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Chapter Summary

Usually the issues connected with the official language politics in Tito’s Yugoslavia are a constituent part of a significant and multicomponent problem – the national question in a multi-linguistic and multicultural socialist federation. Constitutional articles in all Yugoslav constitutions (1946, 1963 and 1974) guaranteed the rights of every Yugoslav citizen to use freely his/her national language and the equality of the languages and characters of all officially recognized Yugoslav nations. The predominant part of the national minorities in FPRY/SFRY had officially acknowledged and sponsored textbooks and broadcasts in their own languages. The main contradictions in the field of linguistic matters (with long-lasting political and ‘bloody’ consequences) may be found in two main thematic areas. Firstly, the equal position of Slovenian and Macedonian (later Albanian and Hungarian) compared to Serbo-Croatian. And secondly the insurmountable contradictions in the Serbo-Croatian speaking district on the nature and possible ‘variants’ of the spoken language. In comparing the major components of the language policies with the political practices which are actually directed towards enhancing multilingualism in the EU, this paper suggests what lessons can be learned from the Yugoslav experience.



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