Perceptions inherited from the Soviet Union prevent Moldova from ratifying the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML), explains Dr. Federica Prina.
Moldova’s ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) is still pending, even though the country signed the charter in 2002. One of the explanations is that essentialist perceptions on linguistic identities have impaired Moldova’s ECRML ratification. The essentialist perception of language and ethnicity stems from the Soviet nationalities discourse.
This experience is going to be relayed Friday by ECMI’s Federica Prina in Cluj-Napoca (Kolozvár, Klausenburg), Romania, when she delivers the paper Language Policies or Language Politics? The Case of Moldova. Prina takes part in the conference Minority representation and minority language rights: Origins, experiences and lessons to be learned, that takes place at the Sapientia University.
The paper examines to what extent essentialist notions of language and ethnicity are at the foundations of current language policies. These notions stem from the Soviet nationalities discourse. It also tries to answer, if the essentialism has led to politicization of the notions in the post-Soviet period.
Essentialist views are inimical to the development of a multi-layered identity and an overarching Moldovan consciousness. When combined with other factors essentialist notions have led to Moldova taking a different route from for instance that of Baltic countries with regard to language policies. One other important factor is the economic dependency on Russia.