History of Croatian

The Croatian language has a long history – it is considered to have been born in the 9th Century, with the establishment of Old Church Slavonic as the official liturgy language. The first written documents in Croatian can date back to the 11th Century, the most important of them being the Baška tablet, which is written in an old dialect of Croatian.

Though derived from the Church Slavonic, the vernacular quickly gained its own path through world linguistic history. Vernacular Croatian literature had its own development long after the Old Church Slavonic had lost its influence.

In more recent times, in the 19th Century, representatives of Croatian, Serbian and Slovenian political and linguistic authorities decided to form a linguistic union and, later on, a united kingdom. The three countries were, in fact, quite close as to language, ethnic peculiarities and geography. The kingdom didn’t survive long, but was followed by the establishment of the Republic of Yugoslavia, which marked significantly the development of the Croatian language. As Serbian was the strongest, based on the biggest groups of native speakers, it naturally had the most influential impact upon the joint evolution of a unified language.

After the announcement of the independence of Croatia in 1991, events were launched in motion in favor of a purer Croatian. Teams of linguists and experts established reforms, and regulatory bodies have been institutionalized in order to safeguard the independent development of the Croatian language. Today, it is a language striving to re-gain its own route, distinctly separating itself from Serbian and other influences.

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