In Memory of Michael Clyne- In Collaboration with Catrin Norrby, Leo Kretzenbacher, Carla Amorós
Edited By Rudolf Muhr
Salvatore DEL GAUDIO: The Russian Language in Ukraine: some unsettled questions about its status as a ‘national’ variety
In: Rudolf Muhr (ed.) (2012): Non-dominant Varieties of pluricentric Languages. Getting the Picture. In memory of Michael Clyne. Wien et. al., Peter Lang Verlag. p. 207-226. Salvatore DEL GAUDIO (Kyiv National University T. Shevchenko, Ukraine) firstname.lastname@example.org The Russian Language in Ukraine: some unsettled questions about its status as a ‘national’ variety Abstract In the last few years there has been an increasing interest in the role the Russian language still plays in the successor states of the former Soviet Union. The Russian spoken in these countries displays peculiar characteristic features that lead some linguists to speak about ‘national’ varieties. In this contribution, after a presentation of the Ukrainian language situation, we will describe some of the linguistic features that mark the variety of Russian spoken in Ukraine. Subsequently we will examine some topical questions related to the status and the spheres of usage of the Russian language in Ukraine. Finally, we will discuss the critical issue of a Ukrainian ‘national’ variety of Russian. 1. Introduction The use and variation of Russian in the various Soviet Republics had already been the object of linguistic investigation in Soviet times. The purpose of these studies was mainly normative in its character.1 A renewed attention to variation in Russian, and to a series of related topics, e.g. the social role and status of Russian in the post-Soviet states, can be observed in recent Russian Studies2. The dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s and the temporary weakening of the international prestige...
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