definition of Wikipedia
|Spoken in||Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, Macedonian diaspora|
|Native speakers||1.6 – 3.0 million. (1985–1998)|
|Writing system||Cyrillic (Macedonian alphabet)|
|Official language in||Republic of Macedonia|
|Recognised minority language in|| Albania
|Regulated by||Macedonian Language Institute "Krste Misirkov" at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje|
|ISO 639-2||mac (B)
|Linguasphere||53-AAA-ha (part of 53-AAA-h)|
Countries with significant Macedonian-speaking populations
(Click on image for the legend)
Macedonian (македонски јазик, makedonski jazik, pronounced [maˈkɛdɔnski ˈjazik] ( listen)) is a South Slavic language spoken as a first language by approximately 2–3 million people principally in the region of Macedonia but also in the Macedonian diaspora. It is the official language of the Republic of Macedonia and holds the status of official minority language in parts of Albania, Romania and Serbia.
Standard Macedonian was implemented as the official language of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia in 1945 and has since developed a thriving literary tradition. Most of the codification was formalized during the same period.
Macedonian dialects form a continuum with Bulgarian dialects; together in turn they form a broader continuum with Serbo-Croatian through the transitional Torlakian dialects. The name of the Macedonian language is a matter of political controversy in Greece as is its distinctiveness in Bulgaria.
The Macedonian language belongs to the eastern sub-branch of the South Slavic branch of the Slavic languages of the Indo-European family of languages, and hence is not descended from Ancient Macedonian. Its closest relative is Bulgarian, with which it has a high degree of mutual intelligibility. Prior to their codification in 1945, Macedonian dialects were for the most part classified as Bulgarian and some linguists consider them still as such, but this view is politically controversial. The next-closest language is Serbo-Croatian (often known by the names of its standard languages, Serbian, Montenegrin, Bosnian, and Croatian). All South Slavic languages, including Macedonian, form a dialect continuum. The Torlakian dialect group is intermediate between Bulgarian, Macedonian and Serbo-Croatian.
Together with its immediate Slavic neighbours, Macedonian also forms a constituent language of the Balkan Sprachbund, a group of languages which share typological, grammatical and lexical features based on geographical convergence, rather than genetic proximity. Its other principal members are Romanian, Greek and Albanian, all of which belong to different genetic branches of the Indo-European family of languages (Romanian is a Romance language, while Greek and Albanian each comprise their own separate branches). Macedonian and Bulgarian are sharply divergent from the remaining South Slavic languages, Serbo-Croatian and Slovene, and indeed all other Slavic languages, in that they don't use noun cases (except for the vocative, and apart from some traces of once productive inflections still found scattered throughout the languages). They are also the only Slavic languages with any definite articles, but only Macedonian has got three: unspecified, proximate and distal article. This last feature is shared with Romanian, Greek, and Albanian.
The population of the Republic of Macedonia was 2,022,547 in 2002, with 1,644,815 speaking Macedonian as the native language. Outside of the Republic, there are Macedonians living in other parts of the geographical area of Macedonia. There are ethnic Macedonian minorities in neighbouring Albania, in Bulgaria, in Greece, and in Serbia. According to the official Albanian census of 1989, 4,697 ethnic Macedonians reside in Albania.
A large number of Macedonians live outside the traditional Balkan Macedonian region, with Australia, Canada and the United States having the largest emigrant communities. According to a 1964 estimate, approximately 580,000 Macedonians live outside of the Macedonian Republic, nearly 30% of the total population. The Macedonian spoken by communities outside the republic dates back to before the standardisation of the language and retains many dialectic though, overall, mutually intelligible variations. The Macedonian language has the status of official language only in the Republic of Macedonia, and is a recognised minority and official language in parts of Albania (Municipality of Pustec), Romania, and Serbia (Municipalities of Jabuka and Plandište). There are provisions for learning the Macedonian language in Romania as Macedonians are an officially recognised minority group. The language is taught in some universities in Australia, Canada, Croatia, Italy, Russia, Serbia, the United States, and the United Kingdom among other countries.
The varieties spoken by the Slavophone minority in parts of northern Greece, especially those in the Greek provinces of West and Central Macedonia, are today usually classified as part of the Macedonian language, with those in East Macedonia being transitional towards Bulgarian. Bulgarian linguistics traditionally regards them all as part of the Bulgarian diasystem together with the rest of Macedonian. However, the codification of standard Macedonian has been in effect only in the Republic of Macedonia, and the Slavonic dialects spoken in Greece are thus practically "roofless", with their speakers having little access to standard or written Macedonian.
Most of the language speakers in Greece do not identify ethnically as "Macedonians", but as ethnic Greeks (Slavophone Greeks) or dopii (locals). Therefore, the simple term "Macedonian" as a name for the Slavic language is often avoided in the Greek context, and vehemently rejected by most Greeks, for whom Macedonian has very different connotations. Instead, the language is often called simply "Slavic" or "Slavomacedonian", with "Macedonian Slavic" often being used in English. Speakers themselves variously refer to their language as makedonski, makedoniski ("Macedonian"), slaviká (Greek: σλαβικά, "Slavic"), dópia or entópia (Greek: εντόπια, "local/indigenous [language]"), balgàrtzki, bolgàrtski or bulgàrtski in the region of Kostur, bògartski ("Bulgarian") in Dolna Prespa  along with naši ("our own") and stariski ("old").
The exact number of speakers in Greece is difficult to ascertain, with estimates ranging between 20,000 and 250,000. Jacques Bacid estimates in his 1983 book that "over 200,000 Macedonian speakers remained in Greece". Other sources put the numbers of speakers at 180,000[unreliable source?], 220,000 and 250,000, while Yugoslav sources vary, some putting the estimated number of "Macedonians in Greek Macedonia" at 150,000–200,000 and others at 300,000. The Encyclopædia Britannica[dead link] and the Reader's Digest World Guide both put the figure of ethnic Macedonians in Greece at 1.8% or c.200,000 people, with the native language roughly corresponding with the figures. The UCLA also states that there are 200,000 Macedonian speakers in Greece. A 2008 article in the Greek newspaper Eleftherotipia put the estimate at 20,000.
The largest group of speakers are concentrated in the Florina, Kastoria, Edessa, Giannitsa, Ptolemaida and Naousa regions. During the Greek Civil War, the codified Macedonian language was taught in 87 schools with 10,000 students in areas of northern Greece under the control of Communist-led forces, until their defeat by the National Army in 1949. In recent years, there have been attempts to have the language recognised as a minority language.
The total number of Macedonian speakers is highly disputed. Although the precise number of speakers is unknown, figures of between 1.6 million (from Ethnologue) and 2–2.5 million have been cited; see Topolinjska (1998) and Friedman (1985). The general academic consensus is that there are approximately 2 million speakers of the Macedonian language, accepting that "it is difficult to determine the total number of speakers of Macedonian due to the official policies of the neighbouring Balkan states and the fluid nature of emigration" Friedman (1985:?). According to the 2002 censuses and figures, the number of speakers of Macedonian is:
|Census Data||Lower Range||Higher Range|
|Albania||4,697||30,000 - 150,000|
|Greece||35,000 ||250,000 |
|Rest of the Balkans||15,939||25,000|
|Canada||18,440 ||18,440 ||150,000|
|United States of America||45,000||200,000|
|Rest of World||101,600||110,000|
|Dialect divisions of Macedonian|
Kumanovo / Kratovo
Mala Reka / Galičnik
Drimkol / Golo Brdo
Vevčani / Radοžda
Upper Prespa / Ohrid
Mariovo / Tikveš
Štip / Strumica
Maleševo / Pirin
Solun / Voden
Ser / Drama
Based on a large group of features, Macedonian dialects can be divided into Eastern and Western groups (the boundary runs approximately from Skopje and Skopska Crna Gora along the rivers Vardar and Crna). In addition, a more detailed classification can be based on the modern reflexes of the Proto-Slavic reduced vowels (yers), vocalic sonorants, and the back nasal *ǫ. That classification distinguishes between the following 5 groups:
Macedonian possesses five vowels, one semivowel, three liquid consonants, three nasal stops, three pairs of fricatives, two pairs of affricates, a non-paired voiceless fricative, nine pairs of voiced and unvoiced consonants and four pairs of stops.
|Close||и /i/||у /u/|
|Mid||е /ɛ/||о /ɔ/|
In addition, the schwa [ə] appears in certain literary words in which it is always stressed. In orthography it is expressed by an apostrophe, like in к'на ['kəna] (henna). A more common usage of the schwa, however, is found in certain dialects or loanwords.
Macedonian exhibits final obstruent devoicing and syllabic /r/
Other than recent loanwords, word stress in Macedonian is antepenultimate, meaning it falls on the third from last syllable in words with three or more syllables, and on the first or only syllable in other words. By comparison, in standard Bulgarian, the stress can fall anywhere within a word.
Macedonian grammar is markedly analytic in comparison with other Slavic languages, having lost the common Slavic case system. The Macedonian language shows some special and, in some cases, unique characteristics due to its central position in the Balkans. Literary Macedonian is the only South Slavic literary language that has three forms of the definite article, based on the degree of proximity to the speaker, and a perfect tense formed by means of an auxiliary verb "to have", followed by a past participle in the neuter, also known as verbal adjective.
Macedonian nouns (именки, imenki) belong to one of three genders (masculine, feminine and neuter) and are inflected for number (singular and plural), and marginally for case. The gender opposition is not distinctively marked in the plural . The Macedonian nominal system distinguishes two numbers (singular and plural), three genders (masculine, feminine and neuter), case and definiteness. Definiteness is expressed by three definite articles pertaining to the position of the object (unspecified, proximate and distal) which are suffixed to the noun.
|The definite articles|
|Unspecified||−ot (−от)||−ta (−та)||−to (−то)||−te (−те)||−te (−те)||−ta (−та)|
|Proximate||−ov (−ов)||−va (−ва)||−vo (−во)||−ve (−ве)||−ve (−ве)||−va (−ва)|
|Distal||−on (−он)||−na (−на)||−no (−но)||−ne (−не)||−ne (−не)||−na (−на)|
Macedonian has a complex system of verbs. Generally speaking Macedonian verbs have the following characteristics, or categories as they are called in the Macedonistics: tense, mood, person, type, transitiveness, voice, gender and number.
According to the categorization, all Macedonian verbs are divided into three major groups: a-group, e-group and i-group. Furthermore, the e-subgroup is divided into three more subgroups: a-, e- and i-subgroups. This division is done according to the ending (or the last vowel) of the verb in the simple present, singular, third person. Regarding the form, the verb forms can be either simple or complex.
The Macedonian simple verb forms are:
The Macedonian complex verb forms are:
Prepositions (предлози, predlozi) are part of the closed word class that are used to express the relationship between the words in a sentence. Since Macedonian lost the case system, the prepositions are very important for creation and expression of various grammatical categories. The most important Macedonian preposition is 'na' ('of', 'on', 'to'). Regarding the form, the prepositions can either be simple or complex. Based on the meaning the preposition express, they can be divided into prepositions of time, place, manner and quantity .
As a result of the close relatedness with Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian shares a considerable amount of its lexicon with these languages. Other languages which have been in positions of power, such as Ottoman Turkish and increasingly English also provide a significant proportion of the loan words. Prestige languages, such as Old Church Slavonic, which occupies a relationship to modern Macedonian comparable to the relationship of medieval Latin to modern Romance languages, and Russian also provided a source for lexical borrowings.
During the standardization process, there was deliberate care taken to try and purify the lexicon of the language. Serbisms and Bulgarisms, which had become common due to the influence of these languages in the region were rejected in favor of words from native dialects and archaisms. One example was the word for "event", настан [ˈnastan], which was found in certain examples of folk poetry collected by the Miladinov Brothers in the 19th century, while the Macedonian writer Krste Misirkov had previously used the word собитие [sɔˈbitiɛ]. This is not to say that there are no Serbisms, Bulgarisms or even Russianisms in the language, but rather that they were discouraged on a principle of "seeking native material first".
The language of the writers at the turn of 19th century abounded with Russian and, more specifically, Old Church Slavonic lexical and morphological elements which in the contemporary norm are substituted with more current models. Thus, the now slightly archaized forms with suffixes –ние and –тел, adjectives with the suffixes –телен and others, are now constructed following patterns more typical of Macedonian morphology. For example, дејствие corresponds to дејство, лицемерие → лицемерство, развитие → развиток, определение → определба, движение → движење, продолжител → продолжувач, победител → победник, убедителен → убедлив, etc. Many of these words are now synonymous or have taken on a slightly different nuance in meaning.
New words were coined according to internal logic and others calqued from related languages (especially Serbo-Croatian) to replace those taken from Russian, which include известие → извештај, количество → количина, согласие → слога, etc. This change was aimed at bringing written Macedonian closer to spoken language, effectively distancing it from the Bulgarian language which has kept its numerous Russian loans, and represents a successful puristic attempt at abolishing a lexicogenic tradition once common in written literature.
The modern Macedonian alphabet was developed by linguists in the period after the Second World War, who based their alphabet on the phonetic alphabet of Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, though a similar writing system was used by Krste Misirkov in the early 20th century. The Macedonian language had previously been written using the Early Cyrillic alphabet, or later using the Cyrillic script with local adaptations from either the Serbian or Bulgarian alphabets.
The following table provides the upper and lower case forms of the Macedonian alphabet, along with the IPA value for each letter:
Macedonian orthography is consistent and phonemic in practice, an approximation of the principle of one grapheme per phoneme. A principle represented by Adelung's saying, "write as you speak and read as it is written" („пишувај како што зборуваш и читај како што е напишано“). However, as is common to language, there are occasional inconsistencies or exceptions.
|Western South Slavic|
|Eastern South Slavic|
|1 Includes Banat Bulgarian alphabet.|
The region of Macedonia and the Republic of Macedonia are located on the Balkan peninsula. The Slavs first came to the Balkan Peninsula in the sixth and seventh centuries AD. In the ninth century, the Byzantine Greek monks Saints 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 in the region around Thessalonika. The Ohrid Literary School was established in Ohrid in 886 by Saint Clement of Ohrid on orders of Boris I of Bulgaria. In the fourteenth century, the Ottoman Turks invaded and conquered most of the Balkans, incorporating Macedonia into the Ottoman Empire. While the written language, now called Old Church Slavonic, remained static as a result of Turkish domination, the spoken dialects moved further apart. During the increase of national consciousness in the Balkans, standards for the languages of Slovene, Serbo-Croatian and Bulgarian were created. As Turkish influence in Macedonia waned, schools were opened up that taught the Bulgarian standard language in areas with significant Bulgarian population. The concept of the various Macedonian dialects as a part of the Bulgarian language can be seen from early vernacular texts from Macedonia such as the four-language dictionary of Daniel Mоscopolites, the works of Kiril Peichinovich and Yoakim Karchovski, and some vernacular gospels written in the Greek alphabet. These written works influenced by or completely written in the local Slavic vernacular appeared in Macedonia in the 18th and beginning of the 19th century and their authors referred to their language as Bulgarian. The earliest lexicographic evidence of these local dialects can be found in a lexicon from the 16th century written in the Greek alphabet.
In 1845 the Russian scholar Viktor Grigorovich travelled in the Balkans in order to study the south Slavic dialects of Macedonia. His work articulated for the first time a distinct pair of two groups of Bulgarian dialects: Eastern and Western (spoken in today Western Bulgaria and Republic of Macedonia). According to his findings, a part of the Western Bulgarian variety, spoken in Macedonia, was characterized by traces of Old Slavic nasal vowels. It wasn't until the works of Krste Misirkov that parts of what had been regarded as West Bulgarian dialects were defined as a separate 'Macedonian' language. Misirkov was born in a village near Pella in Greek Macedonia. Although literature had been written in the Slavic dialects of Macedonia before, arguably the most important book published in relation to the Macedonian language was Misirkov's On Macedonian Matters, published in 1903. In that book, he argued for the creation of a standard literary Macedonian language from the central dialects of Macedonia which would use a phonemic orthography.
After the first two Balkan wars, the region of Macedonia was split among Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia (Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, Yugoslavia). Yugoslavia occupied the area that is currently the Republic of Macedonia incorporating it into the Kingdom as "Southern Serbia". During this time, Yugoslav Macedonia became known as Vardar Banovina (Vardar province) and the language of public life, education and the church was Serbo-Croatian. In the other two parts of Macedonia, the respective national languages, Greek and Bulgarian, were made official. In Bulgarian (Pirin) Macedonia, the local dialects continued to be described as dialects of Bulgarian.
During the second World War, a part of Yugoslav Macedonia was occupied by the Bulgarian army, who were allied with the Axis. The standard Bulgarian language was reintroduced in schools and liturgies. The Bulgarians were initially welcomed as liberators from Serbian domination until connections were made between the imposition of the Bulgarian language and unpopular Serbian assimilation policies; the Bulgarians were quickly seen as conquerors by communist movement.
There were a number of groups fighting the Bulgarian occupying force, some advocating independence and others union with Bulgaria. The eventual outcome was that almost all of Vardar Banovina (i.e. the areas which geographically became known as Vardar Macedonia) was incorporated into the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a constituent Socialist Republic with the Macedonian language holding official status within both the Federation and Republic. The Macedonian language was proclaimed the official language of the Republic of Macedonia at the First Session of the Assembly for the National Liberation of Macedonia, held on August 2, 1944. The first official Macedonian grammar was developed by Krume Kepeski. One of the most important contributors in the standardisation of the Macedonian literary language was Blaže Koneski. The first document written in the literary standard Macedonian language is the first issue of the Nova Makedonija newspaper in 1944. Makedonska Iskra (Macedonian Spark) was the first Macedonian newspaper to be published in Australia, from 1946 to 1957. A monthly with national distribution, it commenced in Perth and later moved to Melbourne and Sydney.
As with the issue of Macedonian ethnicity, the politicians, linguists and common people from Macedonia and neighbouring countries have opposing views about the existence and distinctiveness of the Macedonian language.
In the ninth century AD, saints Cyril and Methodius introduced Old Church Slavonic, the first Slavic language of literacy. Written with their newly invented Glagolitic script, this language was based largely on the dialect of Slavs spoken in Thessaloniki; this dialect is closest to present-day Macedonian and Bulgarian.
Although described as being dialects of Bulgarian prior to the establishment of the standard the current academic consensus (outside the Balkans) is that Macedonian is an autonomous language within the South Slavic dialect continuum.
In most sources in and out of Bulgaria before the Second World War, the southern Slavonic dialect continuum covering the area of today's Republic of Macedonia and Northern Greece was referred to as a group of Bulgarian dialects. The local variants of the name of the language were also balgàrtzki, bùgarski or bugàrski; i.e. Bulgarian. Although Bulgaria was the first country to recognize the independence of the Republic of Macedonia, most of its academics, as well as the general public, regard the language spoken there as a form of Bulgarian. However, after years of diplomatic impasse caused by an academic dispute, in 1999 the government in Sofia solved the problem of the Macedonian language by using the euphemistic formula: "the official language of the country (Republic of Macedonia) in accordance with its constitution".
Greeks object to the use of the "Macedonian" name in reference to the modern Slavic language, calling it "Slavomacedonian" (Greek: σλαβομακεδονική γλώσσα), a term coined by some members of the Slavic-speaking community of northern Greece itself.
As often occurs with Yugoslav sources, there appears to be confusion about the number of Macedonians in Greek Macedonia at present: some Yugoslav sources put the latter figure at 300,000, while more sober estimates put the number at 150,000 - 200,000
"[During its Panhellenic Meeting in September 1942, the KKE mentioned that it recognises the equality of the ethnic minorities in Greece] the KKE recognised that the Slavophone population was ethnic minority of Slavomacedonians]. This was a term, which the inhabitants of the region accepted with relief. [Because] Slavomacedonians = Slavs+Macedonians. The first section of the term determined their origin and classified them in the great family of the Slav peoples."
The Greek Helsinki Monitor reports:
"... the term Slavomacedonian was introduced and was accepted by the community itself, which at the time had a much more widespread non-Greek Macedonian ethnic consciousness. Unfortunately, according to members of the community, this term was later used by the Greek authorities in a pejorative, discriminatory way; hence the reluctance if not hostility of modern-day Macedonians of Greece (i.e. people with a Macedonian national identity) to accept it."
|Macedonian language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
|Wikibooks has a book on the topic of|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Macedonian language|
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.