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Towards “Mapping” a Complex Language Ecology: The Case of Central Asia

  • Stephen BahryEmail author
Reference work entry

Abstract

Interest in languages and language is increasing worldwide, particularly in connection with globalization and the international spread of English. This phenomenon raises questions not only about bilingualism, but also about multilingualism of society and plurilingualism of individuals and language policies, particularly in areas where decolonization and/or recent interdependence have brought them into question and made possible policies that presuppose different relations between the state, language(s), and communities found within a polity. Together with these changes has come a shift from reductionist approaches to language and society dealing with one language and one community at a time in favor of a more realist, pluralist, ecological approach that attempts to deal with all the languages within a given social and geographical space. This chapter presents a little known but exemplary case of a region where all of the above factors are at play: multilingual Central Asia, and the recently independent post-Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Keywords

Central Asia Globalization Language ecology Linguistic variability Mapping ethnic diversity Multilingualism Plurilingualism Post-Soviet Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan 

Notes

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Comparative, International and Development Education Centre, Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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