,[neutrality is disputed] Croatian linguists expanded the work on various ambitious programs and intensified their studies on current dominant areas of linguistics: mathematical and corpus linguistics, textology, psycholinguistics, language acquisition and historical lexicography. From 1991 on, numerous representative Croatian linguistic works were published, among them four voluminous monolingual dictionaries of contemporary Croatian, various specialized dictionaries and normative manuals (the most representative being the issue of the Institute for Croatian Language and Linguistics). For a curious bystander, probably the most noticeable language feature in Croatian society was the re-Croatization of Croatian in all areas, from phonetics to semantics and (most evidently) in everyday vocabulary.[editorializing]
Croatian is today the official language of the Republic of Croatia and, along with Bosnian and 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 Caraşova 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 at present no sole regulatory body which determines correct usage of the Croatian language. There is however an Institute for the Croatian language and linguistics with a prescription department. The current language standard is generally laid out in the grammar books and dictionaries used in education facilities, 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:
Also notable are the recommendations of Matica hrvatska, the national publisher and promoter of Croatian heritage, the Lexicographical institute "Miroslav Krleža", as well as the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. Please improve this article by removing excessive or inappropriate external links, and converting useful links where appropriate into footnote references. (April 2010)|
|Croatian language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Croatian language|
|Wikibooks has a book on the topic of|
|Look up Croatian in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Dictionary and translator for handheld
New : sensagent is now available on your handheld
A windows (pop-into) of information (full-content of Sensagent) triggered by double-clicking any word on your webpage. Give contextual explanation and translation from your sites !
With a SensagentBox, visitors to your site can access reliable information on over 5 million pages provided by Sensagent.com. Choose the design that fits your site.
Improve your site content
Add new content to your site from Sensagent by XML.
Crawl products or adds
Get XML access to reach the best products.
Index images and define metadata
Get XML access to fix the meaning of your metadata.
Please, email us to describe your idea.
Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.
Boggle gives you 3 minutes to find as many words (3 letters or more) as you can in a grid of 16 letters. You can also try the grid of 16 letters. Letters must be adjacent and longer words score better. See if you can get into the grid Hall of Fame !
Change the target language to find translations.
Tips: browse the semantic fields (see From ideas to words) in two languages to learn more.