The BiH Constitutional Court’s decision assessing descriptive definition of “the Language of Bosniak People” in the Republika Srpska Constitution as unconstitutional, annuls the equal status of the Serb People and the Serbian Language in BiH, said professor at the Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade, Milos Kovacevic.
Kovacevic has said that such decision is expected, but is not based on any legal nor scientific arguments thus it cannot oblige the Republika Srpska authorities to call “the language of the Bosniak people” the Bosnian Language in Republika Srpska or in the Serbian language, but only “the Bosniaks Language”.
He has noted in his article entitled “the Bosniaks Language is not the Bosnian Language”, for the Politika daily, that the Constitutional Court had based its decision on three so-called arguments – that “the BiH Constitution gives a right to the constitutive peoples and the others to name the language they speak however they want”, that “the BiH Constitution does not stipulate that the name of a language spoken by the constituent peoples must be associated with the name of this nation” and that “the name of the language cannot be conditioned by the linguistic rules because the constitutional right to name the language is separated from the content of language, the language standards”.
University professor points out that none of these criteria mentioned above has either scientific or legal justification.
Kovacevic explains that the decision does not state which article of the BiH Constitution reads that constituent peoples and the others have the right to “name the language they speak however they want,” and emphasizes that the international regulations related to the language show that such a right is nowhere in the world legally sanctioned.
“The members of the Constitutional Court of BiH invented it, without confirming it via legal documents and the Constitution of BiH. And, if such a right existed, it would necessarily imply the specification: if not to the detriment or against the interest of another constituent people”, said Kovacevic.
He points out that this is exactly the case with the term “Bosnian language”, because the choice of the name is directly aimed against the Serb people and the interests of the Serbs in BiH. Kovacevic has stressed that “this right” annuls constitutional equality of the Serb people in BiH, since the equality of the constituent peoples is more fundamental constitutional right than any other right.”
“The name` Bosnian language`, namely, includes: `the language of Bosnia and Hercegovine`, comparing a `Bosnian` as a `geographic` and `Serbian` as a `national -` Bosnian` is necessarily superior and includes `Serbian` as its subordinate term” , said Kovacevic.
It is why, explains Professor Kovacevic, the accepting of the language name “Bosnian” would be the beginning of the end of not only the Serbian Language, but also the Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina, because it would mean the self-abolition and “integration” of the Serbian Language into “Bosnian”, and therefore the Serbs into the projected “Bosnians” as a nation.
Anent the assessment of the Constitutional Court of BiH citing that the BiH Constitution does not stipulate that the name of a language spoken by the constituent peoples must be associated with the names of the constituent peoples, Kovacevic states that one must not draw conclusion from this that whatever is not defined by the Constitution is allowed.
“The Constitution of BiH, as well as other constitutions, does not forbid cannibalism, which does not mean it is allowed. Besides, the BiH Constitution does not specify that the name of the language of one nation must be the same in the language of another!”, Said Kovacevic .
He has recalled that the language of the Slovenians – Slovenian language (Slovenski) is named Slovenacki in Serbian language, thus “Bosniak language” is the only appropriate name in Serbian language.
“In Serbistics, unlike` `Bosnistcs` and its constitutional `symphatizers`, the name of the language is not separated from the name of the nation that speak that particular language. Accordingly, even though the right to call the language the Bosniaks speak `Bosnian` is recognised, this right applies only for use in `Bosnian language`, and cannot be valid for use in the Serbian Language, in which the Republika Srpska Constitution is written,” said Kovacevic.
Anent the conclusion of the BiH Constitutional Court that “the name of the language … is separated from the language content, language standards,” Kovacevic notes that the Court wants to arbitrate in what is or not included in the linguistic science.
Kovacevic concludes that the BiH Constitutional Court clearly wanted “to abolish the jurisdiction of linguistics on language issues,” in order to justify “unique” case of “Bosnian”, because, as he recalled, the name of the language is associated with the names of the peoples, not with the names of states these people live in.