Asim Peco ([ǎːsim pěːtso]; 24 May 1927 – 7 December 2011) was a renowned Bosnian linguist, academician, professor, author and editor.
Peco's work is credited for the development of Bosnian and Herzegovinian linguistics. His areas of specialization include the dialectology of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, namely the Štokavian and Torlakian dialects. He wrote books on the speeches of eastern and central Herzegovina, speeches of western Herzegovina, Ikavian-Štokavian dialects of Bosnia and Turkish loan words into them.
His work is cited or referenced by many. For example, his research on eastern Bosnian dialect was discussed at the United Nations' International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Peco was born in the village of Ortiješ, near Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina to Jusuf and Hajrija Peco. His brother, Džemal Peco, was a teacher.
After graduating Viša pedagoška škola high school in Sarajevo, Peco went to Belgrade where he enrolled the University of Belgrade Faculty of Philology, which was a department within the Faculty of Philosophy at the time. His 1958 PhD dissertation was entitled Govor istočne Hercegovine ("The speech of eastern Herzegovina"). Already in high school Peco showed interest in scientific research.
After completing his education at the University of Belgrade, Peco became a regular professor of Philology at the university, where he was elected several times as a head of the department for Serbo-Croatian and South Slavic languages. He was a mentor for numerous M.A. and Ph.D. theses, and a participant to numerous domestic and international conferences.
He was a Member and contributor of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1978, and a Corresponding (Foreign) Member of the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts since 2003. Peco edited journal Bosanskohercegovački dijalektološki zbornik ("Bosnian-Herzegovinian dialectological miscellany") for many years, and served a member of editing boards of many other journals.
In 1963, at the Fifth International Congress of Slavists held in Sofia, Bulgaria, Peco complained about some of the participants, stating:
"...individual members of the delegation of the host country" in the Linguistic section "attempted to deny the right to independence of the Macedonian language, a language which possesses both its own literature, and its own grammar... True, such opinions are not new. They are a reflection of old, non-Marxist theories, long ago trampled into oblivion by time. Fortunately, such concepts were not also the opinion of the [Bulgarian] delegation as a whole. Besides, this type of formulation was not based on fact, which would be difficult to deny. On the contrary, the baselessness of such formulations was easy to prove even without referring to great authorities, and without referring to the basic principles of Marxist science."
He was also a presenter at the 1985 Yugoslav Onomastics Conference, a contributor to the Tenth International Committee for Phonetics and Phonology of Slavonic Languages Conference in 1987, and editor of the magazine Bosanskohercegovački Dijalektološki Anthology.
Professor Peco retired from the University of Belgrade in 1992, and made his home in Belgrade until his death in 2011.
Amongst his awards, Peco received the "Veselin Masleša Award" in 1986 in Sarajevo, "14 februar award" in Mostar in 1986, and the "Vuk Award" in 1990 in Belgrade.