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Language policy in Ukraine: anthropological, linguistic and further perspectives

Project information

Grant agreement ID: INTAS2005-1000006-8300

  • Start date

    1 August 2006

  • End date

    31 July 2008

Funded under:

IC-INTAS

  • Overall budget:

    € 60 000

  • EU contribution

    € 100 000

Coordinated by:

UNIVERSITÄT WIEN

Austria

Objective

The project aims to develop fundamentals of a concrete language policy for Ukraine and a model for language policy which can be applied also in other countries, especially the former Soviet republics. The approach is interdisciplinary and comprises anthropological, linguistic, legal, political, and sociological research. Ukraine has been chosen because it combines several challenging problems: It hosts the largest Russian minority of all former Soviet republics and the largest group of Non-Russians, declaring Russian their mother tongue. It is regionally highly differentiated in a Ukrainian-speaking West and a Russian-speaking South and East, whereas the Centre is more or less bilingual. The Russophones all over the country exhibit very different identities. More than half of the population prefers Russian in daily communication, especially in the workplace. Ukraine aims to join the European Union and has, as part of its obligations to the Council of Europe, not only signed, but also ratified the "European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages" which comes into force on 1 January 2006. Many Ukrainians see contradictions between the Charter, which includes also the Russian language as a "minority language", and the fact that the majority of the population prefers Russian. They fear that the objectives of the Ukrainian constitution (1996) and the law on languages (1989), i. e. to guarantee the nationwide use of the Ukrainian language by declaring it the only state language, will not be reached. The methods applied in the project are: - A Ukraine-wide survey (2000 respondents) aiming to collect information about anthropologically and linguistically relevant topics (language and identity, prestige of Russian and Ukrainian, language use in different domains and regions, social differentiation, assessment of the present language policy and expectations concerning the future, etc.) - Focus group research in five Ukrainian cities (Kyiv, L'viv, Luts'k, Odessa, Luhans'k), - Structured interviews with responsibles for language policy - Some in-depth interviews - Ethnographic fieldwork - Sociolinguistic analysis - Legal analysis of valid legislation and drafts submitted to the parliament - Comparative political research - Discourse analysis of legal, political and media texts. It is important that the interdisciplinary approach is maintained in all phases of the project. The results will be - A description and analysis of the current language situation in Ukraine - An outline of fundamental principles for a Ukrainian language policy which protects Ukrainian and furthers the minority languages including Russian - A model of language policy which takes into account all involved factors and will be applicable to other countries, primarily to other NIS - A conference and two major publications (one in Ukrainain, one in English) - A sustainable platform for further research.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITÄT WIEN

Address

Spitalgasse 2-4, Hof 3
Wien

Austria

Participants (3)

INSTITUTE OF POLITICAL AND ETHNIC STUDIES OF NASU

Ukraine

METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY

United Kingdom

NATIONAL UNIVERSITY "KYIV-MOHYLA ACADEMY"

Ukraine

Project information

Grant agreement ID: INTAS2005-1000006-8300

  • Start date

    1 August 2006

  • End date

    31 July 2008

Funded under:

IC-INTAS

  • Overall budget:

    € 60 000

  • EU contribution

    € 100 000

Coordinated by:

UNIVERSITÄT WIEN

Austria