A Language Variety on Trial: Surzhyk Prosecuted and Defended in Post-Soviet Ukrainophone Language Ideology

Niklas Bernsand 11 maj 2014
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The historical legacy of Ukrainian-Russian language contact under imperial conditions - a markedly asymmetrical bilingualism with uneven status relations, sharply differing regional patterns of language use, and heavy interference first and foremost affecting the Ukrainian language - still defines much of the framework for the politics of language in post-Soviet Ukraine. Positions taken in the language ideological debates on Ukrainian-Russian language contact form part of wider narratives on the Ukrainian-Russian cultural encounter, and are intimately connected with conceptualisations of national identity and of nation-building. Language contact and the socio-cultural and political conceptualisations of it in metalinguistic discourse are therefore central topics for the study of language ideologies in Ukraine.

Most research on language issues in post-Soviet Ukraine has focused on the state and status of the Ukrainian and Russian standard languages and the language policies affecting their use in key domains such as educational facilities, the media or administration. Less systematic attention has been paid to the widespread use of the intermediate varieties stemming from Ukrainian-Russian language contact, most commonly referred to pejoratively as surzhyk[1]. In a similar fashion, discussions on the language situation in contemporary Ukraine in general and on the language politics taking place between representatives of various language ideological camps in particular, are most often analysed in the context of positions taken on the standard languages with less attention being paid to surzhyk, regardless of the fact that references to it occur frequently in those debates and shape them in particular ways.
Surzhyk often becomes an issue in Ukrainian metalinguistic discourse when wider language ecological relations in Ukraine are discussed, such as the significance of the mixed codes for the state and status of other language varieties, most importantly for the Ukrainian or Russian standard languages. For Ukrainophone language ideology brokers a key topic is the dangers and possibilities of surzhyk for Ukrainian language revitalisation - the reversing of the process of the language shift from Ukrainian (dialects) to Russian, that has significantly altered the language situation in large parts of Ukraine during the past two centuries. This paper specifically focuses on the Ukrainophone debate on whether surzhyk should be regarded as a resource or a hindrance for Ukrainian revitalisation. Russophone ideology brokers often emphasise the consequences for Russian language quality (by which is understood the mastering of Standard Russian) of linguistic Ukrainisation in the educational system in a situation where the language of instruction and the dominant language outside the classroom often tend to differ. As there is no automatic correspondence between habitual language use and a particular language ideological position, it should be stated that the terms Ukrainophone and Russophone refer here to authors who identify with the respective language ideological positions and do not refer to the linguistic groups of Ukrainian- and Russian-speakers (for a similar definition see Kulyk 2004, 19-20). Speaking Russian or Ukrainian may often coincide with adhering respectively to the Russophone or Ukrainophone position, but such a correlation should not be taken for granted.
In this paper we shall trace recent developments in specifically Ukrainophone metalinguistic discourse on surzhyk. We shall focus mainly on the form and expressed language ideological content of a single language ideological debate event, the 'mock trial' of surzhyk that was organised in Kyiv 1 June 2004 by radical Ukrainophones from the Association for the Defence of Ukrainian Culture 'Ukraїns'kyi Svitanok', an event in which several prominent Ukrainophone writers, journalists and linguists participated[2]. Most significantly, the organisers, some of whom are well-known defenders of surzhyk, chose to conduct the discussion on surzhyk not in a traditional form, such as an academic conference or a hearing, but as an imitation of a real Ukrainian court procedure with a judge, a prosecutor and a defence counsel with their respective witnesses debating the sins and virtues of the accused language variety. These roles were complemented by a grotesque straw man wearing the red-white-blue of the Russian trikolor and personifying surzhyk safely put behind bars on stage in front of the audience[3].
At the beginning of the evening the audience, which mostly consisted of students and members of the Ukrainophone intelligentsia, where given yellow and red ballot papers with the inscriptions 'Down with surzhyk!' and 'Long live surzhyk', which were to be used in the concluding vote on the fate of the accused. Simultaneously, money was collected from the audience 'for buying off the court'. Oles' Donii, the judge and main organiser of the mock trial as well as the author of the pamphlet 'Long live surzhyk!' (2003), read out a 'plaint' from 'Ukrainian patriotic forces,' which reproached surzhyk for disgracing the Ukrainian language and for a 'distortion planned well in advance...that might shake the foundations of Ukrainian spirituality, encourage further Russification of the Ukrainians and continue the cynical cultural ethnocide carried out for many years by the Russian Empire and the USSR' [Hora 2004]. The prosecutor, the writer Iurii Pokal'chuk, formally accused this language variety of serious crimes against several paragraphs of the Ukrainian penal code, including high treason, pollution of the atmosphere, prostitution and seduction of minors, sabotage, mass fraud and hooliganism. He further demanded that the defendant should be sentenced to 'death or at least life imprisonment' [Hudzyk 2004]. The procedure continued in due fashion with the hearing and examination of witnesses, concluding speeches and culminated in a spectacular meta-commentary on the state of the Ukrainian judicial system during the final year of the Kuchma regime, when the verdict was passed and immediately repealed after the court declared itself to have been bought[4]. It is hardly surprising that the event was described a few days later in a Ukrainian newspaper as 'something in between a theatrical performance, a scientific discussion, a protest action by young writers and an evening of humour' [Bohuslavs'ka 2004].
The aim of this paper is to analyse the mock trial on surzhyk as a language ideological debate event that connects this particular happening to the wider metalinguistic discourse on surzhyk among Ukrainophones. The arguments put forward by the prosecutor, the defence and their respective expert witnesses during this event, as well as the very framework of a 'mock trial,' not only shed light on the development of language ideological notions on surzhyk among parts of the Ukrainophone intelligentsia, but also showed how language issues can be made to reflect wider political and social problems in society. Although some commentaries in the newspapers [see Hudzyk 2004] remarked on the bias of a discussion of surzhyk in which only Ukrainophone intellectuals participated to the exclusion of their colleagues associated with the Russophone camp, I consider this objection to be somewhat beside the point. In my view the mock trial reflected significant differences among Ukrainophones not only in terms of ideological content, of being pro- or anti-surzhyk, but also in moral and aesthetic terms. By arranging a public debate on surzhyk as a mock trial, the organisers set the rules of the game in a mode which was much more comfortable for them than a traditional, serious academic round-table discussion. If Ukraine, as Michael Flier [Flier 1998, 113] suggests, is 'a nation in which "the medium is the message" has special resonance', the mock trial of surzhyk would indeed be a good illustration of that point.
The very setting of a trial further enforces a certain polarity among the participants, who had to state their views in terms of a sharp 'for-or-against' distinction, although several of them might have expressed more mixed or cautious views in a more traditional debating situation. The formal procedure of the mock trial thus forced the participants to distil their views into positions more sharply demarcated than they might otherwise have been.
As is shown by the mock trial, Ukrainian discussions on language issues are still largely defined by the imperial framework and the postimperial political, economic and cultural structures that partly reproduce it in a new form. The ritually polarised positions of the trial could thus be viewed as expressions of what Marko Pavlyshyn has called anticolonialism and postcolonialism. While anticolonialism negates and inverts colonial arguments and values, thereby paradoxically reproducing them, postcolonialism seeks liberation from colonial structures, not by inverting them but by ironically and playfully using themes from colonial and anticolonial discourse as material in order to move beyond imperial discourse [Pavlyshyn 1997, 227]. A similar tension exists in minority language activism which, according to Woolard [Woolard 1998, 17], often reproduces 'the same notions of language that have led to their oppression and/or suppression', but with time can also develop alternative ideological frameworks for handling the legacy of subordination[5]. When during the trial writer and defence witness Oleksandr Irvanets' half-jokingly forwarded the argument that the grammatical norms of surzhyk should be codified so that it could be declared a second state language next to Ukrainian, thus emphasising the limited use of 'real' Russian in Ukraine, he simultaneously usurped and ironically twisted the main Russophone language political demand for second state language status for Russian, and challenged Ukrainophone notions of linguistic purity and sacredness of the national language, as well as the standard language ideology widely shared by both Ukrainophones and Russophones. If traditional Ukrainophone discourse on surzhyk fights hybridity as part of a colonial cultural and linguistic heritage seen as ultimately threatening to the very essence of Ukrainianness, an emerging Ukrainophone 'pro-surzhyk' position argues in postcolonial terms for the appropriation and transformation of this hybridity for the benefit of Ukrainian language revitalisation and nation-building.
Both traditionalists and defenders of surzhyk from the Ukrainophone intelligentsia feel a responsibility for the state and further development of the Ukrainian language, and both see as their most important language ideological task the enhancement of the status and use of Ukrainian. For both camps speaking Ukrainian is an important part of being Ukrainian; the dividing line here is rather whether or not the intermediate varieties are to be viewed as legitimate Ukrainian speech. In other words, what Myhill (2003) calls the 'authenticity hierarchy' is reformulated by postcolonialists to include unambiguously the intermediate varieties among Ukrainian language varieties. The defenders of surzhyk do not therefore deconstruct the notion of a crucial bond between language and national identity; they rather reformulate it by deemphasising purism and broadening the horizon of legitimate Ukrainian language varieties. This debate is internal to Ukrainophone language ideologists who view the predominance of Russian in many regions and linguistic practices as the most serious language ecological problem for Ukrainian.

Language ideological debates

The intertextual relations between the rhetoric and performance of the mock trial and its roots in notions formed in Ukrainian metalinguistic discourse on surzhyk will be analysed in this paper through the theoretical framework of language ideology and, more specifically, of language ideological debates. The research field of language ideology has become in recent years an important point of reference for the study of how language intersects with society and wider socio-cultural and political processes [see e.g. Schieffelin et al. 1998, Blommaert 1999]. For our present purposes, two key properties of language ideologies are relevant. Firstly, language ideologies express notions about historical and contemporary relations between different language varieties and about the status and social functions to be conferred on each one of them. As is evident in discourse critical of surzhyk, such notions about specific language varieties are often carried over into notions about the characteristics of their speakers as social beings [Gal/Irvine 2000, 37], which strengthens their role as social boundary markers and as identity gatekeepers. Secondly, language ideologies are thus not isolated from parallel notions about identity, power and prestige existing in a community, but contribute to a mutual reinforcement between linguistic and 'extra-linguistic' notions, in which the latter add meaning to notions about language and language use, while the former add meaning to events and occurrences not immediately concerned with language. This point can be illustrated here by the allusions to the corrupt nature of Ukraine's judicial system that concluded the mock trial of surzhyk.
This paper follows the contributions in Blommaert (1999), in which language ideology is analysed as it is formed in language ideological debates. For Blommaert, such debates are significant not only because they 'provide a lexicon and a set of stock arguments which underlie the construction of authoritative (folk as well as expert) rhetoric' on a certain language issue, but also because they can 'instigate implementation practices and hegemonize the field' [Blommaert 1999b, 10]. Language ideological debates can thus bring about real change in language and language use and 'overrule "spontaneous" effects of language contact and language evolution' [Blommaert 1999c, 435]. This can involve changes in the degree of language status attributed to varieties, in the selection and non-selection of varieties for official functions, or in the social values and life opportunities associated with specific varieties. Even when debates fail to exert such a formative influence, they 'may be highly illustrative of political and ideological traditions in the field of language in a particular society at a particular moment'; the difference between success and failure is for Blommaert in this respect more a question of ideological reproduction than of ideological content [Blommaert 1999b, 10].
The mock trial on surzhyk will be analysed here as a language ideological debate event which, like a parliamentary debate on language legislation or a televised talk show on language issues, is related intertextually to a much larger body of notions framed by wider language ideological debates in post-Soviet Ukraine. Although the focus is on a debate event which naturally covers a much shorter time-span than any of the contributions to Blommaert's volume, the event itself, as well as the notions expressed in it, has to be properly contextualised within the broader framework of both metalinguistic discourse and linguistic practices.
The advantage of focusing on a rather spectacular debate event such as the mock trial is not only that it may convey highly condensed, elaborated and artistically enacted language ideological content, but also that the performative framework of the occasion can provide additional material for analysis. Most striking in this case, of course, is the overall staging of the event as an imitation of a real Ukrainian court procedure with a fixed set of roles. It could be argued that the form is no less important here for the message than the content. The choice of the mock trial and its theatrical and symbol-laden staging can be seen as part of a counter-hegemonic challenge by the organisers to prevailing negative notions about this language variety among the Ukrainophone intelligentsia and in metalinguistic discourse at large, and thereby as clearly setting it apart from any other conceivable spoken debate event. The debate would surely have looked different had it been arranged by a less avant-garde group of intellectuals, such as the linguists invited as the prosecutor's witnesses. Prosecutor's witness professor Oleksandr Ponomariv indeed said of the mock trial that he 'would not have arranged a trial on surzhyk, since it is not worthy of being put on trial. Surzhyk is our misery, our misfortune' ('Prysud surzhyku: karaty ne mozhna pomyluvaty' 2004).

Linguistic practices and metalinguistic discourse in post-Soviet Ukraine

Metalinguistic discourse in post-Soviet Ukraine reflects and affects linguistic practices and perceptions of the relative status of the various language varieties, all of which have undergone significant changes since the late Soviet period but nonetheless show important patterns of continuity. Three factors have together contributed to complex developments in the language situation.
Firstly, the prestige of Standard Ukrainian has been elevated in independent Ukraine with its status as sole state language and the predominant perception of it as the most important symbolic linguistic marker of the Ukrainian nation [Bilaniuk 1998, Taranenko 1999, Masenko/Zalizniak 2001, Kulyk 2006]. Both active and passive linguistic competence in Standard Ukrainian has risen, and the language has significantly increased its presence in domains where it was marginalised to the advantage of Russian a few decades ago. At the same time, as in other cases of language revitalisation in bilingual communities, a rise in actual language use lags behind a rise in competence; although a rise in competence is necessary for widening the use of a language variety, this in itself is not enough [see Casesnoves Ferrer/Sankoff 2004]. Increased use of Ukrainian in formal domains associated with the functions of the state is not always reflected in domains where the state cannot interfere - or can but does not, as with the frequent violations of media licences awarded to television and radio stations - with linguistic practices established in the Soviet era and favouring the use of Russian. Hence, even though both the censuses of 1989 and 2001, as well as most sociological surveys, indicate the identification of an overwhelming majority of ethnic Ukrainians and an absolute majority of Ukrainian citizens with Ukrainian as their native language, this is not reflected outside of the western regions in a similar majority in terms of actual language use. Although surveys show an increase in the use of Ukrainian since the early 1990s, in large parts of the country Russian maintains its position as the most widely used language [Khmel'ko 2004].
Secondly, despite the rise in status and to a lesser extent in use of Ukrainian, Russian maintains a strong position partly thanks to linguistic practices which accept on the one hand the use and presence of both languages as normal, but at the same time implicitly compartmentalise this bilingualism to some degree by representing Ukrainian as the language of the state and Russian as the predominant language of society (for this point in the media sphere see Kulyk, forthcoming chapter 7). In media discourse, news and high politics are thus often rendered in Ukrainian, while many talk shows and entertainment programmes are bilingual, and films are often in Russian, whether originally or dubbed (ibid). This compartmentalisation is paralleled by code-switching practices in other domains that separate official from semi-official situations, such as when teachers, after having taught their subject in Ukrainian, converse informally in Russian with their pupils during breaks, or when in the state or regional bureaucracy, documentation and official meetings are conducted in Ukrainian while the language of more informal conversation between civil servants often remains Russian. The respondents in Masenko and Zalizniak's survey [Masenko/Zalizniak 2001, 50] of perceptions of language use in Kyïv indeed believe Ukrainian to be used mainly in official spheres (government institutions, education, mass media), but much less in unofficial contexts like public transport or interpersonal communication. Other studies confirm this picture while emphasising the Ukrainian-speaking home as an important domain for the use of Ukrainian. Kuznietsova [Kuznietsova 1999, 66] found that her respondents from bilingual families in the cities of southern Ukraine spoke Ukrainian only sporadically, and characteristically mostly with parents and teachers. If in Western Ukraine respondents who spoke mainly Russian at home switched to Ukrainian outside of the family, urban 'Ukrainian-speakers from bilingual families in all the other regions shift to Russian in almost all domains outside the family' [Kuznietsova 1999, 67]. For many urban Ukrainian-speakers the mechanisms of compartmentalisation are thus more complex, as Ukrainian is used both in the most intimate and in the most official domains, while outside of Western Ukraine the accommodation norm [Woolard 1989] still works in favour of Russian as the unmarked choice for communication in urban public space between the home and the place of work or study. Such linguistic practices are rooted in the (semi)diglossic language situation of the imperial Russian and Soviet periods (especially after the 1930s) when Russian was presented explicitly and implicitly as the language of power and urban imperial culture, while Ukrainian was associated with rurality, unqualified labour in the cities and the small urban stratum of the humanitarian intelligentsia.
Thirdly, in a situation of widespread but unevenly distributed bilingualism, code-switching and code-mixing are important linguistic practices which are felt in some contexts to undermine the hegemony of the standard languages as the only legitimate varieties in public discourse. About a third of the respondents in large sociological surveys on language use state that they switch between Ukrainian and Russian on a daily basis [Khmel'ko 2004]. Since this figure is based on self-evaluation it might well underestimate the extent of code-switching practices. The extent to which these practices are realised by surzhyk cannot be stated with any certainty, not only because this factor is rarely present in surveys or studies on language use, but also because of the lack of a proper linguistic or sociolinguistic definition of surzhyk. In those cases where we have actual statistics there is a tension between the self-evaluation of speakers and the estimations of respondents' language made use by observers. In Kuznietsova's [Kuznietsova 1999] study of language use in bilingual families, 12% of the respondents claimed to regularly use surzhyk alongside Standard Ukrainian and/or Standard Russian as a code-switching strategy, while according to the author a still larger group used surzhyk unconsciously as a monolingual code; according to Burda [Burda 2000, 109] only 1-6% of students in various categories claimed to use surzhyk, a number which the author describes as 'somewhat understated'[6]. In the large sociological surveys conducted by the Kyïv International Institute of Sociology, the interviewers concluded that 14-18% of their respondents used mixed varieties of Ukrainian and Russian irrespective of their own classification of their speech [Khmel'ko 2004, 12-13]. Surzhyk, according to the surveys, was used almost three times more frequently among ethnic Ukrainians (14%) than among ethnic Russians (5%). Furthermore, the surveys purportedly show significant regional differences in the use of surzhyk: from 2.5% in the Western and 9.6% in the Eastern region to as much as 21.6% in the East-Central region [Khmel'ko 2004, 13]. If we are to believe the linguistic intuitions of the survey distributors, the fear expressed by Ukrainophone writer Iurii Andrukhovych of surzhyk steadily creeping westwards after having fulfilled its Russifying mission in the Eastern regions, thus seems slightly exaggerated. However, considering the definitional vagueness of the notion of surzhyk, these figures, based as they are on the individual judgements of a large number of interviewers in various regions, can hardly be taken at face value. Furthermore, in referring to the data on surzhyk presented in the surveys, Khmel'ko constructs surzhyk-speaking ethnic Ukrainians as 'the fourth largest' ethno-linguistic group in Ukraine [Khmel'ko 2004, 14-15]. The linguistic intuition of the various interviewers attempting to define the 'real' as distinct from the self-declared language use of respondents, thus enables Khmel'ko to construct a specific surzhyk-speaking ethnolinguistic group out of a particular set of respondents, a construct that theoretically might take on a life of its own and possibly affect the situation on the ground.
We should remember that surzhyk (an agricultural term referring to mixes of cereals on which peasants relied mainly in times of bad harvest) as a metaphor for language mixing is a category taken from folk linguistics. As argued by Bilaniuk [Bilaniuk 1997; 1998], in folk discourse the term can be used to designate a wide array of speech varieties differing from Standard Ukrainian, including Ukrainian territorial dialects and even speech quite close to the standard. Bilaniuk's [Bilaniuk 2004] typology of five distinct varieties of surzhyk based on uses of the term in Ukrainian metalinguistic discourse indicates that the multiplicity of meanings in folk discourse is carried over into the expert discourse on surzhyk.
We should note here that the very elusiveness of the term surzhyk gives many analysts a sense of its being almost omnipresent. Radchuk [Radchuk 2002, 40] states that various types of surzhyk are spoken by tens of millions of Ukrainians; for Taranenko [Taranenko 1999, 58] surzhyk is 'the spoken language and main instrument of communication for the majority of the Ukrainian-speaking population of the country'. This perception of surzhyk as being virtually everywhere is also stated (often just in passing) in mainstream media metalinguistic discourse, in those instances where representations of linguistic variation are not erased into consisting only of 'Ukrainian' and 'Russian'. Together with the historical function of surzhyk as a transitional variety between Ukrainian dialects and Russian, this elusiveness-cum-omnipresence makes it well suited for moral panics[7]. It also paradoxically provides defenders of the mixed codes with sweeping arguments in favour of surzhyk, as when judge Oles' Donii stated during the mock trial that surzhyk is 'the true popular language' spoken by 90-95% of the country's population [Hudzyk 2004][8]. If Donii drew on notions of normality as defined by (exaggerated) numbers and on his own perception of 'the realities of life', then traditionalist Ukrainophone discourse emphasises the norm of the superior moral value of pure national languages representing national language communities, which can be distorted by those same 'realities' (see Kulyk for a discussion of the distinction between normality and normativity [Kulyk 2006, 292-297]).
Defence witness and well-known journalist Mykola Veresen' transformed in a slightly ironic manner at the mock trial the image of surzhyk as 'omnipresent' into an image of surzhyk as 'indispensable,' when he argued that if surzhyk were ever to be forbidden 'life in Ukraine would stop: parliament would not be able to adopt laws, the government would not issue any decrees. And the president would not be able to utter a single word' [Povetkina 2004]. Veresen's comment was a reply to a statement on the trial made by Deputy Mykola Rud'kovs'kyi of the Socialist faction in the Ukrainian parliament, who argued that 30% of his colleagues spoke Ukrainian, 20% Russian, while 50% of them spoke a mixed language (mishanynoiu), which, according to Rud'kovs'kyi, ought to be forbidden (Svidryk 2004). Rud'kovs'kyi and Veresen' thus reproduced the notion of 'parlaments'kyi surzhyk' that has emerged from the transmissions of parliamentary sessions on TV and radio in the post-Soviet period (see Hnatkevych for a short differential dictionary, framed by satirical Ukrainophone metalinguistic discourse, and intended to help deputies avoid the use of surzhyk [Hnatkevych 2000]).
Furthermore, as in other post-Soviet societies the liberalisation of language use and the loosening of editorial control have made non-standard varieties more common as resources for public discourse in the media, entertainment and politics [Taranenko 2003]. The perception of surzhyk as being everywhere is probably strengthened by language practices in TV entertainment and show business that draw on surzhyk as a comical device for a 'specifically Ukrainian' humour, as well as by the presence in news coverage of post-Soviet intermediate varieties of Russian-dominant parliamentarians and civil servants striving to speak Standard Ukrainian, or using lexical items from its formal register in their Russian speech[9].
The gap between the rise in competence in Standard Ukrainian and the widespread identification with Ukrainian as native language and powerful symbol of national identity on the one hand, and the rather contradictory development of actual linguistic practices on the other, is an important factor affecting Ukrainophone dissatisfaction with the language situation. The expectation among many Ukrainophones since the beginning of the 1990s that Ukrainian would soon establish itself as the most widely used language variety in Ukraine in accordance with perceived European nation-state normality are still far from being realised. Furthermore, widespread practices of code-switching and code-mixing blur any mapping of the extent of actual use of 'Ukrainian' and 'Russian' in various domains, as well as these categories in themselves. There is no consensus on when 'pure' Ukrainian speech turns into surzhyk or surzhyk speech turns into Russian, which leaves much room for overstatement and erasure as well as for talking at cross-purposes. The linguistic insecurity resulting from this is arguably one precondition underpinning both Ukrainophone and Russophone anti-surzhyk discourse.

The culture of monoglossia and Ukrainophone 'anti-surzhyk' discourse

It is hardly surprising that Ukrainian metalinguistic discourse on surzhyk contains features characteristic of attitudes to language contact varieties and their speakers in other parts of the world. Woolard and Schieffelin [1994, 639] argue that 'language mixing, code-switching and creoles are often evaluated as indicating less than full linguistic capabilities', and Edwards states that 'attitudes towards code-switching are often negative, particularly on the part of monolinguals who are sometimes inclined to dismiss it as gibberish [1995, 78]. Romaine [1989, 5] argues that 'in practically all the communities where switching and mixing of languages occurs it is stigmatized'.
One reason behind the negative evaluation of language contact varieties as well as other forms of non-standard speech is arguably the prominence of what Spanish sociolinguist del Valle calls the culture of monoglossia and its two basic features - the principle of focused grammar and the principle of convergence [2000, 119]. The principle of focused grammar is defined by del Valle as 'the assumption that what linguistically characterizes an individual as well as a community is possession of a well defined and relatively stable grammar' [2000, 119]. People can communicate because they share a grammar; they thus communicate in 'a language', such as Ukrainian and Russian, but not surzhyk. In Ukrainophone language ideology [see e.g. Serbens'ka/Voloshchak 2001] it is also often pointed out that surzhyk is not a real language, since it has no clear norms but results from haphazard combinations of elements from separate language systems[10]. Speaking surzhyk then means not speaking a language which according to this paradigm equalsend of communication as such. At the mock trial, journalist and media executive Mykola Kniazhyts'kyi, a witness for the prosecution, metaphorically reinstated the focused grammar principle when he compared surzhyk to the weeds constantly struggling with the pure grass of his lawn. One leading researcher of purism in fact argues that the 'image of language as a garden in need of careful cultivation is one of the more popular themes in the apologetics of purism' [Thomas 1991, 21]. Apart from pointing out the linguistic inferiority of surzhyk, Kniazhyts'kyi's metaphor effectively links language with territoriality and citizenship, where surzhyk emerges as a linguistic parasite competing for nourishment from the Ukrainian soil with the finest flowers and therefore has to be weeded out and expelled from the garden of the Ukrainian language.
The principle of focused grammar was strengthened both by the nationalist view of language as a central component in the make-up of a nation and by the ability of linguists to 'define their object, language, in terms of regular patterns and internal systematicity' [del Valle, 119]. In a similar argument Swedish sociolinguist Maria Wingstedt (1998, 32-33) concludes that linguistic ideas about language as a stable and closed system and notions about 'the ideal speaker and listener' and homogenous speech communities generate 'analyses of linguistic behaviors as belonging to one or another of various clear-cut and non-overlapping categories', which makes it 'difficult to envisage mixtures of systems'. Perfect bilingualism is therefore according to Wingstedt 'often seen as two fully monolingual separate systems´.
The principle of convergence, according to del Valle [2000, 120], is 'the assumption that people's linguistic behaviour tends to become homogenous over time through pressure from the dominant norm of the community'. This assumption, which is as crucial for modernist nationalism theory as it is for the historiography of individual languages, has 'influenced the perception of multilingual communities as unnatural and therefore transitional, going through a process of elimination of varieties and subsequent convergence in the dominant focused grammar' [ibid, 120]. In Ukrainophone language ideology one manifestation of the principle of convergence is the widespread scepticism towards the possibility of a stable, mass-level coexistence of more than one language in the same speech community. Masenko [1999, 5] argues that while every society needs bilinguals as intermediaries, societal bilingualism threatens the integrity and uniqueness of a national community, since all societies inevitably strive towards monolingualism. Bi- or multilingualism in this view therefore always results ultimately in speakers of the weaker language losing ground to speakers of the stronger language.
The culture of monoglossia thus supports the view that languages are clearly delimited and focused instruments of communication and key sites for the expression of the experience and identity of members of speech communities defined as distinct nations. The principles of focused grammar and convergence ideologically underpin the language-and-national-identity nexus and the association of citizenship with command of standard language, and are thus deeply connected with nation-building and monolingual educational policies in the dominant official language. Standard language here is the 'rich, precise and rational' [Dorian 1998] highest form of a language and the most prestigious speech form of a modern, educated citizen.
Uncodified varieties were thus considered inherently inferior to 'real' languages while language contact varieties were in turn rarely regarded as fit for codification, since they were perceived to be lacking in clarity as well as in authenticity and thus as distorting, not representing nations as language communities. Harlig [1995, 6-7] in fact argues that in many Eastern European linguistic traditions language variation came to be treated in accordance with a 'postromantic mother- or whore-paradigm' in which the standard and the territorial dialects were held in high regard as national treasures, while non-standard varieties, especially the speech forms of the urban lower classes were stigmatised 'as degenerate and in some ways immoral'. Notions about both standard and non-standard varieties are often transferred here onto their speakers as social beings and may be represented as the inherent qualities of individuals, as something that ultimately defines a speaker morally and aesthetically. If use of the standard languages is therefore associated with education, self-control and professionalism, surzhyk is seen rather as an indication that a speaker is not kul'turnyi ('cultured'), a Ukrainian and Russian word that implies the possession of both education and good manners. This construction is prominent not only in the explicit Ukrainophone discourse of philologists and literati, but also in mainstream media texts. In a study of implicit discourse on surzhyk in the Ukrainian mass media, I have investigated how predominantly negative notions concerning surzhyk are conveyed in texts that do not explicitly address language issues. Here journalists or their interviewees from the arts or academia draw on surzhyk as a discursive resource in stories covering personal relationships, bad taste or cultural identity [Bernsand 2006].
This interaction between notions of culturedness and focused grammar can, of course, be stated in a more explicit fashion. In the words of the Kyïv literary scholar Myron Petrovs'kyi, for whom surzhyk is 'principally acultural', 'surzhyk is like a mixture of soap and ice-cream - you can neither eat it nor wash yourself with it´ [Klochko 1999]. In Ukrainophone language ideology this othering of surzhyk and surzhyk-speakers in social or class terms most often contains an explicit or implicit national identity dimension, as in this quotation from linguist Oleksandra Serbens'ka, a prominent representative of Ukrainophone anti-surzhyk discourse:

Such a language is as a rule used by the malointelihentna [the 'less educated', 'less cultured'] part of the population, by people indifferent to any kind of linguistic problems. It is hard not to agree with statements made by our writers and publicists that it is precisely the uneducated and the uncultured, for whom only material values have any meaning, who easily lose their language.

More markedly Ukrainophone anti-surzhyk notions are those that emphasise the imperative link between language and national identity[11]. The principle of focused grammar interacts here with notions about the desirability of clear-cut national identities iconically reflected in clear-cut national languages. Mixed language thus indicates mixed identity, the other within a diffused self. This is certainly one of the reasons why the presence of contact varieties in a speech community is often accompanied by notions about the need for safe-guarding the purity of the mother tongue[12]. Languages are seen here as the requisites of nations and ethnic groups, and all members of the nation share the responsibility for using the language and keeping it pure. In this widespread Romantic view a nation lives only as long as its language is alive ('bez movy nemaie natsiї'). The cognitive and social functions of language are intertwined as the individual speaker is seen to have one native language which carries a worldview that is specific to his or her nation and provides guidance for a stable personal development, a psychological bond that is distorted by mixed codes.
In radical Ukrainophone versions of this ethnocultural language ideology the native language is seen as mysteriously linked to the native soil and even to cosmic forces, as in the writings of Pavlo Movchan, the leader of the Prosvita language society [Movchan 1994]. At the mock trial, this ethnocultural position was most consistently expressed by poet and journalist Natalka Pozniak-Khomenko, who argued that 'language is an energetic and cosmic code in every nation and every land, a code that connects us to our past and to our future' ['Surzhyk - iazyk natsii ili svinopasov?' 2004]. Language use cannot therefore be a matter of personal choice since this sacral connection breaks down whenever a foreign language is spoken ['Vidbuvsia "Sud nad surzhykom"' 2004]. Drawing on notions on culturedness as well as on the Ukrainophone anti-colonial position, she further stated that surzhyk is spoken when speakers feel inferior, and consequently that a self-respecting person does not speak surzhyk (ibid).
The key Ukrainophone linguo-strategic reason for negative attitudes towards surzhyk is the variety's historical role as a transitional stage in a process of language shift from Ukrainian to Russian. Ukrainophone sociolinguist Masenko argues that surzhyk has always fulfilled this function, especially in urbanising peasants in the big urban centres of central, eastern and southern Ukraine, and has been able to conserve itself to some extent only in the suburban areas of those centres and in the villages of the eastern regions ('30 khvylyn u riznykh vymirakh' 2005). Surzhyk is thus intimately associated with Russification and with the subordinate status of Ukrainian language and culture in both imperial Russian and Soviet cultural hierarchies. In this widespread Ukrainophone view surzhyk is a linguistic expression of deeply rooted socio-psychological complexes of inferiority (kompleks menshovartosti) that are tied to internalised negative notions of one's own native Ukrainian culture, and reveal the striving of a speaker to be accepted as a 'normal' participant in the urban culture which, following the upheavals of the 1930s, was formed as Russian-speaking. Surzhyk, according to a common metaphor, is a linguistic illness (movna khvoroba) that threatens the well-being of the nation. In this view, surzhyk and the socio-psychological stereotypes associated with it are part and parcel of a colonial heritage that has to be fought and overcome so that the Ukrainian language can be revitalised. Ukrainophones often point to the lack in independent Ukraine of a clear and consistent state policy of promoting the Ukrainian language, and especially to the failure to counteract the reestablishment of a postimperial informational space, which ensures a strong public presence of the Russian language and provides the former imperial centre with channels of influence. Some Ukrainophones argue that as long as the country's informational space is not predominantly Ukrainian-language and as long Russian pop music remains so audibly present in cafés, transport facilities, shops and other loci of public space, it will be very difficult for many Ukrainians to speak correct Ukrainian (e.g. ibid). At the mock trial, this linguo-strategic position was stated most clearly by Anatolii Pohribnyi, who explained the emergence of surzhyk alongside Russification and Ukraine's subordinate position in the empire, and further referred to key terms in this discourse such as kompleks menshovartosti and malorosiiskist' ('Little Russianness'). For Pohribnyi the best cure for the linguistic disease of surzhyk is the building of a fully-fledged, normal European nation-state where Ukrainian language and culture would be naturally prestigious and attractive ['Surzhyk - iazyk natsii ili svinopasov?' 2004].
As may be apparent from this sketch of Ukrainophone 'anti-surzhyk' discourse, the status of Ukrainian as the sole state language in independent Ukraine should not distract us from noting the similarities between notions expressed in Ukrainophone language ideology and the rhetoric of minority language activism in other situations historically characterised by language shift. Although the majority of ethnic Ukrainians still considered Ukrainian to be their native language, the real status of Ukrainian outside of Western Ukraine in the late 1980s was effectively that of a minority language because actual linguistic practices continued to point to a language shift from Ukrainian to Russian. The rather contradictory development of the language situation in post-Soviet Ukraine, in spite of the obvious rise in the status of Ukrainian, has not encouraged a decisive break with established linguistic practices, a fact which is reflected in the ideological priorities of official Ukrainian language policies. According to political scientist Volodymyr Kulyk [2006, 297-299], in independent Ukraine since the mid-1990s both Ukrainophones and Russophones have been persistently marginalised by the emergence of a semi-official 'centrist' ideology that presents through its media outlets language issues as either irrelevant or potentially dangerous to peace in society. In terms of content, centrist language ideology explicitly or implicitly promotes a status quo granting Ukrainian the symbolic status of sole state language and formal hegemony within a certain range of state-derived domains, while the predominance of Russian in other important domains and in many established linguistic practices is tolerated [ibid, see also Stepanenko 2003, 125]. The Kuchma regime manipulatively preferred to uphold a balance of power between the Ukrainophone and Russophone active minorities that has left both of them feeling utterly dissatisfied with the language policies of the state[13].
The traditional 'anti-surzhyk' discourse of Ukrainophone language ideology can be seen against this background as the position of an active and conscious minority fighting for the revitalisation of a language severely weakened by colonialism. Simultaneously, due to its influential position in the fields of social and humanitarian sciences as well as in the educational bureaucracy, Ukrainophone language ideology is also a key contributor to hegemonic negative notions about surzhyk in Ukrainian metalinguistic discourse[14].
Negative notions about surzhyk in Ukrainophone language ideology thus unite moral and aesthetic concerns with questions of national survival, intimately connected with the fate of a historically subordinate national language. Some of these notions are specifically or predominantly expressed by Ukrainophones while others form part of an ideological common ground with other language ideological camps on issues of language purity and the hegemony of the standard language.

The emergence of a 'pro-surzhyk' position

Attitudes to varieties emerging from language contact are certainly not only negative. According to Gumperz, code-switching is often seen either as 'an extreme form of language mixing or linguistic borrowing attributable to lack of education, bad manners or improper control of the two grammars', or 'as a legitimate style of informal talk' [1982, 62]. Far from being universally detested, contact and other non-standard varieties may draw on notions of covert prestige [Trudgill 1972], signalling authenticity and intimacy, or can be associated with local community norms expressing group solidarity [Milroy/Milroy 1999, 92]. From the perspective of the individual speaker, linguistic choices in a bi- or multilingual context can be viewed as 'acts of identity' [Le Page/Tabouret-Keller 1985], indicating claims to identification with particular groups or networks in various situations.
In Ukraine surzhyk is part of widespread bilingual practices emerging from a Ukrainian-Russian language contact that historically in large parts of the country pointed towards language shift, while stigmatising notions about the variety were also traditionally being made prominent in Ukrainophone language ideology[15]. In post-Soviet Ukraine, because the status relations are changing and language use in public domains has become less regulated, two contradictory tendencies seem to be at work in public linguistic practices. On the one hand 'destabilized linguistic hegemony has lead to widespread contestation of linguistic correctness as a key element in the negotiation of status and identity' [Bilaniuk 1998]. This is not only reflected in the multifaceted code-mixing in literature and plays, in pop music, rock and hip hop or in the above-mentioned entertainment practices. The presence in the public space of Ukrainian-Russian language mixing has also been guaranteed by the daily media appearances of politicians, officials and businessmen as well as by ordinary citizens sometimes appearing in news reports or in talk shows[16]. The fact that language mixing has been one common linguistic practice among others at the highest level of state politics in the post-Soviet period ensures some degree of normalisation of that practice and cannot but undermine Ukrainophone notions about the civic and national duty of speaking 'pure' Ukrainian. The largely implicit assumption communicated in the practice of language mixing at this level is that 'broken' Ukrainian is acceptable, either as a temporary interlingual variety of language learners striving to master Standard Ukrainian, or, considering the number of years that have passed since independence, even in and of itself. The first case is equivalent to the 'better surzhyk than Russian' argument promoted by the defence at the mock trial, with the significant difference that in the political domain this mostly works as an implicit assumption[17]. This acceptance in linguistic practice was countered during Kuchma's presidency by oppositional metalinguistic discourse mocking officials for speaking surzhyk, and was (and still is under Iushchenko) fiercely attacked in Ukrainophone discourse stating the moral imperative of speaking pure Ukrainian for representatives of the Ukrainian state[18].
On the other hand, in Ukraine as elsewhere, the culture of monoglossia supports notions of linguistic correctness as social normalcy, since the status and use of the standard language are officially propagated by a whole range of institutions (if not always by the actual cadres) comprising literate society, from the educational system to dominant media practices. As is shown by Bilaniuk [2004, 414] bilingualism on television is often structured as the simultaneous and unmixed use of two codes; hosts and participants in talk shows often speak either Standard Ukrainian or Standard Russian, a linguistic practice which according to Bilaniuk contributes to the stigmatisation of surzhyk. Bilaniuk concludes that as a result of shifts in status relations in the post-Soviet period, both standard languages are now prestigious, while surzhyk remains the lower code held in less esteem [Bilaniuk 2004, 414]. Although both standards are clearly more prestigious than surzhyk, the prevalence of the accommodation norm in cities outside of Western Ukraine suggests that Russian is in fact the more prestigious of the two in urban public space, which in turn indicates that the prestige of Ukrainian still depends to some degree on its privileged status in official domains. While language practices in terms of code-mixing seem to conform to the often observed ambivalence of post-Soviet Ukrainian society, surzhyk is often still devalued in Ukrainian metalinguistic discourse [see also Bernsand 2006].
As is apparent from the very organisation of the mock trial, a more positive Ukrainophone position on surzhyk has began to emerge nevertheless in recent years. This is partly due to the impact of the complex linguistic practices described above, but a certain normalisation of surzhyk has been observable also in research and in intellectual discourse. In Soviet Ukrainian linguistics and sociolinguistics surzhyk was mostly either neglected or studied as unmotivated and negative interference in the Russian speech of Ukrainians [see e.g. 'Kul'tura russkoi rechi na Ukraine' 1976]. The term surzhyk was rarely used, and interference from Ukrainian was seen as a practical problem that had to be overcome through a 'rise in the Russian linguistic culture' of Soviet Ukrainians. Surzhyk was thus seen as an obstacle to the implementation of a unified norm for Russian as the officially endowed 'language of interethnic communication' among Soviet citizens of all nationalities. Since independence surzhyk has increasingly become a legitimate object for research, often with reverse language political implications. One subgenre are the mini-dictionaries of surzhyk words and expressions taken from various contexts and placed next to their proposed Standard Ukrainian equivalents; these sometimes contain furious metalinguistic rhetoric on the negative role and character of surzhyk and its speakers (programmatic here is Oleksandra Serbens'ka's well-known Anty-surzhyk published in 1994). Gradually a more balanced approach has evolved in which even researchers profoundly critical of the mixed varieties and their perceived historical and present roles in Ukrainian-Russian language relations underline the importance for Ukrainian linguistics of seriously studying and understanding surzhyk. In recent years several works [Shumarova 2000, Kuznietsova 1999, Burda 2001, Tovstenko 1999, Trub 2000, Stavyts'ka 2001] either present sociolinguistic field data on the use of surzhyk, or seek to conceptualise its role among other language varieties in Ukraine and analyse attitudes towards it in Ukrainian society.
In cultural studies, the view of surzhyk as the language of the uncultured and uneducated lower segments of society has been criticised in works published by the Ukrainian Centre for Cultural Studies in Kyïv. The director of the centre, culturologist Oleksandr Hrytsenko argued in a chapter specifically devoted to surzhyk in an anthology on contemporary Ukrainian popular culture [Hrytsenko 1998a], that surzhyk is not only a linguistic code inherent to a certain segment of the Ukrainian population, but consists of quite diverse linguistic practices and works as a linguistic device potentially available to all bilinguals with different levels of linguistic competence for achieving communicative effects. This view was fiercely criticised by Masenko [2004, 113-114] for blurring the essence of surzhyk as a transitional variety used by urbanising Ukrainian peasants. In the same volume, writer and publicist Maksym Strikha published another widely cited text on surzhyk, where traditional Ukrainophone attitudes to surzhyk are put in their historical context of emergence [Strikha 1998]. Furthermore, in a study of national myths in Ukrainian society, Hrytsenko contrasts the nationally conscious 'sacral' Ukrainianness of the Ukrainophone intelligentsia with the everyday 'profane' Ukrainianness of large parts of the population, which finds expression in their 'formal recognition of their passport nationality, command of surzhyk and love for borshch and varenyky' [Hrytsenko 1998b,176]. Since for Hrytsenko this is also a Ukrainian identity, he calls for an ideological conception that does not exclude 'profane' Ukrainianness from the national community.
In Ukrainian literature of the 1990s the postmodernist and postcolonial directions as well as a heightened focus on the representational realism of language use, contributed to a frequent drawing on the mixed language varieties as creative resources reflecting patterns of experience and identity among Ukrainians. According to literary scholar Myroslav Shkandrij [2001, 267], for postcolonial writers this is part of a conscious effort to 'move the discourse of empire away from binary oppositions' by playing 'with the marks of their own forced hybridity, the very symbols of their own divided identity'. It could be argued that the writers of avtors'kyi surzhyk did as much for the rehabilitation of surzhyk by emphasising its normality and Ukrainianness in their frequent interviews in the media as they did writing their short plays and stories; both Bohdan Zholdak and Les' Poderev´'ians'kyi often explicitly criticised purist notions of what should count as legitimate Ukrainian. The increasing use of surzhyk in literature [for short accounts of this practice see Strikha 1998 and Taranenko 2003] as well as in popular music was partly motivated by the difficulties of using Standard Ukrainian as a code, because it was felt to be used by such a limited part of the urban population [see e.g. the interview with Oleksandr Irvanets' in Perepadi 2002].
Intermediate varieties are thus often used as resources for performative acts, in which they function as tools for linguistic creativity, sometimes drawing on covert prestige and even carrying connotations of being streetwise or underground. Jaffe [2000, 39] shows that such linguistic practices put into question dominant ideologies that emphasise languages as separate codes expressing distinct identities. There is no obvious connection, however, between the communicative breakthrough of a language variety as a tool for performative acts and changes in the linguistic ideological notions about everyday uses of the variety. Stroud [2004, 204-205] in an article on majority Swedish attitudes to Rinkeby Swedish (RS), a suburban multicultural youth language, notes that performance is one of the techniques by which majority speakers gain control over the linguistic market, 'appropriating RS as a symbolic capital resource for themselves, while simultaneously devaluing the forms of RS spoken by non-majority Swedes'. The emergence of avtors'kyi surzhyk in avant-garde Ukrainian literature in the 1990s is not in itself therefore a sign of changing attitudes towards the surzhyk of the suburbs or the market-place, and even more questionable in this regard is the use of surzhyk as a comical device in entertainment; none of these performative acts necessarily make everyday surzhyk-speakers more authoritative[19]. The interest in avtors'kyi surzhyk and its authors in media and intellectual discourse is in itself significant, however, for developments in Ukrainophone language ideology on surzhyk.
The most familiar example of the appropriation of surzhyk in popular culture in post-Soviet Ukraine is probably Andrii Danylko's drag-queen Vierka Serdiuchka, the reactions to whom have created a separate subgenre of metalinguistic discourse on surzhyk and its relation to national identity [for a study of early perceptions of Serdiuchka, see Hrytsenko 1999]. While Serdiuchka did stimulate interest in surzhyk as the living language of many Ukrainians, she also confirmed for many Ukrainophones traditional associations of surzhyk with bad taste and marginality. In his interviews Danylko explicitly criticised the traditional negative notions about surzhyk and emphasised the normality of its presence in everyday life. In connection with her commercial breakthrough on the Russian scene, Serdiuchka downplayed her surzhyk speech in favour of Russian with certain characteristic Ukrainian features. Danylko was in fact invited to the mock trial but was unable to attend. The trajectory of his comedy act from a surzhyk-speaking provincial Ukrainian conductress to a basically Russian-speaking superstar in Russia as well as in Ukraine, was mentioned, however, at the trial by both Pokal'chuk and Ponomariv as an example of the way in which surzhyk still works as a transitional stage towards Russian monolingualism. Although Danylko arguably follows a long Ukrainian tradition in both literature and entertainment (which includes, for example, the satirists Ostap Vyshnia and Pavlo Hlazovyi, or the Tarapun'ka-Shtepsel' stand-up comedy act) of using intermediate varieties for humorous effects, this tradition is multifaceted and contradictory, and Serdiuchka certainly seems to be a problematic choice in attempts to appropriate surzhyk for the cause of Ukrainian language revitalisation. Some Ukrainophones, like Serbens'ka [2001, 72] tend to accept 'surzhyk humour' if the laughter is at the expense of the surzhyk-speaker (for example in the works of satirists Hlazovyi or Dudar) but not if the target is perceived to be Ukrainian language and culture, which many Ukrainophones feel to be the case in acts like Danylko.
The pro-surzhyk Ukrainophone position was stated most vehemently by Oles' Donii in his manifesto 'Long live surzhyk' published 2003 in Moloda Ukraїna, a literary journal edited by the author. Donii's informal and iconoclastic article, which remains the most read item on the journal's website, is linguistically replete with colloquialisms and has much in common with the mock trial in which he later took part, orchestrating its breaks with traditionalist Ukrainophone rhetoric not only in content but also in style. Considering Donii's key role as an organiser and 'judge' of the mock trial as well as the language ideological explicitness of his article, we shall discuss it here at some length.
Donii views the anti-surzhyk discourse as an ersatz struggle by linguists and professional Ukrainophones who could not and dared not fight the real problem, the dominance of Russian, and therefore focused on the smaller and less risky task of condemning surzhyk. Apart from rehabilitating surzhyk in Ukrainophone discourse, the main language ideological message of the manifesto is that it is better for Ukrainians to speak surzhyk than Russian and that surzhyk should be used as a resource for Ukrainian language revitalisation.
In his article Donii criticises the widespread common sense notion of separate languages representing separate national language communities by claiming that all languages in fact are surzhyks, a claim that extends the classical anti-purist argument that all languages constantly take in elements from other languages. He further questions the ideology of the standard by stating that standard norms never correlate with the norms of the living language, a point that had been made earlier and more cautiously by Strikha [1998]. As was stressed by his opponents during the mock trial, Donii does not distinguish between the various forms of non-standard language: territorial dialects, sociolects or contact varieties such as surzhyk; the latter is normalised in this specific line of argument simply by virtue of being non-standard. The main point here is therefore that surzhyk is just as normal as any other language variety, including the standard. Defence witness Oleksandr Irvanets' argued at the mock trial for the normality of surzhyk by comparing it to natural phenomena: how can one convict the sun for shining [Povetkina 2004]. Donii thus made the same point by reference to the natural properties and workings of language varieties.
Furthermore, the author reformulates the dominant Ukrainophone interpretation of the Herderian concept of the language-and-national-identity bond. Although national identity is also clearly linked here to national language, it does not necessarily have to be connected with pure and unmixed language. Donii argues that several revered Ukrainian writers and statesmen (Shevchenko, Franko, the leaders of the Central Rada) all spoke surzhyk, as did the leaders of the then opposition Iushchenko and Tymoshenko, a fact that does not make any of them less Ukrainian. Irrespective of his accuracy in portraying the language repertoires of those individuals, surzhyk is clearly regarded by Donii as a Ukrainian variety well capable of expressing Ukrainian national identity. In a similar attack on the purist credentials of the language of the classical Ukrainian literary tradition, defence counsel and writer Bohdan Zholdak claimed at the mock trial that modern Ukrainian literature took its first steps in surzhyk with Ivan Kotliarevs'kyi's Eneїda, a claim that was not surprisingly contested by the philologists for the prosecution. The history of Ukrainian literature and politics were thus reformulated, as spoken and written surzhyk were presented as having a self-evident place in Ukrainian intellectual and political traditions.
Significantly, Donii's text ignores the question of Russian-language Ukrainian patriotism. Russian is portrayed as the main competitor for the language loyalty of Ukrainians, while his reformulation of the language-national-identity link becomes an internal affair for the Ukrainian language. It is thus perfectly possible to speak surzhyk and work for the benefit of the Ukrainian state and society, a claim which would be preposterous in some traditional Ukrainophone discourse. At the mock trial defence witness Oleksandr Irvanets' argued in similar terms for the patriotic credibility of surzhyk-speakers, or rather against the prosecutor's statement that speaking surzhyk amounts to high treason (Irvanets' referred here to the surzhyk-speaking but fiercely anti-Muscovite protagonists in Poderev´'ians'kyi´s short play Katsapy). Pro-surzhyk Ukrainophones on the other hand consistently view Russian as a competitor of Ukrainian and either reject or ignore attempts to tie it to Ukrainian nation-building on an equal footing with Ukrainian. Irvanets' tongue-in-cheek proposition at the mock trial to declare surzhyk a second state language in order to reveal the 'true' extent of the use of Standard Russian in Ukraine, is indeed grounded in more serious considerations.
In an outright attack on the notions and rhetorical conventions of traditional Ukrainophone discourse Donii argued that speaking about surzhyk and surzhyk-speakers in disparaging terms harms the cause of Ukrainian language revitalisation. For Donii, questioning the language quality and patriotism of surzhyk-speakers only strengthens feelings of linguistic inferiority and might encourage insecure speakers to orient themselves further towards Russian rather than towards Ukrainian [see Dorian 1994 for a general argument on the pitfalls of purism for language revitalisation]. Purist discourse might therefore lead paradoxically to the further linguistic Russification of Ukrainians by scaring away speakers of the intermediate varieties. Donii even claims he himself might not have shifted to Ukrainian in his student years had anti-surzhyk campaigns then been frequent.
While this fierce critique of Ukrainophone purism is not unique to Donii's text, the struggle against purist discourse on surzhyk is presented here as a key element in a strategy for Ukrainian language revitalisation; what is at stake for the author is nothing less than the ability of Ukrainian to conquer new territory by making Russian-speakers shift to surzhyk. Donii argues rhetorically that the reach of Standard Ukrainian in post-Soviet Ukraine is limited to the western parts of the country and to 'literati and party activists', and that the other Ukrainian-speaking areas (small towns and villages of central and southern Ukraine, villages of eastern and southern Ukraine, pockets of Ukrainian speech in the large urban centres) are in fact surzhyk territory. A pro-surzhyk Ukrainophone position would not in his view scare the surzhyk-speaking population of these areas into the arms of Russian, while legitimising surzhyk might also ease the stress of speaking 'bad' Ukrainian among Russian-speakers learning Ukrainian.
Hence, although Donii's pro-surzhyk position rehabilitates surzhyk by presenting it as an acceptable Ukrainian speech variety. it simultaneously appropriates this variety in a tactical move as a resource for de-Russification. Interestingly, the strategy seems to be directed at Russian-speakers learning Ukrainian; surzhyk-speakers who were never actively competent in Standard Russian are not explicitly addressed here. The tactical aspect of rehabilitating surzhyk becomes still more apparent in Donii's argument that following the shift from Russian to surzhyk a further shift to Ukrainian is a 'technical matter' ('sprava tekhniky').
This point is crucial for an interpretation of Donii's text since Ukrainian here seems to mean implicitly Standard Ukrainian. The author indeed assures his readers that he too wants Ukrainian to be 'purer and more beautiful', but that the struggle against surzhyk is not the most important issue in present circumstances and might even be harmful since it diminishes the number of potential adherents. This short reference to the aesthetic ideals of the standard language ideology somewhat softens the critique of purism and could be read either as an attempt by the author to reach out to moderate Ukrainophones or as an indication that Donii's emotional advocacy of surzhyk is partly a 'sprava tekhniky', as the variety is appropriated for the cause of Ukrainian language revitalisation.
Donii's manifesto is the most coherent and explicit attempt to formulate a language ideological position that bridges the perceived gap between Ukrainophone metalinguistic discourse on surzhyk and the widespread linguistic practices that make the variety a part of everyday life for large segments of Ukrainian society. Purism as a strategy for Ukrainian language revitalisation is downplayed in favour of a strategy that accepts intermediate language varieties as authentically Ukrainian, either as a goal in itself or as a stage in a language shift from Russian to Ukrainian.

Concluding remarks

At the end of the mock trial judge Oles' Donii declared surzhyk guilty on all accounts, for being 'a linguistic mongrel, launched by foreign states to spiritually annihilate the Ukrainian nation'. Use of the variety was declared forbidden for Ukrainian patriots. Only a moment later this decision was reversed as the court acknowledged it had been bribed and surzhyk was declared instead to be a 'totally innocent linguistic mongrel, launched by foreign states'. Use of surzhyk was to be 'an individual right of every surzhyk-speaker' [Bohuslavs'ka 2004]. Apart from emerging as the 'pseudo-winners' of the debate, Donii and the organisers used this magnificent finale to make satirical comments both on the views of their opponents by appropriating their language, and on the Ukrainian judiciary system under then president Kuchma by parodying one of its more resented mechanisms. Performance was thus made a part of the organiser's message to an extent rarely seen in Ukrainian language ideological debates.
As far as 'winners' and 'losers' are concerned, we should remember that the ritual of the mock trial, organised by radical Ukrainophones close to the 'defence', forced the participants to forward their arguments more unambiguously than they might have done in a language ideological debate event of a more traditional kind. Key participants on both sides have expressed more ambivalent attitudes on surzhyk in other contexts. Oleksandr Irvanets' has drawn on the variety to portray negative protagonists, such as the officials in the 'Soviet Ukrainian' part of the divided city in his novel Rivne/Rovno [Irvanets' 2002, 36-37]. The functions and messages of surzhyk use in the short stories of defence counsel Bohdan Zholdak are certainly not unconditionally positive (see Koznar'skyi 1998). The 'for-or-against' formula was explicitly criticised at the trial by prosecution witness Anatolii Pohribnyi. Restating the often used illness metaphor in relation to surzhyk, he argued that the polarised approach of the trial was comparable to asking a cancer patient whether she was 'for or 'against' her illness. Commenting on the mock trial in an article in the main organ of the traditionalist Ukrainophone Prosvita society, Pohribnyi [2004] repeated his criticism of the enforced polarisation, arguing that although there are good arguments for condemning surzhyk, it is necessary to distinguish between the variety and the people speaking it for a wide variety of reasons. Evidently, though, the staging of this language ideological debate event was intended to make two extreme positions emerge as distinctly as possible.
The pro-surzhyk Ukrainophone position shows clear similarities with the postcolonial approach as analysed by Pavlyshyn [1997], as cultural and linguistic forms inherited from colonialism are used in order to move beyond hegemonic cultural hierarchies. The performative framework of the mock trial may point to an affection on the part of the organisers for the non-codified, unpolished, anti-establishment connotations of surzhyk. Such affection lying behind the rehabilitation of surzhyk should not be overshadowed, however, by the declared language political reasons for appropriating the variety as a resource for de-Russification.
The pro-surzhyk Ukrainophone position on surzhyk expressed by Donii and the defence at the mock trial have much in common also with del Valle's critique of the culture of monoglossia and insistence on a flexible and pluralist relationship between language varieties and elaborations of national identity. It still falls short, however, of establishing a Ukrainian concept of polynomia as in the Corsican case analysed by Jaffe [1999]. In Corsica, minority language activists traditionally emphasised the need for countering the language shift to French by focusing on the cultivation of a respected standard that reflected the same ideals as in hegemonic French and wider European notions of language, nation and cultural identity [Jaffe, 1999, 185-190]. However, in the late 1980s a competing polynomiclanguage ideological position emerged that called for a 'unity in diversity' approach to linguistic diversity that recognised the legitimacy and equal value of all Corsican varieties (including contact varieties) that were not to be 'ranked or functionally specialized' [Jaffe, 1999, 185]. A leading advocate of Corsican polynomia even argues that 'carving out a Saussurean langue from actual usage would mean describing a reconstituted mythical Corsican' [Thiers 1993, 267].
The emerging alternative Ukrainophone pro-surzhyk position is so far more modestly stated. It recognises surzhyk as a normal language variety that is legitimately Ukrainian and sees strategic possibilities in drawing on it for the sake of Ukrainian language revitalisation and the struggle against the dominant position of Russian in large parts of Ukraine. The pro-surzhyk position thus reformulates the authenticity hierarchy of traditional Ukrainophone language ideology by granting surzhyk an unquestionable status as a Ukrainian language variety. It is not, however, principally non-hierarchical as is Corsican polynomia, since it does not unconditionally view surzhyk as equal to Standard Ukrainian and certainly does not deny the possibility of a Saussurean langue.
A short reference to recent developments in Belarusophone language ideology in neighbouring Belarus may be illustrative here. In Belarus, where the state and status of the language of the titular nation is precarious both due to the official language policies of the Lukashenka regime and prevailing linguistic practices and attitudes established during the Soviet period, the main Belarusophone organisation Tavarystva Belaruskai Movy (TBM) has revised its earlier attitudes towards trasianka, the Belarusian-Russian equivalent of Ukrainian-Russian surzhyk. In the 1990s Belarusian metalinguistic discourse in general and Belarusophone discourse in particular conveyed language ideological notions about trasianka that were similar to Ukrainian anti-surzhyk discourse [see Tsykhun 2000, Liskovets 2002]. Recently, though, the TBM has launched a new strategy for the development of Belarusian, where it explicitly states that modern Belarusian exists in three variants: Standard Belarusian (in two orthographic traditions equally recognised in the document), traditional territorial dialects and Belarusian-based mixed language (trasianka), and that all speakers of these varieties are Belarusian-speakers (Stratehiia razvitstsia belaruskai movy ўХХІstahoddzi (Praiekt) 2002). The document seeks to strike a balance between tolerance in relations between speakers of all three declared main forms of modern Belarusian and the importance of mastering Standard Belarusian. Interestingly, the TBM partly justifies this step by drawing on demography: if according to the census of 1999 37% of the Belarusian population claimed to speak Belarusian on a daily basis, the authors of the document argue that 'the total number of speakers of Standard Belarusian, Belarusian territorial dialects and Belarusian-based mixed language variants is 7-8 million people, which amounts to 70-80% of the population of Belarus'' (ibid). Furthermore, since 74% of Belarusian citizens in the census of 1999 identify with Belarusian as native language, such an approach, according to the TBM, is beneficial to the development of the language (see also Zaprudski [2002] for the views of one of the authors of the draft). For the authors, their more inclusive definition of Belarusian thus not only better reflects linguistic realities, it also allows for many self-declared Russian-speakers to be considered speakers of Belarusian, which markedly changes language statistics in favour of Belarusian. Although the pluralist approach of the TBM to the various forms of Belarusian cannot be regarded as fully polynomic in the Corsican sense, a liberal and inclusive position on trasianka and trasianka-speakers has moved into the centre of Belarusophone language ideology in an effort to appropriate the mixed codes for Belarusian language revitalisation. While there might be some differences in emphasis between the views of Tsykhun [2000] and Zaprudski [2002], it is notable that the more inclusive position among Belarusophones is not promoted first and foremost by avant-garde writers and intellectuals but by professional linguists and sociolinguists. It is not the task of this paper to provide a coherent comparative analysis between recent developments in Ukrainophone and Belarusophone discourse, but differences in the impact and discursive locus of language ideological changes in the direction of polynomia may partly reflect perceived differences in the vitality of the respective titular languages; the sole state language status and wide use of Ukrainian in several regions and domains may hinder the penetration of pro-surzhyk discourse into mainstream Ukrainophone circles.
The language ideological debate event as contextualised in this paper can be seen as an indicator of ongoing changes in post-Soviet Ukrainophone discourse on surzhyk. The slow emergence of an alternative Ukrainophone position on surzhyk, which manifested itself in the mock trial, can be assessed in two different ways. As to its relative status in Ukrainophone language ideology the pro-surzhyk position is, as I have already argued, the challenger and it cannot be said to have reached the same level of discursive maturity or institutional support as the traditional anti-surzhyk position, which adheres more unambiguously to basic notions rooted in the culture of monoglossia that form part of the common ground in Ukrainian metalinguistic discourse. On the other hand, the emergence of an alternative Ukrainophone position seeking to rehabilitate widespread linguistic practices can further marginalise traditional Ukrainophones by encouraging an interpretation of their views as being beyond the limits of post-Soviet Ukrainian normality in relation to language issues. Comments on the mock trial in certain key, mainstream newspapers very much echoed in fact the defence's critique of excessive Ukrainophone purist notions and rhetoric [Hudzyk 2004 in Den', Tsyvirko 2004 in the markedly Ukrainophone Vechirnii Kyїv; Hrusha 2004 in the organ of the Ukrainian parliament Holos Ukraїny even took a rather favourable position towards surzhyk itself]. In the words of Hudzyk to ban (zaboronyty) surzhyk would mean 'the return of thousands of Ukrainians to the habitual language, which is what Russian for some reason is called in Ukraine, and thus curb the slow but steady progress of Ukrainian in society'. In this sense the pro-surzhyk Ukrainophone position is not very radical; it clearly intersects here with the implicit acceptance of linguistic practices which involve widespread code-mixing and which are frequently used among Ukrainian politicians and officials. Thus, if the conservative position can rely on widespread notions about the norm of the national language as a clearly delimited and focused code, the challenging Ukrainophones can draw to some extent in their rehabilitation of surzhyk on the normality of established linguistic practices and on language as it is actually spoken.


I would like to sincerely thank Volodymyr Kulyk and Barbara Törnquist-Plewa for their valuable comments on the first draft of this article.


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[1] For works wholly or partly devoted to surzhyk from quite different analytical perspectives see Bilaniuk 1997, 1998, 2004; Flier 1998; Koznars'kyi 1998; Hrytsenko 1998a, Strikha 1998, Kuznietsova 1999, Taranenko 1999, Shumarova 2000, Stavyts'ka 2001; Trub 2000; Masenko 1999, 2004; Bernsand 2005.

[2] My account of the events and statements from the mock trial are based on reports and comments found in electronic versions of Ukrainian newspapers and journals.

[3] Considering the positive views on surzhyk expressed by some of the organisers, the use of this very vivid imaginary should arguably be interpreted as a satirical comment on traditional 'straw man' notions about surzhyk-speakers prevalent among many Ukrainophone philologists and literati, rather than as a comment on surzhyk-speakers themselves.

[4] According to some sources, the idea of buying off the court came from Les' Poderev´ians'kyi, the would-be main witness for the defence and the author of underground short plays replete with surzhyk and obscene language (matiuky). Poderev´ians'kyi was however unable to participate in the mock trial [Okunevs'kyi 2004; Hora 2004]. Objections from the audience that judge Donii, as a leading advocate of surzhyk. was not indifferent to the outcome of the trial were dismissed in a similar manner, since 'this is Ukraine and that is normal here' [Okunevs'kyi 2004].

[5] For two interesting cases in point see Jaffe's (1999) and del Valle's (2000) analyses of ideological currents in minority language activism in Galicia and Corsica.

[6] In Kuznietsova's study (1999) almost exclusively young urban respondents with a finished or unfinished higher education reported a conscious use of surzhyk. These respondents sometimes switched to surzhyk in order to emphasise the informality of the speech situation or solidarity with another speaker, or for the sheer enjoyment of language games. They used it more with the older generation and less with children, more at home than beyond the confines of the home (and then mostly with neighbours), and more in conversation on everyday topics than when discussing high politics. The numerically larger group of unconscious, monolingual surzhyk-speakers reported by Kuznietsova is comprised mostly of the older generation, whose use of surzhyk depends on social status, place of residence and the immediate linguistic environment (ibid: 89). Unconscious surzhyk-speakers themselves reported Ukrainian or Russian speech (ibid: 91). The various modes of surzhyk use are also represented in literature. The author and journalist Svitlana Pyrkalo shows in the novel Zelena Marharyta (2002) how surzhyk enters everyday interaction in a variety of ways; some protagonists switch to it in certain informal situations for reasons of expressivity (22-24), others have a diglossic-type repertoire (Russian at work, surzhyk at home, 42) and yet others seem to speak it as a monolingual code (83-84). The novel is interesting both for its rendering of linguistic practices and for its frequent instances of metalinguistic reflection.

[7]This is not to argue that a precise encyclopaedic definition of surzhyk loaded with the power of scientific authority ought to be a point of departure for all research on the variety; on the contrary, it would seem just as rewarding to analyse the various uses of the term as it emerges in discourse, since normative definitions in encyclopaedias and dictionaries represent only one (although influential) linguistic practice. We should be aware that the sense of definitional vagueness surrounding the term may contribute to the perception of surzhyk as being virtually everywhere, but also, as is shown below, that expert efforts to point to non-expert definitional flaws are as grounded in language ideology as any other discourse on the subject.

[8] The key linguist witnesses for the prosecution, professors Anatolii Pohribnyi and Oleksandr Ponomariv, claimed both during the trial and in articles and interviews afterwards, that defenders of surzhyk do not understand the difference between surzhyk and dialects. While it may certainly have been important to state this following Donii's extravagant claim, this position too can be overstated. In an interview on the trial with Radio Svoboda host Taras Marusyk, Ponomariv argued that 'villagers do not speak surzhyk, they speak local dialects' ('Sud nad surzhykom' 2004), which surely underestimates the influence of both Standard Ukrainian and Russian varieties on village dialects through the educational system, the army, the media as well as the practices of other domains. Ponomariv's distinction is rooted in an authenticity hierarchy [Myhill 2003] where Standard Ukrainian and (idealised) Ukrainian territorial dialects are seen as legitimate Ukrainian language varieties while the intermediate varieties are not. As for the exaggerated claims of Donii, the same author in his manifesto "Long live surzhyk!" [Donii 2003] gives a more modest estimation of the extent of surzhyk use in post-Soviet Ukraine.

[9] Trub (2000:54) calls this variety 'Russian surzhyk', while Bilaniuk (2004:421) prefers the designation 'post-independence surzhyk'. Mykola Azarov, a Russian-born former finance minister in the government of Viktor Ianukovych was consistently ridiculed in opposition discourse for his poor command of Standard Ukrainian. Former president Leonid Kuchma also spoke surzhyk publicly as an interlingual variety during his first years in office while learning to master Standard Ukrainian. As some typical interferential features continued to mark his speech, labelling Kuchma as a surzhyk-speaker became an integral part of oppositional discourse, especially in connection with the president's voice allegedly being frequently heard on the sinister Mel'nychenko tapes during the Kuchmagate scandal. The former president himself claimed that his speech was not really surzhyk but rather contained organic features of his native dialect of the Chernihiv region that borders on Russia and Belarus. In the headline of a short article commenting on the trial Kuchma is sarcastically referred to both as a surzhyk-speaker and as a potential criminal suspect: 'Kuchma was not called to the trial of surzhyk, since he is expected at another court' [Luchka 2004].

[10] See Flier [1998, 129] for a linguistic analysis based on the rendering of surzhyk in literature and in prescriptive language manuals that contradicts this view, arguing that surzhyk is indeed formed according to a certain set of rules and therefore 'neither arbitrary nor artificial'. Radchuk [2002] also believes that 'surzhyk does not emerge anarchically - it is also a language'.

[11] Fringe Russophone ethno-cultural discourse sometimes portrays surzhyk in a similar way as the true expression of the national identity of the Little Russians, before the foreign-launched Ukrainian project chiefly implemented in the Soviet period enforced an 'artificial' Ukrainian language upon the population.

[12] For negative attitudes to mixed, transitional codes between Castilian and Catalan, Galician and Asturian among minority language activists see Posner [1993]. See Jaffe [1999] and del Valle [2000] for similar attitudes towards mixed codes in Corsica and Galicia.

[13] The reluctance to actively seek solutions to potentially divisive language issues has so far been characteristic also of the post-Orange regime, although many Ukrainophones certainly had hoped otherwise. In an interview with the Ukrainian edition of Radio Svoboda, linguist Vitalii Radchuk expressed his disappointment with the perceived lack of language policies of president Iushchenko in a sharp criticism of the president for allegedly speaking surzhyk. By clearly stating that the fact of a surzhyk-speaking Ukrainian president is intolerable, Radchuk questions the suitability of Iushchenko to represent his country, just as Kuchma, Ianukovych and other important figures of the former regime were delegitimised in oppositional discourse for using mixed or other non-standard varieties ['I znovu pro surzhyk' 2005].

[14] Certain notions that contribute to this position are part of an ideological common ground shared by Russophones as well as by 'mainstream' metalinguistic discourse. Russophones often criticise the Ukrainisation of education for stimulating surzhyk by creating norm confusion among pupils with Russian native language (see for example the article on the mock trial published in the newspaper Segodnia [Povetkina 2004]. Surzhyk is presented here as a negative consequence of status planning in favour of Ukrainian to the detriment of Russian. Prescriptive notions about the lack of 'verbal hygiene' [Cameron 1995] among television journalists, politicians or ordinary citizens from all walks of life are common also in mass media discourse not advocating specifically Ukrainophone or Russophone positions [see e.g. Astrakhovich 1998].

[15] For examples of earlier instances of rhetoric critical of Ukrainian-Russian language mixing see Hrinchenko [1892, in Hrinchenko/Drahomanov 1994, 38]; in harsher terms, Rudnyts'kyi [1916, in Rudnyts'kyi 1994, 52] on the assimilationist language ideology of Ukrainian peasants in the Russian Empire; and the remarks by Korsh [1912, in Shevelov 1989, 16] on the 'disgusting Russian-Little Russian volapük' spreading in urban Southern Ukraine. Note also the use of surzhyk as ersatz Russian in satirical portraits of would-be social climbers in 19th-century Kyïv (most famous here is Mykhailo Staryts'kyi's comedy 'Za dvoma zaitsiamy').

[16] Although UT1 from late summer 2005 dubs Russian speech in news reports to Standard Ukrainian, non-standard Ukrainian as spoken by interviewees (including leading politicians and officials) is left as it is. This conforms with other practices discussed below based on inclusive notions of what constitutes the Ukrainian language (and thus cannot be translated) and on recognition of individual efforts to speak Ukrainian.

[17] Occasionally such assumptions are made explicit, as when president Iushchenko during a meeting in Zaporizhzhia told a police officer who had requested to speak Russian, that Ukrainian officials should try to speak at least 'broken' ('khotia by lomanym') Ukrainian. Commentaries in the press took this as a call to speak surzhyk [see 'Garant prizval militsiiu uchit' ukrainskii surzhyk', 2005].

[18]Although the oppositional media intensified their linguistic delegitimisation campaign against the regime during the 2004 presidential elections, language politics was not emphasised in the Iushchenko campaign but was presented in a rather conciliatory mode, even with references to Iushchenko's origins in a region with 'mixed' linguistic and cultural traditions. The head of Iushchenko's election campaign Oleksandr Zinchenko, assured Russian listeners to Ekho Moskvy that Iushchenko could not be a 'nationalist' since he grew up in the Sumy region, where 'there is no pure Ukrainian language´, and further stated: 'Surzhyk is everywhere there - this is real language mixing, this is a real linguistic habitat, there is the church of the Moscow patriarchate, and there is no other and it is not clear whether there ever will be' [see 'Iushchenko-prezydent ne zmushuvatyme Ianukovycha rozmovliaty ukraїns'koiu', 2004].

[19] A striking example from media discourse of how such appropriations of surzhyk may mock in effect (if not necessarily through sinister intent) actual surzhyk-speakers is the interview given by writer and journalist Svitlana Pyrkalo on the Ukrainian website glavred.info. A few days before the mock trial Pyrkalo consistently answered in mock surzhyk questions put forward in Standard Russian on language use, on surzhyk in general and on the forthcoming event in particular. The interview was therefore structured as a language game portraying the Ukrainophone Pyrkalo as a would-be surzhyk-speaker who strongly condemns the code-mixing practices that she, seemingly unconsciously, uses herself [Lymar' 2004]. The metalinguistic points derived from this appropriation of surzhyk and its use as an ironic device in this piece of media discourse are clearly made at the expense of surzhyk-speakers who purportedly naïvely accept language ideological notions that they do not adhere to in practice. Mock surzhyk is significantly put alongside authoritative Standard Russian, as it was in the humoristic dialogues of the famous Tarapun'ka-Shtepsel' stand-up comedy duo of the late Soviet period.

[From: Korek. J. (edit.) From Sovietology to Postcoloniality. Poland and
Ukraine in the Postcolonial Perspective, Södertörn Academic Studies 32,
Stockholm, 2007, ss. 193-227]