The Debate Around Ukrainian Pravopys in Independent Ukraine

Giovanna Siedina

Abstract


My paper examines the debate that characterised the re-elaboration of the Ukrainian Pravopys, i.e., the set of rules that regulates Ukrainian orthography and punctuation in independent Ukraine, and that culminated in the new Ukrainian Pravopys of 2007 (republished in 2015). The need for a revision of the Ukrainian pravopys of 1929-1933 arose due to the many interventions it underwent during the Soviet period in the direction of Russification. The lively debates and discussions that ensued once again demonstrated that the issue of Ukrainian pravopys was characterised by a marked political tinge, and was perceived as a catalyst for the expression of national identity. Linguists and academics mainly gathered around the two groups headed respectively by linguists V. Rusanivs’kyj and V. Nimčuk. The orientation of the two groups, curiously enough, were reminiscent of the two camps that catalyzed the debates on the Ukrainian pravopys in the second half of the nineteenth century, those favoring a ‘rapprochement’ with the Russian language and those supporting the phonetic approach based on Ukrainian pronunciation. The latter were the principles that governed the elaboration of the 1929 Pravopys. My paper thus focuses on the different stages and the different proposals of the pravopys reform, and on the work of the two commissions in charge of the project of pravopys emendation, leading to the publication of the 2007 new Ukrainian pravopys, which is mainly an expression of the group of linguists headed by V. Rusanivs’kyj.

Keywords


Orthography; Ukrainian Language; Language and Politics

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/Studi_Slavis-21941



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