Insult of the Language as a Phenomenon of the Modern Bilingual Communication Space in Belarus

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In Belarus the Belarusian-Russian bilingualism is legalized constitutionally and the existing language legal framework has a long-standing basis for civil agreement on the use and functioning of both state languages. However, in recent years there have appeared a number of negative phenomena aroused by certain shifts in the structure of the communicative interactions. This refers, in particular, to a recently defined offence of insult of the language. This phenomenon is new to the Belarusian linguistic-legal discourse and the interest in it predetermined the purpose of this research, namely, to study the phenomenon of insult of the language from the standpoint of modern Belarusian linguistic legal expertise. Materials and methods. The research is based on records of administrative offences that violate the language regulations. The methodological basis comprises the method of parameterization and the logical-linguistic, comparative and lexical-semantic analyzes. Results. The research carries out both the theoretical analysis of the phenomenon of insult of the language from the standpoint of linguistic expertise and the practical analysis of conflict-prone texts. Unlike personal insults, where the defining parameters are factfulness, attributiveness and non-normativity, insults of the language are only defined in legal practice by the parameter of attributiveness, i.e. by the presence of words in the remark that derogate the language and demean its status. The obtained results indicate that the Belarusian legislation system treats the language with a special regard. Firstly, acknowledgement of the fact that the language can suffer an insult proves its special role among other cultural artifacts. Secondly, the legal practice demonstrates respect for the language and regards it as a super entity that stands above the category of personality.

About the authors

Anton A. Lavitski

Vitebsk Branch of the Federation’s of Trade Unions Educational Institution of Belarus International University «MITSO»

Author for correspondence.
8A, M. Shagall St., Vitebsk, 210010, Belarus

PhD., Head of the Chair of the Foreign Languages and Cross-Cultural Communication, Humanities Faculty


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