Robert D. Greenbergis Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New Haven and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1991 where he taught 1991-2. He then taught at Georgetown University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before taking up his current position in 2003.
Language and Identity in the Balkans
Robert D. Greenberg
Language rifts in the Balkans are endemic and have long been a symptom of ethnic animosity and a cause for inflaming it. But the break-up of the Serbo-Croat language into four languages on the path towards mutual unintelligibility within a decade is, by any previous standard of linguistic behaviour, extraordinary. Robert D. Greenberg describes how it happened. Basing his account on first-hand observations in the region before and since the communist demise, he evokes the drama and emotional discord as different factions sought to exploit, prevent, exacerbate, accelerate, or just make sense of the chaotic and unpredictable language situation. His fascinating account offers insights into the nature of language change and the relation between language and identity. It also provides a uniquely vivid perspective on nationalism and identity politics in the former Yugoslavia and its successor states.
To this very day ethnicity strikes many Westerners as being peculiarly related to "all those crazy little people and languages out there", to the unwashed (and unwanted) of the world, to phenomena that are really not fully civilized and that are more trouble than they are worth.
(Fishman 1989: 14-15)
It must have been only my third day in Yugoslavia, when my Croat friends took me to Zagreb's Mirogoj Cemetery. I had arrived in Yugoslavia to complete dissertation research. My topic was in theoretical Slavic linguistics on Serbo-Croatian appellative forms, which essentially included forms of address, commands, and prohibitions. I came armed with my charts of verb classes, imperative endings in dozens of dialects and the rough draft of a questionnaire. I planned to travel to each republic, and was going to seek out dusty band-written records of dialect forms. However, on that day in September 1989, I was still the tourist taking in the sights. I was amazed when my friends asked me if I wanted to see the grave of Ljudevit Gaj. I felt the kind of excitement the wide eyed student might experience when going on a field trip to a place they had only read about. When we reached the grave, my friends knelt down, genuinely moved. With visible emotion, they explained that Gaj, who had sought the unity of all Southern Slavs in the nineteenth century, embodied for them a lost dream of ethnic harmony, and of pan-Slavic cooperation. In retrospect, their feeling of loss preceded the events that were to occur only a few years later: as if they knew that Yugoslavism no longer had a chance. In that conversation, they told me that Serb-Croat relations would never recover from the upsurge of nationalism in the late 1980s. I had studied about Gaj primarily for his role in bringing about the unity of the Serbo-Croatian language. Was I to understand my friends' mournful comments as an indication that Serbo-Croatian was also no longer possible?
Six months later I was back in Zagreb at the Institute for Language to disseminate my questionnaire on Croatian appellative forms. I had painstakingly produced two versions of the questionnaire—one in the Eastern (Belgrade) variant of Serbo-Croatian, and one in the Western (Zagreb) variant. I did my best to adjust my speech from Belgrade to Zagreb mode. However, in a slip of the tongue, I innocently mentioned something about my plans for July. Much to my embarrassment, my interlocutors chastised me for using the Serbian form jul 'July', rather than the Croatian form srpanj. To add insult to injury, one of the Institute's staff then took me aside and made me repeat after her all the proper Croatian forms for all twelve months. I knew that language was a sensitive issue, but did not realize the emotional and ideological baggage each word carried. Most Croats had simply praised my excellent "Croatian," even though I could have sworn that I had been speaking with a Belgrade accent. When I received the questionnaires from the various Croatian linguists, who graciously agreed to provide data from their native dialects, I was pleased at the level of cooperation. Only one or two questionnaires were returned blank, with a terse note to the effect that they could not answer my questions, since I was primarily interested in phenomena occurring only in Serbian.
Later that month, I attended a reception at the Belgian Embassy in Belgrade. One distinguished guest, having discovered that I am a budding linguist, came up to me, and asked if I would answer a question which had long troubled him. I braced myself for yet another potentially embarrassing moment, but was relieved to hear that he simply wanted to know if I thought that Serbo-Croatian was one language or two. It was 1990, and the answer seemed obvious to me— officially the language was still united, and mutual intelligibility among its speakers was still possible. It was true that two literary languages had the potential to emerge, but it was too early to determine if this split had really occurred. This answer could not have made my questioner happier; having listened intently to my explanations, he became animated, and thanked me profusely for bringing closure to an issue that had been tormenting him for years. My theory about the basic unity of the language had been confirmed some weeks earlier, when I joined dialectologists from all over Yugoslavia at a weekend working session in the Serbian town of Arandjelovac. Perhaps I was naive, but it seemed that the Croat dialectologists had cordial relations with their Serb counterparts, and that they were all cooperating on the joint project of producing the Common Slavic Linguistic Atlas.
When I returned to the region after the cataclysmic events of the wars in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, the language situation had changed radically. Having landed at Sarajevo Airport in June 1998, I struck up a conversation with one of the airport's land crew. Her first comment was that she was impressed with my skills in the Bosnian language. Frankly, I had had no idea that I was even capable of speaking Bosnian, since during my previous visit to Sarajevo in 1990, I had openly admitted to speaking Serbo-Croatian. Relaxing at a cafe the next day, I was told by a Bosnian Croat colleague from Sarajevo University that he felt that the officials at the university were forcing the Bosnian language on everyone. He felt uncomfortable speaking it. The friends I stayed with were a Serb and Bosniac couple. She was not afraid to tell me that even though she speaks the Bosnian language, she completely rejects the initiatives of the Bosniac language planners, who in her view are insisting that everyone unnaturally adopt the speech characteristics of her grandmother from a small village. The next morning I crossed the inter-entity boundary in order to catch the bus to Belgrade. In Bosnian Serb territory, i spoke the same language I had used the day before, only now I was treated as a Serb. When the Yugoslav border guards singled me out for extra questioning upon my entry to Serbia, the bus driver told them to let me through, because he considered me to be one of theirs. While it still seemed as though Bosnian and Serbian were variants of one language, it was not at all clear how many years were needed before a foreigner would truly encounter difficulties in switching from one language to the other.
When I visited Montenegro that same summer, I gingerly asked my linguist colleagues whether or not they took seriously the moves to split off a Montenegrin language from the Republic's prevailing Serbian language in its ijekavian pronunciation. They retorted that supporters of a separate Montenegrin language were extremist Montenegrin nationalists, and that nobody in the community of linguists took them seriously. One colleague, a dialectologist, went so far as to say that it is impossible to identify a single linguistic form that would identify all Montenegrins. "If there were such forms," he chuckled, "they could be counted on one or two fingers." Since then, however, the advocates for a Montenegrin language have remained vocal, and given the political strains with Serbia, an official status for a separate Montenegrin language cannot be ruled out.
In recent years the nightmarish events surrounding the collapse of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia have attracted much attention. Scholars have come to grips with such questions as the causes of ethnic conflict, the role of the international community, the nature of nationalism at the end of the twentieth century in Europe, and the painful process of recovery and healing of the former Yugoslav republics. The many monographs which resulted from studies of Yugoslavia's demise and the resulting armed conflicts in the 1990s were approached by scholars of military, historical, economic, anthropological, and political science disciplines. Scholars appealing to English-speaking audiences have largely neglected the significance of the disintegration of the Serbo-Croatian unified language in 1991. This work fills an important gap in Balkan studies, as it constitutes the first comprehensive study devoted to the intersection of language, nationalism, and identity politics in the former Yugoslavia. It provides an analysis of the linguistic processes that took place between 1800 and the present. The language rifts in ex-Yugoslavia have long been both a symptom of ethnic animosity, and a cause for perpetuating and further inflaming ethnic tensions. This study addresses specific controversies surrounding the codifications of the four successor languages to Serbo-Croatian: Serbian, Montenegrin, Croatian, and Bosnian. It also shows the close link between the national image, personal and group identity, and the spoken word.
1.1 Goals and methodology
Since the break-up of the Serbo-Croatian language in 1991, several monographs on this subject have appeared in the successor states of the former Yugoslavia. Often these works, given the ethnic affiliations of their authors, are subjective and at times lack the scholarly rigor required in the study of linguistics. Thus, Brborić (2001) presents a collection of newspaper columns and documents with a distinctly Serbo-centric point of view regarding the proliferation of new languages in ex-Yugoslavia, while Kačić (1997) attempts to correct all historical delusions and distortions purportedly employed to explain the relationship between Croatian and Serbian. Bugarski (1995 and 1997) has focused much of his attention on language developments affecting the new Serbian standard in the context of the wars in ex-Yugoslavia and the social crisis in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Writing in German, Okuka, in a 1998 monograph, One Language, Many Heirs (the translation of the title is my own. Unless otherwise noted, all translations in this work arc my own.), provides much valuable information on the nineteenth-century language politics, but focuses primarily on the language situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The experts from outside the former Yugoslavia have largely treated individual successor languages, with few attempts to incorporate data from the entire Serbo-Croatian speech territory. Thus, Langston (1999) has treated recent developments in Croatian, Greenberg (2000) focused on Serbian, and both Ford (2001) and Magner and Marić (2002) have written on Bosnian.
Many of the leading scholars on the language issue in the former Yugoslavia participated in two conferences organized by Celia Hawkesworth and Ranko Bugarski at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at the University of London. The first conference took place in 1989 on the eve of Yugoslavia's demise, and the papers appeared in Hawkesworth and Bugarski (1992). This volume includes papers given by some of the key linguists from ex-Yugoslavia, including Pavle Ivić, Dubravko Škiljan, Radoslav Katičić, and Damir Kalogjera. These individuals were joined by leading non-Yugoslav scholars on this subject, including Kenneth Naylor and George Thomas. Their contributions are valuable in that they represent the final comprehensive view on the state of the joint Serbo-Croatian language. Within a few years of the conference, Ivić and Katičić became major actors in the dismantling of the unified language. The second conference in London took place in September 2000, and included papers on Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin language planning, presented by specialists from the United States, Europe, and the former Yugoslavia. Most of the presenters discussing language policy and language planning at the conference focused on a specific successor language; a forthcoming collection of the conference papers should prove to be a useful companion to the current monograph.
The current contribution provides a comprehensive analysis of the history of the joint literary language (Chapter 2), followed by detailed discussions of each of the four successor languages to Serbo-Croatian: Serbian (Chapter 3), Montenegrin (Chapter 4), Croatian (Chapter 5), and Bosnian (Chapter 6). The concluding chapter demonstrates that language planners for each of the four successor languages have faced similar obstacles in the race to standardize new languages without social upheavals. It further establishes that many of the language controversies from the past continue to destabilize the language standardization processes.
The analysis in this monograph is based on close readings of the recently published works on each of the successor languages. The types of works consulted can be divided into the following categories: (1) instruments of codification; (2) articles and monographs by linguists from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia discussing specific linguistic concerns; (3) blueprints for the new successor languages, or reinterpreting the years of the unified language; and (4) articles from the popular press on language issues.
The instruments of codification include the many dictionaries, orthographic manuals, grammars, and handbooks of the new successor languages published since 1991. Each publication of an instrument of codification has political, rather than linguistic, significance. As Chapter 2 demonstrates, Vuk Karadžić's 1818 Serbian dictionary caused heated debates among members of the Serbian elites, and the effort to codify a new Serbian standard was described in epic terms, as one man's valiant war to bring literacy to his people (Cf. Daničić (1847), Belić (1949), and Butler (1970).) Several grammars, orthographic manuals, and dictionaries were so politically explosive that they were destroyed upon printing (cf. Moskovljević 1966, Babić et al. 1972, and Težak and Babić 1996). The controversial nature of language handbooks (grammars, orthographic manuals, dictionaries, and language pedagogy materials) continued in the 1990s for all the Yugoslav successor states. Dueling orthographic manuals appeared in 1993-4 in Serbia (cf. 3.3), and in 2000-1 in Croatia (cf. 5.3). Nikčević's 1997 orthographic manual (1997b) reads more like a treatise on the rights of the Montenegrins to a language and an identity, rather than a manual to teach correct spelling.
The articles and monographs consulted in the discussions below admittedly represent only a fraction of the vast literature published on the language issue. My approach has been thematic; rather than attempt to cover all facets of language change and the differentiation of the successor languages. I have sought articles that inform readers about the main controversies surrounding the new successor languages. In particular, I have focused on orthographic controversies, debates on literary dialects, disagreements on vocabulary, and issues related to the constitutional status of the successor languages. Many of the source materials are still largely unavailable in Western libraries, including the Montenegrin journalsRiječ, SPONE, Vaspitanje i obrazovanje and the Croatian Serb journal Znamen (I was able to acquire many of these works in research trips to ex-Yugoslavia in 1997, 1998, and 2001.). The number of conferences and congresses held in the Yugoslav successor states since 1991 has been staggering, and the articles consulted include conference papers delivered at such venues as the First Croatian Slavic Congress in Pula (1995), the Symposium on the Bosnian Language in Bihać (1998), a conference on the status of the Serbian language in Croatia held in Petrinja just months before it fell to Croat forces in Operation Storm (1995), and a conference on the two official pronunciations of Serbian held in Montenegro (1994).
Finally, the popular press in the Yugoslav successor states has provided many valuable sources for gauging the wider implications of specific developments in the emergence of the four successor languages. Many publications have regular columns on correct language usage, or on contemporary linguistic debates. Some of the Croatian language columns have been reprinted in collections by Matica hrvatska (cf. Kuljiš 1994), while others are available on the Internet from Vjesnik, Globus, and Slobodna Dalmacija. Similarly, the Internet has been a valuable tool for uncovering articles from the Bosnian daily Dani, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty broadcasts to the Western Balkans, the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, and the Montenegrin weekly Monitor. The clippings from Serbian newspapers were taken between 1991 and 1996 from Politika and Naša borba (I wish to thank Milan Petrović, who greatly assisted me in the gathering of some 20 clippings from the Belgrade press during those years.).
Through a synthesis of these primary source materials, I highlight the main trends in the processes of language birth and rebirth within the former Serbo-Croatian speech territory. I address the means by which language planners attempt to differentiate among the various languages, and suggest that their decisions have at times been undermined by some of their own ethnic kin, who have objected when overly prescriptive norms were proposed. My goal is to document the political motivations and social forces that have brought about the unprecedented linguistic transformations in the former Yugoslavia. How have these transformations affected nearly twenty million citizens, who once spoke a unified language? These sociolinguistic issues are best understood in the context of the broader scholarship on the relationship between language and ethnicity (1.2) language and nationalism (1.3).
1 Introduction 1
2 Serbo-Croatian: United or not we fall 16
2.2 Controversies connected with Serb/Croat
language accords 24
2.3 The power of competing dialects 32
2.4 The writing on the wall: Alphabets and writing systems 41
2.5 Vocabulary: A reflection of divergent approaches to identity 47
2.6 The turbulent history of the language union: A chronology 54
3 Serbian: Isn't my language your language? 58
4 Montenegrin: A mountain out of a mole hill? 88
4.2 Montenegro's two factions 97
4.3 The proposed standard 102
4.4 Conclusions 105
5 Croatian: We are separate but equal twins 109
5.1.1 Contributions of the "Croat Vukovites": Traitors
or Croat patriots? 111
5.1.2 Tito's Yugoslavia: Croatian and not Croato-Serbian 115
5.2 The new Croatian 118
5.3 Recent orthographic controversies 125
5.4 Conclusions 132
6 Bosnian: A three-humped camel? 135
7 Conclusion 159
Appendix A: Text of the 1850 Literary Agreement 168
Appendix B: Text of the 1954 Novi Sad Agreement 172
Works cited 175
Robert D. Greenberg, Ph.D.
Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
CB# 3165, 425 Dey Hall
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3165
1991 Ph.D., Slavic Languages and Literatures
1988 M.Phil., Slavic Languages and Literatures
1985 M.A., Russian Literature
Sarah Lawrence College
1983 B.A., Russian Language and Literature
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2000- Director, Office of Distinguished Scholarships and Intellectual Life
- Oversee distinguished scholarship programs
- Evaluate and select candidates for interdisciplinary and innovative projects
- Implement Chancellor’s Committee recommendations on UNC intellectual climate
- Coordinate faculty involvement in scholarship processes and intellectual climate initiatives
- Advise and mentor students
- Serve as liaison to Provost’s and Dean’s Offices
- Manage programs and office budget
- Hire, supervise, and evaluate support staff
- Oversight of office website
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
1999- Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures
1994-1999 Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Georgetown University, Washington, DC
1992-1994 Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
1991-1992 Lecturer in Slavic Languages and Literatures
1986-1989 Teaching Fellow, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
2002 Primary Organizer, 1st Conference of the Southeast European Studies Association.
Primary Organizer, 13th Biennial Conference on Balkan/South Slavic Linguistics, Literature, and Folklore.
Member, Selection Committee for Advanced Research Grants, International Research and Exchanges Board
2001 Co-Chair, UNC Rhodes Scholarship Committee
2000 Chair, UNC Intellectual Life Advisory Board
Chair, UNC Scholarship Advisory Board
Chair, UNC British Marshall Scholarship Committee
Chair, UNC Truman Scholarship Committee
1999 Member, Advisory Board for UNC – Duke Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies
Member, Advisory Board for UNC Curriculum in Peace, War and Defense
Book Chair, Slavic Languages Department, UNC
1998 Fellow, UNC Institute for the Arts and Humanities
Grants and Fellowships
2001 Fulbright Senior Scholar, lecturing and researching at the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts
UNC Partners Grant for Research in Macedonia
1999 Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Research fellowship
1998 IREX short-term travel grant for research in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Yugoslavia
Lupton Opportunities UNC grant for developing "Language and Nationalism" course.
Institute for the Arts and Humanities, UNC, research fellowship
University Research Council grant for research in Macedonia and Yugoslavia
1995 University of North Carolina Arts and Sciences Foundation grant for research in Bulgaria
1994 IREX short-term grant for research in Bulgaria
1991 ACLS grant for study in Ohrid, Macedonia
1990 IREX grant for Bulgarian Studies Seminar, Sofia, Bulgaria
Henry Rice award, Yale University
1989 Fulbright for research in Yugoslavia
American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies
American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages
Bulgarian Studies Association
Southeast European Studies Association
Association for the Study of Nationalities
Proficiency in German and Slovenian
Reading knowledge of Czech, Old Church Slavic, Italian, Polish, and Ukrainian
Books and Book Chapters
Language and Identity in the Balkans, forthcoming. Oxford University Press.
"Language, Nationalism, and the Yugoslav Successor States." Language, Ethnicity and the State: Eastern Europe Since 1989 (ed. Camille O’Reilly). London-New York 2001): 17-42.
The Balkan Slavic Appellative(1996). Munich/Newcastle: LINCOM EUROPA (LINCOM Studies in Slavic Linguistics 06). 220 pp.
"Balkan Migrations, Dialects, and Ethnic Rivalries: The Case of Bosnia-Herzegovina." Journal of Slavic Linguistics, forthcoming, 2003, 20 pp.
"The Border between Balkan Slavic and South Slavic: Key Morphological Features in Serbian Transitional Dialects" co-authored with Sofija Miloradovic; to appear in Festschrift to honor Howard Aronson (forthcoming, 2002), 19 pp.
"Language and the National Idea." Prilozi na makedonskata akademija na naukite I umetnostite (forthcoming, 2002), 24 pp.
"From Serbo-Croatian to Montenegrin?: Politics of Language in Montenegro" to appear in Language Planning in Yugoslavia, vol. 2 (forthcoming 2002), 16 pp.
"The Dialects of Macedonia and Montenegro: Random Linguistic Developments or Evidence of a Sprachbund." Juznoslovenski filolog 56/1-2 (2001): 295-300.
"Language Politics in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia: The Crisis over the Future of Serbian." Slavic Review 59/3 (2000): 625-640.
"The Breakup of Serbo-Croatian: Language Diversity or Language Apartheid." Chicago Linguistics Society 35 (1999): 51-68.
"In the Aftermath of Yugoslavia’s Collapse: The Politics of Language Death and Language Birth." International Politics 36/2 (1999): 141-158.
"Dialects and Ethnicity in the Former Yugoslavia: The Case of Southern Baranja (Croatia)." Slavic and East European Journal 42/4 (1998): 710-722.
"Towards a New Interpretation of Serbian and Croatian Morphophonemic Patterns." American Contributions to the Twelfth International Congress of Slavists (1998): 421-431.
"The Interplay of Imperative and Hortative in the Balkan Slavic Dialects." Balkanistica 10 (1997): 202-211.
"The Politics of Dialects Among Serbs, Croats, and Muslims in the Former Yugoslavia." East European Politics and Societies 10/3 (1996): 393-415.
"Serbo-Croatian Dialect Studies: Changing Perspectives in the Context of Increased Yugoslav Disunity (1966-1990)." Multiple Perspectives on the Historical Dimensions of Language (1996), 193-200.
"Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian Language Policies in the Years Leading up to the Yugoslav Disintegration." Sociolinguistic Problems in Various Regions of the World: Materials of the International Conference, Moscow, 1996 (1996), 141-143.
"Southwest Balkan Linguistic Contacts, Evidence from Appellative Language" Journal of Slavic Linguistics 2/2 (1994): 275-283.
"From Common Slavic to Slovenian: On the Margins of Lencek’s The Structure and History of the Slovene Language." International Journal of Slavic Linguistics and Poetics 35- 36 (1987): 285-298.
Review of The New Macedonian Question (ed. James Pettifer). Balkanistica 14(Spring 2001): 170-2.
Review of Jane Hacking’s Coding the Hypothetical. Slavic and East European Journal 44/1 (2000): 163-164.
Review of Guide to Russian Idioms. Modern Language Journal 83/4 (1999): 618-619.
Review of Hugh Poulton and Suha Taji-Farouki (eds.) Muslim Identity in the Balkan States. Europe-Asia Studies 51/2 (1999): 359-362.
Review of Alemko Gluhak’s Hrvatski etimološki rječnik. Slavic and East European Journal 43/1 (1999): 245-246.
Review of Studies in South Slavic and Balkan Linguistics vol. 23. Slavic and East European Journal 42/2 (1998): 352-353.
"New Balkan Policy Needed." Foreign Policy in Focus, Institute for Policy Studies, Washington DC (2001).
"U.S. Policy in the Balkans." Global Focus: U.S. Foreign Policy at the Turn of the Millennium (2000): 209-213, New York: St. Martin’s Press.
"Keys to Stability in the Balkans" In Focus Policy Brief, Institute for Policy Studies, Washington DC (1999).
"Language and Education in Macedonia" Dnevnik (Macedonia daily newspaper), 16 June, 2001.
"Qytetaret e Maqedonise te largohen nga gremina", Fakti (Civil Society must be preserved), 24 March 2001.
"What is Next for the Balkans." Raleigh News and Observer, 31 January, 2000.
"SEESA Newsletter" 2001
"Language, Ethnicity, and Balkan Politics," Summary of talk published in the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Newsletter, 2000
"Language Nationalism and Serbian Politics," published in the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Newsletter, 1999
"The Politics of Language Reform in the Yugoslav Successor States," summary of talk published in the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Newsletter, 1998
Contributor, "Bulgaria," published in Handbook distributed to North Carolina Public Schools, 1996
"Bulgarian Blues." Contribution to the Newsletter of the UNC-Duke Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies, 1995
"Balkan Dialects, Migrations, and Ethnic Violence: The Case of the Bosnian Serbs," for conference "Voice or Exit: Comparative Perspectives on Ethnic Minorities in Twentieth Century Europe," Humboldt University, Berlin, 14-16 June 2001.
"Language Conflict in Macedonia: Is Bilingualism a Solution?" Minority Languages Workshop, University of Bath, 8-10 June 2001.
A series of lectures delivered in Macedonian for the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, "Language and the National Idea" February – May 2001.
"Balkan Migrations, Dialects, and Ethnic Rivalries: From Bosnia to Macedonia." Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington DC, 4 April 2001.
"The New Multilingualism in the Former Yugoslavia: Implications for Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro." New Hampshire International Seminar, University of New Hampshire, 3 November 2000.
"From Serbo-Croatian to Montenegrin: Language Policy in Montenegro." School for Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London, 7-9 September 2000.
"New Languages and Old Controversies: The Case of Serbo-Croatian." Yale University, 12 April 2000.
"Language, Ethnicity, and Balkan Politics." Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC, 11 April 2000.
"From Bosnia to Kosovo: Prospects for Multiethnicity in the Balkans." Berry College, Rome, GA, 7 March 2000.
"Language, Nationalism, and Serbian Politics." Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, D.C., 9 June 1999.
"The Breakup of Serbo-Croatian: Language Diversity, or Language Apartheid?" Chicago Linguistics Society, University of Chicago, 22 April 1999.
"The Politics of Language Reform in the Yugoslav Successor States." Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC, 16 April 1998.
"In the Aftermath of the Yugoslav Conflict: Language as a Means for Deepening Ethnic Divisions." Georgetown University, 18 November 1997.
"Language and Ethnicity in the Former Yugoslavia: Ethnic ‘Tag’ or Ethnic ‘Flag’?" University of Virginia, 1 April 1996.
"The Proliferation of Vocative Endings in the Balkan Slavic Dialects." Symposium, "Dialectology and Historical Linguistics: Contributions of South Slavic," University of California, Berkeley, 22-23 April 1995.
"Language, Nationality, and Ethnicity: The Slavs after Communism," Georgetown University, 17 March 1994.
"The Proliferation of Endings in the Balkan Slavic Vocative," University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 27 January 1994.
"Some Observations on the History of the East Slavic Imperative," University of Toronto, 17 March 1993.
"Reliving the Past: Russian Expressive Narration," Brandies University, 12 February 1993.
"Southwest Balkan Linguistic Contacts," University of Washington, 5 January 1993.
"The Yugoslav Experience in the Context of East European Reforms." Master’s Tea, Ezra Stiles College, Yale University, 5 April 1991.
Academic Conferences and Presentations
"The Potential for a Montenegrin Language: The Final Chapter in the Demise of Serbo-Croatian?" Annual meeting, Association for the Study of Nationalities, Columbia University, 7 April 2001.
"How We Write is Who We Are: Recent Orthographic Controversies in Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia," Twelfth Biennial Conference on Balkan/South Slavic Linguistics, Literature, and Folklore, University of Kansas, 4-6 May 2000.
"‘Bosnian or Bosniac?’ The Current Identity Crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina," Fifth World Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities, Columbia University, 14 April 2000.
"The Incorporation of Sociolinguistic Data in the Teaching of South Slavic Languages." Conference on Internationalizing the Curriculum, Duke University, 16 April 1999.
"Sociolinguistic Problems in Yugoslavia Today: The Crisis over the Future of Serbian." Annual meeting of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL), San Francisco, 28-30 December 1998.
"The Fate of Ijekavian in the Codification of a New Serbian Standard." Eleventh Biennial Conference on Balkan and South Slavic Linguistics, Literature, and Folklore, The University of Arizona, 24-27 March 1998.
"За врските меѓу западномакедонските и црногорските говори" ("On the Links Between Western Macedonianand Montenegrin Dialects.") Conference at the Seminar for Macedonian Language, Literature, and Culture, Ohrid, Macedonia, 17-19 August 1997
"The Dialects of Macedonia and Montenegro: Random Linguistic Parallels or Evidence of a Sprachbund?" Third North American-Macedonian Conference on Macedonian Language, Literature and Folklore, University of Toronto, 12-15 June 1997
"Observations from the Transitional Bulgarian Dialects Along the jat’ Boundary." Annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS), Boston, 14-17 November 1996
"Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian Language Policies in the Years Leading up to Yugoslavia’s Disintegration." International Sociolinguistic Conference, The Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. Russia, 22-26 October 1996
"From Banja Luka to Baranja: Were There Ethnic Dialects in the Former Yugoslavia?" The Tenth Biennial Conference on Balkan and South Slavic Linguistics, Literature and Folklore, The University of Chicago, 5-8 May 1996
"Serbo-Croatian: A Study in Language Disintegration?" Piedmont Slavic Colloquium, Duke University, 5 February 1996
"The Status of the Bulgarian Vocative." Annual Meeting of the AAASS, Washington, DC, 20-23 October 1995
"Towards a New Interpretation of Serbian and Croatian Morphophonemic Patterns." Pre-session to 1995 Georgetown University Round Table Conference (GURT), Washington, DC, 6-7 March 1995
"Stress, Quantity, and Morphophonemics: Balkan Slavic Revisited." Annual AAASS Meeting, Philadelphia, 17-20 November 1994
"Morphophonemic Patterns in Serbo-Croatian Štokavian Dialects." Ninth Biennial Conference on Balkan and South Slavic Linguistics, Literature and Folklore, Indiana University, 7-9 April 1994
"Dialects and Ethnicity in the Serbo-Croatian Speech Territory," Meeting of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL), Toronto, 29 December 1993
"The Politics of Dialects and The History of the Language Sciences in Former Yugoslavia", The Sixth International Conference on the History of the Language Sciences, Georgetown University, 11 August 1993
"Modal Forms of give and take in Russian," Russian Verb Panel, AATSEEL Conference, New York, 28 December 1992
"Balkanisms in the Montenegrin Dialects," Balkan Sprachbund Conference, Warsaw, 24 November 1992
"Appellative Particles in the Balkan Slavic Dialects," Eighth Biennial Conference on Balkan/South Slavic Linguistics, Literature and Folklore, The University of Chicago, 10 April 1992
"The Bare Stem Imperative in Serbo-Croatian and Bulgarian," AATSEEL Conference, San Francisco, 30 December 1991
Outreach Activities and Media Interviews
2002 "Language, Nationalism, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict," Meretz USA, New York.
2001 UNC Adventures in Ideas Weekend Seminar Lecture: The Southwestern Balkans: Stability or Instability?
"Controversies Over Language: Symptoms or Causes of Ethnic Conflict," Invited talk, Macedonian-American Alumni Association, Residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia, 23 April.
Macedonian Television News, Language and the Nation
National Public Radio Morning Edition Live Interview
Puls, Language Policy Interview
2000 UNC Adventures in Ideas Weekend Seminar Lecture: "Milosevic: The Cunning Survivor"
Newspaper Interviews: The Wall Street Journal, On the Croatian Language.
Raleigh News and Observer, Chapel Hill News
Voice of America, Interview
1999 Interpreter for the Russian Leadership Program Parliamentary Delegation, American
Foreign Policy Council
"The Situation in Kosovo and Bosnia." North Carolina Air National Guard, Officers briefing, Raleigh
"A Perspective on the Balkan Wars." Annual meeting of the American Association of University Women, Chapel Hill Chapter
"The Rhetoric of War: Yugoslav Media on the Kosovo Conflict." United States House of Representatives
Newspaper Interviews: USA Today, Gannett Newspapers, New York Newsday, North Carolina News Network, Kansas City Star, Raleigh News and Observer, Durham Herald-Sun, Stars and Stripes, Chapel Hill News, The Daily Tar Heel
Radio Interviews: Pacifica Radio Network, National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation, National Public Radio-Yahoo Chat, Voice of America, Urban Radio Network
TV News: Channels 5, 11, 17, and 20
"The War in Kosovo," UNC Alumni Association
"Bombing Yugoslavia?" UNC-Chapel Hill Teach-in
"Understanding the Yugoslav Conflict," presentation at opening of Yugoslav film festival at North Carolina State University, Raleigh
"Crisis in the Balkans." UNC World View meeting for NC public school teachers and Administrators
"The Crisis in Kosovo." East Chapel Hill High School
1998 Language consultant for Bulgarian, The Burning Coal Theater’s production of Pentecost
"Incorporating Yugoslavia and the Balkans into the Middle School Curriculum." Conference of North Carolina Social Studies Teachers. Greensboro
1997 Radio Interviews: Macedonian National Radio, Voice of America 1996 Panelist for Human Rights Week, University of North Carolina
Panel moderator, Bosnia Forum, Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies, University of North Carolina
Last modified, 2/72002