Sixty Folk-Tales from Exclusively Slavonic Sources, by A.H. Wratislaw, , at sacred-texts.com
THE Serbian is the most widely spread of the South Slavonic dialects, being spoken not only in Serbia proper, but also in Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, Carniola, and a great part of South Hungary. It has, like the Bulgarian, been affected by the old Thracian language, but not to the same extent. The infinitive is very frequently represented by da with the finite verb. Szafarzik includes the whole of the South Slavonic dialects, except the Bulgarian, under the common name 'Illyrian,' and subdivides them into the three divisions of Serbian, Croatian, and Carinthian-Slovenish.
The Serbian stories are generally good, particularly No. 40, which may be compared with a very inferior variant in Grimm, 'The Golden Bird.' No. 40 is one of the stories, the beauty of which set me to work upon the present series of translations. In it is to be noticed the pobratimstvo, or adoptive brotherhood, which plays so important a part in Serbian life, and of which we have just had a glimpse in the Bulgarian story, No. 38. No. 43 is a very good story, containing novel and interesting incidents. In No. 44 it must be observed that 'Fate' is represented as a man, for the converse reason to that for which Death is represented as a woman in the Moravian story, No. 8.
[paragraph continues] Usud (Fate) is masculine, while Smrt (Death) is feminine in Slavonic.
The Serbs possess actual epic poetry, of which an account is given by Mr. Morfill ('Slavonic Literature,' pp. 154-162).