Ass. Prof. Zorica Tomic, PhDBelgrade University,Faculty of Philology
LANGUAGE, ALPHABET AND CULTURAL IDENTITY:THE SERBIAN CASEAbstract:
Serbian Cyrillic script is one of the main cultural values of Serbian people, notonly as their national alphabet, but also as one of the main graphic forms of Serbianspirituality. The history of Serbian Cyrillic script can be understood as a history of Serbian identity struggle and affirmation of Serbian culture. The biggest masterpieces of Serbian culture are written and printed on Cyrillic script. That is why giving up the use of Cyrillic can be interpreted as abandoning one of the most important parts of Serbianintangible heritage.At the same time, wide and parallel use of Latin alphabet and its presencewithin Serbian culture can be seen as the real sign of Serbian fundamental and deepopenness towards the vibrant and challenging intercultural communication with theworld.
Key words: language, alphabet, cultural identity, Cyrillic script, Latin alphabet,cultural heritage
If we accept the basic difference between categories of
already described in theory (Tomic, Z., 2001.), it follows thatlanguage is the fundamental mean of human communication while thealphabet is the main communicative mean of civilisation. In that sense,