Language is politically invested, and a speech community's administration of its language and alphabet marks, constructs, defines, and expresses its identity. Among the Turkmen people of Central Asia, language policies and alphabet reforms have epitomized continuous efforts to build a national community in the contexts of the tsarist empire, Soviet rule, and independence. Through an examination of language policy, planning, and reform from the 1904 to 2000, my study contributes a new historical perspective on the formation of Turkmen identity; our knowledge more generally of the role of language in expressing and constructing self throughout the exigencies of various political eras; and advances Eurasian and Soviet historiography by illuminating the often absent Turkmen perspective. This study links Turkmenistan's contemporary efforts at post-Soviet language reforms with the earlier Turkmen lexicographic and orthographic work (especially 1910s-1930s), which laid the foundations for the modern Turkmen identity. As contemporary Turkmen struggle to negotiate a postcolonial identity and sort out their place in the international community, my dissertation's examination of Turkmen language evolution over the last century supplies needed historical context to current language renewal efforts and Turkmen identity construction.
|School:||The Ohio State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Central asia, Education, Language planning, Russia, Turkmenistan|
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