Montenegrin alphabet

Montenegrin alphabet

The Montenegrin alphabet is the collective name given to "Abeceda" (Montenegrin Latin alphabet) and "Азбука" (Montenegrin Cyrillic alphabet) writing systems used to write the Montenegrin language. It was adopted on 9 June 2009 by the minister of education of Montenegro, Sreten Škuletić[1] and replaced the Serbian Cyrillic and Croatian Latin alphabets. Although Latin and Cyrillic alphabets enjoy equal status under the Constitution of Montenegro, the government and proponents of Montenegrin language prefer to use the Latin script.[2]



Efforts to create a Latin character based Montenegrin alphabet go back at least to World War I, when a newspaper was published in Cetinje using both Latin and Cyrillic characters. [3]

Unused basic Latin letters

It uses most letters of the modern basic Latin alphabet (with the exception of the consonants Q, W, X and Y, only used for writing common words or proper names directly borrowed from foreign languages).


Montenegrin Latin is based on Serbo-Croatian Latin, with the addition of the two letters Ś and Ź, to replace the digraphs SJ and ZJ.[4] These parallel the two letters of the Montenegrin Cyrillic alphabet not found in Serbian, С́ and З́. These, respectively, could be represented in the original alphabets as žj and šj,[5] and шj and жj.[6]

It also uses some Latin extended letters, composed with a basic Latin letter and one of two combining accents (the acute accent or caron, over C, S, and Z), and a supplementary base consonant Đ: they are needed to note additional phonetic distinctions (notably to preserve the distinctions that are present in the Cyrillic alphabet with which the Montenegrin language has also long been written, when it was still unified in the former Yugoslavia within the written Serbo-Croatian language).


The alphabet also includes some digraphs built from the previous characters (that are considered as single letters for collation purpose): , Nj, and Lj.

Collation order


  1. ^
  2. ^ Lowen, Mark (February 19, 2010). Montenegrin language disputes "Montenegro embroiled in language row". BBC News. Montenegrin language disputes. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Semi-Official War Newspaper to Start". Bakersfield Californian (Bakersfield, California). April 3, 1916.,121410&dq=montenegrin-alphabet&hl=en. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^

See also

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