Is a Ukrainian Standard of the Russian Language on the Agenda?


  • Michael A. Moser



Ukrainian language, Russian language, Ukrainian Russian, pluricentric (polycentric) languages, pluricentrization, Ukrainian language policy


This article discusses the pros and cons of the creation of a separate Ukrainian standard of the Russian language. Owing to the centralist and elitist history of the Russian standard language, the high variant of Russian that is used in Ukraine does not significantly differ from that of Russia, if at all. Low varieties, by contrast, are quite heterogeneous. The standardization of “Ukrainian Russian” would thus be very problematic at all stages: the selection of norms and their codification, the implementation and elaboration of the new norms. All these steps would not only require considerable funding; in the long run, it would also undermine the status of Ukrainian as Ukraine’s sole state language.


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