Socialist Intercessions: The Earliest Demands for a Separate Montenegrin Language (1967–1972)
The question of a separate Montenegrin language has been extensively debated in the last decades. Its roots, however, lie deeper, with the first demands for it appearing in the late 1960s. By analysing the contemporary sources, this paper seeks to establish how and by whom these demands were voiced, the argumentation of both sides of the debate and how were they received by the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. The debate was started by a group of Montenegrin intellectuals in a climate favourable to the “political periphery” of socialist Yugoslavia and the smaller nationalisms. The group, supported by some of the high executives of the Communist Party, claimed that the rights of the Montenegrin nation were being negated by the government's refusal to allow the local language to be codified to a literary standard. The discussion sheds light on the process of nation-building in socialist-era Montenegro, revealing its actors and dynamics.
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