Croatian - Hrvatski  Language

The Croatian language or Croatian dialect (hrvatski, in Croatian) is one of the standard Serbo - Croatian varieties, partly similar to the existing division between Spanish and American Spanish. The differences in the language field of Spanish are greater than in the Serbo-Croat. The Croatian and Serbo-Croat other varieties differ in small ways (using words, grammar), however, they are equivalent and mutually intelligible. The Croatian is spoken mainly in Croatia, where it is an official, as well as in areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo inhabited by Croats.

It is also the native language in some of the areas of the diaspora, such as Germany, Romania, Canada, Slovakia, Australia and the United States, where there are large concentrations of native Croats and/or descendants of Croats.

Early development: The beginnings of the written language can be traced back to the ninth century, when the old Church Slavic was adopted as a liturgical language. Later it began to be used for secular purposes and came to be known as the Croatian version of the old Slavic. The two variants, liturgical and secular, continued in use until the middle of the ninth century, written in the alphabet known as Glagolitic. Until the end of the 11th century, Croatian medieval texts were written in three ways: Latin, Glagolitic, and Croatian Cyrillic (arvatica, poljičica, bosančica), and also in three languages: Croatian Slavic, Latin and Old Slavic. The latter, developed in what is referred to as the Croatian variant of the Slavic church between the 12th and 16th centuries. The most important ancient document of Croatian instruction is the Table of Baška, from the end of the eleventh century. It is a large stone tablet found in the small church of Saint Lucia on the Croatian island of Krk, containing the text written in Chakavski (today a Croatian dialect) and in Croatian Glagolitic script. Today, there are many monuments in stone or written in Glagolitic, and are also considered important in the history of the nation, since they mention Zvonimir, then king of Croatia.

Modern language and standardization: Although the first purely vernacular texts in a Croatian different from the Slavic church date from the thirteenth century, it is in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries that the modern Croatian language (recorded in texts such as the Croatian prayer book of the Vatican from 1400) emerged in the form (morphology, phonology and syntax) that differs only slightly from contemporary Croatian standard language. In the translation of the Bible of the manuscript of Bartolomeo Kašić, the standardization of the Croatian language can be traced back to the first dictionary illirio (Fausto Verancio: Linguum -Latinae de Europae of the nobilissimarum of the Dictionarium quinque, Italicae, Germanicae, Dalmatiae et Ungaricae, Venice 1595) and the first Croatian grammar (Bartolomeo Kašić: Duo of the illyricae libri of Institutionum languages, Rome 1604). The language of the Kašić translation of the Jesuit of the bible (Old and New testament, 1622-1636, unpublished until 2000) in the shtokavo-ijekavo dialect (the ornate style of Renaissance literature of the Republic of Ragusa) is so close of the contemporary standard language (separate spelling), since nineteenth-century linguists took the great Republic as a model to standardize that language.

The first standard attempt: In late medieval times until the 17th century, the main part of semi-autonomous Croatia was governed by two domestic dynasties of the princes (bani), Zrinski and Frankopan, who were linked by inter-union. Towards the 17th century both sought to unify Croatia also at the linguistic and cultural level, and with great foresight selected as their official language the transitory dialect of Ikavski-Kaikavski, this was a bad intermediate acceptable among all the main Croatian dialects (Chakavski, Kaikavski and Ikavski -Shtokavski), it is used so far in the north of Istra, and in the valleys of the Kupa, Mrežnica and Sutla rivers, and sporadic to other parts in central Croatia as well. This standardized form then became the cultivated language of the elite of the administration and intellectuals of the Istra peninsula along the Croatian coast, through central Croatia up into the northern valleys of Drava and Mura.

The Illyrian period: But, due to the linguistic situation of the unique Croatian, the formal shaping of the Croatian standard language was a process that took almost four centuries to complete. Croatian is a tongue of three dialects (a somewhat simplistic way of distinguishing between dialects is refer to the pronoun what, which is ča, kaj, što in, respectively, čakavian, kajkavian and štokavian dialects) and Glagolitic Cyrillic and Latin script of the three scripts language (Croatian / Western / Bosnian, with Latin writing as the last winner). The final obstacle to the unified Croatian literary language (based on Troubadour Croatian vernacular celebrated, Renaissance and Baroque - literature of acronyms TRB) (from c. 1490 to c. 1670) of Dalmatia, Republic of Ragusa and Boka Kotorska were surpassed by the standardization of Ljudevit Gaj national of the Croatian awakening of the written Latin norm between the years 1830 and 1850. Gaj and his ilírico movement (centered in Zagreb, capital of the Croatia, of kajkavian speech) were more political than linguistic. "They chose" štokavian dialect because they had no other option-realistic štokavian, or, more precisely, neoštokavian (a version of štokavian that emerged in the 15th and 16th centuries) was the main Croatian literary language of the seventeenth century.

Serbian connection: The development of the language in the 19th century overlapped with the agitations that occurred in the Serbian language. It was the reformer Vuk Karadžić, who created an energetic and inventive Serbian language and that the stylization and orthography of the Serbian linguistic popular language made a radical break with the past, until its activity for the first half of the 19th century, the Serbs had been using the Serbian variant of the Slavic church and a hybrid Russian-Slavic language. "Serbian Dictionary", published in Vienna 1818 (along with the added grammar), was the single most significant work of the Serbian literary culture that formed the profile of the Serbian language (and, the first Serbian dictionary and grammar thus far). After the encouragement of the Austrian bureaucracy that preferred a certain class of Croatian and Serbian languages unified for practical administrative reasons, in 1850, the Slovenian franc Miklošič of the philologist initiated a meeting of two Serbian philologists and writers, Vuk Karadžić and Đuro Daničić along with five "Croatian men of letters": Ivan Mažuranić, Demetrio Demetar, Stjepan Pejaković, Ivan Kukuljević and Vinko Pacel. The Vienna agreement on the basic characteristics of a "Croatian or a unified Serbian" or "Serbo-Croatian" language was signed by the eight participants (including Miklošič).

After the separation: Until the disintegration of Yugoslavia in 1991 it was considered that the Croatian formed, along with Serbian and Bosnian, one of the varieties of the Serbo-Croatian language.

After the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the cessation of the implementation of the language agreements between Croatia and Serbia, much has been insisted, especially on the Croatian side, on the separation of the three languages. The major point of agreement that can be reached in this sense is to admit that the Serbian and Croatian (together with the Bosnian) are part of the Slav central-southern diasystem.

The term Serbo-Croatian was used during most of the twentieth century to refer to the common language of Croats and Serbs. This denomination was used from 1921 to the War of the former Yugoslavia in the early nineties, in a generic way for the dialects spoken by Serbs, Croats, Bosnians and Montenegrins.

With the separation of Yugoslavia and the appearance of the new states, the term "Serbo-Croatian" fell into disuse, except in the field of linguistics. Nowadays, the denomination of said language is a controversial issue, in which history and politics have a lot to do.

Grammar: In Croatian there are seven grammatical cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative, locative and instrumental. As in the rest of the Slavic languages with a case system, the adjectives are declined slightly differently from the nouns.

Three grammar genres are distinguished: masculine, feminine and neutral. Within the masculine gender, a distinction between animated and non-animated is established.

There are two grammatical numbers: singular and plural.

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Croatian - Hrvatski
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