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SoConDi: Anastasia Smirnova on "Linguistic biases survive a military conflict: Language ideology in Ukraine"

Friday, March 27, 2015
12:00 AM
403 Lorch Hall

Linguistic biases survive a military conflict: Language ideology in Ukraine

Anastasia Smirnova will present on SoConDi today. The title and abstract of her presentation are given below.

Linguistic biases survive a military conflict: Language ideology in Ukraine

In this project I investigate attitudes toward language in the situation of the violent conflict in Ukraine. I'm particularly interested in the relation between political attitudes of the speakers, pro-Ukrainian vs. pro-Russian, and the opinion they form about a person based on her language alone. The latter is measured as the perception of speaker's intelligence, trustworthiness, and friendliness. As an independent variable I use language: the standard Ukrainian, the standard Russian, and a mixed Russian-Ukrainian language, called surzhyk. Previous studies observed that surzhyk, perceived as an 'impure' language, is often stigmatized, and negatively affects the perception of the speaker. Will this tendency hold in a situation of a military conflict, and more importantly, will negativity toward surzhyk be stronger than the negativity toward the opponents' language? The results of the experimental study show that the mixed language is viewed more negatively than the language of the outgroup: both pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian groups evaluate speakers who use standard Ukrainian and Russian more positively than those who speak surzhyk.

Speaker:
Anastasia Smirnova