Bosnian is a South Slavic language spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It originated from Serbo-Croatian from which it has some relatively minor local differences.

It was declared an independent and autonomous language after the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Where Bosnian originated.

In Yugoslavia all the local language variants that existed in Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia and Montenegro were deliberately ignored and considered one language, Serbo-Croatian.

The differences were of course minor and they were not different languages but different dialects with local variations.

In each region the language had some special features, for example in some words or pronunciation, which gave the local connotation to the common language.

In light green the areas where Bosnian is spoken.

The break-up of Serbo-Croatian and the subsequent emergence of four new languages derived from it after the break-up of Yugoslavia was due to political rather than linguistic reasons.

Since then, conscious efforts have also been made to linguistically distance the new languages from each other.

Of course, for the time being to no avail since, as I said, they are essentially the same language and this cannot be done overnight.

Differences with Serbo-Croatian

Historically, the differences with Serbo-Croatian are mainly words of Arabic origin related to Islam as well as differences in pronunciation, such as the ξ phoneme typical of Bosnian colloquialisms.

There are also some differences in grammar and morphology.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

speakers and writing

Bosnian has been the official language of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1994 and is spoken by about 2.2 million people.

It is written in the Cyrillic alphabet and also in the Latin alphabet; the same bilingual system prevails in Serbian.

An Arabic-based alphabet has also been developed for Bosnian, since Bosnians are Muslims, but it is not officially used.

The oldest South Slavic text dates back to 1189 and is written in Bosnian.

These are titles of property and were written by Ban Kulin in the Bosnian Cyrillic alphabet.

Bosnian is called Bosanski (bosanski / босански) after the province of the same name in Bosnia.

Note that the word Bosnia is believed to be of Illyrian origin,one of the few Illyrian words known to date, and means 'river'.

sample of the Bosnian language

Bosanski jezik spada u vrstu tonskih jezika koji se u lingvistici nazivaju: jezici sa tonskim akcentom, a za njega je karakteristično postojanje dva tona (silazni i uzlazni) i dvije vokalne dužine (kratak i dug vokal). Jednosložne riječi mogu imati samo silazni ton, mada im vokal može biti i kratak i dug.


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