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Dalibor Brozović

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Dalibor Brozović

Dalibor Brozović
Born (1927-07-28)28 July 1927
Sarajevo, Kingdom of Yugoslavia, (now Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Died 19 June 2009(2009-06-19) (aged 81)
Zagreb, Croatia
Occupation Linguist
Relatives Dunja Brozović-Rončević (daughter[1]), philologist ; Ranko Matasović (nephew[2]), philologist

Dalibor Brozović (Croatian pronunciation: ; 28 July 1927, Sarajevo - 19 June 2009, Zagreb) was a Croatian linguist, Slavist, dialectologist and politician. He studied the history of standard Slavic languages, especially Croatian. He was an active Esperantist since 1946, and wrote Esperanto poetry as well as translated works into the language.[3]


  • Life and career 1
  • Linguistic importance 2
  • Works 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Life and career

He was born in Sarajevo and went to primary school in Zenica. Then he went to comprehensive secondary schools in Visoko, Sarajevo and Zagreb. He received a BA degree in the Croatian language and Yugoslav literatures at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. In 1957, he received his Ph.D. with the thesis Speech in the Fojnica Valley.

Brozović worked as an assistant at the Zagreb Theater Academy (1952–1953) and as a lecturer at the University of Ljubljana (until 1956). He subsequently went to the Faculty of Philosophy in Zadar, becoming an associate professor (1956), docent (1958), extraordinary (1962) and full (1968-1990) professor. In 1969 he worked as a visiting professor at the University of Michigan, and since 1971 at the University of Regensburg.

In 1975 he became an associate, and in 1977 extraordinary, and in 1986 full member of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts. Since 1986 he was an external member of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and since 1991 of the Academia Europaea.

Since 1946 he was a member of the Communist Party.[4] In the late 1980s, he was a co-founder and vice-president of the Croatian Democratic Union, which would win the 1990 elections. He was the vice-president of the presidency of the Republic of Croatia (in 1990) and a member of the Croatian Parliament (1992-1995). In the period 1991-2001 he headed the Miroslav Krleža Lexicographical Institute. He edited the Atlas of European and Slavic Dialectology.

Linguistic importance

Brozović has been described as one of the most influential Croatian linguists of the 20th century.[5] However, this view is given from an extremely nationalist perspective, as Brozović was known to often abandon linguistics for an extremely nationalist discourse.[6][7] Among his main works are the book Standardni jezik ("Standard Language") (1970) and the article "Hrvatski jezik, njegovo mjesto unutar južnoslavenskih i drugih slavenskih jezika, njegove povijesne mijene kao jezika hrvatske književnosti" ("Croatian Language, Its Place among the South Slav and Other Slav Languages, Its Historical Changes as the Language of Croatian Literature") (1978). The former gives a typology of standard languages, which however meets criticism for containing disputable and vague criteria.[8][9] The latter divides the history of the Croatian language into three pre-standard and three standard periods. Whereas it was widely believed that Croatian was only standardized around the time of the Illyrian movement and Ljudevit Gaj, Brozović argued that the standardization began around 1600 and greatly developed around 1750. However, this Brozović’s article also faces criticism due to the fact that "in the 18th century, there was no standard language (’überdachende’ sprachliche Entität), which would roof Kajkavian and Shtokavian".[10] In other words, the major standardization activities took place only in the 19th century.[11]

Brozović was one of the authors of the Declaration on the Status and Name of the Croatian Standard Language, an influential programmatic statement against Yugoslavian linguistic unitarianism from a Croatian nationalist perspective.[12] Two years before Declaration, Brozović denied the existence of Yugoslavian linguistic unitarism: "for Croato-Serbian language as language, as linguistic phenomenon, as language in the Slavic family, there has been no need to unify: it has always been a unity".[13] Retrospectively, west European scientists judge the Yugoslav language policy as an exemplary one.[14][15][16] It turned out that the Deklaracija was the work of the secret police of Yugoslavia (UDBA) and that Brozović was a member of the UDBA under the pseudonym "Forum".[17]

Instead of Serbo-Croatian, Brozović preferred the term Central South Slavic diasystem,[18][19] asserting separate language status for Croatian and Serbian. However, Brozović advocated the term "Croato-Serbian" even in 1988.[20] As far as language status is concerned, Brozović has asserted for nearly three decades that "the Serbian and Croatian variants are (...) phenomenons, which are analogous to the English and American variants";[21] "As in other cases where several nations use one standard language (German, Dutch, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese standard language), the standard Croato-Serbian language is not unified. In linguistics (especially in sociolinguistics), the realizations of such standard languages are called variants of a standard language".[22] Brozović maintained that it is "a fact that Serbs and Croats have a common language",[23] and he described it as pluricentric even in 1992.[24] In the 1990s, Brozović became one of the leading proponents of linguistic purism in Croatia.[7][25]

Brozović states that the list of 100 words of the basic Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin vocabulary, as set out by Morris Swadesh, shows that all 100 words are identical.[26] According to Swadesh, at least twenty words must differ if they are to be considered as different languages.[27]

Brozović received the Zadar City Award for a prominent scientific activity (for the book Standardni jezik) in the 1970, and an Award for Life's Work of the Republic of Croatia in 1992.


  • Rječnik jezika ili jezik rječnika (Dictionary of a Language or a Language of Dictionaries), Zagreb, 1969
  • Standardni jezik (Standard Language), Zagreb, 1970
  • "Deset teza o hrvatskome jeziku" (Ten Theses on Croatian Language), Zagreb, 1971[28]
  • "Hrvatski jezik, njegovo mjesto unutar južnoslavenskih i drugih slavenskih jezika, njegove povijesne mijene kao jezika hrvatske književnosti" (Croatian Language, Its Place among the South Slav and Other Slav Languages, Its Historical Changes as the Language of Croatian Literature), in a book by a collective of authors, Zagreb, 1978
  • "Fonologija hrvatskoga književnog jezika" (Phonology of the Croatian Standard Language) in the book by a collective of authors Povijesni pregled, glasovi i oblici hrvatskoga književnog jezika (Historical Overview, Sounds and Forms of the Croatian Standard Language), Zagreb, 1991
  • Prvo lice jednine (First Person Singular: Coll. of previously publ. articles), Zagreb, 2005[7]

See also


  1. ^ Pavliša, Mija (9 February 2011). "Nevjerodostojnom biografijom do članstva u HAZU: nepostojeće knjige Dunje Brozović" (in Serbo-Croatian). Zagreb: T-portal.  
  2. ^ Kordić 2007, p. 195.
  3. ^ Pleadin, Josip (2002). "Biografia leksikono de kroatiaj esperantistoj" (in Esperanto). Đurđevac: Grafokom.
  4. ^ Bilosnić, Tomislav Marijan (13 March 2012). "Dr. Ante Franić: Dalekometni ciljevi Deklaracije" [Dr. Ante Franić: Long-range goals of the Declaration]. Zadar:  
  5. ^ "Dalibor Brozović" (in Serbo-Croatian). Zagreb:  
  6. ^   (CROLIB).
  7. ^ a b c Kordić 2007, pp. 184–195.
  8. ^ Tolstoj, Nikita Iljič (1985). "Славянские литературные языки и их отношение к другим языковым идиомам (стратам)" [Slavic Standard Languages and their relationship to idioms]. In Guchman, M. M. Функциональная стратификация языка [Functional stratification of language] (in Russian). Moscow. pp. 12, 14.  
  9. ^ Tolstoj, Nikita Iljič (1988). ]History and Structure of Slavic Standard LanguagesИстория и структура славянских литературных языков [ (PDF) (in Russian). Moscow: Nauka. pp. 11–14.  
  10. ^ "da es eine das Kajkavische und Štokavische ’überdachende’ sprachliche Entität im 18. Jh. nicht gegeben hat" (Gröschel 2009, p. 90)
  11. ^ Gröschel 2009, pp. 8–12.
  12. ^ "SOS ili tek alibi za nasilje nad jezikom" [SOS or nothing but an alibi for violence against language] (in Serbo-Croatian). Zagreb: Forum. 16 March 2012. pp. 38–39.  
  13. ^ "hrvatskosrpski jezik kao jezik, kao lingvistički fenomen, kao jedan od jezika slavenske porodice, nije ni trebalo izjednačivati: on je oduvijek bio jedan" (Brozović 1965, p. 38)
  14. ^ Busch, Brigitta; Kelly-Holmes, Helen, eds. (2004). Language, Discourse and Borders in the Yugoslav Successor States. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. pp. 51, 54, 59.  
  15. ^ Mappes-Niediek, Norbert (2005). Die Ethno-Falle: der Balkan-Konflikt und was Europa daraus lernen kann [The Ethnic Trap: the Balkan conflict and what Europe can learn from it] (in German). Berlin: Christoph Links Verlag. pp. 18, 64.  
  16. ^ Gröschel 2009, p. 72.
  17. ^  
  18. ^ Deset teza o hrvatskom jeziku, Zagreb, 1971, published in:
    • Susreti 6, Zbornik radova sa susreta hrvatskih studenata u tuđini (1981-1986), Zagreb-Bochum, 1986, str. 136-145, under title O ključnim pitanjima hrvatskoga književnog jezika
    • the book Stjepan Babić: Hrvatski jezik u političkom vrtlogu, 1990, str. 271-283, under title Deset teza o hrvatskome jeziku,
    • the two editions of Deklaracija o hrvatskome jeziku, Matica hrvatska, Zagreb 1991.
    • Hrvatska revija
    • Journal of Croatian Studies
  19. ^  
  20. ^ Brozović 1988, p. 4.
  21. ^ "srpska i hrvatska varijanta predstavljaju [...] fenomene analogne engleskoj i američkoj varijanti" (Brozović 1965, pp. 35–36)
  22. ^ "Kao i u drugim slučajevima kada se jednim standardnim jezikom služi više nacija (njemački, nizozemski, engleski, francuski, španjolski, portugalski standandardni jezik), standardni hrvatskosrpski jezik nije jedinstven. Realizacijski oblici takvih standardnih jezika nazivaju se u lingvistici (prvenstveno u sociolingvistici) varijantama standardnog jezika" (Brozović 1988, p. 102)
  23. ^ "činjenica da Srbi i Hrvati imaju zajednički jezik" (Brozović 1965, p. 41)
  24. ^ Brozović, Dalibor (1992). "Serbo-Croatian as a pluricentric language". In  
  25. ^ Czerwiński, Maciej (2005). Język – ideologia – naród: polityka językowa w Chorwacji a język mediów [Language – ideology – nation: Language policy in Croatia and the language of media] (in Polish). Kraków: Scriptum. p. 131.  
  26. ^ Brozović, Dalibor (2002). "Europske integracije i hrvatski jezik" [European integrations and the Croatian language].  
  27. ^  
  28. ^ This work was originally an intro on Savjetovanje o Osnovama nastavnog plana i programa hrvatskog književnog jezika s književnošću za srednje škole, held in hotels "Solaris" in Šibenik, Croatia, 22–24 November 1971, in organization of Republička konferencija Saveza omladine Hrvatske. Abroad, this work was published in Hrvatska revija in Croatian, and in Journal of Croatian Studies in English.
Works cited

External links

In Serbo-Croatian:

  • Dalibor Brozović, academy member
  • Dalibor Brozović: interview
  • Organic Foundation of the Croatian Language
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