Research centres - ICAL

Research Center
for Areal Linguistics

About the Research Center for Areal Linguistics (ICAL)

            The Research Center for Areal Linguistics is a scholarly unit within the Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences (MANU), established on 28 September, 2000. The Center is a continuation of the informal linguistics cell created in 1991 within the Academy by Professor Božidar Vidoeski, Member of MANU, as a base for work on International linguistic atlases.
The Center researches the role of spatial factors in the development and function of language.
The multicultural and multilingual environment of the Balkans is an ideal basis for research in the field of areal linguistics, i.e. for developing a theory of languages in contact and for studying the mechanisms of linguistic interference. At the same time, such research contributes to a better understanding of the place of the Macedonian language and its dialects within the Slavic and the Balkan linguistic worlds.

Scholarly potential

            Numerous scientists and scholars from various scientific and educational Centers in the Republic of Macedonia and abroad are involved in the work of the Center. The following scholars work at the Center: Professor Zuzanna Topolińska, Director of the Center and Member of Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences, Professor Marjan Markoviќ, Deputy Director and regular research fellow, Professor Milica Mirkulovska, regular research fellow and Head of the Bibliographic Section, Angelina Pančevska, research assistant, and Sonja Milenkovska, junior research assistant. Other research fellows from the Institute of the Macedonian Language, the Blaže Koneski Faculty of Philology, Skopje, and from some other institutions take an active part in the work of the Center. In addition to these, many scientists and scholars from foreign linguistic Centers are regular research associates, among them Professor Victor Friedman (University of Chicago; External Member of Academy), Professor Christina Kramer (University of Toronto), Professor Stanisław Karolak and Professor Jan Sokolowski (Poland), Professor Yumi Nakajima (Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo), Professor Andrej Sobolev (University of Marburg/University of St. Petersburg), and many others.


 1.International Linguistic Atlases

            The Center successfully participates in several international projects among which the most significant are the International Linguistic Atlases. The leaders of this project in MANU have been Professor Božidar Vidoeski and Professor Zuzanna Topolińska. The projects comprise the Slavic Linguistic Atlas, one of the projects of the International Committee of Slavists, and the Atlas Linguarum Europae (ALE). Both atlases are international and multilateral in scope. Within the framework of these projects, field work as well as historical and typological analyses of Macedonian dialect data are being carried out.  The projects also include the qualitative analysis and computer generated linguistic maps. ICAL is one of the referential Centers for this activity. Macedonian representative in the International boards of both Atlases is Professor Marjan Markoviќ.

 2. The place of the Macedonian language in Slavic and Balkan linguistic world
            Another of the Center's main projects is the The place of the Macedonian language in Slavic and Balkan linguistic world (formerly Geographical and Functional Characteristics of Morpho-syntactic Balkanisms). The prime goal of this project is to show similarities and differences between different Slavic and Balkan languages. A larger group of research fellows participates in this project working on various issues regarding the Balkan languages and focusing on the status of the Balkan Slavic languages and on the place of Macedonian within the Balkan linguistic league. The following topics have been investigated: The Present as a Linguistic Concept. Grammatical Means for Expressing the Present in the Slavic and Balkan Languages, The Formal and Semantic Structure of the Noun Phrase in Macedonian and Bulgarian (as a part of the project Language Parallelisms - A Bridge for leveling differences among peoples, in cooperation with the University of Trondheim, Norway).
Research on the following topics is currently in progress: Distribution of the Article in Macedonian in a Balkan context;

Periphrastic Constructions With 'esse' and 'habere' in Slavic and Balkan Languages.

Bibliographic Section 

            The Bibliographic Section, managed by Professor Milica Mirkulovska, continues the work begun by Professor Božidar Vidoeski with the publication of his Contribution to the Bibliography of the Macedonian Language (1954).  Volumes covering 1954-1970 (Vol. 2) and 1971-1985 (Vol.3) have already been published and one for 1986-2006 (Vol. 4) is in press. This department also covers Macedonian for the Slavic Bibliography published in Poland and for the General Linguistic Bibliography published in the Netherlands.

Other Activities

            For the past two years the Center has organized on-going linguistic meetings, including weekly lectures which attract a growing audience of active participants. To date, in addition to the regular research fellows of the Center, many eminent scientists and scholars from abroad have given lectures. This activity is aimed at the eventual establishment of a formal program in postgraduate studies in Balkan languages in cooperation with other Macedonian and foreign institutions. The Center thereby plans to expand its educational function.

Center Publications

            Numerous publications reflect the activity of the Center.
From 1998 to 2008 the following works have been published:

Works of Professor Božidar Vidoeski:

The Dialects of the Macedonian Language (Volume 1)     [1998];
The Dialects of the Macedonian Language (Volume 2)     [1999];
The Dialects of the Macedonian Language (Volume 3)     [1999];
Geographical Terminology in the Dialects of the Macedonian  Language [1999];
Phonological Bases of the Dialects of the Macedonian Language   [2000]

Other publications:

Contribution to the Bibliography of the Macedonian Language 2
- Общеславянский лингвистический атлас, Серия фонетико- грамматическая, выпуск 4б, рефлекси *ь, *ъ. вторичные гласные.  [2004]
Overview of the Macedonian dialects (CD with audio recordings of the dialect texts), [2002]
Areal Linguistics (Theories and Methods), Proceedings, Materials from  the Symposium on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the death of  Professor Božidar Vidoeski  [2005]
Contribution to the Bibliography of the Macedonian Language 3 (1971-  1985) [2006]
- Vidoeski B., Topolińska Z., From the History of Slavic Vocalism [2006]
- Markoviќ M., Arumanian and Macedonian Dialects of the Ohrid-Struga Region (in Balkan context) [2007]

The following works are in press:

Contribution to the Bibliography of the Macedonian Language 3
  (1971-1985) [2008]


            The Center has a library which is special collection in the library of MANU and contains some 10,000 volumes, most of which were donated by Professor Božidar Vidoeski and Professor Zuzanna Topolińska, as well as donations from personal libraries of Professor Blaže Koneski and Jozef Kurc (through Zdenka Ribarova). The major part of the collection consists of rare books, which are of great importance for Macedonian language studies. Computer cataloguing of the books is one of the current occupations of associates at the Center.

Digital Archive of Macedonian language

            By digitizing rare old books and manuscripts, the Center will contribute to the activities for preservation of the linguistic and cultural heritage of Macedonia.
The Digital Archive of Macedonian language is in its initial phase, i.e. in the process of collecting, categorizing and digitization of materials concerning Macedonian language, culture and tradition. Digitized books and manuscripts will be posted on the internet through a newly created web-site and will be available for free downloading and use. The aim of this digital archive is affirmation of the Macedonian language throughout the world. Prof. Marjan Markoviќ is the Coordinator of the Digital Archive of Macedonian language .

Sound Archives

            The Center possesses sound archives, some 40 CDs, containing about 2,000 minutes of audio material on Macedonian dialects. These have been created in cooperation with Professor Dimitrije Bužarovski and the Institute for Research and Archiving Music (IRAM). IRAM has been digitizing the tape collection of Macedonian dialects belonging to Professor Božidar Vidoeski.

Language Corpus

            Since the beginning of 2005 the Center has been working on the formation of a Macedonian language corpus. Moreover, a general agreement on cooperation with other Macedonian and foreign scholars and scientists and institutions has been reached. Bearing this in mind and wishing to provide the necessary data-bases for Macedonian linguistic projects and for experts interested in the field of the Macedonian language, it is more than necessary to create an electronic corpus of the Macedonian language within the framework of a broader project. With the activities already undertaken the Center is becoming a reference center in the process of realizing this idea of creating a Macedonian electronic corpus.

Employees and regular research fellows
at the Research Center for Areal Linguistics

Professor Zuzanna Topolińska
Member, Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences

Deputy Director and
Head of International Linguistic Atlases project
Professor Marjan Markoviќ

Head of the Bibliographic Section and
regular research fellow
Professor Milica Mirkulovska

Research assistant
Angelina Pančevska, M.A.

Junior research assistant
Sonja Milenkovska


Contact address:
Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences
Research Center for Areal Linguistics
bul. Krste Misirkov 2
1000 Skopje, Macedonia
phone: +389 2 3235 400  / fax:  +389 2 3235 500