volume XIV, 1991, ¹ 2


Kosta Tsurnoushanov

The following are indicated as particularly notorious and conscientious supporters of Serbianization: the Head of State, Lazar Kolishevski; the President of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Serbianized Blazhe Koneski; [the] Secretary of the same academy, the Koutsovlach, Haralampie Polenakovitch, and the Koutsovlach writer, Vasil Ilyovski.

Kolishevski has defended the Serbianization in a number of statements, the gist of which is contained in the following words from a speech he gave in the town of Veles:

“Today, the Macedonian language cannot be isolated from the reciprocal influence of the languages of the Yugoslav peoples... The nations lagging behind in their development have always been influenced by the more developed languages... An example of that is the Bulgarian language which was influenced by the Greek and Russian languages.”

The Macedonian language will, it is presumed, be influenced by the Serbo-Croat.

Vasil Ilyovski is a still more zealous supporter of Serbianization. The core of his ideas are expressed in the following reflections:

“The Macedonian literary language is an open language, widely open to everything from every language - close or distant... This is one of the conditions for its relatively rich word stock... It finds its precious mainstay in co-operation with more developed languages. The cultural activity of other languages in Macedonia is one of the conditions for the rapid and successful formation of the Macedonian literary language... The example of Vuk Karadjic (the Serbian language reformer) has an inspiring and instructive effect in the three cases.”

Since in Macedonia, neither the Albanian nor the Turkish language, in their very nature, can be in interaction with the Macedonian, it follows that the openness will be only towards the Serbo-Croat, which with its preponderance will engulf it in its sea.

The patriotic Macedonian intelligentsia has indeed become aware of this peril. Dr. Yonche Yosifovski emerges as the chief exponent of this anxiety. Of particular importance are these words from his long article:

“Our literary language is in a peculiar situation which is difficult to encounter in the other peoples: it is daily threatened by all kinds of literature in Serbo-Croat and from the radio and television in the Serbo-Croat range... This is a flood which inundates us daily and which pervades our language intimacy,


destroys the established norms, eats away the word stock, pulls down and demolishes the meaning of what is particular and inexpressible in other languages... Our language is in danger. Our national life, our existence is threatened.”

The fact that a number of other Macedonian intellectuals have joined this alarming call speaks of the unfolding of the struggle against Serbianization, chasing out the Serbian words, expressions and linguistic forms. From the examples cited from poetic works by Macedonian writers, in which there are no Serbianisms, it is evident that this is Bulgarian provincial poetry.

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