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Simmering in the Soviet Pot: Language Heterogeneity in Early Soviet Socio-Linguistics

Mladen Uhlik
Studies in East European Thought
Vol. 60, No. 4, Language and Its Social Functions in Early Soviet Thought (Dec., 2008), pp. 285-293
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40345289
Page Count: 9
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Simmering in the Soviet Pot: Language Heterogeneity in Early Soviet Socio-Linguistics
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Abstract

At the beginning of the '30s—the period of lively debates on the relation between language and society—one of the main issues in linguistics was language heterogeneity. On the example of the texts by Boris Larin, Georgij Danilov and Lev Jakubinskij we shall compare two attitudes about unity and division of a language. If the studies by Larin and Danilov in various ways establish divisions in society and language at the end of the '20s, in the '30s there is a marked tendency to recognize language unity and the cohesiveness of the proletarian society, as seen in sociolinguistic analyses by Jakubinskij. The conclusion, suggested at the end of this exposition, claims that the idea of one national language grows in importance in the discourse of the Soviet linguistics at the beginning of 1930s. Disappearance of the contemporary language heterogeneity in the discourse of Soviet linguists of the period corroborates how linguistics adapts to the political conceptions of society.

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