Walser German and Walliser German are a group of Highest Alemannic dialects spoken in parts of Switzerland, Italy and Austria. Usage of the terms Walser and Walliser has come to reflect a difference of geography, rather than language; the term Walser refers to that speakers whose ancestors have emigrated in other Alpine valleys in medieval times, whereas Walliser refers only to a speaker from Upper Valais – that is, the upper Rhone valley. In a series of migrations during the Late Middle Ages, people migrated out of the Upper Valais, across the higher valleys of the Alps; the Alemannic immigration to the Rhone valley started in the 8th century. There were two different immigration routes, from what is now the Bernese Oberland, that led to two main groups of Walliser dialects. In the 12th or 13thcentury, the Walliser began to settle other parts of the Alps; these new settlements are known as Walser migration. In many of these settlements, people still speak Walser; because the people who speak Walser German live in the isolated valleys of the high mountains, Walser German has preserved certain archaisms retained from Old High German which were lost in other variants of German.
The dialect of the Lötschental, for instance, preserved three distinct classes of weak verbs until the beginning of the 20th century. Walser German dialects are considered endangered, language shift to the majority language has taken place in the course of the 20th century. Walser German is part of the Highest Alemannic group, most related to dialects spoken in the Bernese Oberland and in Central Switzerland. There is limited mutual intelligibility with High Alemannic forms of Swiss German, any mutual intelligibility with Standard German; the total number of speakers in the world estimated at 22,000 speakers, of whom about 10,000 are in Switzerland. Because the dialect group is quite spread out, there is any contact between the dialects. Therefore, the dialects that compose Walser German are different from each other as well. Specific Walser dialects can be traced to western dialects of the Upper Valais. Conservative Walser dialects are more similar to the respective groups of Wallis dialects than to neighboring Walser dialects.
Valais: Simplon, Gondo valleys in the Monte Rosa massif: Aosta Valley: Gressoney-La-Trinité, Gressoney-Saint-Jean, Issime in upper Ayas Valley and in Champdepraz. Province of Vercelli: Alagna Valsesia, Alto Sermenza, Riva Valdobbia province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola: Formazza, Ornavasso and Salecchio, Campello Monti Bernese Oberland: Lauterbrunnen, Mürren, Planalp Canton of Grisons: Rheinwald, Vals GR, Signina (Gemeinde Riein, Tenna, Versam, Avers, Schanfigg, upper Landwassertal, Davos, Prättigau Liechtenstein: Triesenberg, Planken Canton of Ticino: Bosco-Gurin Canton of St. Gall: Calfeisental, Taminatal Vorarlberg and Tirol: Großes Walsertal, Kleines Walsertal; this section will be about Pomattertitsch. Pomattertitsch is part of the Highest Alemannic German dialect group, made up of dialects that share similar features; the Highest Alemannic German group contains German dialects of Valais. The first feature, shared by this group is the palatalization of Middle High German -s- to -sch-; this is typical of Walser German dialects in general.
For Pomattertitsch, this doesn't apply to every word that contains -s-: su'son', sunna'sun', si'to be'. The second feature is a change from -nk- to -ch- or -h-: German denken to Pomattertitsch teche'think', German trinken to Pomattertitsch triche'drink'; the final feature is the lack of diphthongs where they are present in German words: German bauen to Pomattertitsch büwe'build', German schneien to Pomattertitsch schnie'snow'. Again, this section will be about the Walser German dialect Pomattertitsch. Pomattertitsch marks gender on nouns, like most dialects of German, it marks case on nouns, although it has been reduced over time. It distinguishes between strong and weak nouns. Table 1 Nouns: Pomattertitsch has definite and indefinite articles that agree in case and gender with the noun: Table 2 Definite Articles: Table 3 Indefinite Articles: Adjectives agree in number, gender with the noun it is modifying in Pomattertitsch. For adjectives in the attributive position, there is agreement in strong versus weak nouns, in case.
Table 4 Strong Attributive'tired': Table 5 Weak Attributive'tired': Table 6 Predicative'tired': In Pomattertitsch, there is a distinction between impersonal and personal pronouns. The impersonal pronoun is mu, third person singular; the personal pronouns agree in number and case, with third person agreeing in gender as
As there is no dominant national language, the four main languages of French, Italian and Romansch form the four branches which make up a literature of Switzerland. The original Swiss Confederation, from its foundation in 1291 up to 1798, gained only a few French-speaking districts in what is now the Canton of Fribourg, so the German language dominated. During that period the Swiss vernacular literature was in German, although in the 18th century, French became fashionable in Bern and elsewhere. At that time and Lausanne were not yet Swiss: Geneva was an ally and Vaud a subject land; the French branch does not begin to qualify as Swiss writing until after 1815, when the French-speaking regions gained full status as Swiss cantons. The Italian and Romansch-Ladin branches are less prominent. Like the earlier charters of liberties, the original League of 1291 was drawn up in Latin. Alliances among the cantons, as well as documents concerning the whole Confederation—the Parsons Ordinance of 1370, the Sempach Ordinance of 1393, the Compact of Stans and all the Recesses of the Diets—were compiled in German.
Political documents are not literature, but these pre-Reformation alliances rested on popular consent, were expressed in vernacular German rather than in clerkly Latin. First in order of date are the Minnesingers, the number of whom in the districts that formed part of the medieval Swiss Confederation are said to have exceeded thirty. Zürich was the chief literary centre of the Confederation; the two Manesses collected many of their songs in a manuscript that has come down to us and is preserved in Paris. The most prominent was Master John Hadlaub, who flourished in the second half of the 13th and the first quarter of the 14th centuries. Next we have a long series of war songs. One of the earliest and most famous of these was composed by Hans Halbsuter of Lucerne to commemorate the battle of Sempach, not far from his native town. There are other similar songs for the victory of Näfels and those of the battle of Grandson and battle of Morat in the Burgundian War. In the 14th century the Dominican friar Ulrich Boner of Bern versified many old fables.
More important are the historical chronicles. In the 14th century we have Christian Kuchlmaster's continuation of the annals of the famous monastery of St Gall, in the early 15th century the rhymed chronicle of the war between the Appenzellers and the abbot of St Gall, rather in the same century the chronicles of Conrad Justinger of Bern and Hans Fründ of Lucerne, besides the fantastical chronicle of Strattligen and a scarcely less fanciful poem on the supposed Scandinavian descent of the men of Schwyz and of Ober Hasle, both by Elogius Kiburger of Berne. In the 15th century, too, we have the White Book of Sarnen and the first William Tell song, which gave rise to the well-known legend, as well as the rather play named the Urnerspiel dealing with the same subject; the Burgundian War witnessed a great outburst of historical ardour in the shape of chronicles written by Diebold Schilling of Bern, by Melchior Russ, Diebold Schilling the Younger and Petermann Etterlin, all three of Lucerne as well as by Gerold Edlibach of Zürich, by Johnanes Lenz of Brugg.
In the vernacular, are the earliest descriptions of the Confederation, those by Albert von Bonstetten of Einsiedeln and by Conrad Turst of Zürich, to whom we owe the first map of the country. The Swiss humanists wrote in Latin, as did the Swiss Reformers, at any rate for the most part, though the Zürich Bible of 1531 is an exception. Nicholas Manuel, a many-sided Bernese, composed satirical poems in German against the pope, while Valerius Anshelm of Bern, wrote one of the best Swiss chronicles. Aegidius Tschudi of Glarus, despite great literary activity, published but a single German work in his lifetime, the Uralt warhafflig Alpisch Rhaetia sam pt dem Tract der anderen Alpgebirgen besides his map of Switzerland. Sebastian Munster, a Swiss by adoption, published his Cosmographia in German, the work being translated into Latin in 1550, but the many-sided Conrad Gesner, a born Swiss, wrote all his works in Latin, German translations appearing only at a date. The first important original product in German was the remarkable and elaborate history and description of Switzerland, issued in 1548 at Zürich by Johannes Stumpf of that town.
But Josias Simler, in a way his continuator, wrote all his works and geographical, in Latin. Matthew Merian engraved many plates, which were issued in a series of volumes under the general title of Topographia, the earliest volume describing Switzerland, while all had a text in German by an Austrian, Martin Zeiller. Characteristic of the age are the autobiography of the Valais scholar Thomas Platter and the diary of his still more distinguished son Felix, both written in German, though not published till long after. Swiss historical writers gave up the use of Latin for their native tongue, so Michael Stettler of Bern, Franz Haffner of Soleure, quite a number of Grisons authors, such as Bartholomäus Anhorn and his son of the same name and Johannes Guler von Wyneck. Fortunat Sprecher preferred to write his Pallas raetica in Latin, as did Fortunat von Juvalta in the case of his autobiography; the autobiography of Hans Ards
A vernacular, or vernacular language, is the lect used in everyday life by the common people of a specific population. It is distinguished from national, liturgical or scientific idiom, or a lingua franca, used to facilitate communication across a large area, it is native spoken informally rather than written and seen as of lower status than more codified forms. It can be regional dialect, sociolect or an independent language. In the context of language standardization, the term "vernacular" is used to refer to nonstandard dialects of a certain language, as opposed to its prestige normative forms. Usage of the word "vernacular" is not recent. In 1688, James Howell wrote: Concerning Italy, doubtless there were divers before the Latin did spread all over that Country. Here, mother language and dialect are in use in a modern sense. According to Merriam-Webster, "vernacular" was brought into the English language as early as 1601 from the Latin vernaculus, in figurative use in Classical Latin as "national" and "domestic", having been derived from vernus and verna, a male or female slave born in the house rather than abroad.
The figurative meaning was broadened from vernacula. Varro, the classical Latin grammarian, used the term vocabula vernacula, "termes de la langue nationale" or "vocabulary of the national language" as opposed to foreign words. In general linguistics, a vernacular is contrasted with a lingua franca, a third-party language in which persons speaking different vernaculars not understood by each other may communicate. For instance, in Western Europe until the 17th century, most scholarly works had been written in Latin, serving as a lingua franca. Works written in Romance languages are said to be in the vernacular; the Divina Commedia, the Cantar de Mio Cid, The Song of Roland are examples of early vernacular literature in Italian and French, respectively. In Europe, Latin was used instead of vernacular languages in varying forms until c. 1701, in its latter stage as New Latin. In religion, Protestantism was a driving force in the use of the vernacular in Christian Europe, the Bible being translated from Latin into vernacular languages with such works as the Bible in Dutch: published in 1526 by Jacob van Liesvelt.
In Catholicism, vernacular bibles were provided, but Latin was used at Tridentine Mass until the Second Vatican Council of 1965. Certain groups, notably Traditionalist Catholics, continue to practice Latin Mass. In Eastern Orthodox Church, four Gospels translated to vernacular Ukrainian language in 1561 are known as Peresopnytsia Gospel. In India, the 12th century Bhakti movement led to the translation of Sanskrit texts to the vernacular. In science, an early user of the vernacular was Galileo, writing in Italian c. 1600, though some of his works remained in Latin. A example is Isaac Newton, whose 1687 Principia was in Latin, but whose 1704 Opticks was in English. Latin continues to be used in certain fields of science, notably binomial nomenclature in biology, while other fields such as mathematics use vernacular. In diplomacy, French displaced Latin in Europe in the 1710s, due to the military power of Louis XIV of France. Certain languages have both a classical form and various vernacular forms, with two used examples being Arabic and Chinese: see Varieties of Arabic and Chinese language.
In the 1920s, due to the May Fourth Movement, Classical Chinese was replaced by written vernacular Chinese. The vernacular is often contrasted with a liturgical language, a specialized use of a former lingua franca. For example, until the 1960s, Roman Rite Catholics held Masses in Latin rather than in vernaculars. In Hindu culture, traditionally religious or scholarly works were written in Sanskrit or in Tamil in Tamil country. Sanskrit was a lingua franca among the non-Indo-European languages of the Indian subcontinent and became more of one as the spoken language, or prakrits, began to diverge from it in different regions. With the rise of the bhakti movement from the 12th century onwards, religious works were created in the other languages: Hindi, Kannada and many others. For example, the Ramayana, one of Hinduism's sacred epics in Sanskrit, had vernacular versions such as Ranganadha Ramayanam composed in Telugu by Gona Buddha Reddy in the 15th century; these circumstances are a contrast between a vernacular and language variant used by the same speakers
The QWERTZ or QWERTZU keyboard is a typewriter and keyboard layout used in Central Europe. The name comes from the first six letters at the top left of the keyboard:; the main difference between QWERTZ and QWERTY is that the positions of the Z and Y keys are switched. This change was made for two major reasons: "Z" was a much more common letter than "Y" in German. "T" and "Z" appear next to each other in the German orthography, typewriter jamming would be reduced by placing the two keys so they could be typed with separate hands. Similar to many other non-English keyboards: Part of the keyboard is adapted to include language-specific characters, e.g. umlauted vowels in German and Austrian keyboards. QWERTZ keyboards change the right Alt key into an Alt Gr key to access a third level of key assignments; this is necessary because the language-specific characters leave no room to have all the special symbols of ASCII, needed by programmers among others, available on the first or second levels without unduly increasing the size of the keyboard.
The placements of some special symbols are changed when compared to the English versions of QWERTY. Some of special key inscriptions are changed from an abbreviation to a graphical symbol. In German and Austrian keyboards, most of the other abbreviated labels are in German: "Ctrl" is translated to its German equivalent "Strg" for Steuerung, "Delete" is abbreviated "Entf". "Esc" and "Enter" on the numeric keypad are not translated, however. The QWERTZ layout is widely used in Germany and in the majority of Central European and Balkan countries that use the Latin script. Many German-speaking regions use this layout, but the German-speaking East Cantons of Belgium uses the AZERTY instead. QWERTZ is the default keyboard layout for the Albanian language on Microsoft Windows; the PC keyboard layout used in Germany and Austria is based on one defined in a former edition of the German standard DIN 2137-2. The current edition DIN 2137:2012-06 standardizes it as the first one of three layouts, calling it “T1”.
It employs dead keys to type accented characters like “é”, the AltGr key to access characters in the third level. The “T2” layout as specified in the 2012 edition of the German standard uses the group selection to access special characters like the long s, or foreign characters like “Æ” or “Ə”. Sorbian QWERTZ is identical to the German layout, but the additional Sorbian characters can be entered with dead keys. All are supported by Microsoft Windows; the QWERTZ keyboard layout is used in the Czech Republic, but the QWERTY variant is an unofficial option. The characters from the American keyboard and some other characters and diacritic signs that are missing on the Czech mechanical typewriter keyboard can be accessed with the AltGr key; the layout on the picture is supported by Microsoft Windows. Note that on some keyboards, the "ű" key is located to the left of the Enter key, while on others it is placed to the left of the backspace key. An unusual feature of this Hungarian keyboard layout is the position of the 0: it’s located to the left of the 1, so that most of the accented characters can be together on the right side of the keyboard.
The official layout is of type QWERTZ, therefore the most used keyboard layout in the country. QWERTY used to be widespread due to there not being a dedicated Hungarian layout available for older computers, but since this is no longer an issue everyone uses QWERTZ in everyday computing. On "ISO" keyboards, the í is positioned on the key to the right of the left Shift key. To adapt to 101/102-key keyboards which don’t have that key, the MS Windows QWERTY layout has put the í on the usual key for the 0 while the 0 has been moved to that key’s AltGr/Option level. A variant of the QWERTZ keyboard has been used in Poland, but QWERTY keyboards have been dominant since the early 1990s; the standard keyboard layout as established by the standard SR 13392:2004 is QWERTY. However, a Romanian QWERTZ keyboard was set up on Windows 9x/2000/ME/XP. Since it was devised before the disunification of "Ș" and "Ț" with "Ş" and "Ţ", the characters with cedilla were used in the layout. In 2012, a revision with commas was made.
Typewriters in Slovakia have used the QWERTZ layout quite similar to the layout used on the Czech typewriters. Slovak QWERTZ layout differs from the Czech one in using the letter ľ instead of the Czech ě on the same position the letter ť is on the position of Czech ř and the letter ô is on the position of Czech ů. There are 2 more keys that differ in these 2 languages: Slovak ä key replaces the Czech' ¨ key. There are 17 characters from American keyboard that are missing on the Slovak keyboard because of the presence of the Slovak letters. Users can access
Ahmadiyya in Switzerland
Ahmadiyya is an Islamic branch in Switzerland, under the spiritual leadership of the caliph in London. The Community was founded on October 13, 1946, during the late period of the Second Caliphate, when the caliph directed Shaikh Nasir Ahmad to establish a mission in the country. Today there are two Ahmadi mosques and 14 local branches, representing an estimated 800 Ahmadi Muslims; the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Switzerland was founded in the year 1946, following the Second World War. In the 1940s three missionaries were appointed to open an Ahmadi mission in German-speaking Europe, at the request of the second Caliph Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad. On October 13, 1946 the three Ahmadi Muslim missionaries, Sheikh Nasir Ahmad, Abdul Latif and Ghulam Ahmad Bashir met in Zurich, intending to establish a mission in Germany. However, due to the recent conclusion of the war, they were unable to enter the country; as a result, a mission was established in Zurich instead. Soon after, Abdul Latif and Ghulam Ahmad Bashir left the country for the Netherlands, whilst Sheikh Nasir Ahmad continued to serve Switzerland for the following 16 years, until 1962.
During this period a German translation of the Quran was published and an Islamic journal Der Islam was founded. In 1960, in view of growing multiculturalism, the country’s municipal government offered the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community a parcel of land for the construction of a mosque, at a rate of 3000 francs annually, for 60 years; the location was opposite a church. The mosque project received overwhelming support from national groups. However, it wasn't without criticism. National churches belonging to various Christian denominations in Switzerland, including the Catholic Church, pointed out in a joint statement that whilst the government is offering Muslims a place for the construction of a mosque, the churches are facing difficulty in finding construction sites for their places of worship; the Swiss evangelical party responded to the governments offer as an "unfortunate way of showing preference to a religious minority in attacking the religious sentiments of the majority of." The issue was resolved and the construction project was given the green light.
On August 25, 1962, Amatul Hafiz Begum, the daughter of the founder of the Community, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, laid the foundation stone for the first mosque in the country. The opening ceremony was held on 22 June 1963 led by Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, at that time the President of the 17th UN General Assembly. Emil Landolt, the Mayor of Zurich was present; the mosque was named the Mahmud Mosque. By opening the mosque, the Community set a visible presence of Muslims in Switzerland. Over the years, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community grew due to immigration from Pakistan. By the 1990s, the Mahmood Mosque was becoming too small to house its members; as a consequence, the Community began to search for another mosque. 15 years in 2005 the Community found a suitable place, a joinery in Haüsern, a hamlet in the municipality of Wigoltingen, in Thurgau. The national president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Switzerland, W. Tarnutzer, wrote to the caliph, in London, requesting approval of the project. After approving the project, the Community proposed the project to the municipal government.
On one hand the council disapproved the project and on the other, a number of residents in the neighbourhood began to collect signatures against the project. The Community organized an informational event in response to the negative reaction. In order to avoid self-portrayal, the event featured positive remarks from a non-Muslim journalist and a priest. Following the event, there were no objections; the mosque is named the "Nuur Mosque". Predominantly aiming at the perceived misconceptions of the place of Islam in modern society, the Swiss Ahmadiyya Muslim Community organizes public lectures and open house days at their mosques. There are 14 local chapters and an estimated 800 Ahmadis in Switzerland, many of which are descendants of immigrants from Pakistan. There are two Ahmadi Muslim mosques in the country, the Mahmud Mosque, in Zurich and the Nuur Mosque, in Wigoltingen, due to undergo construction. Both mosques lie in the German-speaking part of the country; the current national president is Walid Tariq Tarnutzer and the national missionary in-charge is Sadaqat Ahmed.
Ahmadiyya in Germany Islam in Switzerland Bibliography Kortmann, Matthias. Islamic Organizations in Europe and the USA: A Multidisciplinary Perspective. Palgrave Mcmillan. ISBN 9781137305572. Official website of the Swiss Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Architecture of Switzerland
The Architecture of Switzerland was influenced by its location astride major trade routes, along with diverse architectural traditions of the four national languages. Romans and Italians brought their monumental and vernacular architecture north over the Alps, meeting the Germanic and German styles coming south and French influences coming east. Additionally Swiss mercenary service brought architectural elements from other lands back to Switzerland. All the major styles including Roman, Gothic, Baroque, Art Nouveau, Modern architecture and Post Modern are well represented throughout the country; the founding of the Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne in La Sarraz and the work of Swiss-born Modern architects such as Le Corbusier helped spread Modern architecture throughout the world. The relative isolation of villages in the Alpine foothills, the Alps and the Jura mountains as well as different languages led to great diversity in the vernacular style. Due to differing traditions and building materials villages in each region are distinctly different.
The Swiss chalet style, popular in the 19th century represents only one of a number of traditional designs. Today due to historic preservation laws and tourism many large and small communities have retained many of their historic core buildings. Since 1972 the Swiss Heritage Society has awarded the Wakker Prize to encourage communities to preserve their architectural heritage; some of the earliest known buildings in Switzerland were prehistoric stilt houses which were built by the Pfyn, Cortaillod and La Tène cultures between 4000 and 500 BC. A number of these early buildings have been rebuilt near the sites. Following the defeat of the Helvetii at the Battle of Bibracte of 58 BC, over the next decades much of Switzerland was incorporated into the Roman Empire; the principal Roman settlements in Switzerland were the cities of Iulia Equestris, Augusta Raurica and Vindonissa. Evidence has been found of twenty Roman villages established in the 1st to 3rd century AD, as well as hundreds of villas of varying sizes built in the western and central part of the Swiss Plateau.
The Legio XIII Gemina, was based in the permanent camp of Vindonissa and Aventicum was the capital of the Helvetii. Under pressure from internal and external forces, the Roman Army retreated and Switzerland became a border province in the 4th century. Nyon and Augusta Raurica were permanently abandoned during the 4th century, the stones of their ruins serving to fortify Geneva and Basel. Aventicum never recovered from its pillages: Ammianus Marcellinus noted in around 360 that "the city was once illustrious, as its half-ruined buildings attest."Today there are a number of excavated or rebuilt Roman sites in Switzerland. Some of the ruins of Roman settlements were incorporated into houses and city walls. All four of the major Roman cities have some relics of the Roman era. Augusta Raurica has parts of the amphitheater, the main forum and a theater. At Avenches the eastern gates and a tower, a thermal bath, the 16,000 seat amphitheater and temple ruins are still visible. At Nyon, the Roman ruins were lost until their rediscovery in the 18th century, which included the amphitheater and basilica.
At Windisch the legionaries camp, an amphitheater and an aqueduct are all visible. The Pre-Romanesque period is considered to stretch from the emergence of the Merovingian kingdom in about 500 to the beginning of the 11th century Romanesque period, though there is considerable overlap. During the early centuries of this period, the area that would become Switzerland was sparsely populated and nothing remains of any buildings from the period between 500 and the late 8th century. During the Carolingian Renaissance of the 8th and 9th centuries many new monasteries and churches sprung up across Western Europe. Carolingian architecture borrowed from Early Christian and Byzantine architecture and helped lead to the Romanesque style in the following centuries. To begin expanding their power into the deep forests and isolated mountain valleys, the Carolingian kings established several monasteries in Switzerland. One well preserved example of this style in Switzerland is Saint John Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, founded around 775 either on orders of Charlemagne or his Bishop in Chur.
Many of the frescoes in the chapel are from the first half of the 9th century. Another well known example of Carolingian architecture is the Abbey of St. Gall, which while it was rebuilt in the Baroque style between 1755 and 1768, is based on the much older Carolingian monastery; the Abbey library of Saint Gall contains around 2,100 manuscripts from the 8th to the 15th centuries including the Plan of St. Gall the only surviving major architectural drawing from the 6th to the 13th centuries; the Plan is a drawing of a proposed. Some of the defining characteristics of Romanesque architecture is solid walls with few, semi-circular, paired windows, groin vaults and in religious architecture rows of columns that separate the nave from the aisles. In the 11th and 12th centuries, architecture in Switzerland can be divided into three zones of influence, the Lombards in the south, Burgundy in the west and Germanic in the north and east, though there is significant overlap; the Lombard and Burgundian craftsmen experimented with barrel and groined vaults and carved capitals and friezes.
In the Germanic parts of Europe, the ecclesiastical Romanesque style included an apse on both the eastern and western ends of the nave, such as was shown in the Plan of St. Gall
Serbo-Croatian is a South Slavic language and the primary language of Serbia, Croatia and Herzegovina, Montenegro. It is a pluricentric language with four mutually intelligible standard varieties. South Slavic dialects formed a continuum; the turbulent history of the area due to expansion of the Ottoman Empire, resulted in a patchwork of dialectal and religious differences. Due to population migrations, Shtokavian became the most widespread dialect in the western Balkans, intruding westwards into the area occupied by Chakavian and Kajkavian. Bosniaks and Serbs differ in religion and were often part of different cultural circles, although a large part of the nations have lived side by side under foreign overlords. During that period, the language was referred to under a variety of names, such as "Slavic" in general or "Serbian", "Croatian", ”Bosnian”, "Slavonian" or "Dalmatian" in particular. In a classicizing manner, it was referred to as "Illyrian"; the process of linguistic standardization of Serbo-Croatian was initiated in the mid-19th-century Vienna Literary Agreement by Croatian and Serbian writers and philologists, decades before a Yugoslav state was established.
From the beginning, there were different literary Serbian and Croatian standards, although both were based on the same Shtokavian subdialect, Eastern Herzegovinian. In the 20th century, Serbo-Croatian served as the official language of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, as one of the official languages of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; the breakup of Yugoslavia affected language attitudes, so that social conceptions of the language separated on ethnic and political lines. Since the breakup of Yugoslavia, Bosnian has been established as an official standard in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is an ongoing movement to codify a separate Montenegrin standard. Serbo-Croatian thus goes by the names Serbian, Croatian and sometimes Montenegrin and Bunjevac. Like other South Slavic languages, Serbo-Croatian has a simple phonology, with the common five-vowel system and twenty-five consonants, its grammar evolved from Common Slavic, with complex inflection, preserving seven grammatical cases in nouns and adjectives.
Verbs exhibit imperfective or perfective aspect, with a moderately complex tense system. Serbo-Croatian is a pro-drop language with flexible word order, subject–verb–object being the default, it can be written in Serbian Cyrillic or Gaj's Latin alphabet, whose thirty letters mutually map one-to-one, the orthography is phonemic in all standards. Throughout the history of the South Slavs, the vernacular and written languages of the various regions and ethnicities developed and diverged independently. Prior to the 19th century, they were collectively called "Illyric", "Slavic", "Slavonian", "Bosnian", "Dalmatian", "Serbian" or "Croatian". Since the XIX century the term Illyric was used quite often. Although the word Illyrian was used on a few occasions before, the widespread usage of the term began after Ljudevit Gaj and several other prominent linguists met at Ljudevit Vukotinović's house to discuss the issue in 1832; the term Serbo-Croatian was first used by Jacob Grimm in 1824, popularized by the Viennese philologist Jernej Kopitar in the following decades, accepted by Croatian Zagreb grammarians in 1854 and 1859.
At that time and Croat lands were still part of the Ottoman and Austrian Empires. The language was called variously Serbo-Croat, Croato-Serbian and Croatian, Croatian and Serbian, Serbian or Croatian, Croatian or Serbian. Unofficially and Croats called the language "Serbian" or "Croatian" without implying a distinction between the two, again in independent Bosnia and Herzegovina, "Bosnian", "Croatian", "Serbian" were considered to be three names of a single official language. Croatian linguist Dalibor Brozović advocated the term Serbo-Croatian as late as 1988, claiming that in an analogy with Indo-European, Serbo-Croatian does not only name the two components of the same language, but charts the limits of the region in which it is spoken and includes everything between the limits. Today, use of the term "Serbo-Croatian" is controversial due to the prejudice that nation and language must match, it is still used for lack of a succinct alternative, though alternative names have emerged, such as Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, seen in political contexts such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
Old Church Slavonic was adopted as the language of the liturgy. This language was adapted to non-liturgical purposes and became known as the Croatian version of Old Slavonic; the two variants of the language and non-liturgical, continued to be a part of the Glagolitic service as late as the middle of the 19th century. The earliest known Croatian Church Slavonic Glagolitic manuscripts are the Glagolita Clozianus and the Vienna Folia from the 11th century; the beginning of written Serbo-Croatian can be traced from the 10th century and on when Serbo-Croatian medieval texts were written in five scripts: Latin, Early Cyrillic, Bosnian Cyrillic, Arebica, the last principally by Bosniak nobility. Serbo-Croatian competed with the more established literary languages of Latin