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the language of the Slovenes and one of the official languages of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; it belongs to the South Slavic group of languages. There are approximately 2 million speakers of Slovene, including approximately 1.6 million in Slovenia (according to the 1971 census); there are also speakers living in the areas of Austria, Italy, and Hungary bordering on Yugoslavia. The language has seven groups of dialects.
The phonetic peculiarities of literary Slovene include the opposition of long and short vowels under stress and open and closed vowels under stress, the vowel e [ə] in place of Proto-Slavic Ъ and b, the absence of an opposition of palatalized and unpalatalized consonants, and the change of l and ν to u̯ at the end of a syllable. The dynamic and musical stress is free (movable). Morphological features include the preservation of the dual, pluperfect, and supine and the loss of the aorist and imperfect, the vocative forms, and the consonant alternations in the nominal declension. The oldest written documents are the Freising Texts of the late tenth or the early 11th century.
The Slovene literary language was formed by the end of the 19th century. The modern literary language functions alongside spoken variants, among which there are significant phonetic and lexical differences. Norms for a common spoken language are being formulated in the second half of the 20th century. Slovene is written in the Latin alphabet.
REFERENCESFlorinskii, T. D. Lektsii po slavianskomu iazykoznaniiu, part 1. Kiev, 1895.
Ramovš, F. Historična gramatika slovenskega jezika, vol. 2: Konzonantizem; vol. 7: Dialekti. Ljubljana, 1924–35.
Ramovš, F. Kratka zgodovina slovenskega jezika: I. Ljubljana, 1936.
Toporišič, J. Slovenski knjižni jezik, vols. Maribor, 1965-70.
Bajec, A., R. Kolarič, and M. Rupel. Slovenská slovnica. Ljubljana, 1973.
Kotnik, J. Slovenskoruski slovar, 2nd ed. Ljubljana, 1967.
Slovar slovenskega knjižnega jezika, vol. 1. Ljubljana, 1970.
O. S. PLOTNIKOVA