Ukrainian Language Policy: The Status of Russian in English Language Medium Ukrainian and Russian Newspapers and in the Linguistic Landscape of Four Regions
Project: Research › Individual research project, Interdisciplinary research
Research areas and keywords
UKÄ subject classification
- General Language Studies and Linguistics
- language policy, Ukraine, Russia , linguistic landscape, corpus-assisted study
Regarding language policies as a complex social phenomenon, this study of Ukrainian monolingual language policy is focused on investigating nexuses involving policymaking, its interpretation by various political players, and implementation aiming to answer the question of how established and circulating discourses mediate, negotiate and regulate relations between Ukrainian and Russian languages.
Two specialized corpora were created for a synchronic study of language ideological debates (Blommaert, 1999) in Ukraine’s and Russia’s most popular English-medium editions of online newspapers, designated for a Western audience, regarding the de jure status of the Russian language in the period from the onset of Victor Yanukovych’s presidency in 2010 until 2015. De facto implementations of the language policy regulations and negotiations in the visual environment are studied through linguistic landscape data collected in four diverse regions of Ukraine.
The results of this study support the findings of Hult and Pietikäinen (2014) and Kulyk (2009) that language ideological debates are made salient by political elites during elections or times of crisis; moreover, it shows how the claims of discrimination against the Russian language and Russian speakers have been used by the Russian government as a pretext for invasion of Ukraine. Furthermore, the analysis of debates in media and the comparative study of linguistic landscapes point out the regional differences and linguistic realities ‘on the ground’, demonstrating the need for a flexible language policy that would take those differences into account and, while aiming at development and support of the state language, would recognize the Russian language as a resource necessary for the nation’s unity at this point in time.
|Short title||Language Policy: Status of Russian Language in Ukraine|
|Effective start/end date||2015/09/01 → 2016/01/13|
2016/09/01 → 2020/12/31
Project: Dissertation › Interdisciplinary research