The Research Center for Areal Linguistics (ICAL) was established in 2000 in order to conduct research in the field of linguistic Slavic and Balkan Studies, starting from the situation in the Macedonian language. The focus of the analysis is the role of the factor ‚space‘ in the functioning and evolution of the language. Besides the scientific and research work, the purpose of ICAL is by this work to establish a team of young linguists, Slavists and Balkanists capable to apply their theory and methodology to the material in the Macedonian language, and also any other language. This issue is not addressed by any other scientific institution in the Republic of Macedonia.
A large number of scientists from many scientific and educational centers in the country and abroad are included in the work of the Center. At the Center work an Academician, a Corresponding Member of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts and two scientific researchers. The work of the Center includes many associates at the Institute for Macedonian Language, the Faculty of Philology “Blaže Koneski” – Skopje, and other institutions. In addition, many scientists from foreign centers collaborate with ICAL on a regular basis.
The following projects at the Research Center for Areal Linguistics „Bozidar Vidoeski“ are in progress:
1. International linguistic atlases, i.e. 1.1. General Slavic Linguistic Atlas (OLA), 1.2. European Linguistic Atlas (ELA), and 1.3. Small Balkan Dialect Atlas. OLA is an international, multilateral project coordinated by the International Committee of Slavists. The goal is to present a typological differentiation of Slavic speeches and paths of that differentiation. ELA, under the international title Atlas Linguarum Europae (ALE), represents a cartographic projection of the lexicon, in perspective and of the grammatical structure of all languages of Europe, regardless of their origin and legal status. The excerption is implemented according to partial questionnaires. The lexical part of the ELA brings above all, information about the cultural layers in the European homonymy. The Small Balkan Dialect Atlas represents the first attempt to present cartographic differentiation of the languages belonging to the so-called Balkan linguistic union.
2. The place of the Macedonian language in the Slavic and Balkan linguistic world. The work on the project began in 2001. The project aims is to determine the geography of morph syntax patterns characteristic for the members of the Balkan linguistic union and to determine their status in the functional (pragmatical, semantic) structure of the relevant language codes (standard and dialect). The starting point of analysis is the situation in the Macedonian language. The project is conducted under the theory “smysl > tekst”. The subject of analysis is the form of realization of certain category meanings in the Balkan and Slavic languages. The Slavic parallels serve as a benchmark to determine what is “Balkan” in the structure of Balkan Slavic languages.
Within the framework of the international cooperation, ICAL cooperates with many foreign scientists and institutions. ICAL has concluded cooperation agreements with the following institutions.
The Organization of monthly linguistic meetings in MASA – Colloquia linguistica, as one of the most important activities of the Center, contributes to the continuation of the discussion related to the priority activities for the study of the Macedonian language, as well as the exchange of scientific knowledge among linguists from all scientific and educational institutions.
More information about the work of the Center can be found on the website: ical.manu.edu.mk.