35. Multilingualism and Language Renewal in Ex-Soviet Central Asia

  1. Tej K. Bhatia and
  2. William C. Ritchie
  1. Birgit N. Schlyter

Published Online: 3 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118332382.ch35

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

How to Cite

Schlyter, B. N. (2012) Multilingualism and Language Renewal in Ex-Soviet Central Asia, in The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition (eds T. K. Bhatia and W. C. Ritchie), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118332382.ch35

Editor Information

  1. Syracuse University, USA

Author Information

  1. University of Stockholm, Sweden

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 7 NOV 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334906

Online ISBN: 9781118332382

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Keywords:

  • ex-Soviet Central Asia;
  • language behavior;
  • language laws;
  • multilingualism;
  • Turkic ethnicities

Summary

Bilingualism and multilingualism in Central Asia have developed throughout history resulting from both migration and coercive political campaigns. In ex-Soviet Central Asia, which is the focus of this chapter, the main autochthonous ethnolinguistic division is that between Turkic and Iranian populations, with present-day proportions favoring Turkic ethnicities by about six to one. An important aspect bearing on language renewal processes in the young Central Asian states is internal migration, resulting in new ethnolinguistic distributions domestically. The chapter provides a brief presentation of languages inherent to the region with comments on their formal status after the promulgation of the first state language laws in 1989 and 1990. It concludes with a discussion on a comprehensive survey of language attitudes and behavior in ex-Soviet Central Asian republics carried out under the auspices of the International Association for the Promotion of Cooperation with Scientists from the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union.