The Letter that was Missing. On the Return of the Letter Ґ to the Ukrainian Legal Language

Лиана Голетиани


This paper is about the orthographic variability of the Ukrainian contemporary legal language. The focus will be on the usage of the letter “Ґ” (ge with upturn). During the Soviet age this letter was codified in the orthographic norm of Charkiv (1928) but in 1933 it was taken out of the Ukrainian alphabet because of the Soviet Russification policy. It fell out of usage for decades, but was reintroduced on the eve of Ukrainian independence in 1990. This study was carried out on a corpus of Ukrainian legal documents from the last 25 years. Regardless of varying results for discrete words, the figures show unequivocally that the letter has returned to active linguistic usage.


Legal Ukrainian; Orthographic Variability; Language Policy in the Soviet Union

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