Croatian Shtokavian grammar books: overview of the history of grammar books on the Croatian Shtokavian literary language with an outline of their periodization and classification

Keywords: Croatian language, history of the Croatian linguistic norm, Croatian Shtokavian grammar books


This paper describes the criteria for the systematic periodization of Croatian grammar books. These criteria are exclusively linguistic and take into account the phonological and morphological structure described in these grammar books; where the grammar books contain a dictionary, the lexical organization has been taken into consideration as well. Based on these criteria, all Croatian grammar books may be systematized into four periods: I. 1604 – 1836 (old Croatian grammars), II. 1836 – 1899 (Croatian grammars from the Illyrian Movement to the end of the 19th century, with two parallel subgroups: grammars by the Zagreb School and Croatian Vukovians), III. 1899 – 1986 (with three successive subgroups: Croatian grammars from the beginning of the 20th century to 1940, Croatian grammars from 1940 to 1945, Croatian grammars from 1945 to the 1970s), IV. contemporary Croatian grammars. All these grammars clearly reveal the continuity of the Croatian literary language. This language is recognizable and comprehensible in all grammars, primarily owing to its Shtokavian stylization – and not to any kind of “organic basis”.

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