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Pluricentric Languages and Non-Dominant Varieties Worldwide

Part I: Pluricentric Languages across Continents. Features and Usage

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Edited By Rudolf Muhr

This is the first of two thematically arranged volumes with papers that were presented at the "World Conference of Pluricentric Languages and their non-dominant Varieties" (WCPCL). It comprises papers about 20 PCLs and 14 NDVs around the world. The second volume encompasses a further 17 papers about the pluricentricity of Portuguese and Spanish. The conference was held at the University of Graz (Austria) on July 8th-11th 2015. The papers fall into five categories: (1) Theoretical aspects of pluricentricity and the description of variation; (2) Different types of pluricentricity in differing environments; (3) African pluricentric languages and non-dominant varieties; (4) The pluricentricity of Arabic and Asian languages; (5) The pluricentricity of European languages inside Europe (Austrian German, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, Hungarian, Belgium Dutch, French, Greek, Swedish, Russian).

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Trends in the formation of Kazakhstan’s variety of Russian

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Abstract

The paper gives an overview of the linguistic situation of the national variety of Russian in Kazakhstan. Russian in Kazakhstan is the second official national language together with the Kazakh language. There are specific judicial regulations that regulate the use of both languages. Different from other newly independent states arising from the former Soviet Union, Russian is used by about 80% of the population of Kazakhstan and it is both the language of ethnic Russians as well as the language of other ethnic groups living in the country. Russian must therefore be considered as a mother tongue, as well as a second and/or foreign language. This paper presents data from a survey regarding the use of Russian in Kazakhstan and gives an overview of its specific features.

1.   Introduction

Languages that spread across different countries usually develop a number of linguistic centers that lead to the formation of national varieties with their own features. Examples are languages such as English, Spanish, French, German and others. They have been studied with respect to their development into different national varieties and their adaptation in the context of different social, political and linguistic environments.

As numerous studies have shown, each of the national varieties has its specific features. The most visible ones are usually found in the lexicon and pronunciation. When considering the national and cultural identity of speakers of different national varieties, their occurrence is usually evident when communicative events are...

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