Albania Bulgaria Greece North Macedonia
|speaker||about 2 million|
|Official language in||North Macedonia|
|ISO 639 -1||
|ISO 639 -2||( B ) mac||( T ) mkd|
The Macedonian language (proper spelling македонски јазик makedonski jazik ), also Macedonian language and Slavo-Macedonian is a language from the South Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages , which in turn belong to the Indo-European languages . It is spoken predominantly in North Macedonia .
In linguistics, Macedonian is counted together with Bulgarian to the eastern group of the South Slavic languages , which differs from the western group and partly from the other Slavic languages in numerous characteristics.
Due to the great similarity to Bulgarian, the Macedonian dialects were usually classified as Bulgarian dialects as long as there was no independent written Macedonian language, so that “Bulgarian” was used synonymously with “East-South Slavic”. In Bulgaria this approach is still common today. In the Republic of North Macedonia, on the other hand, all autochthonous Slavic varieties of the historical-geographical region Macedonia are classified as "Macedonian", so that Macedonian is used here synonymously with "South Slavic in the area of the historical-geographical region Macedonia ".
In the context of the Sprachbund theory , which is not based on genealogical linguistic affinities, but on language contact through spatial proximity, Macedonian belongs to the linguistic union of the Balkan languages .
Macedonian is spoken by around 2 million people as their mother tongue . The majority of the speakers consider themselves to be members of the Macedonian people . Around 1.3 million of the speakers live in North Macedonia, where it is the official language .
Smaller groups of speakers live in Bulgaria (1376), Greece and Albania, the exact numbers being controversial due to classification problems and lack of accurate statistics. The small Macedonian-speaking minority living in south-east Albania runs its own schools.
In the north-west of Greek Macedonia there is a minority who speak East-South Slavic varieties, which many Slavists attribute to Macedonian. The Macedonian standard language is not in use there, however, so that it is a matter of "roofless external dialects". In Greece, these varieties are commonly referred to as "Slavo-Macedonian", "Bulgaro-Macedonian" or simply "Slavic" as the word "Macedonian" is usually used there to refer to the Greek region of Macedonia as a whole and its use to denote a non-Greek language is interpreted as an attack on the national identity of the Greek Macedonians . In foreign Slavic studies these varieties are also referred to as Aegean Macedonian , in Bulgarian Slavic studies they are counted as Bulgarian just like the other Macedonian varieties.
Until 1944, the Slavic dialects in what is now North Macedonia were classified as Bulgarian in Slavic studies . For example, dramatic works are known before this time that were published in some of these dialects. The political decision to form the Macedonian language was made in 1934 by the Communist International . In the first half of the 1940s, for example, some Macedonian dialects were systematically used for the first time to write non-fiction prose in the journalism of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPJ) and the partisan movement. This marked the beginning of the expansion of Macedonian into the standard language .
On August 2, 1944, a monastery of Sv. Prohor Pćinjski founded the Antifascist Council for the People's Liberation of Macedonia on the initiative of the CPJ. As one of its first acts, the council decided to introduce the "Macedonian language" and proclaimed it to be the " official language " of the Republic of Macedonia (within the Yugoslav Federation) . The council set up three philological commissions to work out a Macedonian written language. The Cyrillic alphabet of Macedonian was largely based on the model of the Cyrillic alphabet of Serbian , which was also codified in 1945. On May 5, 1945, the 3rd Commission announced its final decision on the alphabet and spelling, which was published the next day in the newspaper Nova Makedonija . The Macedonian written language emerged as a demarcation from Bulgarian and so the vocabulary of the Slavic dialects in the area of the Socialist Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was cleared of Bulgarisms in the period that followed. Nevertheless, it remains most closely related to the Bulgarian one to this day.
In the context of the nation-building of Macedonia by the AVNOJ (Communist Party of Yugoslavia) and the development of national consciousness in the SJR Macedonia, the development of its own codified language played an important role. However, in the course of this development there were conflicts motivated by language policy , above all with Bulgaria (inter alia in connection with the interpretation of the common historical heritage), Serbia and Greece (" name dispute ") and the non-recognition of the Macedonian minority living there .
Today, Macedonian is a fully developed standard language, equipped for expressions in all areas of life . Even if communication with the speakers of Bulgarian is possible without any problems, both idioms are now regarded as independent languages. Since the written Macedonian language is based on the dialects of the region around the cities of Kičevo , Bitola , Struga and Ohrid in western Macedonia, while Bulgarian is mainly based on the dialects of eastern Bulgaria, the difference between Macedonian and Bulgarian in the written language is greater than in the spoken language Language. In fact, a dialect continuum can be determined between the two languages in which only a few isoglosses run near the state border, so that the dialects of eastern Macedonia are more similar to the dialects of western Bulgaria than, for example, the dialects in the region of Ohrid or Skopje and an intrinsic dialect border to Bulgarian can not be drawn.
Overview of the Macedonian dialects
Western and central dialects
Ohrid Prespa Group
- Ohrid dialect
- Struga dialect
- Vevčani-Radοžda dialect
- Upper Prespa dialect
- Lower Prespa dialect
- Debar dialect
- Reka dialect
- Drimkol-Golo Brdo dialect
- Galičnik dialect
- Skopska Crna Gora dialect
- Gora dialect
- Upper Polog dialect
- Lower Polog dialect
Central western dialects
- Prilep-Bitola dialect
- Kičevo-Poreče dialect
- Skopje-Veles dialect
Kostur Korča group
- Korča dialect
- Kostur dialect
- Nestram-Kostenar dialect
- Ohrid Prespa Group
- Kumanovo dialect
- Kratovo dialect
- Kriva Palanka dialect
- Ovče Pole dialect
- Štip Kočani dialect
- Strumica dialect
- Tikveš-Mariovo dialect
- Maleševo-Pirin dialect
- Solun-Voden dialect
- Ser-Drama-Lagadin-Nevrokop dialect
- Northern group
The above overview and the map include all autochthonous South Slavic dialects of the geographical region Macedonia . On the linguistic structural level, there is a dialect continuum both to the Torlak dialects of Serbian, neighboring to the north, and to the Bulgarian dialects neighboring to the east.
The varieties of the Maleševo-Pirin dialect and the Ser-Drama-Lagadin-Nevrokop dialect spoken on Bulgarian territory are classified as Macedonian by Macedonian dialectologists, but since they have long been covered by the Bulgarian standard language, they are to be classified as Bulgarian dialects .
The Slavic varieties of the Greek part of Macedonia can for the most part neither be clearly assigned to Macedonian nor clearly to Bulgarian according to sociolinguistic criteria. The map also shows the state of this area from the beginning of the 20th century, as it is represented in the works of Macedonian and Bulgarian dialectologists, mostly based on older sources and voice recordings with emigrants from Greek Macedonia living in these countries. Due to the socio-political changes of the 20th century (assimilation and forced resettlement), this description cannot simply be transferred to the present.
The dialect of Gorani in southwestern Kosovo is considered (as Bulgarian as well as by some Bulgarian dialectologist) only since recently by some Macedonian dialectologist as Macedonian. In Yugoslav times (and is still at least partly today) it was roofed over by the Serbian variant of Serbo-Croatian and was traditionally part of the Torlak dialect group of Serbo-Croatian .
Examples of grammatical differences in the western and eastern dialect groups
|Auxiliary verb in the 3rd person of the resulting perfect||missing
тој бил ("he was")
тој е бил ("he was")
куќата, -на, -ва ("the house")
only missing куќата ("the house")
го гледам Ивана ("I see Ivan")
го гледам Иван ("I see Ivan")
|sentence initial clitic||allowed
ги имам видено ("I saw her")
|Past tense with има||present
имам речено ("I said")
only missing реков ("I said")
The Macedonian alphabet was developed in 1944/45 by two orthography commissions set up by the Antifascist Council for the People's Liberation of Macedonia . These were mainly based on the Serbian alphabet of Vuk Stefanović Karadžić .
It differs from the Serbian Cyrilliza by the other form of the letters ѓ (Serbian ђ or đ in Latin) and ќ (Serbian ћ or ć) as well as by the additional letter ѕ (which reproduces the sound [dz], which does not exist in Serbian ). The Macedonian alphabet therefore has 31 letters (the Serbian 30).
Previously, Macedonian varieties had been written in the 1930s and first half of the 1940s with individual adaptations of the Serbian or Bulgarian Cyrilliza.
/ a /
/ b /
/ v /
/ ɡ /
/ d /
/ ɟ /
/ ɛ /
/ ʒ /
/ z /
/ dz /
/ i /
/ j /
/ k /
/ ɫ, l /
/ l / (/ ʎ /)
/ m /
/ n /
/ ɲ /
/ ɔ /
/ p /
/ r /
/ s /
/ t /
/ c /
/ u /
/ f /
/ x /
/ ts /
/ tʃ /
/ dʒ /
/ ʃ /
Macedonian does not distinguish between long and short vowels. An overview:
|Closed||/ i /||/ u /|
|center||/ ɛ /||/ ɔ /|
|Open||/ a /|
The consonant inventory of Macedonian at a glance:
At the end of a word, i.e. at the end of a word, voiced consonants lose their voicing; for example, град "city" is pronounced as [grat].
Macedonian nouns are divided into three genera: masculine, feminine and neuter.
In Macedonian, determination is realized, similar to the other Balkan languages, through postposed affixes . It is congruent by number (singular, plural) and also in the singular by gender (masculine, feminine, neuter). The definition also expresses a three-fold graded distance to the speaker (proximal / close to the speaker, unmarked / medial, distal / far from the speaker).
An overview of the determination suffixes:
|transfer||a)||this (s / he) ... here||the / the / that||that (r / s) ... there|
- книга та "the book"
- нова та книга "the new book"
- моја та нова книга "my new book"
In the third grammatical person in the singular, Macedonian distinguishes between the genera masculine, feminine and neuter, whereby the first two genera, as in many languages, also refer to the natural gender of persons.
The personal pronouns of Macedonian at a glance:
The unstressed dative forms are also used as possessives .
- Person (1, 2, 3)
- Mode (indicative, imperative)
- Tense (present tense, aorist / imperfect tense)
The past tense is restricted to verbs of the imperfective aspect , the aorist to verbs of the perfect aspect. In addition, further tenses ( future tense , perfect and past perfect ) as well as modes ( subjunctive and the rare renarrative, which is atypical for Slavic languages ) are formed analytically.
Here is an overview of the inflected forms of a Macedonian imperfective verb using the example "see, look":
The normal sentence order of Macedonian is subject - verb - object.
In Macedonian there are many loanwords from neighboring languages, such as B. from Serbian, but also historically due to many Turkish loan words, as well as words that are borrowed from Russian and German. There have also been many anglicisms recently.
The textbook of the Macedonian language by Wolf Oschlies is one of the few German-language textbooks on this language. In 2009 the paperback books book2 German - Macedonian for beginners were published: A book in 2 languages and gibberish, Macedonian word for word . At the end of 2014 the textbook of the Macedonian language for beginners and advanced students by Uwe Büttner and Viktor Zakar was published.
- Peter Rehder: Das Makedonische, in: Introduction to the Slavic languages, Ed. Peter Rehder, Darmstadt ³1998, pp. 331–346, here 331: “For today's Macedonian the forms seem to be -k- (ie Macedonia, Macedonian , also Macedonian, Macedonian) and for the ancient language to stabilize the older forms mediated by Latin with -z- (i.e. Macedonia, Macedonian, also Macedonian, Macedonian) […] ”. In Wikipedia, however, the spelling is exactly the opposite: Slavic references are written with -z-, non-Slavic references with -k-.
- The European Languages. ( Memento of the original from June 23, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Found October 25, 2006 (and April 22, 2008).
- Harald Haarmann : Small Lexicon of Languages. CH Beck, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-406-47558-2 (paragraph on Macedonian ).
- See e.g. B. Stojko Stojkov: Bălgarska dialektologija . 3. izd. Sofija: Bălgarskata Akademija na Naukite, 1993.
- Compare e.g. B. Božidar Vidoeski: Dijalektite na makedonskiot jazik . Vol. 1-3. Skopje: Makedonska Akademija na Naukite i Umetnostite, 1998–1999.
- At the time of the 2002 census: 1,344,815 ( 2002 census, p. 198; PDF; 2.3 MB).
- 1376 people the Macedonian language in Bulgaria in the 2011 Census
- An attempt at a list can be found in Harald Haarmann: Sprachenalmanach. Numbers and facts about all languages in the world. Campus, Frankfurt / Main 2002. ISBN 3-593-36572-3 .
- Macedonian language on Britannica
- Ethnologue report for Macedonian
- The Macedonians in Albania (Albanian-speaking Deutsche Welle) ( Memento from November 15, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
- Torsten Szobries: Linguistic aspects of nation-building in Macedonia: the communist press in Vardar-Macedonia (1940-1943). Steiner, Stuttgart 1999. ( Studies on modern history; 53.)
- Wolf Oschlies : Textbook of the Macedonian language. In 50 lessons. Verlag Sagner, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-87690-983-7 . P. 9. “[…] the resolution of the ASNOM ( Antifascist Council for the People's Liberation of Macedonia ), which was passed on August 2, 1944 in the southern Serbian (or northern Macedonian) monastery of Sv. Prohor Pćinjski proclaimed the Republic of Macedonia (within the Yugoslav Federation) and in this the 'Macedonian vernacular as the official language'. [...] "
- The Making of the Macedonian Alphabet
- Edgar Hösch: Lexicon for the history of Southeast Europe. P. 650.
- In: Jenny Engström (2002): The Power of Perception: The Impact of the Macedonian Question on Inter-ethnic Relations in the Republic of Macedonia. In: The Global Review of Ethnopolitics. Volume 1, No. 3, March 2002, pp. 3-17.
- Peter M. Hill: Macedonian. ( Memento of the original from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 436 kB), in: Miloš Okuka (Ed.): Lexicon of the Languages of the European East. Klagenfurt: Wieser, 2002 (= Wieser Encyclopedia of the European East, Vol. 10).
- Božo Vidoeski: Dialects of Macedonian. Slavica, Bloomington (Ind.) 2005, ISBN 978-0-89357-315-7 , passim .
- Karl Gutschmidt: Bulgarian, in: Enzyklopädie des Europäische Ostens ( Memento of the original from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF file; 363 kB).
- Peter M. Hill: Macedonian. ( Memento of the original from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 436 kB), in: Miloš Okuka (Ed.): Lexicon of the Languages of the European East. Klagenfurt: Wieser, 2002 (= Wieser Encyclopedia of the European East, Vol. 10), p. 297 f.
- Torsten Szobries: Linguistic aspects of nation-building in Macedonia: the communist press in Vardar-Macedonia (1940-1943). Stuttgart: Steiner, 1999.
- Horace G. Lunt: A Grammar of the Macedonian Literary Language. Skopje 1952. p. 10 u. 11.
- Horace G. Lunt: A Grammar of the Macedonian Literary Language. Skopje 1952. p. 11 u. 12.
- Victor A. Friedmann: Macedonian, in: The Slavonic Languages: edited by Bernard Comrie and Greville Corbett. London: Routledge, 1993, p. 17. Revised, expanded and updated online version.
- Victor A. Friedmann: Macedonian, in: The Slavonic Languages: edited by Bernard Comrie and Greville Corbett. London: Routledge, 1993, p. 37. Revised, expanded and updated online version.
- Textbook of the Macedonian language in 50 lessons. Verlag Sagner, Munich, 2007. ISBN 978-3-87690-983-7 .
- Goethe-Verlag 2009, ISBN 978-3-938141-26-7 .
- Reise Know-How Verlag, Bielefeld 2009, ISBN 978-3-89416-494-2 .
- Textbook of the Macedonian language for beginners and advanced learners. Lulu, 2014 ( http://www.lulu.com/shop/viktor-zakar-and-uwe-büttner/lehrbuch-der-mazedonischen-sprache-für-anfänger-und-fortvanced/paperback/product-21827927.html ) . ISBN 978-1-291-96193-5 .
- Victor A. Friedmann: Macedonian, in: The Slavonic Languages: edited by Bernard Comrie and Greville Corbett. Routledge, London 1993, pp. 249-305. Revised, expanded and updated online version: A Grammar of Macedonian (PDF file, 605 kB).
- Peter M. Hill: Macedonian. in: Miloš Okuka (Ed.): Lexicon of the Languages of the European East. Wieser, Klagenfurt 2002 (= Wieser Encyclopedia of the European East, Vol. 10), ISBN 3-85129-510-2 .
- Horace G. Lunt: A Grammar of the Macedonian Literary Language (PDF file, 10.2 MB). Skopje 1952.
- Peter Rehder: Das Makedonisches, in: Introduction to the Slavic languages (with an introduction to Balkan philology) . Ed .: Peter Rehder. 3rd, verb. and exp. Ed., Wiss. Buchges., Darmstadt 1998. pp. 331-346.
- Torsten Szobries: Linguistic aspects of nation-building in Macedonia: the communist press in Vardar-Macedonia (1940–1943). Steiner, Stuttgart 1999. ( Studies on modern history; 53.)
- Дигитален архив на македонскиот јазик ( Digital Archive of the Macedonian Language - Text Collection of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts; Introduction Macedon., Texts in German, Polish, French, English and Macedon.)
- German-Macedonian dictionary
- Transliteration table for the Macedonian Cyrilliza (PDF file; 197 kB)
- Entry about Macedonian in the Encyclopedia of the European East ( Memento from August 1, 2017 in the Internet Archive )