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Sociolinguistic Transition in Former Eastern Bloc Countries

Two Decades after the Regime Change


Edited By Marián Sloboda, Petteri Laihonen and Anastassia Zabrodskaja

This volume offers empirical perspectives on the current sociolinguistic situations in former Eastern Bloc countries. Its seventeen chapters analyse phenomena such as language choice, hierarchies and ideologies in multilingualism, language policies, minority languages in new legal, educational, business and migratory contexts, as well as the position of English in the region. The authors use various methodological approaches – including surveys, discourse analyses, descriptions and analyses of linguistic landscapes, and ethnography – in order to deal with sociolinguistic issues in eight countries and seven regions, from Brandenburg, Germany, in the West to Sakhalin, Russia, in the East.

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Jelena Timotijević - The sociolinguistic transition of the discourse of nationalism in Serbia from Tito to neoliberal crash in the 2000s


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Jelena Timotijević

The sociolinguistic transition of the discourse of nationalism in Serbia from Tito to neoliberal crash in the 2000s

1 Introduction

Our central aim is to examine the differences in the discourse of nationalism of a particular period in Yugoslavia’s, and Serbia’s, political, economic and social transitions – from Tito to neoliberal crash in the 2000s. Key to this examination is a framework of Critical Discourse Analysis which has to date been used by many critical language researchers to investigate what is happening in the contemporary world, in particular where a ‘global’ form of capitalism is taking over (cf. Fairclough 2000).

The period in question is marked by three historical chapters which make this particular part of the region somewhat distinct from the rest of the communist and post-communist states. The first is the character of Yugoslavia under the presidency of Tito and its dramatic period in post-war formation. The second is Milošević’s arrival to power in 1987. He was particularly effective in igniting the nationalist feelings of Kosovo Serbs, seeking to represent himself as a ‘defender of the Serbs’. Lastly, as one of many post-communist transformation states, Serbia too has been faced with a multitude of problems within the global world economy, however in distinct ways shaped by the previous historical events.

The chapter thus considers the impact of the historical events on the discourse of nationalism characterised differently in the three periods. Further,...

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