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Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, a Grammar: With Sociolinguistic Commentary [Paperback]

Ronelle Alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 43.70 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

June 30 2006

Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, a Grammar analyzes and clarifies the complex, dynamic language situation in the former Yugoslavia. Addressing squarely the issues connected with the splintering of Serbo-Croatian into component languages, this volume provides teachers and learners with practical solutions and highlights the differences among the languages as well as the communicative core that they all share. The first book to cover all three components of the post-Yugoslav linguistic environment, this reference manual features:

· Thorough presentation of the grammar common to Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian, with explication of all the major differences
· Examples from a broad range of spoken language and literature
· New approaches to accent and clitic ordering, two of the most difficult points in BCS grammar
· Order of grammar presentation in chapters 1–16 keyed to corresponding lessons in Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, a Textbook
· "Sociolinguistic commentary" explicating the cultural and political context within which Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian function and have been defined
· Separate indexes of the grammar and sociolinguistic commentary, and of all words discussed in both

Frequently Bought Together

Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, a Grammar: With Sociolinguistic Commentary + Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, a Textbook: With Exercises and Basic Grammar + Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian Audio Supplement: To Accompany Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, a Textbook
Price For All Three: CDN$ 118.68

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"Well written and admirably organized, this work is a milestone in the study of Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian. It is the first unified description of BCS since the break-up of former Yugoslavia and includes Professor Alexander's vitally important sociolinguistic commentary."—Victor A. Friedman, University of Chicago

“An invaluable volume, both for the early twenty-first century and for the emerging situation within the former Yugoslavia. Such works cannot but help ease the wounds inflicted and suffered over the last decades.”—Forum for Modern Language Studies

“Comprehensive. . . . Could be profitably used by everyone from beginners to the most advanced learners.”—Keith Langston, Slavic and East European Journal

About the Author

Ronelle Alexander is professor of Slavic languages and literatures at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of the two-volume Intensive Bulgarian:  A Textbook and Reference Grammar.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Good May 19 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This combo of books and audio cd were exactly what I was expecting. I'm on my way to speaking Bosnian
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You couldn't wish for better March 30 2007
By Ol' Beady Eyes - Published on Amazon.com
This elegant book does it all. It presents a thorough, linguistically rigorous grammar of a sometimes extremely foreign language in a form accessible to everyone from beginners to practiced speakers. The discussion is lucid, with plenty of examples, and is infused with a good teacher's enthusiasm for the subject and sensitivity to the reader's needs. Anything but dry, it abounds with useful observations, many focusing on the particular difficulties presented by "BCS" to English-speaking learners.

The grammatical material is presented in an order that presumably complements the companion volume, a textbook with exercises. That could take some getting used to for an experienced speaker of the language: if you want to read all about verbs, for instance, you have to locate and read many short sections distributed through the book. A complete discussion of the verb or any similar topic is thus presented in segments a beginner can grasp, laid out in an order that a beginner can follow, with no compromise of scholarly detail and accuracy. The attractive layout and typography aid in the endeavor.

The descriptive grammar is followed by a "sociolinguistic commentary" which raises a fine scholarly achievement to a yet more useful level. The student of BCS must deal with a situation in which people who understand each other with ease insist that they speak different languages, others who understand each other barely or not at all admit only to speaking different dialects, and the cultural history apparently entitles anyone to despise half of his or her colinguists according to whether or not they pronounce a "y" sound before the letter "e." All of this receives careful, clear explanation, illustrated with maps and complemented by painstaking notes to the grammatical examples. As in the grammar, the author's eagerness to help the reader understand is everywhere apparent.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First-rate June 2 2007
By Slovakophile - Published on Amazon.com

- Comprehensive and detailed treatment of grammatical topics in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS)

- Balanced presentation and comparison of grammatical topics and examples.

- Includes a readable and accessible introduction to the history and sociolinguistics of "old" Serbo-Croatian and "new" BCS


- None

The grammatical sections are set up in the same sequence as that of the corresponding BCS textbook by Alexander and Elias-Bursac. This reference of grammar is useful in that it goes into greater detail than what's in the textbook and may provide a "second opinion" to someone who is unsure about something in the textbook. The examples that are used to illustrate grammatical topics also have the added benefit of being marked as being used most frequently by Bosnians, Croats or Serbs.

The history and sociological survey should be required reading for anyone who is just starting to study BCS or wondering why some people from the former Yugoslavia still become emotional or sensitive about their language(s). In fact I would venture to say that these same people of the former Yugoslavia would do well to read Alexander's survey for it's a detached and balanced description of the subordination/hijacking of language to fulfill political or sociological aims. I found that reading it was instructive and a reminder than most of us English speakers are relatively fortunate in not having questions about language usage tied as closely or violently to being part of "good guys" or "bad guys".

Overall, it's a valuable source of information and no one can go wrong by having it on his/her shelf when studying BCS.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 9 2014
By honeymelon626 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So far so good:-)
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT!! April 5 2013
By Jason Price - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been looking for a book like this for years! My fiance is Bosnian and has had a hard time teaching me to speak Bosnian. When I read this book, she's been extremely impressed with the way they describe details like proper pronounciation and the subtle differences between Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian....as well as English. I've tried the software learning approach to no avail. I've learned more in the first 2 chapters of these books than I have in the past 4 years of messing with random Bosnian learning software. I bought the combo of BCS Textbook, BCS Audio Suppliment, and BCS Grammer. Totally worth it!
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent March 22 2013
By Anthony Dolce - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is exactly what I wanted. It is very up tp date. The most up to date. It is the best on the market.
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