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|War of Words: Language Policy in Post Independence Kazakhstan.
|This paper focuses on the language policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the era post-Independence to the modern day. The policy of bi-lingualism with a state language and language of inter-ethnic communication has been pursued since the break up of the Soviet Union in an attempt to include Russified nationalities in the nation-building of Kazakhstan. I compare Kazakhstan’s policy with two other models of state language policy, Ireland and Norway. Both Ireland and Norway have built up their state or indigenous languages in their nation building process, but the languages have lost out to the imported language of their former occupants, English and Danish. Many experts in the field are predicting that Russian will become the dominant language in Kazakhstan, but I hope to show that while this may be possible, it may also be possible for Kazakh to dominate given the right conditions. The impact of possible language planning will also be examined and outlined. My research is based on the findings of scholars such as Dave, Laitin, Brill Olcott, Kolstoe and Lanadau in their published and private work. I will also draw heavily on census figures of all three countries and show through social experiments how census figures have distorted the reality of the state which national languages find themselves in.
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