Language conflict and claims for the expansion of language rights in Lithuania: contrasting cases of Polish and Russian minorities

Katliarou, Yury
This thesis studies the reasons for the differences in the attitudes of Polish and Russian minorities in regards to language policy in Lithuania within the context of the multitude of relations between language and ethnic identity. The Polish minority makes claims for the expansion of language rights, whereas the Russian minority does not demonstrate support for such claims. In this thesis, the Lithuanian national language rights framework, the attitudes of the majority community (the Lithuanians) towards minority languages, the characteristics of the two minorities (the Poles and the Russians) and their approaches towards their languages are examined with a comparative perspective. The research is based on qualitative data obtained during the fieldwork carried out in Lithuania. Research findings demonstrate that the current language conflict in Lithuania is essentially a Polish-Lithuanian conflict over the recognition of the Polish ethnolinguistic identity within the Lithuanian nation-state. Respectively, it is reflected in status-related claims regarding the transformation of the existing national language rights framework.


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Citation Formats
Y. Katliarou, “Language conflict and claims for the expansion of language rights in Lithuania: contrasting cases of Polish and Russian minorities,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2015.