Language policy and legislation in post-Soviet Azerbaijan
This paper examines the policy and legislative framework for the regulation of language in Azerbaijan. During the Soviet period, language issues were addressed in the Constitution. Post-independence language revival initiatives promoted laws, high status decrees, and official regulations, particularly in the sphere of status-building. The authors analyze post-Soviet language policy and language legislation from the perspective of both national and minority languages. To illuminate the ways in which language strategies are developed, laws covering various domains are examined and evaluated as reflections of the country’s political priorities, socio-economic tendencies and international relations. This paper also discusses the subject of policy implementation. Although the term “Azerbaijan” refers, mostly in popular parlance, also to the northern part of Iran (“South Azerbaijan”) populated by ethnic Azerbaijanis, in this paper the term will be used in reference to the post-Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan, except in certain historical contexts.
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