Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This study is an analysis of the historical preliminaries, current state and directions of further development of the language policy in the forme Soviet and presently independent Republic of Kazakhstan. Such an analysis is of special interest for sociolinguistic theory. The uniqueness of the linguistic situation challenging contemporary Kazakhstani language policy-making consists in the fact that Kazakh, the native tongue of the ethnic majority and the de jure state language of the independent Republic of Kazakhstan, is too lexically underdeveloped to successfully compete in most of the communicative domains with Russian, the state language of Soviet Kazakhstan and the alternate present official language. Regardless of the goals (building of a multiethnic Kazakhstani nation or a multinational Kazakh state) of the nationality policy assumed by the government, the stability of interethnic communication in Kazakhstan and the success of an important (Russian) aspect of its foreign policy depend on the legislative decisions and practices aimed at the development and promotion of the Kazakh language without undermining the status of Russian or disregarding the languages of numerous ethnic minorities/nationalities.

This study attempts to conduct a diachronic and synchronic analysis of multilingualism in Kazakhstan, to trace the history of language legislation and political practices throughout the duration of existence of Russian-Kazakh diglossla, to evaluate contemporary language-related governmental efforts from the point of view of officially formulated goals, and to identify possible directions of the policy's further development. The findings of the investigation are presented in the form of a proposal for a strategy for future legislation and policy implementation.

The analysis is based on the results of an extensive review of four sources of literature: official documents pertaining to language policy; publications in professional journals specializing in history, linguistics, education, sociology, philosophy and politics, as well as similar publications elsewhere; articles in newspapers and magazines; and classic and contemporary fiction and editorials.

The study should serve as a demonstration of professional knowledge and masters level research skills, its end product being a contribution to the of field of language planning. The final proposal is expected to serve as a "white paper" suitable for reference by Kazakhstani and other language planners, educators, politicians, journalists and academics