The Moslem people's speeches and the standardization of our language
This paper deals with two important issues from our history and the history of our language. The first is the place of Moslems in the Serbo-Croat and with it in the Southern Slavic language community, and the importance of the Moslem speeches for the standardization of Serbo-Croat language. The Moslems of Bosnian and Herzegovinian speaking area comprise the constituent part of the Serbo-Croat language community, from their beginning to the present day. Therefore, they are the primeval part of the Slavic being in these Balkan's lands. They also happen to be the constituent part of the Southern Slavic language community. Even when they moved into other countries, they never renounced their origin and language, but they often offered with success their own language and culture to the others.
A question has been posed for a long time: who are our Moslems and to whom they belong to: whether to the Serbs or Croats? Different answers have been given, of course, but the members of Islamic faith could never identified themselves with the other two confessions, or nations. Our Moslems, as the social community, have never put the mark of equalization between themselves and the Ottoman Turks. A science should begin from the scientific facts and not from the legends, or subjective individual opinions.
The contribution of Moslems to the standardization of Serbo-Croat language was both great and considerable. One of the characteristic features in the speech of Moslems is a persistence of phoneme h in their consonantism. This sound was a constituent segment of our vocal system until 16th century when it started to disappear. This constrictive was kept intact in the speech of the Moslems. It found its proper place later on in the stan- dardization of Serbo-Croat language. It is obvious that the living word of Moslems was important for the stabilization of Serbo-Croat language norm. Our Moslems are sons and daughters of this soil and this language, and it comes as no surprise that their word has had a decisive role in the process of establishing norms of certain phonetic problems.