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Mixed MessagesMediating Native Belonging in Asian Russia$
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Kathryn E. Graber

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501750502

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501750502.001.0001

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A Literary Standard and Its Discontents

A Literary Standard and Its Discontents

(p.115) 4 A Literary Standard and Its Discontents
Mixed Messages

Kathryn E. Graber

Cornell University Press

This chapter analyzes Buryat language standardization as an example of truncated standardization, a problem that characterizes many minority languages in postcolonial contexts. It discusses why indigenous languages like Buryat are more likely to be surrounded by a different lingua franca, such as Russian, and used between speakers of different dialects to reduce the immediate need for a standardized indigenous language. It assesses how media makers and other language elites persist in trying for standardization in an effort to create and maintain a strong literary standard as a crucial component of the Buryat modernizing project. The chapter also talks about contemporary audiences who control colloquial forms of Buryat but have a hard time understanding Buryat-language media, particularly news media. It investigates linguistic resources, such as dialects and Russian–Buryat mixed forms, that are not part of the literary standard but serve important social functions in certain contexts.

Keywords:   Buryat language, indigenous languages, postcolonial contexts, lingua franca, language media, news media, literary standard, language standardization

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