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Language planning in Kazakhstan: The case of ergonyms as another scene of linguistic landscape of Astana

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The political, economic and sociocultural changes that took place after the break-up of the USSR continue to impact the linguistic landscape of Kazakhstan. The historical linkages to the Russian Empire and then the USSR, both of which were characterized by policies of Russification, have resulted in the existence of a highly multilingual society that features widespread bilingualism in Kazakh and Russian. The on-going bilingualism in Kazakhstan continues to significantly affect the growth rate of the national consciousness and the identity of Kazakh society. The focus of the study reported in this article was to understand how the complex pattern of language planning programs is reflected in the linguistic landscape of Kazakhstan and particularly in Astana, the new capital city, by examining how visual public signs (ergonyms) indicate the heterogeneous characteristics of the society and how different agencies work on the problems of language use and attitudes in the country.
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Keywords: ergonyms; language planning; language policy; linguistic landscape; nominative processes

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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