4. National Language and its Formalization

The Bosniak language standardization is still in process. The designation of the official language in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1945 onwards was Serbo-Croatian, respectively Croatian-Serbian, written either in Cyrillic or Latin. Since 1991, the term Bosnian has been in use for the language of the Bosnian Muslims. In 1996 Senahid Halilović, “according to the decisions of the Orthographic Commission” by the Bosniak Cultural Society Preporod, wrote the “Pravopis bosanskog jezika” (“The Orthography of the Bosnian Language”), which is considered as the standard orthography of the Bosnian language. However, no specific dictionary and grammar of the Bosnian language exist, reflecting the lack of a universally accepted standard of the Bosnian language. One attempt in that direction was Alija Isaković’s “Rječnik karakteristične leksike bosanskog jezika” (“The Dictionary of the Bosnian Language Characteristic Lexicon”) published in 1992.

Institut za jezik (Institute for Language)

The main scientific institution involved in language policies was the Institut za jezik i književnost (Institute for Language and Literature), established in 1973. Today it is called Institut za jezik (Institute for Language), after the Department for Literature had been discontinued in 1992. The Institute publishes the academic journal “Radovi” (“Works”), “Bosanskohercegovački dijalektološki zbornik” (“The Bosnian-Herzegovinian Dialectal Anthology”) and “Godišnjak” (“Yearbook”). In cooperation with the Department of Literature at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo, the Institute for Language edits the journal “Književni jezik” (“Literary Language”).

Muzej književnosti i pozorišne umjetnosti Bosne i Hercegovine (The Museum for Literature and Theater of Bosnia and Herzegovina)

The Muzej književnosti i pozorišne umjetnosti Bosne i Hercegovine (“The Museum for Literature and Theater of Bosnia and Herzegovina”) established in 1961.
Its tasks are: 

  • to collect material referring to the life and work of writers and stage-artists of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • to scientifically valorize and systematize, process and keep it for the museum, and to prepare this material for scientific use and for the study of the history of the literature and theater in Bosnia and Herzegovina, respectively. 

It publishes catalogues from exhibitions.

Društvo pisaca Bosne i Hercegovine (Writers’ Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina

An important association for the literary life of Bosnia-Herzegovina is the Društvo pisaca Bosne i Hercegovine (Writers’ Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina) founded in 1945 and still operating. It publishes the literary journal “Život” (“Life”). Another significant literary association is the P.E.N. centar Bosne i Hercegovine (P.E.N. Center of Bosnia and Herzegovina) founded in 1992. It publishes the journal Izraz (“Expression”) magazine for literary and art criticism.