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Non-Dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages. Getting the Picture

In Memory of Michael Clyne- In Collaboration with Catrin Norrby, Leo Kretzenbacher, Carla Amorós


Edited By Rudolf Muhr

This volume comprises 28 papers presented at the 1 st International Conference on Non-Dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages in Graz (Austria) in July 2011. The conference was also held in memory of Michael Clyne – eminent linguist, scholar, language enthusiast and advocate of multilingualism who died in October 2010. The volume pays homage to his important contributions in many fields of linguistics and in the theory of pluricentric languages. The conference in Graz was the first international event to document the situation of non-dominant varieties world-wide in order to identify common or diverging features. It provided substantial insights into the codification and in corpus and status planning of non-dominant varieties. The volume deals with 18 languages and 31 different national and other varieties in 29 countries of the world.


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Curt WOOLHISER: “Belarusian Russian”: Sociolinguistic Status and Discursive Representations


In: Rudolf Muhr (ed.) (2012): Non-dominant Varieties of pluricentric Languages. Getting the Pic- ture. In memory of Michael Clyne. Wien et. al., Peter Lang Verlag. p. 227-262. Curt WOOLHISER (Brandeis University, Waltham, USA) “Belarusian Russian”: Sociolinguistic Status and Discursive Representations Abstract In this paper I examine the socio-demographic and linguistic character- istics of nativized varieties of Russian in contemporary Belarus, as well as their social evaluation as reflected in various forms of metalinguistic discourse. While Russian is the dominant language in most spheres of both formal and informal communication, there are signs that the form of Russian spoken in Belarus, primarily under the influence of the Bela- rusian linguistic substratum, is diverging from the norms of the domi- nant Russian standard of the Russian Federation. At the same time, due to such factors as the influence of the standard language ideology that posits an invariant, unified norm for standard Russian, the absence of any national institutions responsible for codification of “Belarusian Rus- sian,” the continued influence of electronic and print media from Russia, as well as the existence of a distinct standard Belarusian language as a linguistic index of national uniqueness, the recognition of “Belarusian Russian” as a legitimate national variety of Russian, rather than simply a regional deviation from the norm, remains in question. 1. Introduction Belarus is unique among the Soviet successor states with respect to the status and functions of the “titular” or national language and Russian, the former official language of the Soviet quasi-federation....

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