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Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, a Textbook

With Exercises and Basic Grammar

Ronelle Alexander

Publication Year: 2010

Three official languages have emerged in the Balkan region that was formerly Yugoslavia: Croatian in Croatia, Serbian in Serbia, and both of these languages plus Bosnian in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, a Textbook introduces the student to all three. Dialogues and exercises are presented in each language, shown side by side for easy comparison; in addition, Serbian is rendered in both its Latin and its Cyrillic spellings. Teachers may choose a single language to use in the classroom, or they may familiarize students with all three. This popular textbook is now revised and updated with current maps, discussion of a Montenegrin language, advice for self-study learners, an expanded glossary, and an appendix of verb types. It also features:

•    All dialogues, exercises, and homework assignments available in Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian
•    Classroom exercises designed for both small-group and full-class work, allowing for maximum oral participation
•    Reading selections written by Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian authors especially for this book
•    Vocabulary lists for each individual section and full glossaries at the end of the book
•    A short animated film, on an accompanying DVD, for use with chapter 15
•    Brief grammar explanations after each dialogue, with a cross-reference to more detailed grammar chapters in the companion book, Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, a Grammar.

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press

Front Matter

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pp. i

Map of the regions where Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian are spoken

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pp. ii


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pp. v-x

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Preface to the Second Edition

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pp. xi

The second edition of Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, A Textbook with Exercises and Basic Grammar contains several new features. These include • specific assignments and guidelines for self-study students • commentary on Montenegrin culture and the status of the Montenegrin language...

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Preface to the First Edition

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pp. xi-xii

When Yugoslavia broke up into smaller successor states, the language called Serbo- Croatian was replaced by Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian. Accordingly, those who used to study Serbo-Croatian must now choose which of the three successor languages they wish to learn. Often they have no choice, and must simply study whichever of the three is being taught where...

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pp. xii-xiii

This book could never have been written without the help of many people. There were the language teachers whose creative work on language instruction shaped the thinking behind the exercises, in particular E. Wayles Browne, Marijana Cesarec, Patricia Chaput and Thomas F. Magner. There were ten years of students who asked good questions and taught the teachers as...

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Guide for Students

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pp. xiii-xiv

Welcome to the study of BCS. You will find that the cultures of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia have a great deal to offer. There are movies, music, poetry and fiction, a compelling history, and political issues that have shaped not only the Balkans but also the world. This book will help you gain access to them...

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Guide for Teachers

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pp. xiv-xvi

In courses designed for the study of Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian (referred to throughout this book as BCS), there are bound to be some students intent on the study of Bosnian, some on the study of Croatian and some on the study of Serbian. This course is designed to meet the needs of all these students. Most students will decide during the first week of class which of the three...

Abbreviations used in Lessons 1-20

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pp. xvii

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Prva lekcija • Lesson One

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pp. 1-17

Two alphabets are in use in the region where B, C, and S are spoken, called “Latin” and “Cyrillic.” S uses both alphabets while B and C use the Latin alphabet. [1] Learning to pronounce B, C, or S is easy, because each alphabet letter corresponds to only one sound. [2] See p. 315 for more on pronunciation and alphabet...

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Druga lekcija • Lesson Two

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pp. 19-34

Nouns take different endings to indicate different functions. When a person is being addressed, the ending -e is often added to a masculine name (for instance, Mehmede!), and the ending -a on a feminine name is sometimes replaced by -o (for instance, Nado!). [19]...

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Treća lekcija • Lesson Three

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pp. 35-46

The nominative plural ending is -i for most masculine nouns and -e for most feminine nouns. It is -a for all neuter nouns. [32a] Masculine monosyllabic nouns usually add -ov- before the plural ending. [32e] If the final consonant is one of a group called “soft,” [32f] such a noun will add -ev-. Masculine nouns which...

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Četvrta lekcija • Lesson Four

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pp. 47-62

One of the most important BCS cases is the genitive case. The endings for masculine and neuter nouns are the same as those for masculine animate accusative nouns. The endings for the two kinds of feminine nouns are -e and -i, respectively, and the ending for all feminine adjectives is -e. [42a]...

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Peta lekcija • Lesson Five

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pp. 63-78

There are two different endings for the Genitive plural [Gpl], -a and -i. The ending -a is required by all neuter nouns, nearly all masculine nouns, and most feminine nouns in -a. [57a] The ending -i is required by all feminine nouns in a consonant and three masculine nouns (mesec [E] mjesec [J], ljudi, and sat in the...

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Šesta lekcija • Lesson Six

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pp. 79-96

First do this exercise using three sequences: 1) stolica, prozor, vrata, prostorija, grad, država; 2) olovka, rečnik [E] rječnik [J], čaša, torba, and 3) planet [C] plane ta [B,S] zemlja, nebo, sunce, sunčev si stem [B,S] sustav [C], zvezda [E] zvijezda [J], svemir [B,C,S] vasiona [B,S]. For 3) you will need the phrase kružiti oko “revolve around.” Then go on to locate objects and people in the room, the place you...

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Sedma lekcija • Lesson Seven

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pp. 97-112

Other breakfast foods: ja je na oko, je dno ja je, kiselo mleko [E] mlijeko [J], ma slac [B,C,S] puter [B,S], med, paradajz [B,C,S] rajčica [C], tost, vo će; and the phrases slatki džem, ukusni omlet, velika kajgana. Describe your own breakfast habits: what you usually eat and what you never eat...

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Osma lekcija • Lesson Eight

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pp. 113-126

Starting with Lesson 8, only the masculine form is given for adjectives whose feminine and neuter forms are made simply by adding -a and -o (or -e) respectively. If a change in the stem occurs, either in spelling or in accent, then both the masculine and feminine forms are given. Thus only the masculine siv is given,...

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Deveta lekcija • Lesson Nine

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pp. 127-140

The adjective “Slavic” is slavenski in C and slovenski in S (also južnosla venski [C] and južnoslo venski [S]). But beware! The adjective “Slovenian” is slovenski in C and slovenački in S. Bosnian usage prefers the C spelling in more recently published texts, and the S spelling in texts published before...

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Deseta lekcija • Lesson Ten

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pp. 141-158

Traditionally, if one person invites another out for coffee, a drink, a meal, or to a movie or other form of entertainment, the person making the invitation generally expects to foot the bill. This is most often the case when the word zvati or voditi is used in the invitation, as in...

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Jedanaesta lekcija • Lesson Eleven

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pp. 159-176

Passive participles are adjective-like words made from verbs; they refer to completed actions. To form the passive participle, add the correct participle marker either to the infinitive stem (found by dropping -ti) or to the present stem (found by dropping the final vowel of 3rd pl.pres.). Then add regular adjectival endings...

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Dvanaesta lekcija • Lesson Twelve

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pp. 177-196

Tricky translation: the word odnosno has many meanings. Here are a few of them: “that is, i.e., or rather, in regard to, in reference to, in other words, as for, as concerns, versus, as to, respectively, apropos, concerning, accordingly, namely.” As the list shows, odnosno is an all-purpose word...

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Trinaesta lekcija • Lesson Thirteen

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pp. 197-214

Bring food and other relevant props to class and perform this skit from memory, staying as close to the original as the props you provide allow. Self-study learners: While working on this exercise note the forms of the conditional, bih, bi, bi, bismo, biste, bi, and the phrases of politeness. Also notice the use of odgovarati and pri jati...

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Četrnaesta lekcija • Lesson Fourteen

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pp. 215-232

Note the spelling of the Bosnian word “coffee” in this passage. It is spelled here kahva, though elsewhere in this book kafa is the Bosnian spelling used. This is just one of a number of alternate choices of spelling, pronunciation and vocabulary that have become part of broader usage since 1990. Because most speakers...

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Petnaesta lekcija • Lesson Fifteen

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pp. 233-242

Any one verb carries not only its dictionary meaning, but also the meaning added by the choice of verbal aspect. When a speaker uses an imperfective verb, s/he chooses to indicate one of three basic ideas: that the action is currently ongoing, that it is frequently repeated, or that it is a general fact. Examples of...

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Šesnaesta lekcija • Lesson Sixteen

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pp. 243-260

When you are writing a formal letter to a single person you may capitalize the letter "V" on all the forms of Vi and Vaš. Although many native speakers feel this to be a quaint and antiquated custom, the current language guides still recommend doing it. Do not capitalize the "V" when the vi refers to more than one...

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Sedamnaesta lekcija • Lesson Seventeen

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pp. 261-276

The words for history in B, C, and S are historija [B], povijest [C], and istorija [S]. Bosnian usage vacillates between istorija and historija, although Bosnian grammarians (and most recent usage) tend to prefer the latter. This fact, of apparent change in progress, explains the seeming discrepancy between the...

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Osamnaesta lekcija • Lesson Eighteen

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pp. 277-286

Tricky translation: The verb nedostajati takes a dative logical subject. In other words, what English speakers would interpret as the object of “to miss” is the BCS subject, while the person who misses something (the subject in English) appears in the dative case...

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Devetnaesta lekcija • Lesson Nineteen

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pp. 287-300

The epic singer Stanko Pižurica is Montenegrin. The excerpt above is from a song recorded in the town of Kolašin in June, 1935. Although the story of the song Stanko sings here takes place in the town of Sibinj in Croatia, the language of the song, including words such as đe, pređe, viđet' and nijesi, is distinctly...

Dvadeseta lekcija • Lesson Twenty

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pp. 301-312

Abbreviations used in the Appendices

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pp. 313

Appendix 1: Latin and Cyrillic alphabets

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pp. 315

Appendix 2: A selection of women’s and men’s names

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pp. 317

Appendix 3: Cyrillic guidelines for use with worksheets on pages 14-17

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pp. 319-321

Appendix 4: Noun declensions

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pp. 322-329

Appendix 5: The most common prepositions

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pp. 331

Appendix 6: Verbal conjugation

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pp. 333-339

Appendix 7: “Osam malih priča o mojoj ženi” – David Albahari

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pp. 341-345

Appendix 8: “Ljubav na španjolski način” – Muharem Bazdulj

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pp. 347-357

Appendix 9: Verb types

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pp. 359-366

Appendix 10: KLJUČ (Key to A exercises in Lessons 1-14)

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pp. 367-382

Appendix 11: Key to audio recordings

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pp. 383

How to use the BCS glossary

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pp. 385-387

How to use the English glossary

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pp. 388

Abbreviations and symbols used in the glossaries

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pp. 389

BCS-English Glossary

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pp. 391-452

English-BCS Glossary

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pp. 453-496

Sources for illustrations

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pp. 497


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pp. 499-510

E-ISBN-13: 9780299236533
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299236540

Publication Year: 2010