Contemporary Language Issues in Ukraine: Bilingualism or Russification
Keywords:Bilingualism, language, linguicide, Russification, Surzhyk.
AbstractThe article aims to focus on the analysis of the contemporary language issues in Ukraine. A characteristic feature of contemporary language situation in Ukraine is a co-existence on its territory of two languages, Ukrainian and Russian, along with various forms of Ukrainian-Russian bilingualism. Narrowing down the spheres of use of the Ukrainian language and the strong interferential influence of Russian have led to the emergence of the hybrid of Ukrainian-Russian forms of the everyday language known as Surzhyk. The article discusses how language forms are connected with conceptualizations of national identity in contemporary Ukrainian language ideology. It especially focuses on Surzhyk a pejorative collective label for non-standard language varieties that dissolve the language boundary between Ukrainian and Russian standard languages. Although most attention in Ukrainian debates on language is directed towards the complex relations between two standard languages, Surzhyk is considered an important problem, not the least among those for whom it is a major threat to the survival of the Ukrainian language.
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