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Bilingualism or tricodalism: Ukrainian, Russian and “Suržyk” in Ukraine. Analysis and linguistic-geographical mapping

Gerd Hentschel, Oleksandr Taranenko

Pages 268 - 299


The study aims to show that the different usage frequencies of Ukrainian, Russian and Suržyk in everyday life in Ukraine can be described and mapped as a continuum of “multicodalism”. This sets it apart from previous representations that usually assume a historical-political demarcation of sub-areas and consequently tend to indicate a linguistic bisection of the country into a Ukrainian-speaking area encompassing the west and the central region, and a Russian-speaking area in the east and south. The approach proposed here employs empirical data on usage of the three codes as the basis for its structuration. Starting from the mean frequencies of code usage in individual oblasts, a cluster analysis groups these into larger areas and clarifies their internal variation. This result is not just a more continuous picture of the linguistic landscape in Ukraine, but also a more coherent one.

The article is written in English


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