Cultural and language self-identification of ethnic minority groups in Kazakhstan

Authors

  • Sholpan Zharkynbekova L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University
  • Aliya Aimoldina L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University
  • Damira Akynova L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/sols.v9i2.26587

Keywords:

Kazakh, Russian, Language Policy, Ethnolinguistic Vitality

Abstract

The article provides an overview of the language problems in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Social and theoretical deconstruction of the Soviet ethno-cultural monolith has led to changes in socio-psychological self-identification that reflect previously hidden differences in identity and language usage. The focus of the article is on the language knowledge, attitudes and the ethnolinguistic vitality of four ethnic minority group of Kazakhstan: Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, and Koreans. The research findings indicate that the level of knowledge of Russian is high amongst Russians while the other groups studied have low knowledge of heritage language and have mainly shifted to Russian. The knowledge and the use of Kazakh language is low amongst all minorities studied, while the attitudes towards learning Kazakh are generally positive. The analysis of the ethnolinguistic vitality showed that the Russians have high ethnolinguistic vitality with a weak level of ethnocentrism while Ukrainians and Poles have low ethnolinguistic vitality indicating a medium danger of assimilation. Koreans have the lowest ethnolinguistic vitality indicating a strong danger of assimilation.

Author Biographies

Sholpan Zharkynbekova, L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University

Sholpan Zharkynbekova is a Professor at L. N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University in Kazakhstan, where she teaches Cross-Cultural Communication, Sociolinguistics, Cognitive Linguistics, Cultural Linguistics, Contrastive Linguistics and other subjects. Her main research interests are issues of language contacts, ethnolinguistic identity, and verbalization of ethno-specific concepts in different linguacultures.

Aliya Aimoldina, L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University

Aliya Aimoldina is a PhD student in Linguistics at L. N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Philology Department, in Astana, Kazakhstan. Her main research interests are Sociolinguistics, Contrastive Linguistics and Cross-Cultural Communication.

Damira Akynova, L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University

Damira Akynova is a PhD student at L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University in Kazakhstan. Her main research interests are Sociolinguistics, Language contacts, especially bilingualism, code switching in the Kazakh and English languages.

Published

2015-09-30

How to Cite

Zharkynbekova, S., Aimoldina, A., & Akynova, D. (2015). Cultural and language self-identification of ethnic minority groups in Kazakhstan. Sociolinguistic Studies, 9(2-3), 289–314. https://doi.org/10.1558/sols.v9i2.26587