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Otto Kronsteiner (Austria)
(translated by Daniela Konstantinova)
"The split of a language into two is something which the
greatest fantasts in the world have not dared do. Our scholars,
however, did it for political, rather than linguistic
considerations." Leonida Lari, Romanian writer from
Moldova, (Literatura si arta am 18.8.1988)
There are quite a few European languages spoken outside their "own" country: for instance German
in Germany, but also in Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg,: Denmark, Belgium,
Poland, Russia; Spanish in Spain, but also in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia etc. But nowhere a necessity
has come to being, neither an attempt has been made to father a new (official) language (Austrian,
Liechtensteinian, Argentinian, Chilien etc.) despite apparent differences emerging in the usage of
the languages.
Many minority languages have never had their own state, others have had - though for a short time.
Nevertheless, they have kept their integrity in the course of centuries, and have patiently waited for
their recognition. This holds good of Ladinian, Basque, Sardian, Catalan and others. Quite to the
contrary, there has never been a necessity for the creation of a special literary language to serve the
Bulgarian-speaking Slavs residing outside Bulgaria (for example, in Vardar or Aegean Macedonia,
Albania, Serbia, Romania, Ukraine). Similarly, there had never been a Macedonian linguistic
community dreaming for centuries on end to be recognized for its linguistic uniqueness.
As late as the 20th c. the method of linguistic partition (glossotomy) [1] would be repeatedly applied,
motivated politically, rather than linguistically. In the West (as was the case of Slovenian Nindian)
those attempts crashed and burned. In the East however, forcefully conceived languages under
Turkish/Gagaouz) did survive to live a longer "life" thanks to political coercion. Those who refused
to accept language partition would be proclaimed nationalists and treated in the respective way. In
politics, language partition was counted upon as a way to reinforce the new political borders, thus
eliminating the feeling of one-time belonging to a certain community. [3] The strategies behind the
fathering of such new languages in the communist regions would follow one and the same
One scholar (or a handful united in a group) would publish an orthography, grammar, dictionary,
bilingual dictionaries (but, note, never from the old to the new language, that is, never RomanianMoldovan, but Moldovan-Russian for example, or others). Shortly, they would publish a historical
grammar, a history of the language, as well as a history of the new nation. Further, as "flank"
initiatives, an Academy of Sciences, a National Theater and a National Folk Ensemble would be

established. In the meantime, a national literature was bound to shape up, and the first writer to
venture in any genre, would be proclaimed a great playwright, novelist or lyrist on the new
language. [4] All that in its turn, called to life a literary history. The political accompaniment to the
whole affair would be a most characteristic sentence in the communist countries: notably, that the
(new) language was "a remarkable achievement serving the entire cultural complex". And, the
direction to follow derived from the (unvoiced) formulation: "the worse the old language is treated,
the better for the new one", that is, the worse Romanian is being spoken/spelled, the better for
Moldovan, which would be more correctly spoken/spelled. And, this entailed a deepening of the
artificial gulf between the old and the new tongue (even by the use of force). All that holds good of
the Macedonian literary language ( j).

Date of creation: 1944

Place of creation: The Socialist Republic of Macedonia (within the Socialist Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia) - the "Prohor Pcinski" monastery.
Used by: some 1 000 000 Bulgarians (in Macedonia).
Oldest literary monument: "New Macedonia" newspaper.

H. Lunt, A Grammar of the Macedonian Literary Language, Skopje, 1952.

, j j. I. , ,
, j, 1952; Il: 3a , Cnje, 1957.
, j j, j - , 1965, 1981,
j , j,
1970, 1979.
j - j (II-III), j,
1961, 1966, 1979, 1986.

, j, je, 1967.

, , , ,
, .
" j" 1954 .

. , XI XVIII , j,
. . . j, j, 1960.
. , , j, 1979.
. , , j, 1974.
j ( j, j,
1969. I. j VIII . II
j j. III j
j (1918-1945).

While T. Stamatoski (also Stamatov, Stamatovski) wrote back in 1986 on the struggle for
Macedonian literary language, looking back and ahead in future at the same time (?) (
j, j), Blaze Koneski had already (3 years before) told the
"Communist" (1376, from July 29, 1983) the story of the endorsement and the introduction of this
literary language (j j.
j, j).
A most ridiculous text is the historical phonology of the new language fathered in 1944 (B.
Koneski, A Historical Phonology of the Macedonian Language, Heidelberg, 1983).
A major departure was effected, not only from the Bulgarian language, but also from its rich literary
heritage, as well as from the world literature in translation. However, something had to be saved,
and it was done by encroaching upon the miscellany of songs by the Miladinov brothers, born in
Macedonia, and which had been originally entitled "Bulgarian Folk Songs", (1861) containing
songs from Struga, Okhrida, Prilep, Kukus, Kostur and from other parts of Vardar and Aegean
Macedonia. In 1962 it came out in Skopje under the forged title of "Miscellany", with a forged
Macedonian text, and on top of everything else, labeled "the most outstanding work ever
published, of the Macedonian literature.
On the name (glossonym) Macedonian
The adjective Macedonian (in Bulgarian: ; in Greek:

, in Albanian:

maqedonas) was out of use as a glossonym prior to 1944. Until then, Macedonian used to be an
adjective (designating the region (toponym) of Macedonia).[5] So, ever since 1944 it has scarcely
been clear whether the toponym or the glossonym is actually meant under the word Macedonian,
which caused a confusion of notions (deliberately provoked, too), that worked in favor of the
reinforcement of the myths of the Macedonian nation. The impression was created as if this same
language since time immemorial, has been the language of the "country" Macedonia. Alexander the
Great was Macedonian. Cyril and Methodius were Macedonians, and Kemal Ataturk too, was
Macedonian (a fact which is often suppressed). Neither of those however, had anything in common

with the Macedonian literary language of Mr. Blaze Koneski (i.e. Blagoj Konev). And for the
delusion to be complete, the textbooks in history and geography read: "In the Socialist Republic of
Macedonia there live Macedonians, Albanians, Turks etc." This downright usurpation of ethnic
names seems the right tool of forcible differentiation (compare: the French, Bretons, Basques - all
of them nationals of France) etc., instead of the French French, the Breton French, the Basque
French or (given the common territory of a nation), the French Bretons, the French Basques etc. It
would be right to say: the Bulgarian Macedonians, the Albanian Macedonians, the Turkish
Macedonians etc. (in this case, the residents of the republic of Macedonia), or, as it had been
generally accepted to say by 1944 (e.g. Veigand) - the Macedonian Bulgarians, Macedonian
Albanians, Macedonian Turks, etc. (given the common territory of a nation). And, since through the
new Macedonian language, erstwhile Bulgarian ceased to exist officially (!), that is, it became a
(strongly estranged) foreign language, the glossonym and the ethnonym Bulgarian disappeared too.

On the orthography of the Macedonian literary language

Similarly to the case with Moldovan, when the Cyrillic script was introduced to distance it from
Romanian, the Macedonian glossotomists decided to adopt the Serbian alphabet (respectively,
orthography) including letters having become more or less a myth
, as well as the Serbian

(instead of the Bulgarian ,

.) . The core of the Macedonian alphabet is actually lying in these

two letters and their phonetic materialization. Hence the joke: Macedonian is Bulgarian typed on a
Serbian type-writer. Had the Bulgarian orthography been applied to the new language, everyone
would take it for Bulgarian (despite the peripheral nature of the basic dialect chosen), just like the
dialectally tinged texts by Ludwig Toma and Peter Poseger, which are taken for German ones.
On the dialectal basis of the Macedonian literary language
A very special trick of the Macedonian glossotomists was the choice of the peripheral dialectal area
as the dialectal basis of the new language. It lies precisely on the Serbian-Bulgarian language
boundary, hence, it represents a transitional dialect to Serbian. Another town could have been
chosen instead of Skopje as capital (in the linguistic aspect too), such as Ohrid, but it would have
made the difference with Bulgarian hardly discernable. The inner structure of the new language
follows lexically and morphologically [6] the Serbian model enforced through the Belgrade Radio
and TV, received everywhere. The new language served the rule: the more non-Bulgarian, the more
Macedonian! The strengthening of the Serbian influence meant Macedonia's estrangement from
Bulgaria politically and culturally as well [7] (something passed unnoticed by Europe). Bulgarian
studies were not taught in Yugoslavia's universities, as they were replaced by Macedonian studies
(and that, needless to say, held good of Skopje). Bulgarian was converted into an anti-language.
In the lingual-geographic aspect, the Macedonian dialects were declared all too unique, having
nothing in common with Bulgarian. This explains why a Macedonian dialectal atlas was never
released. Every dialectologist is well aware that there is no dialectical boundary to separate Bulgaria
from Macedonia, and that intrinsic Macedonian peculiarities (such as the triple article,

instead of

, etc.) are common in Bulgaria too. Hence, the whole thing smells of Stalin-styled misinformation

which was successful in misleading even some representatives of "critical" Slavonic studies in the
West. [8]
Who was in need of linguistic partition (glossotomy)?
Since in all the cases (in the communist region) of linguistic partition the underlying strategy would
be quite the same, the question arises whether it is also valid for the functioning of that mechanism.
The method of "splitting" would be applied not only to languages, but also to the history of nations,
and to entire nations. And as in neither of those cases people's will had been consulted, it is thus far
unclear where the central stage players had actually seen the sense, for themselves, their country
and their policy. It is surprising that together with the states (The Soviet Union and Yugoslavia) the
purpose would be lost behind these language partitions, given it was related to a centralized state
policy. The latter would unite on the one hand, and divide, on the other. Within the framework of
the Soviet Union, Ukraine and Byelorussia had to be russified, whereas, the Turkish- speaking
peoples would be partitioned in the smallest possible portions. For its part, Yugoslavia had been
pursuing a language and cultural assimilation with a Serbian emphasis (see: "Directive" by
Garasanin). All this attests to the moral (!) integrity of science which has never been short of people
for such tasks. As to the Serbian policy, it did not resort to similar language partition against the
Yugoslav Albanians and Turks - they were actually deprived of all their rights; they were not
considered nations at all, but rather a "minority" in its worst connotation, although they were
prevalent in some areas. The assimilation effort against linguistically closer Bulgarian Macedonians,
however, was much more apparent. For the sake of historical truth we should note that those
assimilation efforts do not date back to socialist Yugoslavia, but even earlier, to the
Serbian-Croatian-Slovenian Kingdom and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Yet they could score
success only under socialism with its methods - in the post-1944 period. No wonder then that the
Albanians do not tend to associate with the new Republic of Macedonia, while as far the
"macedonized" Bulgarian Macedonians are concerned, it seems at least, they. do. l do not subscribe
to any annexations (Anschlusse), something I feel alien to, being Austrian; I believe that the Slav
Macedonians are bound to re-think the roots of their identity which as of 1944, has been resting on
a diffuse feeling of being Yugoslav. Any single piece of criticism against the new, Macedonian
language is by rule interpreted as a blow against Yugoslavia. Thus, the whole thing has boiled to
overcoming the past since historical falsehood and forgery could not but influence younger
generations who now suffer the consequences of national nihilism. The generation of today
identifies itself with neither Serbia, nor Bulgaria. We can hardly deny the emergence of initial
symptoms of a new identity. Here is one example from among many: the complete separation back
in 1967, of the Macedonian from the Serbian-Orthodox church (though the former has never been
recognized by the latter). [9] The degree of serbianization however is considerable, which is
indicative of the power of the Serbophile nomenclature in Macedonia.
Linguistic chaos
For the constructors of a language, and of the Macedonian literary language too, it is no problem at
all to invent linguistic norms. The actual difficulty is whether these norms are applicable. The ways
to say something on the one hand, and to spell it on the other, have always differed, yet the question
is: Who speaks this language? Macedonians themselves can be heard to say quite often: we have no
command of this language, we have not studied it. The immediate impression is how very uncertain
such Macedonians feel linguistically. It transpires in every single piece of conversation, how tough

it is for them to "stick" to this language. [10] Soon one is in trouble guessing whether what is spoken
is bad Bulgarian, or bad Serbian. Anyway, no impression is left of a linguistic identity (unlike the
case with Ladinian or Catalan). Talking with Macedonians, one is overwhelmed by compassion
over their linguistic confusion. Such a language can be defined negatively: by stating what it is not.
The drive to replace the nationality of the Macedonians, making them Serbian, has actually called to
life a kind of a creole tongue, which for its part might be helpful to the Serbians some generations
later to "recommend" to the Macedonians Serbian as a literary language. And, in its current capacity
of a literary language, Macedonian is open to Serbian, with the latter supplying the former. As to
Bulgarian, it has fallen in total isolation.
With the political situation of today pregnant with options for new orientation, this destructive
process needs to be contained, despite the deep traces it has left in the course of its 50-year-long
development. I will refrain from forecasts as to the future direction linguistic development is likely
to take. However, one thing is certain: the present situation is quite unsatisfactory. Moreover, fears
remain that there are quite a few people in Skopje, who might try to accomplish what has already
been started. If so, a precedent for Europe might emerge when political glossotomy being a
preliminary stage leading up to linguistic, respectively ethnic, changes, has turned out to be
In view of the common, older than a millennium Bulgarian history, we can hope that political
objectives resting upon numerous lies, will ultimately fail. Otherwise, the televised statement of a
Serbian tchetnik on the Austrian TV might become a sad truth, notably, that Macedonians were not
using a normal tongue, but a hotchpotch of Serbian plus Bulgarian words, hence, the Macedonians
belonged to Serbia.
The fact that an American, Horace Lunt is the author of the Grammar of the Macedonian Literary
Language (Skopje, 1952), the first grammar-book of Macedonian (!) paving the way for a literary
language tailored by the communists, attests to the profound "insight" Americans show in European
1. See: DSS 14/1988: 23-66 (H. Goebl, Glottonymie, Glotottomie und Schizoglossie. Drei
sprachpolitisch bedeutsame Begriffe).
2. See: DSS 19/1989: 11 5-i40 (K. Heitmann, Probleme der moldauischen Sprache in der Ara
3. In the case of the Turkic peoples in the USSR, there were fears over the possible emergence of
Pan-Turkic movements.
4. Compare, the valuable notes by Izo Kamartin, a specialist in Romansh (Nichts als Worte?) Ein
Pladoyer fur Kleinsprachen. Zurich Munchen, 1985: 171 - Eine Kleine Literatur...)
5. P. Koledarov, , Sofia, 1985; H.R. Wilkinson,
Maps and Politics, A Review of the Ethnographic Cartography of Macedonia, Liverpool, 1951.

6. Even surnames with the Bulgarian ending -os/-es were refashioned into - or - ( Serbian
- ). Thus, Georgiev would turn into Georgievski or Georgievi .
7. My own experience testifies to how very anxious Serbia was over cutting off any contact
between Bulgaria and Macedonia. After the First International Congress of Bulgarian Studies
closed (1981), I was traveling home from Sofia, when I was held for 5 hours at the Serbian border
(in Gradina/Dimitrovgrad). There a UDBA-group from Nish started a lengthy inquiry, followed by
taking away various Bulgarian books and magazines they found in my car. And since I wanted to
speak in Bulgarian, they told me to use a normal (Serbian?) language. They accused me of being a
Bulgarian spy employed by the Bulgarian secret services. Further I was warned that if I persisted in
manifesting anti-Yugoslav sentiments (non-acceptance of the Macedonian language?), I had to
suffer the respective consequences.
8. While in Slavonic and Romance studies and in general linguistics there was not a hint of
hesitation as to the linguistic features of the region by World War II, after the war the view and
stands of quite a few students of Slavonic studies concerning the Macedonian problem, could be
singled out for their exceptional naively. The latter could very well be in some relation with
summer courses in Macedonia at the fascinating Ohrid lake, or else with the awarding of the title of
corresponding member of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences.
An example of the in-depth prewar research is the work "Ethnography of Macedonia"., Leipzig,
1924 (re-printed in Sofia, 1981) by G. Weigand and "Studies in Macedonian Dialectology", Kazan,
1918 (re-printed in Sofia, 1981) by A.M. Selishtchev. Weigand, as well as Selischev, speak about
Bulgarians in Macedonia and Macedonian Bulgarian language.
9. Compare D. Ilievski, The Autocephality of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. Skopje, 1972. As
there is no national (Macedonian) translation available of the Bible, the Serbian one is being
recommended, and it is another factor for the structuring of the Macedonian literary language.
Bulgarian in all of its aspects is deliberately kept in hiding.
10. The story goes that one of the leading glossotomists was delivering a lecture at the St. Kliment
of Ohrid" University in Sofia, in Macedonian: when however, a sudden drought scattered his
manuscript, he just went on lecturing... in Bulgarian.


(Prof. James F. Clarke, The Pen and the Sword: Studies in Bulgarian History, edited by Dennis P.
Hupchick, Boulder: East European Monographs ; New York: Distributed by Columbia University
Press, 1988.)
Among Americans increasing interest in Macedonian subjects is to be noted in academic circles.
Few society meetings occur without Macedonia appearing on the program, usually in a linguistic
form, but lacking historical perspective. Occasionally an article appears in a scholarly journal such
as one by Prof. Stephen Fisher - Galati on "IMRO" in the East European Quarterly, edited by him,
but without first-hand knowledge of the subject. Perhaps more interesting is a book published in
1977 by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Reading the Ashes, An Anthology of the Poetry of
Modern Macedonia. Basically a product of Skopje, the Introduction by the American editor is
riddled with errors. It required 32 "translators" to translate the 26 poets. As is to be expected, it
ignores, or is ignorant of, Bulgarian Macedonian history and literature, substituting instead myth
and misinformation. It is my purpose here to describe how the myth of a Macedonian literary
language got started.
There have been two so-called Macedonian literary languages separated by 1081 years. That of
Cyril and Methodius was the first Slavic literary language, with the first Slavic alphabet - the
Glagolitic, later transformed into the Cyrillic. This was adopted by all the Slavs and became a world
language, the first language and alphabet in Europe with a religious basis. The other, as now
practiced in Yugoslav Macedonia, is the latest, the smallest (except for Lusatian Serbian) and we
may presume, the last Slavic literary language. Cyril's Old Bulgarian, or Old Church Slavonic, was
originally spoken by the Slav inhabitants of what is now Greek (or Aegean) Macedonia (Lunt, Old
Church Slavonic, p. 2). New Macedonian is made up of dialects from the Center of Yugoslav
(Vardar) Macedonia.
My title would seem to put Horace Lunt in the position of isapostolos, or a latter-day Saint;
"disciple" would be more appropriate. Like St. Cyril, he is a distinguished multilinguist. Since 1959
professor of Slavic at Harvard, he has worked both ends of the long Macedonian street. His first
major work, written at the Biblical age 33, was a Grammar of the Macedonian Literary Language
(Skopje, 1952), the first linguistic description and analysis in any language. Lunt's is the only
grammar listed in Koneski's Istorija na Makedonskiot Jazik (History of the Macedonian Language,
Skopje 1965), aside from his own. Only three years later (1974) came his Old Church Slavonic
Grammar (6th edition, rev.), described as "the first to be written in English" and for many years a
standard work (J. O. Ferrell, Language, vol. 33, p. 450 - 453). A thousand years of spoken
Macedonian separate these two grammars.
By-product of Lunt's work on the Macedonian language was his "Survey of Macedonian Literature"
in the first volume of Harvard Slavic Studies (1954) of which he was editor. This also was a pioneer
work (and remains the only English source - other than an English translation of one of Koneski's
works. Towards the Macedonian Renaissance, Skopje, 1961). He has also published a few shorter
pieces. Of special interest is an article, "The creation of Standard Macedonian" (Anthropological
Linguistics, May, 1959).

Lunt himself tells us how he discovered Macedonia in the Preface to Grammar of the Macedonian
Literary Language, p. 1. While in the U. S. Army in 1944, he stumbled on some partisan
underground publications in a Macedonian dialect. After the war he attended lectures on
Macedonian in Prague, and in 1950 at Bled, given by the leading Skopje authority, Blazhe Koneski,
and sponsored by the Yugoslav Council for Science and Culture. In 1951, fresh from a Columbia
Ph. D. (1950), he spent three months in Skopje with financial aid from the Yugoslav Council and
the Macedonian Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture. There he had the guidance and
assistance of Prof. Koneski and associates at the University of Skopje. Thus, Koneski's Slavic
Seminar acted as judge and jury in determining what was to be standard. Lunt's Grammar of the
Macedonian Literary Language was printed in Belgrade and published by the Macedonian State
Press in Skopje in August 1952. It might, therefore, be considered official.
Instant Standard Literary Macedonian
On August 2, 1944, one of the first acts of the 122 delegates from Macedonia to the Anti-Fascist
National Liberation Council, meeting clandestinely at the St. Prohor Pchinski Monastery in Serbia,
was the following decree:
1. In the Macedonian state as official language is adopted the People's Macedonian language.
2. This decision enters into force immediately.
(Dokumenti od sozdavanjeto i razvitokot na N. R. Makedonija, Documents on the Creation and
Development of the P. R. of Macedonia, Skopje, 1949, p. 22)
This must be the quickest creation of a literary language in history. A Commission, including
Blazhe Koneski, was appointed in December to spell out the new literary language. It came up with
a new alphabet and orthography on May 3 and June 7, 1945.
After two centuries of Slavic scholarship, very little is known about the origins and nature of Old
Bulgaria in Macedonia. Many questions remain and some probably always will. Although the locale
of the language seems established, the ethnic origin of the sainted brothers is still disputed. It is hard
for Slavs to accept them as anything but Slavs. Prof. Lunt calls them "Greeks" (Slavic Review, June,
1964, p. 216), but also refers to Macedonian as "St. Cyril's native Salonika dialect" (Lunt, Old
Church Slavonic, p. 3). Many questions would be answered should we discover that their mother, or
at least their wet-nurse, was a "native" (I'm told by Konstantin Mechev, a Cyrillo-Methodian
scholar of Sofia, that after 5 month's research in Moscow, he has conclusive evidence that they were
Slavs; e. g. Bulgarians). Even the traditional date for the language, 863, is disputed, especially by
Russian and Bulgarian scholars, not all of whom are Marxists. Aside from such assertions that there
must have been a couple of centuries of prior literary development (P. Dinekov, Deloto, 1100
godini, p. 5) we find such statements as "the brothers finished their epoch-making work in 855" (N.
Todorov, et al, Bulgaria, Historical and Geographic Outline, Sofia, 1965, p. 28).
Considering the times and circumstances, it is inevitable that the great achievement of the two
"Apostles to the Slavs" should still be shrouded in myths and legends. On the other hand, the
second contemporary Macedonian literary language was created in the full light of our day. Yet this
too is obscured by a growing Macedonian Myth. To it Horace Lunt has contributed his share and set
the pace for subsequent American linguistics.

I am not here to quarrel with the current Macedonian literary language. No less an authority than
Roman Jakobson years ago declared it the thirteenth Slavic literary language. Every man has the
right to invent and write in his own language. Nor is the upgrading of a dialect into a literary
language a heresy, though only in a totalitarian police state can this become standard overnight by
To the 19th century the literary language used by Bulgarians in Macedonia was some form of Serb
or Bulgarian variation of the Russianized Church Slavic with degrees of spoken admixtures, as in
the so-called Damaskini. In the first part of the 19th century Greek (or Slavic with Greek letters)
was also used but increasingly the literary language was the same as that used elsewhere in Bulgaria
with occasional use of Macedonian dialects. Between the two wars in Yugoslavia, it was Serbian by
compulsion, with Bulgarian proscribed. Now it is the new Macedonian, with Bulgarian proscribed,
and with Serbo-Croatian as a second official language.
According to Prof. Lunt, Macedonian "came of age" with the 1951 publication of Koneski and
Toshev's little Macedonian Orthography. He rather prematurely declared at the time he compiled
his Grammar that Macedonian "had achieved a degree of homogenity comparable to that of the
other Balkan languages" - this in the space of six preceding years (Grammar, p. 6). The chief
architect of the language has been Prof. Koneski, President of the Macedonian Academy of Arts
and Sciences, whom Lunt considers one of the best Macedonian authors. The first part of the
Grammar came on the heels of Lunt's; the second, in 1954. His Dictionary, in three volumes, was
published in 1961, 1965, and 1966, with definitions in Serbian. The last two volumes were delayed
by the great Skopje earthquake. A major work is his History of the Macedonian Language (1965).
I too am prepared to stipulate that a kind of Macedonian literary language is in use in Skopje,
although its growing pains are still showing. But to claim as Koneski does (The Macedonian
Language in the Development of the Slavic Literary Language, 1968), that Macedonian is
comparable to the other Slavic languages is nonsense. What interests me here are the ideological
and the political rationalizations and the problems and myths thus created.
Tito's Macedonia
Literary Macedonian owes its existence largely to Tito and the inclusion of Macedonia in his
six-room federal house. The new federal idea was laid in 1942 and publicly hatched at Jajce in 1943.
The new "co-equal" Macedonian republic was launched in 1944 at the St. Prohor Pchinski
Monastery. The motives behind its existence help explain much of its subsequent character:
Macedonian's relations with Belgrade had been a running, bloody sore in the interbellum period; to
head off Stalin opting for the Bulgarian Communist Party's claims, Macedonia and the partisan
movement there had to be forcibly tied to the new Yugoslavia; and there was the possibility of
using Vardar Macedonia as a magnet or springboard for the acquisition of Greek and Bulgarian
Macedonia and a restoration of partitioned Macedonia.
The elevation of Macedonia into the ranks of the historically and ethnically based Yugoslav federal
republics had to be rationalized; ideologically, politically, historically, and culturally. A separate
Macedonia had to have a separate and different official literary language - different both from
Bulgarian and Serbian. The obvious necessity to use an existing spoken language meant deciding

which of the many dialects to use. The Western Macedonian was chosen, which in Vardar
Macedonia - meant the central dialect group, was removed as much as possible from both Bulgarian
and Serbian contamination.*
At the same time, a separate Macedonian alphabet was devised, made unnecessarily different from
the Bulgarian, including a few peculiarly Serbian letters, and containing some letters not found in
any other Cyrillic alphabet** , but it is still closer to Bulgarian than anything else.
In other ways, the makers of Modem Macedonian have tried to be different. A folk-based language
of a relatively primitive people finds it both necessary and difficult suddenly to adapt to mid
twentieth century conditions. In addition to finding or coining local folk substitutes for Bulgarian
literary expressions, the Macedonian language legislators avoid taking ready-to-hand Bulgarian (or
Russian or Serbian) technical and other ultra-modern expressions in favor of Western, including
American, terms. The purpose is to make Macedonian as different as possible. The result is
barbarous jargon, literally a Macedonian Salad.
In contrast to the arbitrary severing of the Bulgarian literary umbilical cord, there is daily contact
with Serbian via the school, press, radio, business, politics, and the army. For Macedonians, Serbian
has to be a second, official language.
A State In Search Of Its History: The Macedonian Myth
Professor Lunt reminds us that a "language can be described and learned without the slightest
knowledge of history" unfortunately true of some of American linguists, but also that the "elements
of history are always present" (Old Church Slavonic Grammar, 2nd ed. 1959, p. x.). The new
Macedonian state and language in particular required historical rationalization to justify their
separatism. But the discouraging fact was that there was virtually no Macedonian "state" history, as
such. Consequently the Skopje scholars have found it necessary to rewrite Balkan history at least as
far back as Cyril and Methodius to make room for Macedonia. As Lunt says, "except for a brief
period under Samuil at the end of the ninth (sic) century, Macedonia never had its own government"
(Grammar, p. 3). Because the history of Macedonia has hitherto inevitably been written mostly in
terms of Bulgaria, Macedonian historians are finding it necessary to deprive Bulgarians of some of
their history, for example, St. Clement, chief disciple of Cyril and Methodius, whose anniversary on
Ohrid in 1966 (with Professor Lunt as honored guest) was celebrated as a Macedonian affair.
Another example is the Bogomils, whom the Macedonians have adopted as their very own national
movement. On some of these points Macedonians have trouble convincing even their fellow
Yugoslavs. But it is not my purpose here to retread Macedonian historiography and its catharsis of
Bulgarian elements.
For Macedonians to deny their Bulgarian heritage is like Peter denying Christ. But Peter repented!
You are familiar, I am sure, with all the distortions and denials of Bulgarian history, literature, and
culture, as related to Macedonia emanating from Skopje. But we here too have scholars seemingly
ignorant of Bulgarian Macedonian history. Take Prof. Golab of Chicago who cites a work by
Russian scholar Selishchev on Polog and Its Bulgarian Inhabitants as Polog and Its Slav Inhabitants.

It was at Chicago that Koneski got an honorary doctorate as "father of the Macedonian Language".
Actually Tito was the "father" and Koneski the "mother" with Horace Lunt as "mid-wife". The kind
of historical gymnastics and dialectical Macedonism indulged in at Skopje puts the ideological cart
before the historical horse: suddenly we had ultra-Macedonian Nationalism, a gift from Marx; then
came the establishment of a "state", then the official language, then back-up "history" and finally
what? A Macedonian Consciousness?
I see no quick or easy solution for today's version of the age-old Macedonian Questions, invented at
the Congress of Berlin (1878). My conviction, however, is that historical truth will prevail and our
task is to see that these truths must not be forgotten. This is the least we should do.
Prof. James F. Clarke
Repercussion of the Macedonian emigration in USA about creation of the so-called Macedonian
language (Macedonian Tribune, Volume 43, Number 2177, Indianapolis, March 27, 1969).
Bulgarian ... Bulgarian Dictionary
The wild assimilatory campaign in the enslaved Macedonian land near Vardar often seems pitiful
and funny. The Skopian janissaries not only are embroiled to death with the elementary historic
truths but also they're trying to do the same with the truth about the alphabet. For them it is a rule to
call black white, they are used to maintain, that the sun does not rise from the east, but from the
west, that the satellite of the Earth is not the Moon, but ... Yugoslavia.
In this peculiar way, the decision was made in Skopje to issue Bulgarian - Macedonian dictionary. It
is necessary for them to prove to their own people and, if it is possible, to some foreigners, that the
population near Vardar has no relationship to the Bulgarian nation and Bulgaria. The above
mentioned dictionary is already a fact and let's say at the beginning - one more fact of the failure of
Tito's assimilatory mission. Its' authors M. Miadenov, D. Tsarvenkovski and B. Blagoevski are
Bulgarians by origin - in all their documents till 1945 they have ascertained themselves their
Bulgarian origin, they have graduated Bulgarian schools. They speak Bulgarian and Serbian
fluently. In the last 20 years they are trying to distort their conscience and play the role of creators
of literary Macedonian language. We must confess that they are very determined in the creation
of the dictionary, to alienate their language from the Bulgarian and to make it look like Serbian.
Fortunately they have not succeeded.
On the first page for the explanations of the abbreviations we see:

. ja administratsiya administratsiya administration
. ja

. ja



Afterwards is published the Macedonian alphabet and we notice with admiration and anger at the
same time because of the impudence that this is the holy Bulgarian alphabet (Cyrillic). There are
only two changes - the Bulgarian (sht) is written as (sht) and second - they have suppressed
the Bulgarian *** The first change is hardly noticeable but the second leads to jokes. For example:

pronun. writen
shtraklitsa shtraklitsa

iztrapvam iztrapvam

Sometimes the Bulgarian and

species of fly

**** are changed with the Bulgarian A. For example:

writen pronun.
writen pronun.





have a

Here start the words. As in all dictionaries the beginning is for the words starting with A. Let's have
a look at the first page:



abdikatsiya ja









Let's go to the words of the second Bulgarian letter :


to abstract









writen pronun.

jpak bayryak

brother in law

Or with the letter E:



evolyuiram evoluiram

evropeets evropeets
ja evtiniya

edelvays j edelvays
edinayset edinaeset




This can be seen in the whole dictionary. Only when the existence of Serbian words in the
Macedonian language must be justified, then they resort to translation. Or when they get to the
archaisms from the Bulgarian language that have remained in the Macedonian. For example:
, B.
, B.

j, M.,
j, M.



The Bulgarian word (melnichar) is "translated" in Macedonian as

(vodenichar) and the Bulgarian (vodenichar) is "translated" as (melnichar).
But both words are Bulgarian and mean a miller.This dictionary can be well called Bulgarian Bulgarian and then one can't justify its creation. The Skopjan linguists tried to justify this booklet
by writing series of notices in different newspapers. They wrote: "This dictionary will be helpful
mainly to Bulgarian guests that visit our restaurants, hotels, cinemas, and other public places, in
their conversations with Macedonian citizens". But the Bulgarians that visit the unfortunate Vardar
area felt proud that their brothers and sisters speak just like them. So they have no need of this

dictionary. This was proved by its creators who "translated" over 5 thousand Bulgarian words into ...
pure Bulgarian language.
* The so-called Macedonian Literary Language is too hasty in its development. While in the
dictionaries we can't find a lot of Serbian words, the everyday official language contains 85 - 90 %
Bulgarian words, 5 - 9 % Serbian, 1 - 2 % Macedonian dialectisms, and 1 - 3 % foreignisms.
** These letters are and . They are modified by Serbian and .
*** This note-is not entirely correct. The differences between Bulgarian and Macedonian alphabets
are as follow:
Mc ' y ja
is old Bulgarian letter from the times of St. Kliment Ohridski. It is suppressed by the
Macedonian and Bulgarian communists after 1945 but is in use in the editions of some emigrant
organizations. Depending on the dialect it is pronounced as , A or O, for example c : c,
, (sabota, sobota).




"Stenografski beleshki od konferentsiite na filoloshkata komisia za ustanovuenje na makedonskata

azbuka i makedonskiot literaturen jazik", Skopje, November 27th - December 3rd, 1944.
"Stenographic Memoirs from the Conferences of the Philological Commission for Establishment of
the Macedonian Alphabet and Macedonian Literary language"
The advent of the so-called "Macedonian literary language" is an unique in the European linguistic
reality, and had not anything common with the normal springing up and development of the
languages in the continent. In contrast to all European languages, the so-called "Macedonian literary
language" is created from a group of people: 1) on some date, not very far before; 2) in some place;
3) with a decree.
On August 2nd, 1944, in the monastery St. Prohor Pchinski, on the first meeting of ASNOM
(Anti-fascist Assembly for People Liberation of Macedonia), a decree for "sluzhben" language,
which "vleguva vednaga vo sila" (immediately is applyed), was announced. Some months later again administratively - this language is up-invented, and sanctioned with voting of 10 teachers, one
poet, and one politician - ASNOM representative, on the conference in the Skopje gradski odbor
(city hall) in the period November 27th - December 3rd, 1944. (Attending: Risto Prodanov, Risto
Zografski, Dr Georche Shoptrajan, Dare Dzhambaz, Vasil Iliev, Dr Mihail Petrushevski, Krume
Toshev, Mirko Pavlov, Gjorge Kiselinov, Blazho Koneski, Dr Milka Balvanlieva - all teachers,
Venko Markovski - a poet, Epaminonda Popandonov (from ASNOM). - the names are written
according the protocol from November 27th, 1944. Stenographer: J. Kostevski.)
The documents of the stenographers protocols from the inventive meetings, which took less than a
week in the building of Skopski odbor, can show the absurdity of the advent of this language, and
can give an explanation, why this language practically is not spoken from anyone in the Republic of
Macedonia, including from its "creators". Here we have in mind especially the pronunciation of the
prominent codificator of Skopska norm, Bl. Koneski, author of the many times issued "Gramatika
na makedonskiot literaturen jazik", Skopje, 1952, which is full with many deviations from the
created by him rules. We shall give, with a minimum commentary, the typical moments of creating
the "new language", which is on the base of the south-western Bulgarian speeches in Macedonia.
Now enjoy the discussions:
1. Self-acknowledgement, that the decisions of the commission are not scientific:
"It will be good, if we can reconcile the views, to find something mild, it can be not scientific, but
practical, and in moderation. Kiril also had a hard time. (here St Constantine Cyril is in mind!) Let
we also try hardly, without hurry." - Krume Tosheski, p. 35.
2. Fast inventing of the language: "We have not time to wait this language to be made. We are in
fast need to have a literary language, and have no time, and cannot wait this language to be made
from poets, bookmen and journalists. In France, as a literary language, Paris dialect is taken, in

Russia - Moscow dialect, in Serbia - Hertsegovina dialect. From these dialects, after that,
continuously a literary language has developed. But, as I have said, we have not time to wait some
our dialect to be developed into literary language." - Gjorge Kiselinov, p. 3.
3. The teachers of the new-created language will be also low-literate: "Our teachers will be with
fifth-sixth grade. Teaching with low-qualified teachers will be very difficult." - Krume Tosheski, p.
4. The artificial rules will be never acquired nor by pupils, nor by the elderly people: "Here, the
word is for the paedagogics and for the pupils. But it is all the same also for the elderly people.
These people will never learn the rules." - Risto Prodanov, p. 30.
5. Falsifying the language history, in order falsifying the reality to be acquitted - (here a long
pseudo-study of Gjorge Kiselinov is omitted. Grand-grand-childrens of Alexander of Macedon,
6. Acknowledgement, that the revivalists in Macedonia wrote by the canons of Bulgarian language:
"Konstantin Miladinov called the dialect of his songs struzhko-resenski. But it is nor Struga dialect,
nor Resen dialect. One of the main characteristics of our Macedonian language is the stress. In our
language the stress is on the third syllable from the end of the word. If we take his poem (of K.
Miladinov) "T'ga za jug", it is melodical only if it is pronunciated with Bulgarian stress. Here it is!
(Recites.) But if we recite it with the typical Macedonian stress, on the third syllable from the end of
the word, what we shall obtain? (Recites.) You see, that there is not rhythm." - Venko Markovski, p.
7. The commission is also engaged in futurology: "In the not-near future, in the edge of the
capitalism and the imperialism, a common Slavic language will be developed, not only common
Yugoslavian language. We do not know in which direction it will be developed, but most probably
this will be the Russian language, which gave so much words to the Germans and the Americans in
technics." - Dare Dzhambaz, p. 40-41.
8. If the common Yugoslavian language will be not developed, than a try with the Russian can be
made: "Our comrade said, that we must have in mind an aspiration towards a common Yugoslavian
language. ... But you can have in mind, that a common Yugoslavian language is an illusion, and
cannot be made. Why? Because the Serbs and Bulgarians have their literature ... If we want to
create a common Yugoslavian language, than they ought to refuse from their literature, and from
their literary language, and to accept the new one. But this will never happen. We, Macedonians,
which have not until now our literature, and our common literary language, would not refuse from
the ours, and the Serbs and the Bulgarians would not surely refuse also. But if we cannot made a
common Yugoslavian language, than we can made a common Slavic language, and it will be the
Russian language, which can be imposed with the space and the width of the Russian word." Gjorgi Kiselinov, p. 38.
Remark: All citations are taken from "Stenografski beleshki od konferentsiite na filoloshkata
komisia za ustanovuenje na makedonskata azbuka i makedonskiot literaturen jazik", Skopje
November 27th - December 3rd, 1944.


by Mladen Srbinovski, "Glas", Skopje, No. 23/Dec. 1995

Part I
It is forbidden for everybody, who works on and with the language of Macedonia, to do remarks on
it. From this restriction, only the people from the scientific institutions, secretly blessed by the
official authorities by some strange "criteria", are excluded. The other people, which do not think
like the Macedonian linguists and historians, and dare to express openly a disagreement, are under
many troubles and dangers.
My opinion on the forbidden Macedonian subjects is a humble one, but on the other hand, is
completely mine. Similar is my opinion on the nature of the standard Macedonian language, the
language on which I am educated and brought up, the language which I use and on which I write.
Everybody can reach to similar concept of Macedonian traumas if decides to study the Macedonian
problematics - it is not necessary a high intellectual level, only a bit of honesty. But the latter is in
lack of Skopjean Macedonists, and because of this lack are our disagreements.
I shall begin with the compulsory education, which was imposed over me, and with the
thoughtlessnesses, which I had to absorb until I studied the national problematics.
We meet everyday, read and hear since our childhood, that "Macedonian language is the youngest,
but simultaneously the oldest from all Slavic languages." The logical thoughtlessnesses and
stupidities which are put into us in the schools are many ones, but the best way is they to be
accepted without contradiction and mockery, because otherwise you can be regarded from your
teenagers years as a suspicious one. The doubt in the logics of the above sintagma led me to my first
collision with my teachers, which gave me troubles. "What for an audacity! How is it possible, that
a student cannot understand, that his language is the youngest, but simultaneously the oldest from
all Slavic languages because of the specific conditions of its development! Here is nothing for doubt
or non-understanding, the suspicious is YOU!" - was the reply, which I received.
If you are not satisfied with the similar solutions of the ideological knots, on which the macedonism
is based, and you begin to untie them, you will inevitably reach my position, but for the unbinding it
is necessary you longly to investigate the pathology of the macedonist lie. My humble person will
try now to give his explanation about the above mentioned enigma about "the youngest, but
simultaneously the oldest from all languages", which on first glance is like the sophism of the
priority of the egg or the hen. The attempt to unbind this maybe the most tightened knot of the
Gordian unit of macedonism can be regarded as an attempt to understand and explain the nature of
the standard Macedonian language. The question is very serious, but as it is given by Skopjean
linguists, it is like Gogol literary material from his unwritten satire. But who does know, maybe the
Skopjean linguists had (and have) Gogol sense of humor. In this case the (d)effect is like that of
Buster Keeton - everybody laughs, but you remain deadly serious.
Part II
The historical continuity of the youngest of all Slavic languages goes only 50 years ago - since
ASNOM from 1944, and the three language commissions, which created our language. Using those

political steps, it was decided one western Macedonian dialect to be written on the reformed Vuk
alphabet, and to be raised to the level of literary language.
The grounds for that approach towards the new language are best described by the contributors in
the language commissions. Venko Markovski: "You can accept it as a directive, to write with the
Vuk alphabet." Milka Balvanlieva-Georgevich: "With the Serbo-Croatian alphabet we shall have
Yugoslav alphabet."
The transition over the high artificial fence, and seeking the connection with the older written
tradition before the last half of the XX century, denotes the transition from the youngest to the
oldest of the Slavic languages. The psychological barrier for separation from the oldest literary
Slavic language is created in us from our bringing up. For my generation, educated after the war
and using the youngest literary Slavic language, the oldest literary Slavic language is unintelligible
already. Except some linguist somewhere, it is very seldom some of us to read even one sentence
from "his" oldest Slavic language. With nowadays spelling, we, the new generations, cannot even
write down correctly our names and families. This is the most bright illustration of the continuity
between the youngest literary Slavic language and the oldest one. The macedonists care to give us
"translated" from the oldest to the youngest of all Slavic languages even texts written in the 20-ies
of this century in order they to be intelligible for us. Even the "apostle of macedonism", Misirkov,
we can only read transcribed, because as he wrote is unintelligible for us. This artificial division,
glossotomy by which from one language were created two ones, was a dexterious political step, and
a stage, which was in the past. Insistment in Macedonia our texts to be read in original is regarded
as a scandal one. In our past can dare to penetrate only selected persons, which can freely use the
"scientific" method - falsification. Glossotomy led to the fact, that the Macedonian language today
is in crazy fast motion, and according to Heisenberg principle, because of the excess velocity, the
direction of this motion cannot be determined.
The poor written tradition, which is assigned as written heritage to the contemporary Macedonian
language, is inheritance written on the western dialects of "prostejshi neknizhoven bolgarski ezik"
(K. Pejchinovich) and Macedonian scientists catch on that straw as drunkards on the table. Of
course, and that sintagma "prostejshi neknizhoven bolgarski ezik" is falsified for the students, and is
represented before them as the Macedonian people speach, predecessor of the Macedonian literary
language. In such a case, using political alchemy, "prostejshi neknizhoven bolgarski ezik" is raised
to the rank of the youngest of all Slavic literary languages. The same language, which equally in
rights, participated for more than a thousand of years in the developing and the enrichment of the
oldest of written Slavic languages - the Bulgarian one.
Part III
Until recently, in Greece, there were two official variants of the Greek literary language katharevousa, or the pure language, and dimotiki - the language of the peasants. Both variants were
used in the state, they were equally in rights, and were simultaneously used. If it was possible two
official variants of one and the same language to exist in one and the same state, it is even more
possible such variants to coexist in two neighboring countries. I doubt that somebody which is
concerned with writing, can oppose against the advantage of existence of two languages, as sprouts
of one and the same trunk, but the things are complex in the Balkans. The Macedonian language is
above all a political puzzle, and the thesis for mutually enrichment of the languages is a high
treason for the Macedonian linguistics. My non-prejudices unbinding of the most important knot of

the Macedonian problems leads me to the following interpreting of the conceptions of "the oldest
and the youngest written Slavic languages" - the katharevousa, used as the literary standard in
Bulgaria, is the oldest written Slavic language; and the dimotiki, as literary variant used in
Macedonia, is the youngest written Slavic language. It is not to be recommended, or allowed (and
until recently it was punishable very strictly) to read anything written on the oldest language, the
katharevousa. The reason is very simple - in such a case the most important consequence from the
use of both languages is avoided - the establishment of a point of quiet. We all know from the
physics lessons, that it is necessary to point to some body, which is in a condition of quiet, in order
to be determined which body is in motion. Without the support of such a point of quiet, we feel
ourselves as in an auto-station, when it is not possible for us to say even for a moment, which bus is
starting, and which is standing still. For more than 50 years, the artificial condition of quiet is
maintained, and none contact is allowed between the youngest and the oldest of the written Slavic
languages. The oldest of all written Slavic languages is exactly such a point of quiet for the
youngest one. It was enough for me to read one book on the oldest of all written Slavic languages,
in order to discover that point of quiet for the youngest Slavic language, which I use every day.
In every state, choosing one dialect as an official language is a political treaty, consensus, a ball of
snow, which with its rolling will be increased and enriched. And Macedonian literary language is
such a snow ball, created by the force of such political treaty, and put to roll over a steep slope, until
Macedonian adepts are asking and amazing for 50 years how is stained and neglected the youngest
of the Slavic languages. In its accelerating motion, it gathers from Vuk language everything which
is necessary to it - from spelling to lexics, and even the idioms... And it is logical, having motion in
this direction, earlier or later, the youngest of Slavic languages to conclude with its motion, to
pacify and merge with Vuk language. The direction of motion of the youngest of all Slavic
languages can be easily determined, using Heisenberg principle, the only thing which can be
discussed is the velocity of this motion. I sincerely hope, that this is not the velocity of the light.
And if in XIX c. the big revivalist of Macedonia Konstantin Miladinov expressed the main attitude
of the population of Macedonia on dimotiki in one beautiful song "T'ga za jug", in XX c. this
attitude ought to be expressed most exactly as "T'ga za Sever". This is the main reason our service
dimotiki to be guarded in every case and with all means from its meetings with its katharevousa.

Wherever in this paper one reads about Aegean (part of) Macedonia, one should think of the
historical province of Macedonia proper in northern Greece, which roughly corresponds to the
extent of the ancient kingdom of the same name, of which most notable rulers were Philip and his
son, Alexander III the Great. The three parts extended Macedonia region of Aegean + Vardar
+ Pirin is a later historical development, a delimitation of Macedonias territory adopted by the
early modern era Bulgarian and FYRoM Slavic nationalists, which roughly corresponds to the
Roman empires administrative units (provinces) of Macedonia Prima (the earlier kingdom) and
Macedonia Salutaris. Also, wherever in this paper one reads about Vardar (part of) Macedonia
or simply Macedonia and Macedonian referring to the country north of modern Greece, its
culturally Slavic people and their native Slavic language, one should think of the Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia, the FYRoM Slavs and, respectively, their FYRoM Slavic language (a
Bulgarian dialect or a Serbo-Bulgarian language).