Proceedings of the LCTG3 Conference
Svitlana Shakh (University of Hamburg): The linguistic landscapes of Ukraine at the crossroads of nationalism and regionalism
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The linguistic landscapes of Ukraine at the crossroads of nationalism and regionalism
This paper deals with the comparative study of urban linguistic landscapes in Ukraine. It investigates similarities and differences in the use of the Russian and Ukrainian languages on the official non-commercial signage in the two largest cities, Kyiv and Kharkiv. Taking an ideological approach, the paper explores the relationship between the dominant political language ideologies and visual representation of the languages in the two areas. The results show that the capital city of Kyiv promotes the supremacy of Ukrainian linguistic nationalism which is manifested in the general (but not complete) exclusion of the Russian language from public signs. Kharkiv, a city located in the eastern part of the country, however, displays a far greater acceptance of the Russian language on the official signage which indicates regional resistance towards the spread of written Ukrainian monolingualism in the public space.