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» Journal Issues » 2018 » Journal Ukrainian Language №2 (66) 2018 » Language conflict in Ukraine: the ways of settlement

Language conflict in Ukraine: the ways of settlement

Journal Ukrainian Language №2 (66) 2018
UDC 81’272

Larysa Masenko
Doctor of Philological Sciences, Professor of the Institute of the Ukrainian Language of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
4 Hrushevskyi St., Kyiv 01001 Ukraine
Е- mail: masenko14@gmail.com

Heading: Researches
Language: Ukrainian

Abstract: The paper considers specific character of the language policy in Ukraine determined by the confrontation between two political forces, namely the state and pro-Russian ones. The history of the conflict intensification is considered in relation to the passing by the Verkhovna Rada in 2012 the Law “On the Principles of State Language Policy”, in which the “European Charter of Regional or Minority Languages” manipulatively used to grant the Russian language status equal to that of the state language in a significant part the territory of the country.

The paper contains the results of a mass survey conducted in 2017, in the part determining the conflict level of the bilingual situation in the country. The data of survey indicated ambivalent nature of the mass consciousness. On the one hand, most citizens do not see the conflict in the coexistence of two languages in all spheres of public life. On the other hand, most respondents want to see their country Ukrainian-speaking in the future. Two-language development of Ukraine is supported by the two times smaller group of respondents. Changes in the attitude of Ukrainian citizens to the coexistence of two languages as compared to the survey conducted in 2006 are also demonstrated by the distribution of replies to the question concerning compulsory language proficiency. Absolute majority of respondents considers it compulsory to have a command of Ukrainian, while similar requirement as for the Russian language was supported by three times less respondents.

Particular attention is paid to the enlightening of the activities of numerous public organizations to protect the state status of Ukrainian language, as well as to the changes in Poroshenko’s attitude to the bilingual situation in Ukraine under the pressure of civil society.

Keywords: linguistic situation, linguistic conflict, linguistic law, state language, bilingualism.


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