Noam Chomsky signs Declaration on the Common Language

NEWS 27.03.201812:54

World renowned linguist, philosopher and author, Noam Chomsky, signed the one-year-old Declaration which states that Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian and Montenegrin are different varieties of the same shared language.

The Declaration on the Common Language, which has since March last year gathered more than 8,000 signatures, was put together by linguists and other experts from the four countries.

Chomsky confirmed to N1 he signed the Declaration, saying there is nothing he thinks needs to be added to its text.

The Declaration states that the politics of emphasising minute differences in varieties of what is basically the same language have brought on a series of negative developments in the four countries, where strongly insisting on these differences became a criteria for ethnic affiliation and a tool for expressing political loyalty.

According to its Declaration authors, language and ethnicity do not necessarily need to coincide, each group may have its own variety that it may standardise in its society, and all those varieties are equally legitimate.

The document also calls for an end to the practice of segregating children in the education system based on language varieties they use, and for the freedom for each individual to express themselves using their preferred variety.

At the time of its publication, the Declaration had caused a stir among conservatives in all the relevant countries, especially in Croatia. However, according to Croatian linguist Snježana Kordić, there were more articles supporting the Declaration published in the Croatian media than in all other three countries put together.

Kordić is the one who had invited Chomsky to sign the declaration, which he did that same day.