STATEHOOD, LANGUAGE, AND ALPHABET: A KAZAKHSTAN CASE STUDY

Saule TAJIBAEVA, Timur KOZYREV


Saule Tajibaeva, D.Sc. (Philol.), Deputy Rector of Administration, Dulati Taraz State Pedagogical Institute (Taraz, Kazakhstan)

Timur Kozirev, Ph.D. (Philol.), Associate Professor at the Department of Pedagogical Sciences and General Philology, Dulati Taraz State Pedagogical Institute (Taraz, Kazakhstan)


As a young state, just 15 years old, the Republic of Kazakhstan is still developing its national identity and civic spirit formula. The absence or, at least, precariousness of the basis on which a civic nation united by a shared system of values could emerge is a popular topic of discussion. More often than not this problem is seen through the prism of ethnic relations, which, in turn, are reduced to the autochthonous population-the Russian speakers dichotomy. Today, this dichotomy is still dominated by a language issue of great symbolic significance. Reform of the alphabet came to the fore as one of the aspects of the countrys state language problem in the wake of President Nazarbaevs speech at the 12th Session of the Assembly of the Peoples of Kazakhstan. It seems, however, that vague and often confusing interpretations of everything related to the concepts of ethnos, nation, nationalism, national state, and civil society are the real stumbling blocks. We have inherited this from the Soviet times; today, this part of Soviet legacy causes misunderstandings fraught with conflicts, at least among politicians. We intend to outline our approaches to a few of the most burning issues within the statehood-language-alphabet triangle.

Today, ethnic relations in Kazakhstan are associated with the relations between the locals and..


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