Emblems of independence: script choice in post-Soviet Turkmenistan

Victoria Clement 1
  • 1 Western Carolina University


Like so many societies that emerged from communism at the end of the twentieth century fortifying a local culture in order to extricate themselves from Moscow's influence, Turkmenistan replaced its script to symbolize a break from its Soviet past. The 1993–1995 plan to transition from Cyrillic to Latin anticipated Turkmenistan's new place in the international community. In exploring post-Soviet script change in Turkmenistan, this article illustrates the remarkable power of alphabets to denote, construct, and even memorialize a speech community's identity.

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IJSL is dedicated to the development of the sociology of language as a truly international and interdisciplinary field in which various approaches - theoretical and empirical - supplement and complement each other, contributing thereby to the growth of language-related knowledge, applications, values and sensitivities. The journal features topically-focused issues with individual contributions on small languages and small language communities.