The difficulties in the recognition of small differences: The role of language politics with regard to minority policy making in the Serbia of the early 2000’s


  • Csaba Máté Sarnyai
  • Tibor Pap



minorities, personal autonomy, national councils, sociolinguistics, language politics


In the beginning of the new millennium, Serbian minority politics accomplished institutional results that are significant even on an international scale. By this, we mean primarily the forming of personal autonomy, the system of the national so-called councils. This attracted the attention of both academics and policy makers who face similar challenges. Ethnical conditions and recent historical events of the West-Balkan have created complicated minority-political situations. These involve usual inequity issues but also new problems, belonging to the field between minority research and socio-linguistics. These problems are mostly connected to cultural self-expression and identity. Our work assesses the politico-historic and socio-linguistic origins of this situation and its minority and language-political aspects. After this, we elaborate on the political solution options of the problems within the present legal framework. Our goal is to start an interdisciplinary discourse of sociolinguistics and minority research, where our starting point is the situation emerging from the Montenegrins’ becoming minority.