István Csernicskó’s inaugural lecture at the Rákóczi College

The 195th session of the General Assembly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences took place between 2-4 May 2022, during which István Csernicskó, rector of Ferenc Rákóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College, president of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Academic Council, founder, former head and current professional advisor of the Antal Hodinka Linguistics Research Center was elected as an external member of the MTA. István Csernicskó’s inaugural lecture took place on 11 March 2023 at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The inaugural lecture of the rector of our college was also presented at the Rákóczi College on 29 March within the Rákóczi Days.

Those present were greeted by Ildikó Orosz, President of Rákóczi College.

“Today’s event is an extraordinary lecture, as our rector István Csernicskó is now a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. We congratulate him,”

she highlighted.

István Csernicskó drew attention to the close relationship between language and dialect (language variety) in his lecture entitled HOW TO CREATE LANGUAGES? Language policy as a tool of nation-building and identity construction. He emphasized that, unlike state borders, language borders are not sharp at all.

He also described the elements of the Northern Slavic dialect continuum as a continuous linguistic repertoire, how they were categorized and classified according to political interests, sometimes under one or another, sometimes under several different autonomous dialects at the same time. The analysis covers the period from 1919 to 1944, and its territory is present-day Transcarpathia.

In addition, István Csernicskó clarified the concept of language policy, illustrating with concrete examples that language policy is much more than regulating language use. Language policy is a concept imbued with ideological content.

“Language policy can play a decisive role in how elements of the verbal repertoire are broken down into languages and how languages are separated. When language, nation and state are the subject of political and ideological debates, we cannot forget this”

– concluded his lecture the rector of our college.

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Anita Kurmay