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Language Policy in Ukraine: What People Want the State to Do (англ.)

Написано: 2013 року
Розділ: Публіцистика
Твір додано: 10.07.2017
Твір змінено: 10.07.2017
Завантажити: pdf див. (190,1 КБ)
Опис: East European Politics and
Societies and Cultures
Volume 27 Number 2
May 2013 280-307

This article seeks to shed more light on Ukraine’s language problem by specifying
popular views of policies the state should pursue in the language domain. aiming at the
delineation of possible ways to reconcile the preferences of main ethnolinguistic and
regional groups, it analyzes their views of the valid and desirable legislative and insti-
tutional arrangements. The data come from a nationwide representative mass survey
and twenty focus groups in different parts of Ukraine. The analysis shows that
Ukrainian-speakers would like to see their language dominant in all domains but are
ready to put up with the widespread use of Russian, provided that their own right to use
Ukrainian is not questioned and the titular language retains the priority status and
exclusive role in some symbolically important practices. In contrast, Russian-speakers
prefer an upgrade of the status of Russian, which they present as a way to ensure the
equality of speakers of the two languages but most of them actually want official bilin-
gualism to let them remain unilingual in their capacities both as citizens and as employ-
ees. The best solution would be to adopt compromise legislation providing for a limited
upgrade of the status of Russian and then facilitate its observance by both bureaucrats
and citizens. However, the new language law adopted under President Yanukovych was
widely perceived as endangering the use of Ukrainian and thus contributed to confron-
tation rather than compromise.
Keywords: language policy; language group; language status; regional language;
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