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Ukrainian ( uk, украї́нська мо́ва, translit=ukrainska mova, label=native name, ), historically also called Ruthenian, is an
East Slavic language The East Slavic languages constitute one of the three regional subgroups of Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a language family native ...
of the
Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...
, and is one of
Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are spoken primarily by the or their descendants. They are thought to descend from a called , spoken during the , which in turn is thought to have descended from the earlier , lin ...

Slavic languages
, which are part of a larger Balto-Slavic branch. It is the
native language A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1) is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), g ...
of
Ukrainians , native_name_lang = uk , image = , caption = , population = 37-40 million , popplace = 37,541,693 , region1 = , pop1 = 3,269,992 , ref1 = , region2 = ...
and the
official state language
official state language
of
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...

Ukraine
. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the
Cyrillic script The Cyrillic script ( ) is a used for various languages across and is used as the national script in various , , , , and -speaking countries in , , the , , , and . , around 250 million people in Eurasia use Cyrillic as the official scrip ...
(see
Ukrainian alphabet The Ukrainian alphabet is the set of letters used to write Ukrainian, the official language of Ukraine. It is one of the national variations of the Cyrillic script. The modern Ukrainian alphabet consists of 33 letters. In Ukrainian, it is call ...
). Historical linguists trace the origin of the Ukrainian language to the
Old East Slavic Old East Slavic (traditionally also: Old Russian, be, старажытнаруская мова; russian: древнерусский язык; uk, давньоруська мова) was a language used during the 10th–15th centuries by East ...
of the early medieval state of
Kyivan Rus Kievan Rus' or Kyivan Rus' ( orv, Роусь, Rusĭ, or , , "Rus' land") was a loose federationJohn Channon & Robert Hudson, ''Penguin Historical Atlas of Russia'' (Penguin, 1995), p.16. of East Slavs, East Slavic and Finno-Ugric peoples, Finno- ...
. After the fall of the Kyivan Rus as well as the
Kingdom of Ruthenia Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Li ...
, the language developed into a form called the
Ruthenian language Ruthenian or Old Ruthenian (also see other names) was the group of varieties of East Slavic spoken in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later in the East Slavic territories of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The written form is also cal ...
. Along with Ruthenian, on the territory of modern Ukraine, the Kyiv version (izvod) of
Church Slavonic Church Slavonic (''црькъвьнословѣньскъ ѩзыкъ'', ''crĭkŭvĭnoslověnĭskŭ językŭ'', literally "Church-Slavonic language"), also known as Church Slavic, New Church Slavonic or New Church Slavic, is the conservative ...
was also used in liturgical services. The Ukrainian language has been in common use since the late 17th century, associated with the establishment of the
Cossack Hetmanate The Cossack Hetmanate ( uk, Гетьманщина, Hetmanshchyna), officially known as the Zaporizhian Host ( uk, Військо Запорозьке, Viisko Zaporozke, links=no; la, Exercitus Zaporoviensis) was a Ukrainians, Ukrainian Cossack ...
. From 1804 until the
Ukrainian War of Independence The Ukrainian War of Independence, a period of sustained warlike conflict, lasted from 1917 to 1921 and resulted in the establishment and development of a Ukrainian republic, most of which was later absorbed into the Soviet Union The Soviet ...
, the Ukrainian language was banned from schools in the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical that extended across and from 1721, succeeding the following the that ended the . The Empire lasted until the was proclaimed by the that took power after the ...
, of which the biggest part of Ukraine (Central, Eastern and Southern) was a part at the time.Eternal Russia: Yeltsin, Gorbachev, and the Mirage of Democracy
by
Jonathan Steele Jonathan Steele (born 15 February 1941) is a British journalist A journalist is an individual trained to collect/gather information in form of text, audio or pictures, processes them to a news-worth form and disseminates it to the public. The ...
,
Harvard University Press Harvard University Press (HUP) is a publishing house Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the distrib ...
, 1988, (p. 217)
It has always maintained a sufficient base in
Western Ukraine Western Ukraine or West Ukraine ( uk, Західна Україна or uk, Захід України) is a geographical and historical relative term used in reference to the western territories of Ukraine. The form Ukrainian West is used but not ...
, where the language was never banned,Purism and Language: A Study in Modem Ukrainian and Belorussian Nationalism
by Paul Wexler,
Indiana University Press Indiana University Press, also known as IU Press, is an academic publisher Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the pu ...
, (page 309)
in its folk songs,
itinerant musicians
itinerant musicians
, and prominent authors.Contested Tongues: Language Politics and Cultural Correction in Ukraine
by Laada Bilaniuk,
Cornell Univ. Press The Cornell University Press is a division of Cornell University Cornell University ( ) is a private, statutory, Ivy League and land-grant research university in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson Whit ...
, 2006, (page 78)
The standard Ukrainian language is regulated by the
National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU; uk, Національна академія наук України, ''Natsional’na akademiya nauk Ukrayiny'', abbr: NAN Ukraine) is a self-governing state-funded organization in Ukraine ...

National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
(''NANU''), particularly by its
Institute for the Ukrainian LanguageThe Institute for the Ukrainian Language ( uk, Інститут української мови) of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, NAS of Ukraine is a research organization in Ukraine created to do thorough studying of the Ukrainian lan ...
, Ukrainian language-information fund, and Potebnia Institute of Linguistics. The Ukrainian language retains a degree of
mutual intelligibility In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic b ...
with
Belarusian Belarusian may refer to: * Something of, or related to Belarus * Belarusians, people from Belarus, or of Belarusian descent * A citizen of Belarus, see Demographics of Belarus * Belarusian language * Belarusian culture * Belarusian cuisine * Byeloru ...
. Alexander M. Schenker. 1993. "Proto-Slavonic," ''The Slavonic Languages''. (Routledge). pp. 60–121. p. 60: "distinction between dialect and language being blurred, there can be no unanimity on this issue in all instances..."
C.F. Voegelin and F.M. Voegelin. 1977. ''Classification and Index of the World's Languages'' (Elsevier). p. 311, "In terms of immediate mutual intelligibility, the East Slavic zone is a single language."
Bernard Comrie. 1981. ''The Languages of the Soviet Union'' (Cambridge). pp. 145–146: "The three East Slavonic languages are very close to one another, with very high rates of mutual intelligibility...The separation of Russian, Ukrainian, and Belorussian as distinct languages is relatively recent...Many Ukrainians in fact speak a mixture of Ukrainian and Russian, finding it difficult to keep the two languages apart..."
The Swedish linguist Alfred Jensen wrote in 1916 that the difference between the
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
and Ukrainian languages was significant and that it could be compared to the difference between
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
and
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
. Jensen, Alfred. ''Slaverna och världskriget. Reseminnen och intryck från Karpaterna till Balkan 1915–16.''. Albert Bonniers förlag, Stockholm, 1916, p. 145.


Linguistic development of the Ukrainian language


Theories concerning the development of the Ukrainian language

The first theory of the origin of Ukrainian language was suggested in
Imperial Russia The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. T ...
in the middle of the 18th century by
Mikhail Lomonosov Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov (; russian: Михаил (Михайло) Васильевич Ломоносов, p=mʲɪxɐˈil vɐˈsʲilʲjɪvʲɪtɕ , a=Ru-Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov.ogg; – ) was a Russian polymath A polymath ( e ...

Mikhail Lomonosov
. This theory posits the existence of a common language spoken by all
East Slavic people The East Slavs are the most populous subgroup of the Slavs. They speak the East Slavic languages, and formed the majority of the population of the medieval state Kievan Rus', which all three independent East Slavic states (Belarus, Russia, and U ...
in the time of the Rus. According to Lomonosov, the differences that subsequently developed between Great Russian and Ukrainian (which he referred to as
Little Russia Little Russia, sometimes Little names of Rus', Russia and Ruthenia, Rus' (russian: Малая Русь, translit=Malaya Rus', , ; uk, Мала Русь, translit=Mala Rus', uk, Малоросія, translit=Malo Rociya; or Rus' Minor from e ...
n) could be explained by the influence of the Polish and Slovak languages on Ukrainian and the influence of
Uralic languages The Uralic languages (; sometimes called Uralian languages ) form a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning " ...

Uralic languages
on Russian from the 13th to the 17th centuries. Another point of view developed during the 19th and 20th centuries by
linguists Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo ...
of Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union. Like Lomonosov, they assumed the existence of a common language spoken by East Slavs in the past. But unlike Lomonosov's hypothesis, this theory does not view "
Polonization Polonization (or Polonisation; pl, polonizacja)In Polish historiography, particularly pre-WWII (e.g., L. Wasilewski. As noted in Смалянчук А. Ф. (Smalyanchuk 2001) Паміж краёвасцю і нацыянальнай ідэяй. ...
" or any other external influence as the main driving force that led to the formation of three different languages (Russian, Ukrainian and
Belarusian Belarusian may refer to: * Something of, or related to Belarus * Belarusians, people from Belarus, or of Belarusian descent * A citizen of Belarus, see Demographics of Belarus * Belarusian language * Belarusian culture * Belarusian cuisine * Byeloru ...
) from the common
Old East Slavic language : ''Cyrillic letters in this article are romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for s ...
. The supporters of this theory disagree, however, about the time when the different languages were formed. Soviet scholars set the divergence between Ukrainian and Russian only at later time periods (14th through 16th centuries). According to this view, Old East Slavic diverged into Belarusian and Ukrainian to the west (collectively, the Ruthenian language of the 15th to 18th centuries), and
Old East Slavic Old East Slavic (traditionally also: Old Russian, be, старажытнаруская мова; russian: древнерусский язык; uk, давньоруська мова) was a language used during the 10th–15th centuries by East ...
to the north-east, after the political boundaries of the
Kyivan Rus Kievan Rus' or Kyivan Rus' ( orv, Роусь, Rusĭ, or , , "Rus' land") was a loose federationJohn Channon & Robert Hudson, ''Penguin Historical Atlas of Russia'' (Penguin, 1995), p.16. of East Slavs, East Slavic and Finno-Ugric peoples, Finno- ...
were redrawn in the 14th century. Some researchers, while admitting the differences between the dialects spoken by East Slavic tribes in the 10th and 11th centuries, still consider them as "regional manifestations of a common language" (see, for instance, the article by ). In contrast, Ahatanhel Krymsky and Alexei Shakhmatov assumed the existence of the common spoken language of Eastern Slavs only in prehistoric times. According to their point of view, the diversification of the Old East Slavic language took place in the 8th or early 9th century. Latest research suggests that the process of divergence of Russian and Ukrainian/Belarusian took place from the 5th century to the 15th century. However the above research did not take into account findings by the Russian linguist Andrey Zaliznyak who stated that in the 11th century the Novgorod language differed from the Kyiv language (as well as other Slavic languages) much more than in later centuries, meaning that there was no common
Old East Slavic Old East Slavic (traditionally also: Old Russian, be, старажытнаруская мова; russian: древнерусский язык; uk, давньоруська мова) was a language used during the 10th–15th centuries by East ...
language of Kyivan Rus from which the Ukrainian and Russian languages diverged, but that the Russian language developed as a convergence of the Novgorod language and other Russian dialects, whereas Ukrainian and
Belarusian Belarusian may refer to: * Something of, or related to Belarus * Belarusians, people from Belarus, or of Belarusian descent * A citizen of Belarus, see Demographics of Belarus * Belarusian language * Belarusian culture * Belarusian cuisine * Byeloru ...
were a continuation of respectively the Kyiv and the Polotsk dialects of Kyivan Rus. Some Ukrainian features were recognizable in the southern dialects of Old East Slavic as far back as the language can be documented. Ukrainian linguist
Stepan Smal-Stotsky Stepan Yosypovych Smal-Stotsky ( uk, Степан Смаль-Стоцький, pl, Stepan Smal-Stocki) was a Ukrainian linguist and academician, Slavist, cultural and political figure, member of the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine, and ambas ...
denies the existence of a common Old East Slavic language at any time in the past. Similar points of view were shared by Yevhen Tymchenko, Vsevolod Hantsov, Olena Kurylo,
Ivan Ohienko Metropolitan Ilarion ( secular name Ivan Ivanovitch Ohienko; uk, Іван Іванович Огієнко; 2 January (14 January), 1882 in Brusilov, Kiev Governorate – 29 March 1972 in Winnipeg Winnipeg () is the capital and largest cit ...
and others. According to this theory, the dialects of East Slavic tribes evolved gradually from the common Proto-Slavic language without any intermediate stages during the 6th through 9th centuries. The Ukrainian language was formed by convergence of tribal dialects, mostly due to an intensive migration of the population within the territory of today's Ukraine in later historical periods. This point of view was also supported by
George Shevelov , birth_date = , birth_place = Łomża, Łomża Governorate, Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continental area on Earth, comprising all o ...
's phonological studies.


Origins and developments during medieval times

As a result of close Slavic contacts with the remnants of the
Scythian The Scythians (from grc, wiktionary:Σκύθης, Σκύθης , ) or Scyths, also known as Saka and Sakae ( ; egy, wiktionary:sk#Etymology 2, 𓋴𓎝𓎡𓈉, translit=sk, italic=no, ; grc, wikt:Σάκαι, Σάκαι ; la, Sacae), a ...
and
Sarmatian The Sarmatians (; Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
population north of the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
, lasting into the early
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, the appearance of the voiced fricative γ/г (romanized "h"), in modern Ukrainian and some southern Russian dialects is explained by the assumption that it initially emerged in
Scythian The Scythians (from grc, wiktionary:Σκύθης, Σκύθης , ) or Scyths, also known as Saka and Sakae ( ; egy, wiktionary:sk#Etymology 2, 𓋴𓎝𓎡𓈉, translit=sk, italic=no, ; grc, wikt:Σάκαι, Σάκαι ; la, Sacae), a ...
and related eastern Iranian dialects, from earlier common
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
''*g'' and ''*gʰ''. During the 13th century, when German settlers were invited to Ukraine by the princes of Kingdom of Ruthenia, German words began to appear in the language spoken in Ukraine. Their influence would continue under
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
not only through German colonists but also through the Jews. Often such words involve trade or handicrafts. Examples of words of German or Yiddish origin spoken in Ukraine include ''dakh'' (roof), ''rura'' (pipe), ''rynok'' (market), ''kushnir'' (furrier), and ''majster'' (master or craftsman).History of the Ukrainian Language. R. Smal-Stocky. In ''Ukraine: A Concise Encyclopedia.''(1963). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. pp. 490–500


Developments under Poland and Lithuania

In the 13th century, eastern parts of Rus (including Moscow) came under
Tatar yoke The Mongol invasion of Kievan Rus' was part of the Mongol invasion of Europe, in which the Mongol Empire invaded and conquered Kievan Rus' in the 13th century, destroying numerous cities, including Ryazan, Kolomna, Moscow, Vladimir-Suzdal, Vla ...
until their unification under the Tsardom of
Muscovy Muscovy is an alternative name for the Grand Duchy of Moscow The Grand Duchy of Moscow, Muscovite Russia, Muscovite Rus' or Grand Principality of Moscow (russian: Великое княжество Московское, Velikoye knyazhestvo Mosk ...
, whereas the south-western areas (including
Kyiv Kyiv ( uk, Київ) or Kiev . is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also share ...
) were incorporated into the
Grand Duchy of Lithuania The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state that lasted from the 13th century to 1795, when the territory was partitioned among the Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire t ...

Grand Duchy of Lithuania
. For the following four centuries, the language of the two regions evolved in relative isolation from each other. Direct written evidence of the existence of the Ukrainian language dates to the late 16th century. By the 16th century, a peculiar official language formed: a mixture of the liturgical standardised language of
Old Church Slavonic Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic () was the first Slavic literary language A literary language is the form of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (S ...
, Ruthenian and
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
. The influence of the latter gradually increased relative to the former two, as the nobility and rural large-landowning class, known as the
szlachta The ''szlachta'' (Polish: , ) were the in the , the , and the who, as a , had the dominating position in the state, exercising . Szlachta as a class differed significantly from the of . The estate was officially abolished in 1921 by the . ...
, was largely Polish-speaking. Documents soon took on many Polish characteristics superimposed on Ruthenian phonetics.
Nikolay Kostomarov Nikolay Ivanovich Kostomarov (russian: Никола́й Ива́нович Костома́ров, ; uk, Микола Іванович Костомаров, ; May 16, 1817, vil. Yurasovka, Voronezh Governorate Voronezh Governorate (russian: В ...
, ''Russian History in Biographies of its main figures'', Chapter
Knyaz Kostantin Konstantinovich Ostrozhsky
' (
Konstanty Wasyl Ostrogski Konstanty Wasyl Ostrogski (2 February 1526 – 13 or 23 February 1608, also known as ''Kostiantyn Vasyl Ostrozky'', ua, Костянтин-Василь Острозький, be, Канстантын Васіль Астрожскi, lt, Konstanti ...
)
Polish rule and education also involved significant exposure to the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
language. Much of the influence of Poland on the development of the Ukrainian language has been attributed to this period and is reflected in multiple words and constructions used in everyday Ukrainian speech that were taken from Polish or Latin. Examples of Polish words adopted from this period include ''zavzhdy'' (always; taken from old Polish word ''zawżdy'') and ''obitsiaty'' (to promise; taken from Polish ''obiecać'') and from Latin (via Polish) ''raptom'' (suddenly) and ''meta'' (aim or goal). Significant contact with
Tatars The Tatars (; tt, , , , crh, tatarlar; otk, 𐱃𐱃𐰺, Tatar) is an umbrella term for different Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic groups bearing the name "Tatar". Initially, the ethnonym ''Tatar'' possibly referred to the Tatar confederation ...
and Turks resulted in many
Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambiguation) ** Turkish language, the most widely spoken Turkic language * T ...

Turkic
words, particularly those involving military matters and steppe industry, being adopted into the Ukrainian language. Examples include ''torba'' (bag) and ''tyutyun'' (tobacco). Due to heavy borrowings from Polish, German, Czech and Latin, early modern vernacular Ukrainian (''prosta mova'', "
simple speechSimple speech ( uk, проста мова, prosta mova, pl, mowa prosta, po prostu, be, про́стая мова; па простаму, prostaya mova; "(to speak) in a simple way"), also translated as "simple language" or "simple talk", is an inf ...
") had more lexical similarity with
West Slavic languages The West Slavic languages are a subdivision of the Slavic language group. They include Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Pol ...
than with Russian or Church Slavonic. By the mid-17th century, the linguistic divergence between the Ukrainian and Russian languages had become so significant that there was a need for translators during negotiations for the
Treaty of Pereyaslav The Pereyaslav Council ( uk, Перея́славська рáда, translit=Pereiaslavska Rada, russian: Переясла́вская рáда), was an official meeting that convened for ceremonial pledge of allegiance by Cossacks to the Tsar of ...
, between
Bohdan Khmelnytsky Zynoviy Bohdan Khmelnytsky ( Ruthenian: Ѕѣнові Богдан Хмелнiцкiи; modern ua, Богдан Зиновій Михайлович Хмельницький; 6 August 1657) was a Ukrainian Hetman of the Zaporozhian Host, then i ...

Bohdan Khmelnytsky
, head of the
Zaporozhian Host Zaporozhian Host (or Zaporizhian Sich) is a term for a military force inhabiting or originating from Zaporizhia , nickname = , translit_lang1 = Ukrainian language, Ukrainian , translit_lang1_type1 ...
, and the Russian state.


Chronology

The accepted chronology of Ukrainian divides the language into Old, Middle, and Modern Ukrainian.
George Shevelov , birth_date = , birth_place = Łomża, Łomża Governorate, Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continental area on Earth, comprising all o ...
explains that much of this is based on the character of contemporary written sources, ultimately reflecting socio-historical developments, and he further subdivides the MU period with Early and Late phases. * Proto-Ukrainian (abbreviated PU, Ukrainian: , until the mid-11th century), with no extant written sources by speakers in Ukraine. Corresponding to aspects of
Old East Slavic Old East Slavic (traditionally also: Old Russian, be, старажытнаруская мова; russian: древнерусский язык; uk, давньоруська мова) was a language used during the 10th–15th centuries by East ...
. * Old Ukrainian (OU, or , mid-11th to 14th c., conventional end date 1387), elements of phonology are deduced from written texts mainly in Church Slavic. Part of broader Old East Slavic. *Middle Ukrainian ( or , 15th to 18th c.), historically called Ruthenian. ** Early Middle Ukrainian (EMU, , 15th to mid-16th c., 1387–1575), analysis focusses on distinguishing Ukrainian and Belarusian texts. ** Middle Ukrainian (MU, , mid-16th to early 18th c., 1575–1720), represented by several vernacular language varieties as well as a version of Church Slavic. ** Late Middle Ukrainian (LMU, , rest of the 18th c., 1720–1818), found in many mixed Ukrainian–Russian and Russian–Ukrainian texts. * Modern Ukrainian (MoU, from the very end of the 18th c., or , from 1818), the vernacular recognized first in literature, and subsequently all other written genres. Ukraine annually marks the Day of Ukrainian Writing and Language on November 9.


History of the Ukrainian spoken language's usage


Rus and Kingdom of Ruthenia

During the
Khazar The Khazars; he, כוזרים, Kuzarim; la, Gazari, or ; zh, 突厥曷薩 ; 突厥可薩部 ''Tūjué Kěsà bù'' () were a semi-nomad A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fi ...
period, the territory of Ukraine was settled by Iranian (post-
Scythian The Scythians (from grc, wiktionary:Σκύθης, Σκύθης , ) or Scyths, also known as Saka and Sakae ( ; egy, wiktionary:sk#Etymology 2, 𓋴𓎝𓎡𓈉, translit=sk, italic=no, ; grc, wikt:Σάκαι, Σάκαι ; la, Sacae), a ...
), Turkic (post-Hunnic, proto-Bulgarian), and Uralic (proto-Hungarian) tribes and Slavic tribes. Later, the
Varangian The Varangians (; non, Væringjar; gkm, Βάραγγοι, ''Várangoi'';Varangian
" Online Etymo ...
ruler
Oleg of Novgorod Oleg of Novgorod (Old East Slavic Old East Slavic (traditionally also: Old Russian, be, старажытнаруская мова; russian: древнерусский язык; uk, давньоруська мова) was a language used duri ...

Oleg of Novgorod
would seize Kyiv and establish the political entity of
Kyivan Rus Kievan Rus' or Kyivan Rus' ( orv, Роусь, Rusĭ, or , , "Rus' land") was a loose federationJohn Channon & Robert Hudson, ''Penguin Historical Atlas of Russia'' (Penguin, 1995), p.16. of East Slavs, East Slavic and Finno-Ugric peoples, Finno- ...
. The era of Kyivan Rus is the subject of some linguistic controversy, as the language of much of the literature was purely or heavily
Old Slavonic Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic (, ) was the first Slavic languages, Slavic literary language. Historians credit the 9th-century Byzantine Empire, Byzantine missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius with Standard language, standardizing the la ...
. Literary records from Kyivan Rus testify to substantial difference between
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
and Ruthenian (Rusyn) form of the Ukrainian language as early as Kyivan Rus time. Some theorists see an early Ukrainian stage in language development here, calling it Old Ruthenian (Rusyn); others term this era
Old East Slavic Old East Slavic (traditionally also: Old Russian, be, старажытнаруская мова; russian: древнерусский язык; uk, давньоруська мова) was a language used during the 10th–15th centuries by East ...
. Russian theorists tend to amalgamate Rus to the modern nation of Russia, and call this linguistic era Old Russian. However, according to Russian linguist Andrey Zaliznyak, Novgorod people did not call themselves Rus until the 14th century, calling Rus only
Kyiv Kyiv ( uk, Київ) or Kiev . is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also share ...
,
Pereiaslav Pereiaslav ( uk, Перея́слав, translit=Pereiaslav) is an ancient city in the Kyiv Oblast Kyiv Oblast (also known as Kiev Oblast) ( uk, Ки́ївська о́бласть, translit=Kyivska oblast; also referred to as Kyivshchyna – ...
and
Chernihiv Chernihiv ( uk, wikt:Чернігів, Чернігів, ) also known as Chernigov (russian: Черни́гов, p=tɕɪrˈnʲiɡəf; pl, Czernihów, ) is a List of cities in Ukraine, city and List of hromadas of Ukraine, municipality in northe ...

Chernihiv
principalities (Kyivan Rus state existed till 1240). At the same time as evidenced by the contemporary chronicles, the ruling princes of
Kingdom of Ruthenia Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Li ...
and Kyiv called themselves "People of Rus" -
Ruthenians Ruthenians and Ruthenes ( la, Rutheni) are exonyms An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Sou ...
(Rusyny), and Galicia–Volhynia was called Kingdom of Ruthenia. Also according to Andrey Zaliznyak, in the 11th century Novgorod language differed from Kyivan language (as well as other Slavic languages) much more that later, meaning that there was no common
Old East Slavic Old East Slavic (traditionally also: Old Russian, be, старажытнаруская мова; russian: древнерусский язык; uk, давньоруська мова) was a language used during the 10th–15th centuries by East ...
language of Kyivan Rus from which Ukrainian and Russian languages diverged (as Soviet linguistics stated), but that Russian language developed as convergence of Novgorod language and South Russian dialects, whereas Ukrainian and Belorusian were continuation of respective Kyiv and Polotsk dialects of Kyivan Rus.


Under Lithuania/Poland, Muscovy/Russia and Austro-Hungary

After the fall of
Kingdom of Ruthenia Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Li ...
, Ukrainians mainly fell under the rule of Lithuania and then
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...
. Local autonomy of both rule and language was a marked feature of Lithuanian rule. In the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Old Slavic became the language of the chancellery and gradually evolved into the Ruthenian language. Polish rule, which came later, was accompanied by a more assimilationist policy. By the 1569
Union of Lublin 280px, '' The Union of Lublin'', painting by Jan Matejko. King Sigismund II Augustus holds the cross at the centre while surrounded by statesmen, diplomats, the clergy and nobles The Union of Lublin ( pl, Unia lubelska; lt, Liublino unija) was ...
that formed the
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, formally known as the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and, after 1791, the Commonwealth of Poland, was a country and bi-federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is ...
, a significant part of Ukrainian territory was moved from Lithuanian rule to Polish administration, resulting in cultural
Polonization Polonization (or Polonisation; pl, polonizacja)In Polish historiography, particularly pre-WWII (e.g., L. Wasilewski. As noted in Смалянчук А. Ф. (Smalyanchuk 2001) Паміж краёвасцю і нацыянальнай ідэяй. ...
and visible attempts to
colonize Colonization, or colonisation refers to large-scale population movements where the migrants maintain strong links with their or their ancestors' former country, gaining significant privileges over other inhabitants of the territory by such links ...
Ukraine by the Polish nobility. Many Ukrainian nobles were forced to learn the Polish language and convert to Catholicism during that period in order to maintain their lofty aristocratic position. Lower classes were less affected because literacy was common only in the upper class and clergy. The latter were also under significant Polish pressure after the Union with the Catholic Church. Most of the educational system was gradually Polonized. In Ruthenia, the language of administrative documents gradually shifted towards Polish. The
Polish language Polish (Polish: ''język polski'', , ''polszczyzna'' or simply ''polski'', ) is a West Slavic languages, West Slavic language of the Lechitic languages, Lechitic group, written in the Latin script. It is spoken primarily in Poland and serves as ...
has had heavy influences on Ukrainian (particularly in
Western Ukraine Western Ukraine or West Ukraine ( uk, Західна Україна or uk, Захід України) is a geographical and historical relative term used in reference to the western territories of Ukraine. The form Ukrainian West is used but not ...
). The southwestern Ukrainian dialects are transitional to Polish.Geoffrey Hull, Halyna Koscharsky.
Contours and Consequences of the Lexical Divide in Ukrainian
. ''Australian Slavonic and East European Studies''. Vol. 20, no. 1-2. 2006. pp. 140–147.
As the Ukrainian language developed further, some borrowings from
Tatar The Tatars (; tt, , , , crh, tatarlar; otk, 𐱃𐱃𐰺, Tatar) is an umbrella term for different Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic groups bearing the name "Tatar." Initially, the ethnonym ''Tatar'' possibly referred to the Tatar confederation ...
and
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
occurred. Ukrainian culture and language flourished in the sixteenth and first half of the 17th century, when Ukraine was part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, albeit in spite of being part of the PLC, not as a result. Among many schools established in that time, the Kyiv-Mohyla Collegium (the predecessor of the modern Kyiv-Mohyla Academy), founded by the Ruthenian
Orthodox Orthodox, Orthodoxy, or Orthodoxism may refer to: Religion * Orthodoxy, adherence to accepted norms, more specifically adherence to creeds, especially within Christianity and Judaism, but also less commonly in non-Abrahamic religions like Neo-paga ...
Metropolitan Metropolitan may refer to: * Metropolitan area, a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories * Metropolitan borough, a form of local government district in England * Metropolitan county, a type ...
Peter Mogila Metropolitan Peter ( ro, Petru Movilă, uk, Петро Симеонович Могила, russian: Пётр Симеонович Могила, pl, Piotr Mohyła; 21 December 1596 – ) was an influential Ruthenian (Ukrainian) Eastern Orthod ...
, was the most important. At that time languages were associated more with religions: Catholics spoke
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
, and members of the Orthodox church spoke Ruthenian. After the
Treaty of Pereyaslav The Pereyaslav Council ( uk, Перея́славська рáда, translit=Pereiaslavska Rada, russian: Переясла́вская рáда), was an official meeting that convened for ceremonial pledge of allegiance by Cossacks to the Tsar of ...
, Ukrainian high culture went into a long period of steady decline. In the aftermath, the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy was taken over by the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical that extended across and from 1721, succeeding the following the that ended the . The Empire lasted until the was proclaimed by the that took power after the ...
and closed down later in the 19th century. Most of the remaining Ukrainian schools also switched to Polish or Russian in the territories controlled by these respective countries, which was followed by a new wave of
Polonization Polonization (or Polonisation; pl, polonizacja)In Polish historiography, particularly pre-WWII (e.g., L. Wasilewski. As noted in Смалянчук А. Ф. (Smalyanchuk 2001) Паміж краёвасцю і нацыянальнай ідэяй. ...
and
Russification Russification or Russianization (russian: Русификация, ''Rusifikatsiya'') is a form of cultural assimilation process during which non- Russian communities (whether involuntarily or voluntarily) give up their culture and language in fav ...
of the native nobility. Gradually the official language of Ukrainian provinces under Poland was changed to Polish, while the upper classes in the Russian part of Ukraine used Russian. During the 19th century, a revival of Ukrainian self-identification manifested in the literary classes of both Russian-Empire
Dnieper Ukraine The term Dnieper Ukraine (: "over Dnieper land"), usually refers to territory on either side of the middle course of the Dnieper River. The Ukrainian name derives from ''nad‑'' (prefix: “above, over”) + ''Dnipró'' ("Dnieper") + ''‑shchy ...
and Austrian
Galicia Galicia may refer to: Geographic regions * Galicia (Spain), a region and autonomous community of northwestern Spain ** Gallaecia, a Roman province ** The post-Roman Kingdom of the Suebi, also called the Kingdom of Gallaecia ** The medieval Kingdom ...
. The
Brotherhood of Sts Cyril and Methodius The Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius ( uk, Кирило-Мефодіївське братство, russian: Кирилло-Мефодиевское братство) was a short-lived secret political society that existed in Kiev, at the t ...
in Kyiv applied an old word for the Cossack motherland, ''Ukrajina'', as a self-appellation for the nation of Ukrainians, and ''Ukrajins'ka mova'' for the language. Many writers published works in the Romantic tradition of Europe demonstrating that Ukrainian was not merely a language of the village but suitable for literary pursuits. However, in the Russian Empire expressions of Ukrainian culture and especially language were repeatedly persecuted for fear that a self-aware Ukrainian nation would threaten the unity of the empire. In 1804 Ukrainian as a subject and language of instruction was banned from schools. In 1811 by the Order of the Russian government, the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy was closed. The Academy had been open since 1632 and was the first university in Eastern Europe. In 1847 the
Brotherhood of Sts Cyril and Methodius The Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius ( uk, Кирило-Мефодіївське братство, russian: Кирилло-Мефодиевское братство) was a short-lived secret political society that existed in Kiev, at the t ...
was terminated. The same year Taras Shevchenko was arrested, exiled for ten years, and banned for political reasons from writing and painting. In 1862 Pavlo Chubynsky was exiled for seven years to Arkhangelsk. The Ukrainian magazine ''Osnova'' was discontinued. In 1863, the tsarist interior minister Pyotr Valuyev proclaimed in Valuyevsky Ukaz, his decree that "there never has been, is not, and never can be a separate Little Russian language". A following ban on Ukrainian books led to Alexander II of Russia, Alexander II's secret Ems Ukaz, which prohibited publication and importation of most Ukrainian-language books, public performances and lectures, and even banned the printing of Ukrainian texts accompanying musical scores. A period of leniency after 1905 was followed by another strict ban in 1914, which also affected Russian-occupied Galicia. For much of the 19th century the Austrian authorities demonstrated some preference for Polish culture, but the Ukrainians were relatively free to partake in their own cultural pursuits in Halychyna and Bukovyna, where Ukrainian was widely used in education and official documents. The suppression by Russia hampered the literary development of the Ukrainian language in Dnipro Ukraine, but there was a constant exchange with Halychyna, and many works were published under Austria and smuggled to the east. By the time of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Austro-Hungary#Dissolution of the Empire, collapse of Austro-Hungary in 1918, Ukrainians were ready to openly develop a body of national literature, institute a Ukrainian-language educational system, and form an independent state (the Ukrainian People's Republic, shortly joined by the West Ukrainian People's Republic). During this brief independent statehood the stature and use of Ukrainian greatly improved.


Speakers in the Russian Empire

In the Russian Empire Census of 1897 the following picture emerged, with Ukrainian being the second most spoken language of the Russian Empire. According to the Imperial census's terminology, the Russian language (''Русскій'') was subdivided into Ukrainian (Малорусскій, 'Little Russian'), what we known as Russian today (Великорусскій, 'Great Russian'), and Belarusian (Бѣлорусскій, 'White Russian'). The following table shows the distribution of settlement by native language (''"по родному языку"'') in 1897 in
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical that extended across and from 1721, succeeding the following the that ended the . The Empire lasted until the was proclaimed by the that took power after the ...
governorates (''guberniyas'') that had more than 100,000 Ukrainian speakers. Although in the rural regions of the Ukrainian provinces, 80% of the inhabitants said that Ukrainian was their native language in the Census of 1897 (for which the results are given above), in the urban regions only 32.5% of the population claimed Ukrainian as their native language. For example, in Odessa (then part of the Russian Empire), at the time the largest city in the territory of current Ukraine, only 5.6% of the population said Ukrainian was their native language.Soviet Nationality Policy, Urban Growth, and Identity Change in the Ukrainian SSR 1923–1934
by George O. Liber, Cambridge University Press, 1992, (page 12/13)
Until the 1920s the urban population in Ukraine grew faster than the number of Ukrainian speakers. This implies that there was a (relative) decline in the use of Ukrainian language. For example, in
Kyiv Kyiv ( uk, Київ) or Kiev . is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also share ...
, the number of people stating that Ukrainian was their native language declined from 30.3% in 1874 to 16.6% in 1917.


Soviet era

During the seven-decade-long Soviet era, the Ukrainian language held the formal position of the principal local language in the Ukrainian SSR.The Ukraine
Life (magazine), Life, 26 October 1946
However, practice was often a different story: Ukrainian always had to compete with Russian, and the attitudes of the Soviet leadership towards Ukrainian varied from encouragement and tolerance to de facto banishment. Officially, there was no state language in the Soviet Union until the very end when it was proclaimed in 1990 that Russian language was the all-Union state language and that the constituent Soviet republics, republics had rights to declare additional state languages within their jurisdictions. Still it was implicitly understood in the hopes of minority nations that Ukrainian would be used in the Ukrainian SSR, Uzbek language, Uzbek would be used in the Uzbek SSR, and so on. However, Russian was used in all parts of the Soviet Union and a special term, "a language of inter-ethnic communication", was coined to denote its status. Soviet language policy in Ukraine may be divided into the following policy periods: * Ukrainianization and tolerance (1921–1932) * Persecution and Russification (1933–1957) * Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev thaw (1958–1962) * The Shelest period: limited progress (1963–1972) * The Shcherbytsky period: gradual suppression (1973–1989) * Mikhail Gorbachev and perestroika (1990–1991)


Ukrainianization

Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Empire was broken up. In different parts of the former empire, several nations, including Ukrainians, developed a renewed sense of national identity. In the chaotic post-revolutionary years the Ukrainian language gained some usage in government affairs. Initially, this trend continued under the Bolshevik government of the Soviet Union, which in a political struggle to retain its grip over the territory had to encourage the national movements of the former Russian Empire. While trying to ascertain and consolidate its power, the Bolshevik government was by far more concerned about many political oppositions connected to the pre-revolutionary order than about the national movements inside the former empire, where it could always find allies. The widening use of Ukrainian further developed in the first years of Bolshevik rule into a policy called korenizatsiya. The government pursued a policy of Ukrainianization by lifting a ban on the Ukrainian language. That led to the introduction of an impressive education program which allowed Ukrainian-taught classes and raised the literacy of the Ukrainophone population. This policy was led by Education Commissar Mykola Skrypnyk and was directed to approximate the language to
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
. Newly generated academic efforts from the period of independence were co-opted by the Bolshevik government. The party and government apparatus was mostly Russian-speaking but were encouraged to learn the Ukrainian language. Simultaneously, the newly literate ethnic Ukrainians migrated to the cities, which became rapidly largely Ukrainianized – in both population and in education. The policy even reached those regions of southern Russian SFSR where the ethnic Ukrainian population was significant, particularly the areas by the Don River, Russia, Don River and especially Kuban in the North Caucasus. Ukrainian language teachers, just graduated from expanded institutions of higher education in Soviet Ukraine, were dispatched to these regions to staff newly opened Ukrainian schools or to teach Ukrainian as a second language in Russian schools. A string of local Ukrainian-language publications were started and departments of Ukrainian studies were opened in colleges. Overall, these policies were implemented in thirty-five raions (administrative districts) in southern Russian SFSR, Russia.


Persecution and russification

Soviet policy towards the Ukrainian language changed abruptly in late 1932 and early 1933, with the termination of the policy of Ukrainianization. In December 1932, the regional party cells received a telegram signed by V. Molotov and Stalin with an order to immediately reverse the Ukrainianization policies. The telegram condemned Ukrainianization as ill-considered and harmful and demanded to "immediately halt Ukrainianization in raions (districts), switch all Ukrainianized newspapers, books and publications into Russian and prepare by autumn of 1933 for the switching of schools and instruction into Russian". Western and most contemporary Ukrainian historians emphasize that the cultural repression was applied earlier and more fiercely in Ukraine than in other parts of the Soviet Union, and were therefore anti-Ukrainian; others assert that Stalin's goal was the generic crushing of any dissent, rather than targeting the Ukrainians in particular. Stalinist policies shifted to define Russian as the language of (inter-ethnic) communication. Although Ukrainian continued to be used (in print, education, radio and later television programs), it lost its primary place in advanced learning and republic-wide media. Ukrainian was demoted to a language of secondary importance, often associated with the rise in Ukrainian self-awareness and nationalism and often branded "politically incorrect". The new Soviet Constitution adopted in 1936, however, stipulated that teaching in schools should be conducted in native languages. Major repression started in 1929–30, when a large group of Ukrainian intelligentsia was arrested and most were executed. In Ukrainian history, this group is often referred to as "Executed Renaissance" (Ukrainian: розстріляне відродження). "Ukrainian bourgeois nationalism" was declared to be the primary problem in Ukraine. The terror peaked in 1933, four to five years before the Soviet-wide "Great Purge", which, for Ukraine, was a second blow. The vast majority of leading scholars and cultural leaders of Ukraine were liquidated, as were the "Ukrainianized" and "Ukrainianizing" portions of the Communist party. Soviet Ukraine's autonomy was completely destroyed by the late 1930s. In its place, the glorification of Russia as the first nation to throw off the capitalist yoke had begun, accompanied by the migration of Russian workers into parts of Ukraine which were undergoing History of the Soviet Union (1927–53), industrialization and mandatory instruction of classic Russian language and literature. Ideologists warned of over-glorifying Ukraine's Cossack past, and supported the closing of Ukrainian cultural institutions and literary publications. The systematic assault upon Ukrainian identity in culture and education, combined with effects of an artificial famine (''Holodomor'') upon the peasantry—the backbone of the nation—dealt Ukrainian language and identity a crippling blow. This sequence of policy change was repeated in
Western Ukraine Western Ukraine or West Ukraine ( uk, Західна Україна or uk, Захід України) is a geographical and historical relative term used in reference to the western territories of Ukraine. The form Ukrainian West is used but not ...
when it was incorporated into Soviet Ukraine. In 1939, and again in the late 1940s, a policy of Ukrainianization was implemented. By the early 1950s, Ukrainian was persecuted and a campaign of Russification began.


Khrushchev thaw

After the death of Stalin (1953), a general policy of relaxing the language policies of the past was implemented (1958 to 1963). The Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev era which followed saw a policy of relatively lenient concessions to development of the languages at the local and republic level, though its results in Ukraine did not go nearly as far as those of the Soviet policy of Ukrainianization in the 1920s. Journals and encyclopedic publications advanced in the Ukrainian language during the Khrushchev era, as well as transfer of Crimea under Ukrainian SSR jurisdiction. Yet, the 1958 school reform that allowed parents to choose the language of primary instruction for their children, unpopular among the circles of the national intelligentsia in parts of the USSR, meant that non-Russian languages would slowly give way to Russian in light of the pressures of survival and advancement. The gains of the past, already largely reversed by the Stalin era, were offset by the liberal attitude towards the requirement to study the local languages (the requirement to study Russian remained). Parents were usually free to choose the language of study of their children (except in few areas where attending the Ukrainian school might have required a long daily commute) and they often chose Russian, which reinforced the resulting Russification. In this sense, some analysts argue that it was not the "oppression" or "persecution", but rather the ''lack of linguistic protectionism, protection'' against the expansion of Russian language that contributed to the relative decline of Ukrainian in the 1970s and 1980s. According to this view, it was inevitable that successful careers required a good command of Russian, while knowledge of Ukrainian was not vital, so it was common for Ukrainian parents to send their children to Russian-language schools, even though Ukrainian-language schools were usually available. While in the Russian-language schools within the republic, Ukrainian was supposed to be learned as a second language at comparable level, the instruction of other subjects was in Russian and, as a result, students had a greater command of Russian than Ukrainian on graduation. Additionally, in some areas of the republic, the attitude towards teaching and learning of Ukrainian in schools was relaxed and it was, sometimes, considered a subject of secondary importance and even a waiver from studying it was sometimes given under various, ever expanding, circumstances. The complete suppression of all expressions of separatism or Ukrainian nationalism also contributed to lessening interest in Ukrainian. Some people who persistently used Ukrainian on a daily basis were often perceived as though they were expressing sympathy towards, or even being members of, the political opposition. This, combined with advantages given by Russian fluency and usage, made Russian the primary language of choice for many Ukrainians, while Ukrainian was more of a hobby. In any event, the mild liberalization in Ukraine and elsewhere was stifled by new suppression of freedoms at the end of the Khrushchev era (1963) when a policy of gradually creeping suppression of Ukrainian was re-instituted. The next part of the Soviet Ukrainian language policy divides into two eras: first, the Shelest period (early 1960s to early 1970s), which was relatively liberal towards the development of the Ukrainian language. The second era, the policy of Shcherbytsky (early 1970s to early 1990s), was one of gradual suppression of the Ukrainian language.


Shelest period

The Communist Party leader from 1963 to 1972, Petro Shelest, pursued a policy of defending Ukraine's interests within the Soviet Union. He proudly promoted the beauty of the Ukrainian language and developed plans to expand the role of Ukrainian in higher education. He was removed, however, after only a brief tenure, for being too lenient on Ukrainian nationalism.


Shcherbytsky period

The new party boss from 1972 to 1989, Volodymyr Shcherbytsky, purged the local party, was fierce in suppressing dissent, and insisted Russian be spoken at all official functions, even at local levels. His policy of Russification was lessened only slightly after 1985.


Gorbachev and perebudova

The management of dissent by the local Communist Party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine, Ukrainian Communist Party was more fierce and thorough than in other parts of the Soviet Union. As a result, at the start of the Mikhail Gorbachev reforms Perestroika, perebudova and Glasnost, hlasnist’ (Ukrainian for ''perestroika'' and ''glasnost''), Ukraine under Shcherbytsky was slower to liberalize than Russia itself. Although Ukrainian still remained the native language for the majority in the nation on the eve of Ukrainian independence, a significant share of ethnic Ukrainians were russified. In Donetsk there were no Ukrainian language schools and in
Kyiv Kyiv ( uk, Київ) or Kiev . is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also share ...
only a quarter of children went to Ukrainian language schools. The Russian language was the dominant vehicle, not just of government function, but of the media, commerce, and modernity itself. This was substantially less the case for western Ukraine, which escaped the Holodomor, artificial famine, Great Purge, and most of Stalinism. And this region became the center of a hearty, if only partial, renaissance of the Ukrainian language during independence.


Independence in the modern era

Since 1991, Ukrainian has been the official state language in Ukraine, and the state administration implemented government policies to broaden the use of Ukrainian. The educational system in Ukraine has been transformed over the first decade of independence from a system that is partly Ukrainian to one that is overwhelmingly so. The government has also mandated a progressively increased role for Ukrainian in the media and commerce. In some cases the abrupt changing of the language of instruction in institutions of secondary and higher education led to the charges of Ukrainianization, raised mostly by the Russian-speaking population. This transition, however, lacked most of the controversies that arose during the de-russification of the other former Soviet Republics. With time, most residents, including ethnic Russians, people of mixed origin, and Russian-speaking Ukrainians, started to self-identify as Ukrainian nationals, even those who remained Russophone. The Russian language, however, still dominates the print media in most of Ukraine and private radio and TV broadcasting in the eastern, southern, and, to a lesser degree, central regions. The state-controlled broadcast media have become exclusively Ukrainian. There are few obstacles to the usage of Russian in commerce and it is still occasionally used in government affairs. Late 20th century Russian politicians like Alexander Lebed and Mikhail Yuryev still claimed that Ukrainian is a Russian language#Dialects, Russian dialect.Contemporary Ukraine: Dynamics of Post-Soviet Transformation
by Taras Kuzio, M.E. Sharpe, 1998, (page 35)
In the Ukrainian Census (2001), 2001 census, 67.5% of the country's population named Ukrainian as their native language (a 2.8% increase from 1989), while 29.6% named Russian (a 3.2% decrease). For many Ukrainians (of various ethnic origins), the term ''native language'' may not necessarily associate with the language they use more frequently. The overwhelming majority of ethnic Ukrainians consider the Ukrainian language ''native'', including those who often speak Russian. According to the official 2001 census data, 92.3% of Kyiv region population responded "Ukrainian" to the ''native language'' (''ridna mova'') census question, compared with 88.4% in 1989, and 7.2% responded "Russian". The part of other languages, specified like mother tongue was 0.5%. On the other hand, when the question "What language do you use in everyday life?" was asked in the sociological survey, the Kyivans' answers were distributed as follows: "mostly Russian": 52%, "both Russian and Ukrainian in equal measure": 32%, "mostly Ukrainian": 14%, "exclusively Ukrainian": 4.3%. Ethnic minorities, such as Romanians, Tatars and Jews usually use Russian as their lingua franca. But there are tendencies within these minority groups to use Ukrainian. The Jewish writer Olexander Beyderman from the mainly Russian-speaking city of Odessa is now writing most of his dramas in Ukrainian. The emotional relationship regarding Ukrainian is changing in southern and eastern areas. Opposition to expansion of Ukrainian-language teaching is a matter of contention in eastern regions closer to Russia – in May 2008, the Donetsk city council prohibited the creation of any new Ukrainian schools in the city in which 80% of them are Russian language, Russian-language schools. In 2019 a bill was adopted by the Ukrainian parliament, "", formalizing rules governing the usage of Ukrainian and introducing penalties for violations. For its enforcement the office of Language ombudsman (Ukraine), Language ombudsman was introduced.


Literature and the Ukrainian literary language

The literary Ukrainian language, which was preceded by Old East Slavic literature, may be subdivided into two stages: during the 12th to 18th centuries what in Ukraine is referred to as "Old Ukrainian", but elsewhere, and in contemporary sources, is known as the
Ruthenian language Ruthenian or Old Ruthenian (also see other names) was the group of varieties of East Slavic spoken in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later in the East Slavic territories of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The written form is also cal ...
, and from the end of the 18th century to the present what in Ukraine is known as "Modern Ukrainian", but elsewhere is known as just Ukrainian. Influential literary figures in the development of modern Ukrainian literature include the philosopher Hryhorii Skovoroda, Ivan Kotlyarevsky, Mykola Kostomarov, Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky, Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, and Lesia Ukrainka. The earliest literary work in the Ukrainian language was recorded in 1798 when Ivan Kotlyarevsky, a playwright from Poltava in southeastern Ukraine, published his epic poem, ''Eneyida'', a Burlesque (literature), burlesque in Ukrainian, based on Virgil's ''Aeneid''. His book was published in vernacular Ukrainian in a satirical way to avoid being censored, and is the earliest known Ukrainian published book to survive through Imperial and, later, Soviet policies on the Ukrainian language. Kotlyarevsky's work and that of another early writer using the Ukrainian vernacular language, Petro Artemovsky, used the southeastern dialect spoken in the Poltava, Kharkiv and southern Kyiven regions of the Russian Empire. This dialect would serve as the basis of the Ukrainian literary language when it was developed by Taras Shevchenko and Panteleimon Kulish in the mid 19th century. In order to raise its status from that of a dialect to that of a language, various elements from folklore and traditional styles were added to it.George Shevelov. (1981). Evolution of the Ukrainian Literary Language. From ''Rethinking Ukrainian History.'' (Ivan Lysiak Rudnytsky, John-Paul Himka, editors). Edmonton, Alberta: University of Alberta, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, pp. 221–225. The Ukrainian literary language developed further when the Russian state banned the use of the Ukrainian language, prompting many of its writers to move to the western Ukrainian region of Galicia which was under more liberal Austrian rule; after the 1860s the majority of Ukrainian literary works were published in Austrian Galicia. During this period Galician influences were adopted in the Ukrainian literary language, particularly with respect to vocabulary involving law, government, technology, science, and administration.


Current usage

The use of the Ukrainian language is increasing after a long period of decline. Although there are almost fifty million ethnic
Ukrainians , native_name_lang = uk , image = , caption = , population = 37-40 million , popplace = 37,541,693 , region1 = , pop1 = 3,269,992 , ref1 = , region2 = ...
worldwide, including 37.5 million in Ukraine (77.8% of the total population), the Ukrainian language is prevalent mainly in western and central Ukraine. In Kyiv, both Ukrainian and Russian are spoken, a notable shift from the recent past when the city was primarily Russian-speaking. The shift is believed to be caused mainly by an influx of migrants from western regions of Ukraine but also by some Kyivans opting to use the language they speak at home more widely in public settings. Public signs and announcements in Kyiv are displayed in Ukrainian. In southern and eastern Ukraine, Russian is the prevalent language in most large and some small cities. According to the Ukrainian Census of 2001, 88.1% of people living in Ukraine can communicate in Ukrainian.D-M.com.ua


Popular culture


Music

Ukrainian has become popular in other countries through movies and songs performed in the Ukrainian language. The most popular Ukrainian rock bands, such as Okean Elzy, Vopli Vidopliassova, BoomBox (Ukrainian band), BoomBox perform regularly in tours across Europe, Israel, North America and especially Russia. In countries with significant Ukrainian populations, bands singing in the Ukrainian language sometimes reach top places on the charts, such as Enej (a band from
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
). Other notable Ukrainian-language bands are The Ukrainians from the United Kingdom, Klooch from Canada, Ukrainian Village Band from the United States, and the Kuban Cossack Choir from the Kuban region in Russia.


Cinema

The 2010s saw a revival of Ukrainian cinema. The top Ukrainian-language films (by IMDb rating) are:


Argots

Oleksa Horbach's 1951 study of argots analyzed historical primary sources (argots of professionals, thugs, prisoners, homeless, school children, etc.) paying special attention to etymological features of argots, word formation and borrowing patterns depending on the source-language (Church Slavonic, Russian, Czech, Polish, Romani, Greek, Romanian, Hungarian, German).


Dialects

Several modern dialects of Ukrainian exist * Northern (Polissian) dialects: ** (3) ''Eastern Polissian'' is spoken in Chernihiv oblast, Chernihiv (excluding the southeastern districts), in the northern part of Sumy Oblast, Sumy, and in the southeastern portion of the Kyiv Oblast as well as in the adjacent areas of Russia, which include the southwestern part of the Bryansk Oblast (the area around Starodub), as well as in some places in the Kursk Oblast, Kursk, Voronezh Oblast, Voronezh and Belgorod Oblast, Belgorod Oblasts. No linguistic border can be defined. The vocabulary approaches Russian as the language approaches the Russian Federation. Both Ukrainian and Russian grammar sets can be applied to this dialect.http://www.ethnology.ru/doc/narod/t1/gif/nrd-t1_0151z.gif ** (2) ''Central Polissian'' is spoken in the northwestern part of the Kyiv Oblast, in the northern part of Zhytomyr Oblast, Zhytomyr and the northeastern part of the Rivne Oblast. ** (1) ''West Polissian'' is spoken in the northern part of the Volyn Oblast, the northwestern part of the Rivne Oblast, and in the adjacent districts of the Brest Voblast in Belarus. The dialect spoken in Belarus uses Belarusian grammar and thus is considered by some to be a dialect of Belarusian. * Southeastern dialects: ** (4) ''Middle Dnieprian'' is the basis of the Standard language, Standard Literary Ukrainian. It is spoken in the central part of Ukraine, primarily in the southern and eastern part of the Kyiv Oblast. In addition, the dialects spoken in Cherkasy Oblast, Cherkasy, Poltava Oblast, Poltava, and Kyiv Oblast, Kyiv regions are considered to be close to "standard" Ukrainian. ** (5) ''Slobodan'' is spoken in Kharkiv Oblast, Kharkiv, Sumy Oblast, Sumy, Luhansk Oblast, Luhansk, and the northern part of Donetsk Oblast, Donetsk, as well as in the Voronezh Oblast, Voronezh and Belgorod Oblast, Belgorod regions of Russia. This dialect is formed from a gradual mixture of Russian and Ukrainian, with progressively more Russian in the northern and eastern parts of the region. Thus, there is no linguistic border between Russian and Ukrainian, and, thus, both grammar sets can be applied. ** A (6) ''Steppe'' dialect is spoken in southern and southeastern Ukraine. This dialect was originally the main language of the Zaporozhian Cossacks. ** A ''Kuban'' dialect related to or based on the Steppe dialect is often referred to as ''Balachka'' and is spoken by the Kuban Cossacks in the Kuban region in Russia by the descendants of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, who settled in that area in the late 18th century. It was formed from a gradual mixture of Russian into Ukrainian. This dialect features the use of some Russian vocabulary along with some Russian grammar.Viktor Zakharchenko, Folk songs of the Kuban, 1997 , Retrieved 7 November 2007 There are three main variants, which have been grouped together according to location. * Southwestern dialects: ** (13) ''Boyko'' is spoken by the Boyko, Boyko people on the northern side of the Carpathian Mountains in the Lviv Oblast, Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblasts. It can also be heard across the border in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship of Poland. ** (12) ''Hutsul'' is spoken by the Hutsuls, Hutsul people on the northern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains, in the extreme southern parts of the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, and in parts of the Chernivtsi Oblast, Chernivtsi and Transcarpathian Oblast, Transcarpathian Oblasts. ** ''Lemko'' is spoken by the Lemkos, Lemko people, whose Lemkivshchyna, homeland rests outside the borders of Ukraine in the Prešov Region of Slovakia along the southern side of the Carpathian Mountains, and in the southeast of modern Poland, along the northern sides of the Carpathians. ** (8) ''Podillian'' is spoken in the southern parts of the Vinnytsia Oblast, Vinnytsia and Khmelnytskyi Oblast, Khmelnytskyi Oblasts, in the northern part of the Odessa Oblast, and in the adjacent districts of the Cherkasy Oblast, the Kirovohrad Oblast, and the Mykolaiv Oblast. ** (7) ''Volynian'' is spoken in Rivne Oblast, Rivne and Volyn Oblast, Volyn, as well as in parts of Zhytomyr Oblast, Zhytomyr and Ternopil Oblast, Ternopil. It is also used in Chełm in
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
. ** (11) ''Pokuttia (Bukovynian)'' is spoken in the Chernivtsi Oblast of Ukraine. This dialect has some distinct vocabulary borrowed from Romanian Language, Romanian. ** (9) ''Upper Dniestrian'' (Kresy) is considered to be the main Galician dialect, spoken in the Lviv Oblast, Lviv, Ternopil Oblast, Ternopil, and Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblasts. Its distinguishing characteristics are the influence of Polish and the German vocabulary, which is reminiscent of the Austro-Hungarian rule. Some of the distinct words used in this dialect can be found here. ** (10) ''Upper Sannian'' is spoken in the border area between Ukraine and Poland in the San river valley. * The Rusyn language is considered by Ukrainian linguists to be also a dialect of Ukrainian: ** ''Dolinian Rusyn or Subcarpathian Rusyn'' is spoken in the Transcarpathian Oblast. ** ''Pannonian Rusyn language, Pannonian or Bačka Rusyn'' is spoken in northwestern Serbia and eastern Croatia. Rusin language of the Bačka dialect is one of the official languages of the Serbian Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. ** ''Pryashiv Rusyn'' is the Rusyn spoken in the Prešov (in Ukrainian: Pryashiv) region of Slovakia, as well as by some émigré communities, primarily in the United States of America.


Neighbouring countries

All the countries neighbouring Ukraine (except for Hungary) historically have regions with a sizable Ukrainians, Ukrainian population and therefore Ukrainian language speakers. Ukrainian is an official minority language in Belarus, Romania, and Moldova.


Ukrainian diaspora

Ukrainian is also spoken by a large émigré population, particularly in Canada (see Canadian Ukrainian), the United States, and several countries of South America like Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. The founders of this population primarily emigrated from
Galicia Galicia may refer to: Geographic regions * Galicia (Spain), a region and autonomous community of northwestern Spain ** Gallaecia, a Roman province ** The post-Roman Kingdom of the Suebi, also called the Kingdom of Gallaecia ** The medieval Kingdom ...
, which used to be part of Austro-Hungary before World War I, and belonged to Poland between the World Wars. The language spoken by most of them is the Galician dialect of Ukrainian from the first half of the 20th century. Compared with modern Ukrainian, the vocabulary of Ukrainians outside Ukraine reflects less influence of Russian, but often contains many loanwords from the local language. Most of the countries where it is spoken are Post-Soviet states, ex-USSR, where many Ukrainians have migrated. Canada and the United States are also home to a large Ukrainian population. Broken up by country (to the nearest thousand): # Russia 1,129,838 (according to the Russian Census (2010), 2010 census); # Canada 200,525 (67,665 spoken at home in 2001, 148,000 spoken as "mother tongue" in 2001) Ukrainian is one of three official languages of the breakaway Moldovan republic of Transnistria. Ukrainian is widely spoken within the 400,000-strong (in 1994) Ukrainian Brazilian, Ukrainian community in Brazil.Oksana Boruszenko and Rev. Danyil Kozlinsky (1994). ''Ukrainians in Brazil'' (Chapter), in ''Ukraine and Ukrainians Throughout the World'', edited by Ann Lencyk Pawliczko, University of Toronto Press: Toronto, pp. 443–454


Language structure

: ''Cyrillic letters in this article are Romanization of Ukrainian, romanized using wikipedia:Romanization of Ukrainian/Scientific transliteration table, scientific transliteration.''


Grammar

Ukrainian is a fusional language, fusional, nominative-accusative language, nominative-accusative, verb framing, satellite framed language. It exhibits T-V distinction, and is null-subject language, null-subject. The canonical word order of Ukrainian is subject–verb–object, SVO. Other word orders are common due to the free word order created by Ukrainian's inflectional system. Nouns declension, decline for 7 grammatical cases, cases: nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, instrumental case, instrumental, locative case, locative, vocative; 3 grammatical gender, genders: masculine, feminine, neuter; and 2 grammatical number, numbers: grammatical number#singular vs plural, singular, plural. Adjectives agreement (linguistics), agree with nouns in grammatical case, case, grammatical gender, gender, and grammatical number, number. Verbs Grammatical conjugation, conjugate for 4 grammatical tense, tenses: past tense, past, pluperfect, present tense, present, future tense, future; 2 grammatical voice, voices: active voice, active, mediopassive voice, mediopassive, 3 grammatical person, persons: first, second, third; and 2 grammatical number, numbers, grammatical number#singular vs plural, singular, and plural. Ukrainian verbs come in Grammatical aspect in Slavic languages, aspect pairs: perfective aspect, perfective, and imperfective aspect, imperfective. Pairs are usually formed by a prepositional prefix and occasionally a apophony, root change. The past tense agrees with its subject (grammar), subject in grammatical number, number and grammatical gender, gender, having developed from the perfect (grammar), perfect participle. The Old East Slavic and Russian ''o'' in syllables ending in a consonant, often correspond to a Ukrainian ''i'', as in ''pod'' > ''pid'' (під, 'under'). Thus, in the declension of nouns, the ''o'' can re-appear when it is no longer located in a closed syllable, such as ''rik'' (рік, 'year') (nominative case, nom): ''rotsi'' (locative case, loc) (році). Similarly, some words can have ''і'' in some cases when most of the cases have ''o'', for example ''слово'' (nominative singular), ''слова'' (nominative plural) but ''слiв'' (genitive plural). Ukrainian case endings are somewhat different from Old East Slavic, and the vocabulary includes a large overlay of Polish terminology. Russian ''na pervom etaže'' 'on the first floor' is in the locative (prepositional) case. The Ukrainian corresponding expression is ''na peršomu poversi'' (на першому поверсі). ''-omu'' is the standard locative (prepositional) ending, but variants in ''-im'' are common in dialect and poetry, and allowed by the standards bodies. The ''kh'' of Ukrainian ''poverkh'' (поверх) has mutated into ''s'' under the influence of the soft vowel ''i'' (''k'' is similarly mutable into ''c'' in final positions).


Phonology

The Ukrainian language has six vowels, , , , , , . A number of the consonants come in three forms: hard, soft (Palatalization (phonetics), palatalized) and geminate consonant, long, for example, , , and or , , and . The letter represents the voiced glottal fricative , often transliterated as Latin ''h''. It is the Voiced consonant, voiced equivalent of English . Russian speakers from Ukraine often use the soft Ukrainian in place of Russian , which comes from northern dialects of Old East Slavic. The Ukrainian alphabet has the additional letter for , which appears in a few native words such as ''gryndžoly'' 'sleigh' and ''gudzyk'' 'button'. However, appears almost exclusively in loan words, and is usually simply written . For example, loanwords from English on public signs usually use for both English ''g'' and ''h''. Another phonetic divergence between the Ukrainian and Russian languages is the pronunciation of Cyrillic ''v/w''. While in standard Russian it represents , in many Ukrainian dialects it denotes (following a vowel and preceding a consonant (cluster), either within a word or at a word boundary, it denotes the allophone , and like the off-glide in the English words "flow" and "cow", it forms a diphthong with the preceding vowel). Native Russian speakers will pronounce the Ukrainian as , which is one way to tell the two groups apart. As with above, Ukrainians use to render both English ''v'' and ''w''; Russians occasionally use for ''w'' instead. Unlike Russian and most other modern Slavic languages, Ukrainian does not have final devoicing.


Alphabet

Ukrainian is written in a version of Cyrillic script, Cyrillic, consisting of 33 letters, representing 38 phonemes; an apostrophe is also used. Ukrainian orthography is based on the phonemic principle, with one letter generally corresponding to one phoneme, although there are a number of exceptions. The orthography also has cases where the semantic, historical, and morphological principles are applied. The modern Ukrainian alphabet is the result of a number of proposed alphabetic reforms from the 19th and early 20th centuries, in Ukraine under the Russian Empire, in Austrian Galicia, and later in Soviet Ukraine. A unified Ukrainian alphabet (the ''Skrypnykivka'', after Mykola Skrypnyk) was officially established at a 1927 international Orthographic Conference in Kharkiv, during the period of Ukrainization in Soviet Ukraine. But the policy was reversed in the 1930s, and the Soviet Ukrainian orthography diverged from that used by the Ukrainian diaspora, diaspora. The Ukrainian letter Ge with upturn, ge ''ґ'' was banned in the Soviet Union from 1933 until the period of Glasnost in 1990. The letter щ represents two consonants . The combination of with some of the vowels is also represented by a single letter ( = я, = є, or = ї, = ю), while = йо and the rare regional = йи are written using two letters. These iotated vowel letters and a special soft sign change a preceding consonant from hard to soft. An apostrophe is used to indicate the hardness of the sound in the cases when normally the vowel would change the consonant to soft; in other words, it functions like the yer in the Russian alphabet. A consonant letter is doubled to indicate that the sound is doubled, or long. The phonemes and do not have dedicated letters in the alphabet and are rendered with the Digraph (orthography), digraphs дз and дж, respectively. is equivalent to English ''ds'' in ''pods'', is equivalent to ''j'' in ''jump''. As in Russian, the acute accent may be used to denote vowel stress.


Transliteration


Vocabulary

''The Dictionary of Ukrainian Language'' in 11 volumes contains 135,000 entries. Lexical card catalog of the Ukrainian Institute of Language Studies has 6 million cards. The same Institute is going to publish the new ''Dictionary of Ukrainian Language'' in 13 volumes. As mentioned at the top of the article, Ukrainian is most closely related lexically to Belarusian, and is also closer to Polish than to Russian (for example, можливість, ''mozhlyvist'', "possibility", and Polish ''możliwość'', but Russian возможность, ''vozmozhnost'').


False cognates with Russian

The standard Ukrainian language which is based on the Kyiv–Poltava dialect has a plethora of false friends with the standard Russian language which is based on the Moscow dialect. Many people intentionally do or do not use them, causing their language shift into what is known as Surzhyk where the meaning of some words mimicking Russian could be understood out of context rather than their literal meaning in Ukrainian.


Classification and relationship to other languages

Ukrainian has varying degrees of
mutual intelligibility In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic b ...
with other Slavic languages and is considered to be most closely related to
Belarusian Belarusian may refer to: * Something of, or related to Belarus * Belarusians, people from Belarus, or of Belarusian descent * A citizen of Belarus, see Demographics of Belarus * Belarusian language * Belarusian culture * Belarusian cuisine * Byeloru ...
. In the 19th century, the question of whether Ukrainian, Belorusian language, Belarusian and
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
languages are dialects of a single language or three separate languages was actively discussed, with the debate affected by linguistic and political factors. The political situation (
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...

Ukraine
and Belarus being mainly part of the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical that extended across and from 1721, succeeding the following the that ended the . The Empire lasted until the was proclaimed by the that took power after the ...
at the time) and the historical existence of the medieval state of
Kyivan Rus Kievan Rus' or Kyivan Rus' ( orv, Роусь, Rusĭ, or , , "Rus' land") was a loose federationJohn Channon & Robert Hudson, ''Penguin Historical Atlas of Russia'' (Penguin, 1995), p.16. of East Slavs, East Slavic and Finno-Ugric peoples, Finno- ...
, which occupied large parts of these three nations, led to the creation of the common classification known later as the East Slavic languages. The underlying theory of the grouping is their descent from a common ancestor. In modern times, Ukrainian, Russian, and Belarusian are usually listed by linguists as separate languages.David Dalby. 1999/2000. ''The Linguasphere Register of the World's Languages and Speech Communities'' (The Linguasphere Observatory), Volume Two, pg. 442: "53-AAA-e, Russkiy+Ukrainska" Until the 17th and 18th centuries (the time of national and language revival of Ukraine) the
Ukrainians , native_name_lang = uk , image = , caption = , population = 37-40 million , popplace = 37,541,693 , region1 = , pop1 = 3,269,992 , ref1 = , region2 = ...
were predominantly peasants and petit bourgeois, petits bourgeois; as a result, the Ukrainian language was mostly vernacular and few earlier literary works from the period can be found. In the cities, Ukrainian coexisted with Church Slavonic language, Church Slavonic — a literary language of religion that evolved from the Old Church Slavonic, Old Slavonic — and later
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
and
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
, both languages which were more often used in formal writing and communication during that time.


Differences between Ukrainian and other Slavic languages

The Ukrainian language has the following similarities and differences with other Slavic languages: *Like all Slavic languages with the exception of
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
, Belarusian, Slovak and Slovene, the Ukrainian language has preserved the Common Slavic vocative case. When addressing one's sister (''sestra'') she is referred to as ''sestro.'' In the Russian language the vocative case has been almost entirely replaced by the nominative (except for a handful of vestigial forms, e.g. ''Bozhe'' "God!" and ''Gospodi'' "Lord!").J. B. Rudnyckyj. (1963) . The Position of the Ukrainian Language among the Slavic languages. In ''Ukraine: A concise Encyclopedia''. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. pp. 445–448. *The Ukrainian language, in common with all Slavic languages other than Russian, Slovak and Slovene, has retained the Common Slavic second palatalization of the velars *k, *g and *x in front of the secondary vowel *ě of the dative and locative ending in the female declension, resulting in the final sequences -cě, -zě, and -sě. For example, ''ruka'' (hand) becomes ''ruci'' in Ukrainian. In Russian, the dative and locative of ''ruka'' is ''ruke.'' *The Ukrainian language, in common with Serbo-Croatian and Slovene, has developed the ending -''mo'' for first-person plurals in verbs (''khodymo'' for "we walk"). In all cases, it resulted from lengthening of the Common Slavic -''mŭ''. *The Ukrainian language, along with Russian and Belarusian, has changed the Common Slavic word-initial ''ye''- into ''o'', such as in the words ''ozero'' (lake) and ''odyn'' (one). *The Ukrainian language, in common with Czech, Slovak, Upper Sorbian, Belarusian and southern Russian dialects, has changed the Common Slavic "g" into an "h" sound (for example, ''noha'' – leg). *The Ukrainian language, in common with some northern Russian and Croatian dialects, has transformed the Common Slavic ''yě'' into ''i'' (for example, ''lis'' – forest). *The Ukrainian language, in common with Russian, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Slovene and Serbian, has simplified the Common Slavic ''tl'' and ''dl'' into ''l'' (for example, ''mela'' – she swept"). *The Ukrainian language, in common with all modern Slavic languages other than Bulgarian and Macedonian, does not use Article (linguistics), articles. *Other Slavic ''o'', in closed syllables, that is, ending in a consonant, in many cases corresponds to a Ukrainian ''i'', as in ''pod'' > ''pid'' (під, 'under'). This also includes place names such as Lviv (Львів in Ukrainian) - Lwów in Polish and Львов (Lvov) in Russian. Unlike all other Slavic languages, Ukrainian has a synthetic future (also termed inflectional future) tense which developed through the erosion and cliticization of the verb 'to have' (or possibly 'to take'): ''pysa-ty-mu'' (infinitive-future-1st sg.) ''I will write''.Bernd Kortmann, Johan van der Auwera (2011). The Languages and Linguistics of Europe: A Comprehensive Guide, Volume 2. p. 103 Although the inflectional future (based on the verb 'to have') is characteristic of Romance languages, Ukrainian linguist A. Danylenko argues that Ukrainian differs from Romance in the choice of auxiliary, which should be interpreted as 'to take' and not 'to have.' He states that Late Common Slavic (LCS) had three verbs with the same root *em- : * a determined imperfective LCS *jęti : *jĭmǫ 'to take' (later superseded by numerous prefixed perfectives) * an indetermined imperfective LCS *jĭmati : jemljǫ 'to take' (which would not take any prefixes) * an imperfective LCS *jĭměti : *jĭmamĭ 'to hold, own, have' The three verbs became conflated in East Slavic due to morphological overlap, in particular of iměti ‘to have’ and jati ‘to take’ as exemplified in the Middle Ukrainian homonymic imut’ from both iměti (< *jĭměti) and jati (< *jęti). Analogous grammaticalization of the type take (‘to take,’ ‘to seize’) > future is found in Chinese language, Chinese and Hungarian language, Hungarian.Andrii Danylenko. Is There Any Inflectional Future in East Slavic? A Case of Ukrainian against Romance Reopened. Journal of the Slavic Research Center at Hokkaido University, 2007. PP. 147 - 177.


See also

* Ukrainization * Anti-Ukrainian sentiment * Chronology of Ukrainian language bans * Languages of Ukraine * Linguistic discrimination * List of Ukrainian words of Turkic origin * Russification of Ukraine * Surzhyk * Swadesh list of Slavic languages * Ukrainian Braille * Ukrainian Sign Language *
Ukrainians , native_name_lang = uk , image = , caption = , population = 37-40 million , popplace = 37,541,693 , region1 = , pop1 = 3,269,992 , ref1 = , region2 = ...
* Vergonha


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

* * Lesyuk, Mykol
"Різнотрактування історії української мови"
* (revised and updated edition) * Nimchuk, Vasyl'. Періодизація як напрямок дослідження генези та історії української мови. Мовознавство. 1997.- Ч.6.-С.3–14; 1998. * Magocsi, Paul Robert (1996). ''A History of Ukraine.'' Toronto: University of Toronto Press. .
Litopys.kiev.ua
* . Ukrainian translation is partially availabl

*
"What language is spoken in Ukraine"
in ''Welcome to Ukraine'', 2003, 1., wumag.kiev.ua
All-Ukrainian population census 2001
ukrcensus.gov.ua

1996, rada.kiev.ua

rada.kiev.ua.
1897 census
demoscope.ru


External links


Dialects of Ukrainian Language / Narzecza Języka Ukraińskiego by Wł. Kuraszkiewicz

Hammond's Racial map of Europe, 1919
"National Alumni" 1920, vol.7, anesi.com

cla.calpoly.edu



* [http://www.101languages.net/ukrainian/history.html 101languages.net – Ukrainian 101] {{DEFAULTSORT:Ukrainian Language Ukrainian language, Ruthenian language Languages of Ukraine Subject–verb–object languages Ukrainian studies East Slavic languages Languages written in Cyrillic script