In Memory of Michael Clyne- In Collaboration with Catrin Norrby, Leo Kretzenbacher, Carla Amorós
Edited By Rudolf Muhr
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) firstname.lastname@example.org “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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