Serbs, Language

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Summary

The Serbs (, ) are a South Slavic nation and ethnic group native to the Balkans.

Details

Serbs speak the Serbian language, a member of the South Slavic group of languages, specifically in the Southwestern Slavic group, with the Southeastern group containing Bulgarian and Macedonian. Standard Serbian is considered a variety of Serbo-Croatian, as mutually intelligible with the Croatian and Bosnian languages (see Differences in standard Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian) which are all based on the Shtokavian dialect.

Serbian is an official language in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and is a recognized minority language in Montenegro (although spoken by a plurality of population), Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Older forms of literary Serbian are Church Slavonic of the Serbian recension, which is still used for ecclesiastical purposes, and Slavonic-Serbian - a mixture of Serbian, Church Slavonic and Russian used from mid-18th century to the first decades of the 19th century.

Serbian has active digraphia, with speakers using both Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. Serbian Cyrillic was devised in 1814 by Serbian linguist Vuk Karadžić, who created the alphabet on phonemic principles.

Loanwords in the Serbian language besides common internationalisms are mostly from Turkish, German and Italian, while words of Hungarian origin are present mostly in the north and Greek words are predominant in the liturgy. Two Serbian words that are used in many of the world's languages are "vampire" and "paprika". The English term vampire was derived (possibly via French vampyre) from the German Vampir, which was in turn derived in the early 18th century from the Serbian word вампир/vampir, when Arnold Paole, a purported vampire in Serbia was described as wreaking havoc in Serbian villages during the time that Serbia was incorporated into the Austrian Empire.

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External Links

  • WikipediaProject Rastko – Serbian cultural and historical research societyArticles about the Serbs by Westerners

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