Macedonian language naming dispute

Macedonian language naming dispute

The name of the Macedonian language (Macedonian: македонски јазик, "makedonski jazik"), as used by the people and defined in the constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, is "Macedonian" ( _mk. македонски - makedonski). [ [ Republic of Macedonia - Constitution] ] This is also the name used by international bodies, such as the United Nations [ [ Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights - FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA: PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION - OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission - Final Report] ] and the World Health Organisation. [ [ World Health Organization - WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data] ] The name is also used by convention in the field of Slavic Studies. [ [Sussex, R. (2006) "The Slavic Languages" (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press) ISBN 0-521-22315-6] ]

However, due to historical objection by Greece, several other terms of reference are used when describing or referring to the language. Some of the names use the family to which the language belongs to disambiguate it from the Ancient Macedonian language; sometimes the antonym "Makedonski" is used in English for the modern Slavic language, with "Macedonian" being reserved for the ancient language. [ [ PDF version Joseph, B. (1999) "Romanian and the Balkans: Some Comparative Perspectives" In S. Embleton, J. Joseph, & H.-J. Niederehe (eds.) "The Emergence of the Modern Language Sciences." Studies on the Transition from Historical-Comparative to Structural Linguistics in Honour of E.F.K. Koerner. Volume 2: Methodological Perspectives and Applications. Amsterdam: John Benjamins (1999), pp. 218-235] ] There is also a close dialect variation of modern Greek called Macedonian and spoken by Greek Macedonians. [ [cite book | last = Ανδριώτης (Andriotis) | first = Νικόλαος Π. (Nikolaos P.)| year = 1995| title = Ιστορία της ελληνικής γλώσσας: (τέσσερις μελέτες) (History of the Greek language: four studies) | publisher = Ίδρυμα Τριανταφυλλίδη | location = Θεσσαλονίκη (Thessaloniki) | id = ISBN 960-231-058-8] ] [ [cite book| last = Vitti| first = Mario| year = 2001| title = Storia della letteratura neogreca| publisher = Carocci | location = Roma | id = ISBN 88-430-1680-6] ] [ [Lindstedt, J. (2000). “Linguistic Balkanization: Contact-induced change by mutual reinforcement”, D. G. Gilbers & al. (eds.): "Languages in Contact", (Studies in Slavic and General Linguistics, 28.), Amsterdam & Atlanta, GA, 2000: Rodopi, 231–246. ISBN 90-420-1322-2] ]

Macedonian Slavic

This sub heading contains many variants such as "Macedonian Slav", "Slavic Macedonian", "(Slavic) Macedonian", "Macedonian (Slavonic)" etc. The term "Macedonian Slavic" (македонски словенски) is listed by Ethnologue as an alternative name for the Macedonian language. [ [ Ethnologue - Macedonian language] ] As of 2004, Eurominority reports that the Council of Europe uses the term "Macedonian (Slavic)" to refer to the Macedonian language. [ [ Eurominority - Macedonians protest Concil of Europe decision on their Country's name.] ]

In Australia, the state government of Victoria decided in 1994 that the Macedonian language should be referred to as "Macedonian (Slavonic)". The decision was made due to pressure from the Greek community and Greek diplomats. The ethnic Macedonian community was outraged, and appealed to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. The appeal was unsuccessful, but the Supreme Court of Australia finally reversed the decision of the state government in 1998. [ [Fishman, J. A. (2000) "Can Threatened Languages Be Saved?: Reversing Language Shift, Revisited - A 21st Century Perspective" ISBN 1-85359-492-X] ]


:"See also: Slavomacedonian

The term Slavomacedonian ( Macedonian: славомакедонски, Greek: Σλαβομακεδονικά) was introduced in Greece in the 1940s. A native of Greek Macedonia, a pioneer of ethnic Macedonian schools in the region and local historian, Pavlos Koufis, says: [ ["Laografika Florinas kai Kastorias" (Folklore of Florina and Kastoria), Athens 1996] ]

" [During its Panhellenic Meeting in September 1942, the KKE mentioned that it recognises the equality of the ethnic minorities in Greece] the KKE recognised that the Slavophone population was ethnic minority of Slavomacedonians. This was a term, which the inhabitants of the region accepted with relief. [Because] Slavomacedonians = Slavs+Macedonians. The first section of the term determined their origin and classified them in the great family of the Slav peoples."

Although acceptable in the past, current use of this name in reference to both the ethnic group and the language can be considered pejorative and offensive by ethnic Macedonians. The Greek Helsinki Monitor reports:

"... the term Slavomacedonian was introduced and was accepted by the community itself, which at the time had a much more widespread non-Greek Macedonian ethnic consciousness. Unfortunately, according to members of the community, this term was later used by the Greek authorities in a pejorative, discriminatory way; hence the reluctance if not hostility of modern-day Macedonians of Greece (i.e. people with a Macedonian national identity) to accept it." [ [ Greek Helsinki Monitor - The Macedonians] ]

The term was initially used by the EBLUL to refer to both the Slavophone minority of Greek Macedonia, and the majority ethnic group of the Republic of Macedonia. The term was dropped by the after complaints by ethnic Macedonian organizations of the diaspora, but references to the "Slavic people" and "Slavic minority" were retained on the EBLUL website. Commenting on the name change, the Greek Helsinki Monitor said it hoped the decision would be shared by EBLUL with the Greek media and authorities:

" the hope that, at long last, they respect the use of the name of the language (and the corresponding people) chosen by its users and unanimously accepted by the international scholarly and NGO community, as well as by many intergovernmental fora." [ [ Greek Helsinki Monitor - Press Release - 2002 - EBLUL AND EUROLANG DROP REFERENCES TO “SLAVO-MACEDONIAN LANGUAGE”] ]

FYRO Macedonian/Macedonian (FYROM)

The terms "FYRO Macedonian" [ [ Microsoft - NLS Information for Windows XP Service Pack 2] ] and "Macedonian (FYROM)" [ [ Microsoft Keyboard Layout - Macedonian (FYROM)] ] are used by the Microsoft corporation in its Windows software. In 2003, Metamorphosis, an NGO registered in the Republic of Macedonia, reported that Microsoft would "correct the mistake regarding its attitude towards the Macedonian identity" [ [ Metamorphosis - Macedonian Government Signs Strategic Partnership Deal With Microsoft] ] which occurred as a result of a deal between Microsoft and the government of the Republic of Macedonia. However, as of 2007, Microsoft continues to use "Macedonian (FYROM)" as the name of the language in its latest operating system, Windows Vista. [ [ Microsoft - NLS Information for Windows Vista] ]

Macedonian literary language

This term is used to refer to the standardised language developed after 1944. The term has notably been used in the title of Horace Lunt's "A Grammar of the Macedonian Literary Language", the first English-language grammar of the Macedonian language.

ee also

* Macedonian language
* Political views on the Macedonian language
* Macedonia naming dispute
* Slavic language (Greece)


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