Language and Identity Explored
Keywords:Language, identity, collective identity, Russification, bilingualism, Ukraine, Post-Soviet states.
AbstractThe relationship between language and identity is widely discussed in applied linguistics, sociology, communications and other related scholarly fields. Furthermore, many researchers have focused on the post-Soviet region, which given its unique historical context allows for testing of this relationship. The widespread bilingualism as a result of historical russification and the linguistic transformations that occurred after the collapse of the Soviet Union make the region a ‘sociolinguistic playground’. Recent events in Ukraine have given grounds to further explore this relationship, now in attempt to link language and identity as potential forces for geopolitical change in the region. This paper presents an overview of existing research, theories, and opposing perspectives related to the relationship between language and identity, and considers complications such as historical russification, religious influence, socioeconomic factors, and education with regards to the Ukrainian and post-Soviet context. I aim to illustrate the significance of language and its effects on socio-political change in the case of Ukraine, by presenting arguments and complications in support of the relationship between language and identity.
Block, D., (2013) “Issues in Language and Identity Research in Applied Linguistics.” ELIA 13: 11–46. Print.
Bocale, P., (2015) “Italian, Ukrainian or Russian? Language and Identity in Crimea.” Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 36.6: 620–637. Taylor and Francis. Web.
Borg, E., (2003) “Discourse Community.” ELT Journal 57.4: 398–400. eltj.oxfordjournals.org. Web.
Brudny, Y. M., and Finkel E., (2011). “Why Ukraine Is Not Russia Hegemonic National Identity and Democracy in Russia and Ukraine.” East European Politics & Societies 25.4: 813–833. eep.sagepub.com. Web.
Clots-Figueras, I., and Masella, P., (2013) “Education, Language and Identity.” The Economic Journal 123.570: F332–F357. Wiley Online Library. Web.”
Don, A., (2014) “Special Edition on Language and Identity Introduction.” Linguistics & the Human Sciences 9.1: 1–4. EBSCOhost. Web.
Heller, M., (2003) “Globalization, the New Economy, and the Commodification of Language and Identity.” Journal of Sociolinguistics 7.4: 473–492. EBSCOhost. Web.
Hussein, B.A.S., (2012). “The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis Today.” Theory and Practice in Language Studies 2.3: 642–646. Print.
Lleras-Muney, A., and Shertzer, A., (2015) “Did the Americanization Movement Succeed? An Evaluation of the Effect of English-Only and Compulsory Schooling Laws on Immigrants.” American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 7.3: 258–290. CrossRef. Web.
Pavlenko, A., (2013) “Multilingualism in Post-Soviet Successor States.” Language & Linguistics Compass 7.4: 262–271. EBSCOhost. Web.
Wanner, C., (2014) ‘Fraternal’ Nations and Challenges to Sovereignty in Ukraine: The Politics of Linguistic and Religious Ties.” American Ethnologist 41.3: 427–439. Wiley Online Library. Web.
Zabrodskaja, A., and Ehala, M., (2015) “Language and Identity in the Late Soviet Union and Thereafter.” Sociolinguistic Studies 9.2/3: 159–171. Print.
Zbyr, I., (2015) “Contemporary Language Issues in Ukraine: Bilingualism or Russification.” Journal of Arts and Humanities 4.2: 45–54. Print.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).