Vulnerable Languages and Linguistic Varieties in Serbia

Friends of the project

Jasna Tomić

Jasna Tomić is a tourism analyst of the Bor Tourist Organization and a member of the Krivelj Municipal Council. During the last few years, she has been successfully engaged in beekeeping, and at the same time, has been fighting for the rights of the inhabitants of the Vlach village of Krivelj, where excessive copper mining is threatening not only their environment, but also their language and identity. Without Jasna’s invaluable help, the sociolinguistic research on the vulnerability and endangerment of the Vlach Romanian variety spoken in Krivelj, which was carried out in the beginning of August 2023 as part of the VLingS project, would not have been possible. Jasna, thank you for everything.

Antun Čonka

Antun Čonka is the founder of the Bayash movement in Sonta and a long-time advocate of the rights of this minority. Together with other Bayash from Vojvodina, he recently launched the initiative to form the National Council of the Bayash National Minority in Serbia. He is at the same time working on writing down the linguistic variety of this community, which has been solely an oral language until now, and is preparing the first collection of Bayash texts in Serbia.

We want to thank Antun Čonka once more for the information on the status, size and language repertoire of Bayash from Sonta, and we look forward to reading the announced collection!

Lila Cona and the Aromanian PEN Center

The Aromanian PEN Center was founded on September 10, 2021 at the Founding Assembly attended by over 40 writers, journalists and translators from all Balkan countries. This makes it one of the 147 centers that are full members of the world association of writers across five continents, known today under the name PEN International, founded in London in 1921. The main goals of the Aromanian PEN Center are aligned with the PEN Charter, which for decades promotes the value of literature without borders and protects freedom of expression, exchange of opinions and mutual respect within and between all nations. The president of the Aromanian PEN Center is Lila Cona, who today is also the representative of the Center for Culture and Language of the Aromanians in the Balkans “Moskopolje”, a long-time organizer and participant to numerous events dedicated to the Aromanian heritage in Serbia and the Balkans, such as conferences, exhibitions, lectures, language schools, translation and other activities. We are very grateful to the Aromanian PEN Center and to Lila Cona for their support regarding the field research within the VLingS Project!

Novica Janošević and the Vlach National Council

The Vlach National Council is a Serbian state-financed public organization which has the authority to take decisions in the fields of culture, education, information and official use of the Vlach script and language, with the aim of upholding the collective rights of the Vlach national minority in Serbia. During 2023, the Vlach National Council and its president, Novica Janošević, have supported the VLingS project and helped our language consultants to conduct field research and surveys in the Vlach community. Our project team would like to thank them for their outstanding support!

Vladimir Ugrinović and the Vlach Movement of Serbia

Vladimir Ugrinović is the president of the Vlach Movement of Serbia, a non-governmental and non-profit association, founded with the aim to improve the lives of the members of the Vlach national community and to educate citizens about the characteristics of this community, especially children and young people. We would like to thank Vladimir Ugrinović for his help with the organization of field research in the Vlach community of Eastern Serbia during 2023!

Ervin Gazdag

A proud inhabitant of Ečka, a multilingual village in Vojvodina, Ervin Gazdag started being interested in the story of this fascinating place more than 20 years ago, and later he became its chronicler. In 2012 he published, together with two other authors, an impressive monograph of Ečka, of more than 500 pages. In addition to his role as a historian and chronicler, he is often an organizer of cultural events.

Ervin Gazdag helped us get in touch with representatives of the Banat Bulgarian and Bayash Romanian communities and greatly facilitated our field work. A big thank you!

Department of Ruthenian Studies

We express our deep gratitude to the team of the Department of Ruthenian Studies at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Novi Sad: prof. Mihajlo Fejsa, Ana Rimar Simunović and Aleksandar Mudri, for supporting the project and helping with the field research.

Ivan Kanjuh - Ruthenian Cultural Center in Novi Sad

Ivan Kanjuh from the Ruthenian Cultural Center in Novi Sad offered us invaluable help in organizing the field research and supporting our project, and we thank him for that.

The National Library “Njegoš”

We are grateful to the staff of the National Library “Njegoš” for their generous help in doing field work in Eastern Serbia.

Serbian-Aromanian Association “Lunjina”

Serbian-Aromanian Association “Lunjina”

“Lunjina” was founded in 1991 in Belgrade with the purpose of affirming the Aromanian cultural identity and nurturing the Aromanian heritage. To this aim, “Lunjina” organizes many cultural activities in Aromanian and Serbian: lectures, artistic exhibitions, publishing of books in Aromanian, translating folklore and contemporary poetry and prose into Serbian, as well as scientific publications, promotions of books and poetry reading events, visits to Aromanian communities in the region, etc. Within “Lunjina”, the Singing Group was founded in 2013, which has been holding concerts ever since, marking important dates of the Aromanian culture with public performances. Today, the members of the “Lunjina” Association gather regularly at the quarters of the “Nušić” Foundation in Belgrade, being also active on social networks, where they maintain contact with members of the Aromanian community all over the world.
Many thanks to “Lunjina” for helping the members of the VLingS project conduct their research!

Website: https://scd-lunjina.rs/

The “Nušić” Foundation for the Development of Culture and Creativity

The “Nušić” Foundation for the Development of Culture and Creativity

The Foundation was established in 2014 with multiple goals: the improvement, promotion and protection of human, civil and minority rights, as well as encouraging multiculturalism in all segments of social life. Accordingly, the Foundation works to affirm Aromanian folk customs, spiritual and material culture, art and literature, and to preserve the Aromanian language as a cultural treasure of Europe. On the premises of the “Nušić” Foundation, the Lunjina Serbian-Aromanian Association holds its meetings every Tuesday, and organizes events that mark important moments in the Aromanian culture. Between 2014 and 2017, classes of Aromanian language were organized by the Lunjina Association on the Foundation’s premises. 

We express our gratitude to the “Nušić” Foundation for helping the members of the VLingS project conduct their research!

Website: https://nusicfondacija.rs/

Anita Čović

Anita Čović

Anita Čović was born and grew up in Skopje, and since 2001 has been living and working in Belgrade. She is a member of the Aromanian community and a representative of the Serbian-Aromanian Association “Lunjina” from Belgrade. Her rich language repertoire includes Macedonian, French, Aromanian and Serbian, which she speaks fluently, as well as English, Romanian, Spanish and Italian, which she uses occasionally, and she is currently learning Greek. This interesting language biography marked both Anita’s life and her choice of profession: she is a professor of French language and literature and a translator. She currently works as a teacher at the French School in Belgrade and as a court interpreter, and has gained a rich translation experience at the Embassy of France in Belgrade and Skopje, the French Institute in Skopje, and in various humanitarian organizations. She is writing her PhD thesis at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade on the topic “Language biographies and language ideology: Case study – Aromanians in Belgrade”. 

We are very indebted to Anita Čović for her invaluable help in introducing us to the Aromanian community in Belgrade and supporting the VLingS project!