• Negotiating Public Space: The Post-Soviet Linguistic Landscape in Kazakhstan

      Moore, Irina (Common Ground Publishing, 2014-08)
      The purpose of this article is to understand the extent to which language practices coincide with official language policy in urban Kazakhstan. It provides a review of language policies in Kazakhstan since the country gained independence from the USSR and analyses the current sociolinguistic situation. A linguistic landscape approach is used to investigate language practices in the capital, Astana. A collection of photographs of public signage was collected from the three main districts of the city. These were analysed quantitatively and qualitatively, in terms of the frequency of appearance of specific languages, the order of their appearance in multilingual signs, font size, colour, etc. The article reports on this investigation and finds a considerable difference between official policy and language practices. To date, only a few research projects have analysed post-Soviet linguistic landscape. Consequently, this article highlights potential contributions of such an approach to the study of language and identity politics and helps deeper understanding of language use in the post-Soviet space.