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International Journal of the Sociology of Language

Founded by Fishman, Joshua A.

Ed. by Garcia Otheguy, Ofelia

6 Issues per year

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Volume 2006, Issue 179 (May 2006)


Introduction: ethnolinguistic minority language policies in Bulgaria and their Balkan context

Angel G Angelov
  • St. Kliment Ohridski University, Sofia.
/ David F Marshall
  • University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.
Published Online: 2006-06-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/IJSL.2006.022


Language policy failure can come at a high price. From 1984 to 1986, the Communist Party of Bulgaria attempted a forced “nationalization” of its minorities, Turks were specifically targeted; names were to be Slavicized and Bulgarian was to be the only language allowed in public places; even Turkish newspapers were closed down. This special issue of IJSL examines the collapse of that language policy and how the attempt to carry it out reverberates through Bulgarian and Balkan politics, affecting Bulgarian minorities and their counterparts in adjacent nations. As a case of a failed language policy with mild repercussions — after 1989, more severe failures occurred in other Balkan nations, several suffered armed conflict and “ethnic cleansing” — such extreme measures did not occur in Bulgaria; its relationships with its minorities remain more exemplary for other nations in the overcoming of harsh policies and avoidance of civil war.

About the article

Published Online: 2006-06-23

Published in Print: 2006-05-19

Citation Information: International Journal of the Sociology of Language, ISSN (Online) 1613-3668, ISSN (Print) 0165-2516, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/IJSL.2006.022. Export Citation

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