In the sixth century AD, Slavs migrated to territories of Eastern, Central and Southern Europe. As a result, three respective groups of languages emerged. Macedonian originated from the Southern Slavic group.
In the ninth century, the first Slavonic literary language was developed by the missionaries Cyril and Methodius.
The territory of Macedonia was occupied by the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century and while Old Church Slavonic remained quite unchanged, the dialect moved apart.
In the 16th century, the standard Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, and Bulgarian languages were created. And after Turkish influence diminished, standard Bulgarian was introduced in schools. Macedonian dialects at that time were considered dialects of the Bulgarian language, later a part of the Western Bulgarian dialect group.
This continued until the works of Krste Misirkov at the very beginning of the 20th century. He defined a part of the Western Bulgarian dialects as a separate Macedonian language and in his book, On Macedonian Matter published in 1903, he argued for the creation of a standard literary Macedonian language.
In 1944, the Yugoslavian federal state was re-established comprising six republics. One of them was Yugoslav Macedonia and its official language was declared Macedonian. Soon after that the language was standardised. As for the basis of standard Macedonian, the western-central dialectal base, proposed by Krste Misirkov, was chosen.
The first document, written in literary standard language, appeared in 1944. It was the first issue of Nova Macedonia newspaper, published in Australia. The present orthography was established in 1945.