Linguistic Landscapes of Post-Soviet Ukraine: Multilingualism and Language Policy in Outdoor Media and Advertising
AuthorBever, Olga Alexeyevna
Keywordsbilingualism and multilingualsm
language policy and nation-building
media and advertising
Committee ChairRuiz, Richard
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis research investigates language use in Linguistic Landscapes (LLs) of an urban center of post-Soviet eastern Ukraine The major focus is on how the signs represent linguistic, social and ideological phenomena in the context of competing local, national, and global language ideologies with Ukrainian, Russian and English in Cyrillic and Roman scripts. More than 100 pictures of public signs were selected and analyzed, from more than one thousand photographs.Detailed analyses of the signs show that the `one state - one language' official language policy is not effective in the predominantly Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine: the signs frequently use Russian, and blend in Ukrainian. There were revealing differences between establishment categories. Bank signs were almost all in Ukrainian, because they are government regulated. In contrast, local clothing store signs used Russian, along with English and European languages to convey `modernity', `prestige' and `high fashion'; other establishment (casinos and electronics stores) mixed Russian and Ukrainian with some English. English and European languages with Roman script were also frequently used to `smooth over' the conflict between Ukrainian and Russian.The genetic closeness of Ukrainian and Russian allows a linguistic phenomenon that reconciles the languages, `bivalency'. Bivalency refers to shared linguistic elements between the languages, allowing the signs to appeal to the local population, while complying with the official Ukrainian language policy. This work analyzes and documents bivalency at phonological, morphological, and lexical levels, introducing a new sensitive tool for quantifying language dominance in signs.The overall conclusion is that signs in the LLs reveal that despite the official language policy, both Ukrainian and Russian appear in signs. In this way, Linguistic Landscapes may predict a future Ukraine in which both Russian and Ukrainian are accepted as official languages.This work contributes several new perspectives to the analyses of LLs. It demonstrates that LLs are multimodal, multilayered and multidimensional to be studied from a multidisciplinary perspective; the methodology integrates Critical Discourse Analysis and grounded theory; LLs are considered as texts analyzed on multiple discourse levels. The work invents and applies continua of bivalency as a multilevel phenomenon. The research focuses on LLs in eastern Ukraine.
Degree ProgramLanguage, Reading & Culture