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» Journal Issues » 2020 » Journal Ukrainian Language – №1 (73) 2020 » Language issues in political rhetoric of Ukraine (on the material of the presidential elections in 2019)

Language issues in political rhetoric of Ukraine (on the material of the presidential elections in 2019)

Journal Ukrainian Language – №1 (73) 2020
UDC 811.161.2’272

Nadiya Kiss,
PhD in Philology, Postdoctoral Researcher of Giessen Centre for Eastern European Studies, Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany
Otto-Behaghel-Str. 10-E, Giessen 35394, Germany
E-mail: Nadiya.Trach@slavistik.unigiessen.de; krasiya@yahoo.com


Heading: Researches
Language: Ukrainian

Abstract: In the article, peculiarities of political rhetoric concerning language issues in Ukraine are highlighted. The timeframe is 2019 — a year, when cardinal changes, namely presidential and parliament elections, as well as adoption of a new language law, encompassed the country. The main rhetorical models, used by the politicians while appealing to language issues, are demonstrated on the material of preelection programs and media messages. As the research has shown, the poli ticians use various rhetoric strategies — they or try to avoid language issues, either put it in context of culture, nationbuilding, identity issues, or use it for attracting broader circle of voters. Just few of them propose concrete implementation mechanisms of language policy ideas into societal practice.

Moreover, political rhetoric of the main candidates is compared with their activities in real political life, in particular in language sphere. Attitudes of the different political parties towards the newly implemented law “On providing of functioning of the Ukrainian as state language” are discussed and evaluated. Especial attention is paid towards language issues in preelection campaign of expresident P. Poroshenko and further politics of current President V. Zelensky. In particular, the debates between the main candidates and their messages concerning language issues, cited and commented by media, are analyzed. The dynamics of the adoption of the new language law on the state and its connection with election campaign is highlighted. The perspectives of language policies in connection with changes of general political direction of the state are depicted.

As a conclusion, the article defines language ideology, applied by Zelensky team as «language does not matter». Hence, further developments in language field, in particular implementation of the above mentioned law, will become a test for the power representatives in the near future. At the moment, the tendency is to keep balance between real widening of the state language functioning and usage of the state language as an instrument for national minorities integration, at the same time protection of their lingualcultural rights.

language issues, language law, political rhetoric.


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