Inhaltspezifische Aktionen

Contested Language Diversity - Dealing with Minority Languages in post-Soviet Ukraine and Russia

Supported by the Volkswagen Foundation (04/2020 – 03/2023) in the Initiative: Trilateral Partnerships – cooperation projects between scientists from Ukraine, Russia, and Germany


The language diversity in Russia and Ukraine encompasses languages of a very broad functional spectrum: from endangered as well as lesser used languages to well-functioning minority languages such as Tatar in Russia or, more clearly, Russian in Ukraine. While societal and academic debates mainly focus on the last two, our project deals with a broad spectrum of languages that are threatened by functional restriction, assimilation or identity loss. 


Detailed research of the contested language diversity and its impact on the multilingual societies is a very important factor of ethno-linguistic conflict prevention. How is language diversity discursively constructed, and what are the topics and argumentative patterns in the polarized debates on language diversity in Russia and Ukraine? Who are the actors in language diversity contestations, and in which manner do they overlap with the language as well as discursive societies? How do minorities position themselves with regard to the language ideologies? When and under which conditions does it come to disruptions in language biographies? What is the impact of the language diversity contestations on the language policy, and what are the societal consequences? By answering these research questions the trilateral project aims to provide a multifactorial analysis of the polarized language question including differing views of a broad spectrum of actors. 



Prof. Dr. Monika Wingender

Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

Institut für Slavistik

Otto-Behaghel-Str. 10D, in 35394 Gießen