In the past two decades Bosnia and Herzegovina saw the implementation of the three legal languages of Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, which replaced the formerly used Serbo-Croatian. The initially purely terminological changes are now developing into a gradually growing language change along ethnic lines. However, there is a great difference between the level of standardization and actual use of the three languages in question. From this study it became evident that the prescriptive linguistic changes are not spreading equally within each group, but are only affecting the language use and speech of the majorities of certain areas. Compared with current European processes of standardization such as dialect loss and horizontal and vertical leveling, the phenomena found in this region pose a very interesting exception worth examining.
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