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Original scientific paper

Anđel Starčević, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb



Govorimo hrvatski [We speak Croatian] is a series of pre–recorded pieces of usage advice
broadcast on Croatia Radio One [Prvi program Hrvatskoga radija]. The series features professional
linguists and philologists who present language ’problems’, and ’advise’ listeners on how to
’improve’ their knowledge and production. This paper aims to answer three questions: 1) is
the approach based on scholarly research, 2) does the series propagate the ideology of the
standard language (Milroy 2001), and 3) can the series be uncritically used in Croatian language
teaching? The results show that the series promotes 1) linguistically unsubstantiated analyses, 2)
linguistic purism as a scholarly approach, 3) unnecessary rigidity regarding minimal variations,
4) stigmatization of language change, 5) the invisibility of non–standard varieties close to the
standard, 6) identifying the whole of the Croatian language with the standard dialect, and 7)
unrealistic, artificially construed problems. The results point to a strong presence of the ideology
of the standard language and to the conclusion that the approach of the series should radically
change in order to present students and other speakers with a more realistic portrayal of both
the Croatian standard dialect and the Croatian language as a whole.



ideology of the standard language, multilingualism, non–standard varieties,
prescriptivism, purism, Croatian language teaching, language and the mass media, linguistic

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