Autumn 2000 (8.3)
"Sociolinguistically Speaking" section of Azerbaijan
International is a good step in the right direction. It is the
beginning of a long road that all of us (Azerbaijanis) have to
take. I admire those pioneering efforts of Jala Garibova and
Betty Blair for having initiated these steps. Well done!
However, the articles in the sociolinguistic section have been
written for the non-Azerbaijani. That is, most of these articles
are interesting for those who want to learn Azeri (like Western
employees who go and work in Baku).
But there is a greater and more important aspect of sociolinguistics
as it relates to the Azerbaijani language; that is, in making
Azerbaijanis themselves aware of their language and language
practices. Further, any good sociolinguistic work should surpass
the mere descriptive dimension by taking into account the explanatory
dimension, for example, studying the linguistic choices in light
of the socio-historical and socio-cultural background of the
people of that language.The range of topics covered in such a
broad category as sociolinguistics could be broadened to cover
the following issues. Let me mention a few:
(1) A comparison of code-switching strategies among Azerbaijanis
from the Republic and those in Iran (why, when, how and to what
extent?), (2) Borrowing from other languages such as Russian,
Farsi, Arabic, Turkish, (3) Standardization of Azeri, (4) Lexicography
in Azeri, (5) Reflection of Azerbaijani world perspective in
their language use, (6) The issue of orthography: linguistic
or political choice, (7) Mother tongue maintenance among Azeri
immigrants, (8) Reflection of Azerbaijani culture and people
in the media of other cultures. These suggestions are just the
"tip of the iceberg"; others can extend it much further.
Azerbaijani from Iran living in London
Name withheld by request
(8.3) Autumn 2000.
© Azerbaijan International 2000. All rights reserved.
Back to Reader's
Back to Index AI 8.3 (Autumn
| Magazine Choice | Topics