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Post-war Kosovo landscapes in Pristina: discrepancies between language policy and urban reality

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 November 2018

Uranela Demaj
Affiliation:
Department of Linguistics, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium
Mieke Vandenbroucke
Affiliation:
Department of Linguistics, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium FWO Vlaanderen, Brussels, Belgium
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

This paper focuses on the complex nature of post-war multilingual landscapes in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, as shaped by the country's political shift after independence in 2008. We aim to contribute to this sociolinguistically underexplored territory through an examination of the relative predominance and visibility of the capital's most dominant languages: Albanian, Serbian, and English. Our central aim is to empirically problematize the shared co-officialdom of the Albanian and Serb languages, as put forward in the “Ahtisaari Plan” in 2007 and subsequently adopted in the State Constitution in 2008 and Language Laws in 2006 and 2008. We posit that the multilingual language policies which paint an inclusive, multi-ethnic picture of Pristina do not coincide with its monolingual Albanian reality. In addition to these empirical findings, our second aim is to contribute to the theorization of authorship in the public sphere. With reference to the Pristina context, we problematize the analytical categorization conventionally made between top-down and bottom-up agency and distinguish a third category of semi-official authorship. This third category enables us to examine the dynamic nature of the discrepancy between Kosovo's language policy and Pristina's urban linguistic reality in more detail.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 Association for the Study of Nationalities 

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