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Die kyrillische Schrift als Symbol kultureller Zugehörigkeit und Orientierung

In  the  history  of  mankind there  have  been  several  attempts  to  create  new alphabets.  More  often,  however,  people  adapt  already  existing writing systems to a given language. In both cases, the  introduction  of  literacy  depends  on  external  factors,  usually  related  with  cultural,  political  and  economic factors, with the linguistic features of the systems involved playing a secondary  role.  The article  focuses  on  the  use  of  the  Cyrillic  alphabet  for non-Slavic languages of the North Caucasus and its role as marker of cultural  and  ethnic  identity.  Its adoption was  not  based on purely linguistic  arguments, but reflected rather a cultural program as well as political-military strategies. The starting point of the discussion shall be the case of Ossetic, an Iranic language now spoken in the Central Caucasus, whose writing history, notwithstanding the relatively short period of time involved (just over two centuries), offers a considerable number of noteworthy moments.


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