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Journal Ukrainian Language – №3 (75) 2020
UDC 811.161.2'271:323.1(477.62)

Inna Renchka,
PhD, Candidate of Science in Philology, Senior Lecturer at the Ukrainian Language Department, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
2 Skovoroda St., Kyiv 04070, Ukraine

E-mail: irenchka2007@ukr.net

Heading: Researches
Language: Ukrainian

Abstract:  The Russian-Ukrainian military conflict in Donbas region exacerbated and highlighted the problems of linguistic, national, cultural and civic identity, language behavior and language firmness during the war, when the Ukrainian language becomes not only a means of communication but also a means of preserving identity and resistance to the language of conquerors. An important source for studying these issues and some of their aspects are literature and art works dedicated to the events in Eastern Ukraine.

The purpose of the article is to attempt to characterize the language behavior of Ukrainians under the Russian-Ukrainian war in Eastern Ukraine, to identify the examples of the language firmness and to determine the reasons that influence on the choice of language code under mentioned circumstances, based on the materials of a contemporary literary work.

The article uses descriptive and contextual-interpretive methods to describe and analyze the material of the study as well as to summarize the results.

The study is based on a novel by the writer and volunteer Tamara Gorikha Zernia (the real name of the author is Tamara Duda) “Daughter”, which reproduces the events of spring and summer 2014 – the beginning of the war and the occupation of a part of Donbass region. The plot is based on true stories that happened to real people, as well as the testimonies of eyewitnesses and participants in the events.

The analysis of the novel “Daughter” by Tamara Gorikha Zernia made it possible to study the characteristic manifestations of the language behavior of Ukrainians under the Russian-Ukrainian war. The predominant Russian-speaking of Donbass is the result of a purposeful Russification policy of the region during the Soviet era, and it was the language factor that became one of the reasons for the success of the Russia’s information and propaganda campaign and armed aggression. The work reflects the perception by Donetsk residents of the Ukrainian language, Ukraine, Ukrainian national tradition, which is far from being unambiguous. At the same time, with the help of appropriate language strategies chosen by the author, it is emphasized that the war in Donbass region is primarily for Ukrainian identity. Language firmness is a characteristic feature of the communicative behavior of the main character of the work, who together with the like-minded people joined the struggle to defend their country. Language is presented as a means of preserving one’s own identity as well as the “friend-or-foe” marker, an internal factor that clearly identifies the position of the participants in the events described in the novel.

Keywords: language behavior, language firmness, Donbass region, Russification, language and national identification, “friend-or-foe” opposition, information aggression.


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