The Romance-Speaking Balkans

Language and the Politics of Identity


The relationship between language and identity is a complex topic everywhere in the world, but maybe it is even more crucial for those people living in the Balkans who speak a Romance variety. This volume is the result of a project started by the Balkan History Association, and brings together scholars trained in social sciences and humanities to offer the reader a thorough sociolinguistic and anthropological account of this region. It constitutes a contribution to a reformulation of methodological and analytical issues, providing a better insight in the linguistic and geopolitical processes taking place in the area.
Contributors are Michael Studemund-Halévy, Cătălin Mamali, Anna-Christine Weirich, Ewa Nowicka, Daniela-Carmen Stoica, Mircea Măran, Zvjezdana Vrzić, and Monica Huțanu.

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Annemarie Sorescu-Marinković, Ph.D. (2010), Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, is Senior Resеаrch Associate at the Institute for Balkan Studies of the Academy. She has edited and authored several books and over 50 articles on the Romanian-speaking populations in the Balkans.

Mihai Dragnea, Ph.D. (2018), University of South-Eastern Norway, is Associate Researcher at the Department of Business, History and Social Sciences at that university. Interested in ethnicity and conflict in the Balkans, he is the president of the Balkan History Association and editor of Hiperboreea.

Thede Kahl, Ph.D. (1999), habil. (2006), Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, is Professor of South Slavic Studies, and Chairman of the Commission “Vanishing Languages and Cultural Heritage” (Austrian Academy of Sciences). He has published several books on Balkan dialectology and ethnography.

Blagovest Njagulov, Ph.D. (1988), Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, is Associate Professor at the Institute for Historical Studies in Sofia. He is a specialist in modern and contemporary history of Bulgaria, ethnic politics and minority protection in the Balkans.

Donald Dyer, Ph.D. (1990), University of Chicago, is Distinguished Professor of Modern Languages and an Associate Dean at the University of Mississippi. He has written or edited over 30 volumes and 45 articles, and currently serves as the editor of Balkanistica.

Angelo Costanzo, Ph.D. (2011), Ohio State University, is Associate Professor of English and Linguistics at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include the morphology of the lesser-studied Romance languages (Aromanian, Catalan, and Sicilian).
"The added value of this volume lies in the fact that the essays are written by scholars with various scientific backgrounds and approaches in the field of humanities and social sciences that successfully demonstrate the complex relationship between language and identity of the Romance-speaking communities in the Balkans, groups that often can be regarded as hidden and/or marginalized. [...]
I warmly recommend this volume to all who are interested in the scientific community, especially to those in the field of (Romance) linguistics and sociolinguistics. However, this book is not just for them, as it provides a valuable contribution to the topic of language and identity in a much wider context. I am sure that the larger public will also find interest in this attention-grabbing topic."
-Petar Radosavljević, Ph.D., University of Zagreb, in Hiperboreea 8/1 (2021): 155-158.
"I believe that this volume will be of particular use to all scholars and students interested in issues of linguistic diversity in the Balkans, not only to experts in Romance languages, but also to those who wish to explore the fascinating issues of multilingualism and minority languages in various urban and non-urban “post-imperial” contexts, with meaningful links to other communities in the wider Eurasian space. Moreover, I think it sets an important precedent and example that can inspire other experts to work on a similar project focusing on the languages of further minority groups in the Balkans in a transnational perspective."
-Giustina Selvelli, University Ca’ Foscari of Venice, in Linguist List, 32.3626, Tue, Nov 16, 2021
Notes on Editors
Notes on Contributors


1 From Rashi to Cyrillic: Bulgarian Judeo-Spanish (Judezmo) Texts in Cyrillic
Michael Studemund-Halévy

2 Political Terror and Repressed Aromanian Core Identity: Ways to Re-assert and Develop Ethnolinguistic Identity
Cătălin Mamali

3 Sociolinguistic Relations and Return Migration: Italian in the Republic of Moldova
Anna-Christine Weirich

4 Between Ethnicity, Regionalism, and Familial Memory: Identity Dilemmas among the Eastern Romance Communities of the Balkan Peninsula
Ewa Nowicka

5 Identity Constructions among the Members of the Aromanian Community in the Korçë Area
Daniela-Carmen Stoica

6 Megleno-Romanians in the Serbian Banat: Colonization and Assimilation
Mircea Măran

7 Nation-State Ideology and Identity and Language Rights of Linguistic Minorities: Prospects for the Vlashki/Zheyanski-Speaking Communities
Zvjezdana Vrzić

8 “What Language Do We Speak?” The Bayash in the Balkans and Mother Tongue Education
Annemarie Sorescu-Marinković

9 Performing Vlach-ness Online: The Enregisterment of Vlach Romanian on Facebook
Monica Huțanu

Scholars and researchers of Balkan sociolinguistics; students looking for an introduction into Balkan Romance linguistics; all interested in the history of the Balkan region, the identity and language of its peoples.
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