Government Structures in the U.S.A. and the Sovereign States of the Former U.S.S.R: Power Allocation among Central, Regional, and Local Governments

By James E. Hickey Jr.; Alexej Ugrinsky | Go to book overview

41
Language Problems of Federalism in Tajikistan

Zulfia M. Mirshakar

Language is one of the most important elements of culture and reflects the historical, social, and spiritual development of the people. It often is the monument of a national culture, and the culture of society and social environment is displayed through the relation of culture toward language.

Ethnic diversity defines the language situation in the former U.S.S.R. The people speak more than 130 languages, which belong to many different systems and families (East Slavic, Baltic, Finno-Ugric, Turkic, Iranian, Caucasian, Paleoasian, etc.). The speakers differ in number (from millions up to hundreds of millions) and in the character and volume of duties performed (from serving the needs of the state, the republics, and autonomies to the everyday necessities in the family).

Tajikistan has Russian as its common language, which for a long time was considered the language of international intercourse. The Russian language also serves the state needs (government of the state, central press, radio and television, transport, the armed forces, foreign relations, modern large-scale industry, some branches of fundamental science, cosmonautics, and mail communication). The Russian language acquired its common language function from the former Russian Empire before the 1917 October Revolution, and the subsequent Soviet society inherited the Russian language as its common language. The Languages of Nations of the U.S.S.R. Law, adopted not long ago, has consolidated the state status of the Russian language. It has determined the sphere of its use in the country. The Law also reserves to the Russian language the important function of international intercourse.

In the course of historical development, the language situation in the U.S.S.R. has suffered profound changes. From the very beginning of its existence, the Soviet state adopted, on November 15, 1917, the Declaration of

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