Item Details

Bilingualism in Ukraine: defining attitudes to Ukrainian and Russian through geographical and generational variations in language practices

Issue: Vol 7 No. 3 (2013)

Journal: Sociolinguistic Studies

Subject Areas: Gender Studies Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/sols.v7i3.249


This paper examines the question of attitudes to Ukrainian Russian bilingualism in post- Soviet Ukraine. Since the dissolution of the USSR, Ukrainian society has been subject to a new language policy, which reconsiders the status of both Ukrainian and Russian and, thus, contributes to changes in the sociolinguistic situation in the country. The common process of ukrainization is aimed at reconstruction of the titular Ukrainian language and is based on the principle of linguistic homogeneity in Ukrainian society. This paper presents results of an empirical study, which explores changes in the language preferences, attitudes and practices in Ukraine in view of the post-independence language policy. It analyses the distribution of Ukrainian and Russian in different geographical and sociolinguistic zones of the country. It focuses on deviations that contextual and social factors produce in the disposition of speakers to use both languages in contact and searches for corroboration of a generational change. The paper presents a proposal for a geosociolinguistic classification of Ukraine and delimits socio-political, social and contextual factors correlating with the language preferences and attitudes of the speakers.

Author: Olga Ivanova

View Original Web Page

References :

Appel, R. and Muysken, P. (2005) Language Contact and Bilingualism. Amsterdam: Amsterdam Academic Archive. (1st edition, 1987, London: Edward Arnold).
Baker, C. (1992) Attitudes and Language. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Baker, C. and Prys Jones, S. (1998) Encyclopedia of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Bee Chin, N. and Wigglesworth, G. (2007) Bilingualism: an advanced resource book. London: Routledge.
Besters-Dilger, J. (ed.) (2009) Language Policy and Language Situation in Ukraine: Analysis and Recommendations. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
Bilaniuk, L. (2005) Contested Tongues: Language Politics and Cultural Correction in Ukraine. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Bilaniuk, L. and Melnyk, S. (2008) A Tense and Shifting Balance: Bilingualism and Education in Ukraine. In A. Pavlenko (ed.) Multilingualism in Post-Soviet Countries 66--98. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Braunmüller, K. and Ferraresi, G. (eds) (2003) Aspects of Multilingualism in European Language History. Hamburg: University of Hamburg.
Calvet, L.-J. (1998) A (Socio)lingüística. Santiago de Compostela: Edicións Laiovento.
Cardona, G. R. (1987) Introduzione alla sociolinguistica. Torino: Loescher Editore.
Ciscel, M. H. (2008) Uneasy Compromise: Language and Education in Moldova. In A. Pavlenko (ed.) Multilingualism in Post-Soviet Countries 99--121. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Dewaele, J.-M. (2010) The perception of French by native speakers and advances L2, L3 and L4 learners. In V. Regan and C. Ní Chasaide (eds) Language Practices and Identity Construction by Multilingual Speakers of French L2: The Acquisition of Sociostylistic Variation 121--144. Bern: Peter Lang.
Dubichynskyi, V. (2005) Dvuyazychie v Ukraine? Kultura narodov Prichernomoria 60(3): 6--9.
Edwards, J. (2006) Foundations of Bilingualism. In T. K. Bhatia and W. C. Ritchie (eds) The Handbook of Bilingualism 7--31. Oxford: Blackwell.
Fedorchuk, T. (2006) Ridna mova ta yii samovyznachennia bilingvamy. Naukovi zapysky 60: 57--61.
Fernández Vítores, D. (2008) Lengua y reconstrucción nacional en la CEI. Madrid: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
Fishman, J. (1967 [2000]) Bilingualism with and without diglossia; diglossia with and without bilingualism. In Li Wei (ed.) The Bilingualism Reader 81--88. London: Routledge.
Fishman, J. (1972) Language in sociocultural change. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Garrett, P. (2010) Attitudes to Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Grenoble, L.A. (2003) Language Policy in the Soviet Union. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Hamers, J. F. and Blanc, M. H. A. (2000) Bilinguality and Bilingualism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ivanova, O. (2009) Aproximación sociolingüística a la realidad idiomática de la Ucrania bilingüe. Trabajo de Grado (unpublished): Universidad de Salamanca.
Ivanova, O. (2011) Sociolingüística urbana: estudio de usos y actitudes lingüísticas en la ciudad de Kiev. Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca.
Ivanova, O. (2013a) Post-Soviet Bilingualism(s) and the Pluricentricity of Russian. In R. Muhr, C. Amorós Negre, C. Fernández Juncal, K. Zimmermann, E. Prieto and N. Hernández (eds) Exploring linguistic standards in non-dominant varieties of pluricentric languages 363--376. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Verlag.
Ivanova, O. (2013b) Cambio social e identidad lingüística: un ejemplo del caso postsoviético. En A. Cabedo Nebot, M. J. Aguilar Ruiz and E. López-Navarrol Vidal (eds) Estudios de lingüística: investigaciones, propuestas y aplicaciones 565--574. Valencia: Tecnolingüística.
Khmelko, V. (2004) Linhvo-etnichna struktura Ukrainy: rehionalni osoblyvosti i tendentsii zmin za roky nezalezhnosti. Naukovi zapysky 32: 3--15.
Kuzio, T. (2002) History, memory and nation building in the post-soviet colonial space. Nationalities Papers 30(2): 241--264.
Laitin, D. D. (1998) Identity in Formation: the Russian-speaking Populations in the Near Abroad. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Lakiza-Sachuk, N. and Melnyczuk, N. (2001) Ukraine After Empire. Ethnicities and Democracy. In L. M. Drobizheva, R. Gottemoeller, C. McArdle Kelleher and L. Walker (eds) Ethnic Conflict in the Post-Soviet World: Case Studies and Analysis 109--128. New York: Sharpe.
Masenko, L. (2004) Mova i suspilstvo: Postkolonialnyi vymir. Kyiv: KMA.
Masenko, L. (2005) Ukrainska mova v sotsiolinhvistychnomu aspekti. Avtoreferat dysertatsii na zdobuttia naukovoho stupenia doktora filolohichnykh nauk. Kyiv: Institut ukrainskoi movy NAN Ukrainy.
Masenko, L. (2009) Language Situation in Ukraine: Sociolinguistic Analysis. In J. Besters-Dilger (ed.) Language Policy and Language Situation in Ukraine 101--138. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
Masenko, L. (2010) Narysy z sotsiolinhvistyky. Kyiv: KMA.
Moreno Fernández, F. (2009) Principios de sociolingüística y sociología del lenguaje. Ariel: Barcelona.
Mukhuba, T. T. (2005) Bilingualism, Language Attitudes, Language Policy and Language Planning: A Sociolinguistic Perspective. Journal of Language and Learning 3(2): 268--278.
Narizhnyi, S. (1993) Ukrainska presa. In D. Antonovych (ed.) Ukrainska kultura. Retrieved on October 2010 from:
Pankova, E. (2003) Turystychne kraieznavstvo. Kyiv: Altepres.
Pardo, A. and Ruiz, M. A. (2009) Gestión de datos con SPSS Statistics. Madrid: Editorial Síntesis.
Pavlenko, A. (2012) Transgression as the Norm: Russian in Linguistic Landscape of Kyiv, Ukraine. In D. Gorter, H. F. Marten and L. van Mensel (eds) Minority languages in the Linguistic Landscape 36--56. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Pavlenko, A. and Blackledge, A. (2004) Introduction: New Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Negotiation of Identities in Multilingual Contexts. In A. Pavlenko and A. Blackledge (eds) Negotiation of Identities in Multilingual Contexts 1--33. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Ramallo, F. (1999) Informática y sociolingüística cuantitativa. Revista española de lingüística aplicada (Special issue): 263--290.
Rindler Schjerve, R. and Vetter, E. (2003) Historical sociolinguistics and multilingualism: Theoretical and methodological issues in the development of a multifunctional framework. In R. Rindler Schjerve (ed.) Diglossia and Power: Language Policies and Practice in the 19th Century Habsburg Empire 35--68. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Romaine, S. (2006) The Bilingual and Multilingual Community. In T. K. Bhatia and W. C. Ritchie (eds) The Handbook of Bilingualism 385--405. Oxford: Blackwell.
Savchenko, L. (2003) Mizhmovni kommunikatsii: problemy bilinhvizmu v Ukraini. Kultura narodov Prichernomorya 37: 62--65.
Sia, J. and Dewaele, J.-M. (2006) Are you bilingual? Bisal 1: 1--19.
Siguán, M. (2001) Bilingüismo y lenguas en contacto. Madrid: Alianza Editorial.
Trudgill, P. and Hernández-Campoy, J. M. (2007) Diccionario de sociolingüística. Madrid: Gredos.
Vyshniak, O. (2009) Movna sytuatsiia ta status mov v Ukraini: dynamika, problemy, perspektyvy (sotsiologichnyi analiz). Kyiv: IS NAN Ukrainy.