Intergenerational Analysis of Kyrgyz and Russian Languages in the Context of Post-Soviet Revitalization Policy
Saparbaeva , Aizada
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This thesis analyses Kyrgyz and Russian languages in terms of language use, language attitudes and language proficiency among young and old generations in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. The aim of this thesis is to investigate language use of two generations regarding Kyrgyz and Russian languages in different spheres of life, measure their proficiency in these languages and to analyze their attitudes towards these languages. In order to achieve these aims, a questionnaire was administered to 100 ethnic Kyrgyz participants living in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The first group involved fifty participants who grew up in independent Kyrgyzstan. The second group included fifty Kyrgyz people who grew up in the Soviet regime. The data obtained were analyzed by using independent samples t-test and the chi-square test. The findings show that there is a significant difference between young and old generations in the following domains of language use: religious ceremonies, shopping, reading magazines and newspapers, telling the time and address. According to these findings, the young generation uses the Russian language more while the older generation uses the Kyrgyz language more. Next, the difference for the following domains is found to be statistically insignificant: family, university and work, interactions with friends outside of work or university, messaging, in writing formal papers and interactions in hospitals and formal places. These findings suggest that there is no relationship between age and language use in above-mentioned domains. The findings of the study also indicate that self-reported proficiency in Kyrgyz and Russian languages do not significantly differ between young and old generations. As for language attitudes, the findings do not show any significant difference between old and young generations in terms of their attitudes towards Kyrgyz and Russian languages. All in all, this study hopes to contribute to the better comprehension of the language situation in Kyrgyzstan and expand the linguistic information about it.
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