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Multilingualism in post-Soviet Uzbekistan
International Conference on Multilingualism and Multilingual Education
Presented at the ICMME (International Conference on Multilingualism and Multilingual Education) May 2017 in Braga, Portugal.
The spread of foreign languages and local people’s motivation and resistance to learn them are not new phenomena in Uzbekistan. In fact, as a result of various political, social, and economic changes, the language reform in Uzbekistan has gone through several major changes within the last hundred years, including Romanization of Arabic-based alphabet in 1923 (Mehmet, 2009), dissemination of the Russian language in the Uzbek lexicon in the early 1900s (Fierman, 1991), adoption of the Cyrillic script in 1940, replacement of the Cyrillic alphabet with modified Latin script in 1993, disempowerment of the Russian language after the collapse of the Soviet Union (Hasanova, 2007), and the wide spread of the English language in the educational system in the late 1990s. This study, the first of its kind, uses qualitative methods to investigate the linguistic landscape of pre and post Soviet Uzbekistan. The study specifically examines the social, political, and educational contexts to illustrate the rise and fall of the Russian, Uzbek, and English languages before and after Uzbekistan declared its independence. The study also looks into local people’s attitude toward Uzbek, Russian, and English languages after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The study was specifically provoked by the linguistic chaos that happened in formerly Soviet republics, including Uzbekistan, in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. With the downfall of the Iron Curtain in 1991, Russian, the lingua franca of the Soviet people and one of the dominant languages of the 20th century lost its influence and status as the language of power and prestige, and Uzbek, the abandoned language with ambiguous role during the soviet time became the one and only official language of power and politics. Moreover, English, once considered the language of western capitalism and bourgeoisie (Dushku, 1998) became the most popular foreign language in the educational sectors.
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Fireman, W. 1991. Language Planning and National Development: The Uzbek Experience. Mouton de Gruyter. Berlin- New York.
Hasanova, D. 2007. Teaching and learning English in Uzbekistan. English Today 23(1). 3-9.
Mehmet, U. 2009. Romanization in Uzbekistan past and present. JRAS (3). 1-12.
SociolinguisticsMultilingualism--UzbekistanLanguage policyEthnolinguisticsEnglish language--ResearchEnglish language--Influence on foreign countriesLanguage & languages
Not peer reviewed
© 2017. Author.http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-EDU/1.0/