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After YugoslaviaThe Cultural Spaces of a Vanished Land$
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Radmila Gorup

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804784023

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804784023.001.0001

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Language Imprisoned by Identities; or, Why Language Should Be Defended

Language Imprisoned by Identities; or, Why Language Should Be Defended

(p.169) 11 Language Imprisoned by Identities; or, Why Language Should Be Defended
After Yugoslavia

Milorad Pupovac

Stanford University Press

This chapter demonstrates how language should be defended from the phenomenon of “identitization” in South Slavic languages, and especially in cases when language has obtained the status of dialect while standard idioms have obtained the status of language. The primary beneficiary of identitization is not language since in that process language appears only as a vehicle of standardization of identity. The aim of identitization is not for the language to be asserted but for the identity to assert itself. In Yugoslavia since the mid-1950s the period of grammar of nation ended and the period of state vernaculars began. In this new period the language has lost its autonomy and its vitality has been restricted. Examples are given from contemporary idioms to demonstrate what happens when language is placed in the mold of state vernacular as well as how polyglossia defends language both from itself and from ourselves.

Keywords:   identitization, standard idiom, standard language, state vernacular, standardization of identity, polyglossia

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