In linguistics, diglossia is a situation where, in a given society, there are two (often closely-related) languages, one of high prestige, which is generally used by the government and in formal texts, and one of low prestige, which is usually the spoken vernacular tongue. The high-prestige language tends to be the more formalised, and its forms and vocabulary often 'filter down' into the vernacular, though often in a changed form. As an aspect of study of the relationships between codes and social structure, diglossia is an important concept in the field of sociolinguistics.


The French term diglossie was first coined (basically a transliteration of Greek διγλωσσία (diglōssia), 'bilingualism') by the Greek linguist and demoticist Ioannis Psycharis. The Arabist William Marçais used the term in 1930 to describe the linguistic situation in Arabic-speaking countries.

Language registers and types of diglossia

In Charles A. Ferguson's article "Diglossia" in the journal Word (1959), diglossia was described as a kind of bilingualism in a given society in which one of the languages is (H), i.e. has high prestige, and another of the languages is (L), i.e. has low prestige. In Ferguson's definition, (H) and (L) are always closely related. Joshua Fishman also talks about diglossia with unrelated languages as "extended diglossia" (Fishman 1967), for example Sanskrit as (H) and Kannada as (L) or Alsatian (Elsässisch) in Alsace as (L) and French as (H). Kloss calls the (H) variant exoglossia and the (L) variant endoglossia.

In some cases (especially with creole languages), the nature of the connection between (H) and (L) is not one of diglossia but a continuum; for example, Jamaican Creole as (L) and Standard English as (H) in Jamaica.

(H) is usually the written language whereas (L) is the spoken language. In formal situations, (H) is used; in informal situations, (L) is used. One of the earliest known examples is Latin, having diglossia Classical Latin (H) and Vulgar Latin (L). The latter is the tongue from which the Romance languages descended, and is almost completely unattested in text.

The (L) variants are not just simplifications or "corruptions" of the (H) variants. Many (L) languages have certain features that are more complex than the corresponding (H) languages: some Swiss German dialects have /e/, /ɛ/ and /æ/ while Standard German only has /ɛ(ː)/ (Berlin 'Berlin', Bären 'bears') and /eː/ (Beeren 'berries'). Jamaican Creole has fewer vowel phonemes than standard Englishes, but it has additional palatal /kʲ/ and /ɡʲ/ phonemes.

Especially in endoglossia the (L) form may also be called "basilect", the (H) form "acrolect", and an intermediate form "mesolect". Note however that there is no "mesolect" in German-speaking Switzerland and in Luxembourg. Whether Paraguay has a form of diglossia is controversial. Guaraní and Spanish are both official languages of Paraguay. Some scholars argue that there are Paraguayans who actually don't speak Guaraní. The Chinese language also offers an interesting case.

Ferguson's classic examples include Standard German/Swiss German, Standard Arabic/vernacular Arabic, Standard French/Kréyòl in Haiti, Katharevousa/Dhimotiki in Greece, and Bokmål/Nynorsk in Norway. However, Kréyòl is now recognised as a standard language in Haiti. Swiss German dialects are hardly languages with low prestige in Switzerland; and colloquial Arabic has more prestige in some respects than standard Arabic nowadays (see Chambers, Sociolinguistic Theory). And after the end of the military regime in 1974, Dhimotiki was made into Greece's only standard language (1976). Nowadays, Katharevousa is (with few exceptions, e. g. by the Greek Orthodox Church) no longer used. Harold Schiffman writes about Swiss German: "it seems to be the case that Swiss German was once consensually agreed to be in a diglossic hierarchy with Standard German, but that this consensus is now breaking." There is also a lot of code-switching especially in the Arabic world; according to Andrew Freeman this is "different from Ferguson's description of diglossia which states that the two forms are in complementary distribution." To a certain extent, there is code switching and overlap in all diglossic societies, even German-speaking Switzerland.

Examples where the High/Low dichotomy is justified in terms of social prestige include Italian dialects as (L) and Standard Italian as (H) in Italy and German dialects and standard German in Germany. In Italy and Germany, those speakers who still speak dialects typically use dialect in informal situations, especially in the family. In German-speaking Switzerland, on the other hand, Swiss German dialects are to a certain extent even used in schools and to a larger extent in churches. Ramseier calls German-speaking Switzerland's diglossia a "medial diglossia", whereas Felicity Rash prefers "functional diglossia". Paradoxically, Swiss German offers both the best example for diglossia (all speakers are native speakers of Swiss German and thus diglossic) and the worst, because there is no clear-cut hierarchy.

English during the Norman invasion

Prior to the Norman invasion of 1066, Old English in its various dialects was spoken in England. For some centuries following the conquest, England had diglossia between a French-speaking ruling class and commoners who spoke English. As French gradually waned, English changed and took over until Modern English was created through the merger of this divide. However, there is still evidence of a division, between "academic" words and "common" words. Many "power" words (such as bailiff) are "academic".


Diglossia is a term in Sociolinguistics for the use of two varieties of language for different purposes in the same community. The varieties are called H and L, the first being generally a standard variety used for ‘high’ purposes and the second often a ‘low’ spoken vernacular. In all the Arab World, classical Arabic is H and local colloquial Arabic is L. The most important hallmark of diglossia is specialization, H being appropriate in one set of situations, L in another: reading a newspaper aloud in H, but discussing its contents in L. Functions generally reserved for H include sermons, political speeches, university lectures, and news broadcasts, while those reserved for L include everyday conversations, instructions to servants, and folk literature.

Abdullah Thalji 2007-2008

The situation with the Literary Arabic (الفصحى al-fuṣ-ḥā) vs spoken varieties of Arabic (العامية al-`āmmiyya or الدارجة ad-dārija) differs from country to country but every Arab country's official language is "standard Arabic". There is no consensus on which version of Arabic should be taught to foreigners. Many scholars suggest both MSA and at least one dialect should be studied.

The debate continues about the future of the Arabic language, both among Arabic linguists in the Arab world and outside it. Some prefer the status quo (existing diglossia). The other suggestions are:

  1. Promote Modern Standard Arabic to be used colloquially, outside the formal situations, on an everyday basis by introducing more audio-material, enforcing the usage on mass-media. A lot of cartoons were created in MSA, which help young Arabs master the standard language before they start schooling. There are proposals to simplify the grammar of the standard Arabic a little (the most complicated and seldom used and understood features) and introduce some commonly known colloquial words (known across many dialects or groups of dialects). This idea is similar to the efforts in mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore where Standard Mandarin has gained a lot of popularity and the number of speakers is increasing, including those who speak it on a daily basis or the situation with the Hebrew language, see Revival of the Hebrew language, especially in Israel.
  2. Upgrade the individual dialects or merge dialects into possibly one spoken Arabic, thus formalising spoken Arabic as a standard. Often it is advocated in individual Arabic countries, promoting only the main dialect of the given country. This idea was especially popular in Egypt, where spoken Egyptian is often written down and there are works in Egyptian Arabic (لهجة مصرية lahja Miṣriyya - "Egyptian dialect") and other countries, e.g. Kateb Yacine wrote in Algerian Arabic (لهجة جزائرية lahja Jazā'iriyya - "Algerian dialect"). The "formal spoken Arabic" includes more features of the standard Arabic and words are often selected, which are understood across a larger area. One such a version of "Formal Spoken Arabic" (based on Levantine Arabic) is taught at Georgetown University. This second idea is similar to Evolution from Ancient to Modern Greek in Greece. Many Arabic scholars are against this idea, as the current standard Arabic is essentially the "classical Arabic" - the language of Qur'ān (القرآن ‎al-qur’ān) and is the literary standard in the Arab world.

Both ideas (the Hebrew (1) or the Greek (2) language reforms) have become feasible with the globalisation and the increase of the internet and mass-media usage among Arabs but there must be consensus between governments, scholars and the population and the efforts to follow. The Al-Jazeera television and others did a lot to promote standard Arabic among Arabs.

Brunei Malay

In Brunei, Standard Malay (Bahasa Melayu) is promoted as the national language and is the H variety, while Brunei Malay is used very widely throughout society and it constitutes the L variety. One major difference between these dialects of Malay is that Brunei Malay tends to have the verb at the front, while Standard Malay generally places it after the subject. It has been estimated that 84% of lexical items in Brunei Malay and Standard Malay are cognates, though their pronunciation often differs very considerably. While Standard Malay has six vowels, Brunei Malay only has three: /a, i, u/.

One complicating factor is that English is also widely used in Brunei, especially in education, as it is the medium of instruction from upper primary school onwards, so it shares the H role with Standard Malay. Another code that competes for the H role in some situations is the special palace language, which includes an elaborate system of honorific terms for addressing and referring to the Sultan and other nobles. Finally, although Standard Malay is used for sermons in the mosques (as expected for the H variety), readings from the Qur'an are in Arabic.


With the exception of Andorra, Catalan as spoken outside of Catalonia may be diglossic in various grades, from highly to barely diglossic. Diglossia in Catalan is typically stronger in metropolitan areas than in moderately to sparsely populated areas.

This phenomenon affects Alghero (whose local Catalan dialect remains in severe danger of extinction despite the recent revival in its usage), some areas in the Balearic Islands, so-called "North Catalonia" and, in its Valencian modality, some areas in the Valencian Community as well.


For over two thousand years, the Chinese used Classical Chinese (Literary Chinese) as a formal standard written language. The standard written language served as a bridge for communication throughout China (and other countries in the CJKV area) for millennia.

However, the colloquial spoken Chinese varieties continued to evolve. The gulf became so wide between the formal written and colloquial spoken languages that it was blamed for hindering education and literacy, and some even went so far as to blame it in part for the political turmoil that occurred in China during the 19th and early 20th centuries. This eventually culminated in the adoption of Vernacular Chinese, which was based on modern spoken Mandarin, for all formal communication.

Modern Chinese

After the adoption of Vernacular Chinese as the modern standard written language in the early 20th century, diglossia was no longer a big issue among the majority of Chinese speakers who natively spoke Mandarin Chinese. However, Vernacular Chinese and its pronunciation in local dialects is still an acrolect in regions where Mandarin is not spoken natively, such as most of South China.

For instance in Hong Kong, Standard Cantonese is the primary language of spoken communication, although all formal written communication is done in Vernacular Chinese. Unique among the other Chinese dialects, Cantonese has its own written form, but it is only used in informal contexts and is often inconsistent due to the absence of standardization.

Literate Chinese speakers can read and write in the Mandarin-based standard written language. However because the graphemes in Chinese's logographic writing system are not directly linked to pronunciation (though there are quasi-phonetic hints), Cantonese speakers who do not speak Mandarin will read aloud the characters in Cantonese pronunciation only. The resulting speech is Mandarin-based grammar and vocabulary pronounced word-by-word in Cantonese. If the same sentence were to be spoken using regular colloquial Cantonese, it might be quite different. Here is an example:

English Sentence Please give me his book.
Standard Written Chinese Rendition (Traditional Chinese characters)
Standard Written Chinese Rendition (Simplified Chinese characters)
Standard Mandarin Pronunciation of Writing Qǐng gěi wǒ tā de shū.
Cantonese Pronunciation of Writing Chíng kāp ngóh tā dīk syū.
Written Colloquial Cantonese Rendition
Colloquial Cantonese Pronunciation M̀h-gōi béi kéuih bún syū ngóh.
Note: Mandarin romanized using Hanyu Pinyin. Cantonese romanized using Yale. Written Cantonese shown uses characters not in standard written Chinese.

In the above example, note the switching of the direct and indirect objects and the use of different vocabulary for certain words in the standard Chinese and colloquial Cantonese renditions. In addition, Cantonese allows the use of measure words to serve in the place of a genitive particle.

Cantonese pronunciation of standard written Chinese is generally understandable to Cantonese speakers educated in the standard written language. It is most often used in Cantonese newscasts, albeit with certain substitutions of colloquial Cantonese vocabulary so as to make it not sound as stilted. This form of spoken Cantonese is a higher register and can be considered the acrolect to the colloquial Cantonese basilect.

Classical Chinese

Before the modern adoption of Vernacular Chinese, the diglossic situation also applied to Mandarin speakers when Classical Chinese was the standard written language.

Continuing the previous example for comparison, using Classical Chinese it would be:

Classical Chinese Rendition (Traditional Chinese characters)
Classical Chinese Rendition (Simplified Chinese characters)
Standard Mandarin Pronunciation of Classical Chinese Qiú ěr yǔ wǒ qí shū.
Cantonese Pronunciation of Classical Chinese Kàuh yíh yúh ngóh kèih syū.

Because Chinese's logographic writing system doesn't indicate exact pronunciation, the pronunciation of Classical Chinese in Old Chinese is generally not possible (though tentative reconstructions of the phonology of Old Chinese have been attempted). Instead, Classical Chinese is also generally pronounced according to the local dialect (such as the Mandarin and Cantonese pronunciations given above), much like how Cantonese speakers pronounce the modern Mandarin-based Vernacular Chinese using Cantonese.

Unlike the situation with modern Chinese though, Classical Chinese spoken according to the pronunciations of the modern spoken Chinese varieties is still largely unintelligible without training due to the syntax and vocabulary changes that Chinese has undergone since Old Chinese. In addition, sound mergers in the modern dialects cause many distinct words in Classical Chinese to sound homophonous. For one notable example, see Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den.


Until the 1970s, the Greek language distinguished between Dimotiki, the colloquial language which was used in everyday discussions and the extremely formal and archaic Katharevousa, which was used in more "educated" contexts, as in school, in court, in law texts etc. Extreme Katharevousa was, in fact, nearly pure Ancient Greek, and as such, nearly completely unintelligible to children and adults without higher education. This was the reason for the Greek language question, which was a heated dispute on which language form was to be the official language of the state. This dispute was eventually settled, and today the single language used in all texts is an educated variant of Dimotiki, which was enriched by many expressions from Katharevousa. This variant is commonly called Modern Greek.


Malta is officially a bi-lingual country: both Maltese and English are official languages. Maltese is, uniquely for Europe, a partially Semitic language left over from Arab domination of the islands which ended some 900 years ago and English as Malta was a colony until 1964.

Maltese society has been traditionally quite strongly divided, politically, between the working class and middle and upper classes and this is reflected in their language use. Although all Maltese can speak their native language, the extent to which one uses and is able to speak English often reflects one's background. This is most clearly illustrated by the different newspapers in Malta: the liberal/conservative ones are in English (with names like the Times of Malta and Malta Independent) and the more left-leaning ones are in Maltese. Maltese people of a middle- and upper-class background will often speak English or use code-switching extensively in public. There have been warnings from several quarters including a linguistics professor from the University of Malta that the Maltese language could become endangered if the government (currently the right of centre Nationalists) does not do more to promote it, in the same way that English displaced Welsh in Wales.

Before 1934, Italian was the official language of Malta. Those in higher class positions spoke Italian, and were often associated with the Italian irredenta movement, which promoted the unification of Malta with Italy. It was only those of lower class at the time whose ancestors came from Sicily too long ago for them to still be fluent in Italian, that spoke Maltese. Today, the influence of the Italian language is still very present in Malta. Not only is it used in the professional workplace, but it is also key to Malta's media, such as Television, Radio, and publications .


Polish, with respect to the Upper Class of the Polish society within the Kingdom of Poland, most especially landed nobility, was a low language until Jan Kochanowski did stop writing in Latin, the high language of the time, and decided to use his own native Polish as the literary language during the late 16th century. Polish, however, was often, but not always, the high language during the 17th and 18th centuries in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in spite of the early Belarussian being the official language.


According to some contemporary Brazilian linguists (Bortoni, Kato, Mattos e Silva, Perini and most recently, with great impact, Bagno), Brazilian Portuguese may be a highly diglossic language. This theory claims that there is an L-variant (termed "Brazilian Vernacular"), which would be the mother tongue of all Brazilians, and an H-variant (standard Brazilian Portuguese) acquired through schooling. L-variant represents a simplified form of the language (in terms of grammar, but not of phonetics) that could have evolved from 16th century Portuguese, influenced by Amerindian (mostly Tupian) and African languages, while H-variant would be based on 19th century European Portuguese (and very similar to Standard European Portuguese, with only minor differences in spelling and grammar usage). Mário A. Perini, a Brazilian linguist, even compares the depth of the differences between L- and H- variants of Brazilian Portuguese with those between Standard Spanish and Standard Portuguese.


Russian, the language spoken in Russia, was the low language from the Middle Ages till the Baroque period while Church Slavonic served for all official purposes.Трубецкой, Н.С. Къ проблемѣ русскаго самопознанія. Paris: Many Russian abstract and scientific terms have Slavonic morphology, in contrast to the corresponding words from spoken language.
Samples for Slavonic influence in Russian
Russian word Slavonic word Russian term
(voice) (vowel)
(milk), (feed) , (mammals)

On the other hand, the language of the Russian Orthodox church changed considerably with Russian vernacular forms after Peter the Great cancelled its official status and subordinated the Church to the State.


In Pakistan there is a diglossia between the extremely Persianised Urdu (used by the literary elite such as poets, writers, and Government officials), and an Urdu that is very similar to Hindi (spoken by common people, and known as Hindustani among linguists).


Sinhala (also known as Sinhalese), spoken in Sri Lanka, is a diglossic language. There are several differences between the literary language (also known as Literary Sinhala, LS) and the spoken language (Spoken Sinhala, SS), especially about verbs:

  • different personal pronouns:
    • "he, she": LS ; SS eja (lit. "that one", common);
  • lack of inflection of the verb in SS:
    • "I do", "you (sing.) do": LS , (inflected); SS , (not-inflected, the same form for all persons)
  • lack of future tense in SS, substituted by present tense plus optional temporal adverb:
    • LS "I will go"; SS "tomorrow I will go" (lit. "tomorrow I go");
  • different verbal forms (e.g. present participle in LS versus reduplicated form in SS);
  • different adpositions:
    • "with": LS saməⁿgə; SS ekːa
    • "from" (temporal): LS siʈə; SS iⁿdəla
    • "before" : LS perə; SS isːelːa, isːəra
  • different vocabulary, e.g.:
    • "to help": LS ; SS
    • "to touch": LS ; SS allənəʋa
    • "to marry": LS ; SS
    • "to study": LS ; SS
    • "to fight": LS ; SS

Literary or written Sinhala is commonly understood, and used in literary texts and formal occasions (public speeches, TV and radio news broadcasts, etc.), whereas the spoken language is used as the language of communication in everyday life. Children are taught the written language at school almost like a foreign language.

Singapore English

Many analysts regard the use of English in Singapore as diglossic, with Singapore Standard English (SStdE) forming the H variety and Singapore Colloquial English (SCE, also known as 'Singlish') constituting the L variety. SStdE is similar to other varieties of Standard English in grammar and lexis but with some of its own features of pronunciation, particularly the use of full vowels (rather than [ə]) in most function words and also the sporadic absence of dental fricatives, while SCE is characterised by a simplified grammar (including the omission of some conjunctions and the copula verb BE) and regular use of pragmatic particles such as lah and ah, as well as frequent inclusion of Hokkien and Malay words.

However, other analysts prefer to see variation in the English spoken in Singapore along a continuum, with the style adopted depending on the education level and circumstances of the conversation. Some proficient speakers who are well-educated have been shown to use mostly SStdE but with lots of pragmatic particles when talking to their friends, and this seems to provide evidence to support the continuum analysis.

It is certainly true that speakers are able to switch quite abruptly, for example as they exit a classroom and start chatting to their friends, so one way or another there are many characteristics of diglossia in spoken Singapore English.


Tagalog is the language spoken in the southern part of Luzon, the northernmost group of islands in the Philippines. Southern Luzon covers the provinces around the capital Metro Manila, and includes the capital itself. The language spoken by majority of residents of Luzon, Tagalog, is the basis for the country's national language, Filipino, which is basically the standardized form of the Tagalog spoken in Metro Manila.

Tagalogs (ethnic group) originating from provinces outside of Metro Manila speak their own dialect of Tagalog. An example is of the province Batangas, which has its own dialect of Batangueño Tagalog. Speakers of Batangueño Tagalog who go to Manila often suppress their dialect and accent, eventually learning to use the Manila dialect. They would only speak their native dialect when they gather with others of their group. Also, having a regional accent is usually met with amusement, but it is not frowned upon. And although there are some who would maintain their accents, their use is very minimal outside their hometowns and peers.

At the moment, very little is written using any other dialect of Tagalog other than that of Manila.


Tamil is a diglossic language spoken in Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India and Nothern,Eastern Regions of Sri Lanka. The classic form of the language - called "Senthamizh" - is different from the spoken form known since ancient times as Iyatramizh.

The classic form is preferred for writing, and is also used for public speaking. While the written Tamil language is mostly standard across various Tamil-speaking regions, the spoken form of the language differs widely from the written form. The diglossic form of Tamil has held back its development as a language. Therefore, Perunchitthranar, a Tamil nationalist and others of his ilk, advocated that all Tamils speak only the pure form of the language, i.e., Senthamizh.

Tamil fiction-writers use "Senthamizh" for all descriptive writing and use "Iyatramizh" only to narrate conversations between the characters in their works. There have been exceptions to this rule. Noted novelist Kalki Krishnamurthy once dismissed "Senthamizh" as "Kodunthamizh" (tortured Tamil). Even though all Tamils - no matter how educated they are - always converse in colloquial Tamil, Tamil novels used to depict educated people speaking in the classic form. Several decades ago, most Tamil movies only had characters who spoke in classical Tamil.

Regional and caste differences can be distinctly heard in spoken Tamil. Tamil in the state capital Chennai (formerly Madras) is somewhat distinct from that spoken elsewhere. Due to its proximity to Andhra Pradesh, Chennai Tamil has more Telugu loan words than the Tamil spoken in southern Tamil Nadu . Chennai Iyatramizh also often has more words of Urdu (or Deccani) than do varieties of Tamil from elsewhere in the state.

Throughout Tamil Nadu, there are several varieties of spoken Tamil. Tamil Brahmins speak a sort of "brahmin Tamil". The largely agrarian middle castes converse in their own dialect of Iyatramizh; this is the 'standard' spoken Tamil of today's Tamil movies and fiction. Similarly, the Scheduled Castes (formerly called Untouchables) speak forms of Iyatramizh with clear grammatical differences from the varieties spoken by the so-called higher castes.

However, regional differences are more interesting to note. The Tamil dialects spoken by people in Northern districts of Tamil Nadu like Arcot, Chennai and Southern districts like Tirunelveli and Madurai are somewhat different from each other. Like in other parts of the world, the dialectical differences between various regions are vanishing due to the influence of mass communications. So apparently are the differences between the speech patterns of the various caste groupings in Tamil Nadu. It is important to note that all forms of spoken Tamil have always been mutually intelligible. Also see Tamil for dialectical variations in Iyatramizh


Using the Matched-Guise Test, Laada Bilaniuk (University of Michigan) administered surveys to 2,000 participants in Ukraine. In her article "Diglossia in Flux: Language and Ethnicity in Ukraine", Bilaniuk reports that until now, Russian has been the High language and Ukrainian the Low language. However, her data shows that diglossia in Ukraine is shifting.

Now, both standard Russian and standard Ukrainian are considered the High languages, and the Low category is filled with all non-standard dialects of the High languages.

See also


  • Eeden, Petrus van. "Diglossie" http://www.afrikaans.nu/pag7.htm
  • Ferguson, Charles A. 1959. "Diglossia," Word 15: 325-340.
  • Fishman, Joshua. 1967. “Bilingualism with and without diglossia; diglossia with and without bilingualism.” Journal of Social Issues 23: 29-38.
  • Freeman, Andrew. "Andrew Freeman's Perspectives on Arabic Diglossia" http://www-personal.umich.edu/~andyf/digl_96.htm
  • Lubliner, Jacob. "Reflections on Diglossia" http://www.ce.berkeley.edu/~coby/essays/refdigl.htm
  • Ramsey, S. Robert (1987). The Languages of China. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01468-X.
  • Rash, Felicity. 1998. The German Language in Switzerland. Multilingualism, Diglossia and Variation. Bern: Peter Lang.
  • Schiffman, Harold. "Diglossia as a Sociolinguistic Situation" http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/messeas/diglossia/node1.html


  • Diglossia in flux: language and ethnicity in Ukraine. Texas Linguistic Forum (1993) 33:79-88.

Yavorska Galyna M. Prescriptyvna lingvistyka yak dyskurs: Mova, kultura, vlada (Prescriptive linguistics as a discourse: Language. Culture. Power). Kyiv, VIPOL, 2000. - 288 p. Yavorska G. Do problemy naivnoyi linguistyky (On the problem of folk linguistics). - Lingvistychni studii. Cherkassy, 1999, # 3. - 13-20. Yavorska G. Dejaki osoblyvosti movnykh kontaktiv blyz'kosporidnenykh mov (do kharakterystyky ukrain's'koho puryzmu) (On contacts of closely related languages: some features of Ukrainian purism). In memoria of K. Trofymovych. L'viv, Litopys, 1998.

Language A/Language B

  • Diglossia in flux: The examples like Bulgarian/Macedonian, Roumanian/Moldavian and many other confirm the results of different theories. Imagine the population of the nation A is separated in 2 parts by a wall. No communication between parts A1 and A2.

In 50 years the language will "divide". About 16% of the language in A1 will change, and 16% in A2 also, may be not the same 16%! As a result the percentage will be between 16 and 32. The situation now, 50 years after World War II in the countries mentioned above is very close to these scientific theoretical results that we have not on the base of research of these countries.

Other sources for reference (by Bilaniuk)

  • The Languages of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution. REECAS Newsletter, Russian, East European & Central Asian Studies, Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington (Spring).
  • A typology of surzhyk: mixed Ukrainian-Russian language. International Journal of Bilingualism 8(4):409-425.
  • Gender, language attitudes, and language status in Ukraine. Language in Society. 32:47-78.
  • Pidsvidome stavlennia do mov: zerkalo movnoï polityky. (Subconscious language attitudes: a mirror of language politics.) Urok Ukraïnskoï (Ukrainian journal for educators and language planners). Kyiv. 7:5-8. [Based on 1998 "Purity & power" data.]
  • Kartyna movnoho svitohliadu v Ukraïni. (Linguistic ideology in Ukraine). Movoznavstvo (major Ukrainian linguistics journal). 4/5:44-51. [Based on 1997 "Matching guises" data.]
  • Movna krytyka i samovpevnenist': ideolohichni vplyvy na status mov v Ukraïni. [Linguistic criticism and self-confidence: ideological influences on language status in Ukraine]. Derzhavnist' ukraïns'koï movy i movnyi dosvid svitu: materialy mizhnarodnoï konferentsiï. *Kyiv: National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Pp. 131-138.
  • Speaking of surzhyk: ideologies and mixed languages. Harvard Ukrainian Studies. 21(1/2):93-117.
  • Purity and power: the geography of language ideology in Ukraine. Michigan Discussions in Anthropology 13:165-189.
  • Matching guises and mapping language ideologies in Ukraine. Texas Linguistic Forum 37:298-310.


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