Towards World Russians? How Ukrainian Russophones Construct Boundaries from the Russian Federation
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Parole chiave

Russophone Identities
Russian as Pluricentric
World Russians
Ukrainian Russophones

Abstract

The article explores how russophone Ukrainians in Khаrkiv construct boundaries from the Russian Federation in the Russian language. It relies on Norton’s language and identity framework and argues that Ukrainian russophones no longer see Russian speakers from the Russian Federation as part of their imagined community of Russian speakers. It shows that russophones signal the boundaries of their community and exclude Russian speakers from the Russian Federation by using language embedded in local culture, by explicitly articulating the difference of their culture from that of the Russian Federation and through linguistic hybridity which, at the same time, allows them to include bilingual Ukrainians. The research suggests that Ukrainian russophones are in the process of constructing local russophone identities independent from the Russian Federation, meaning that the Russian language is becoming pluricentric.

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