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Probing the concept of language vitality : the state of titular languages in the national republics of… Daria, Boltokova 2009

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PROBING THE CONCEPT OF LANGUAGE VITALITY: THE STATE OF TITULAR LANGUAGES IN THE NATIONAL REPUBLICS OF RUSSIA     by    DARIA BOLTOKOVA  M.A. Northwestern Academy of Public Administration, Saint-Petersburg/Russia, 2004       A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF   MASTER OF ARTS     in   The Faculty of Graduate Studies  (Political Science)    THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  (Vancouver)    October 2009  Daria Boltokova, 2009  ii ABSTRACT   This essay seeks to examine vitality of ‘titular languages,’ that is, languages of ‘titular nations,’ in the national republics constituting autonomous units of the Russian Federation. An attempt to map the vitality of languages indigenous to titular nations of Russia is made in order to identify major emerging trend(s) in the use of autochthonous languages. I hypothesize that the years of Soviet rule that promoted the Russian language as the lingua franca throughout the territory of the Soviet Union could not leave the vitality of languages of titular nations unaffected. I suggest that there exists a peculiar relationship between institutions and language vitality in the national republics of the Russian Federation. Political institutions, thus, are an independent variable in this study and language vitality is the dependent variable.  The relationship between the two is contingent on the intervening variable of the demographic composition of the republics.  I argue that de facto Russification affects the vitality of the languages indigenous to titular nations depending on the demographic composition of the republic, while de jure recognition of the titular languages by the state and the republics’ constitutions in present-day Russia may not imply fundamental changes in their overall strength. Apart from in the field of linguistics, language vitality is a fairly new concept and has not been extensively explored in the political science literature.  Therefore, I will begin by analyzing theories from different disciplines to build a definition of language vitality and how it will be ‘measured’ for the purposes of this paper.  In the second section of the paper I will introduce the major trajectories of the Soviet language policy, which subsequently flow into the language policy of contemporary Russia.  I will conclude the theoretical section by emphasizing the importance of language vitality for theories of ethnicity and nationalism in political science. The paper relies on the 1979, 1989, and 2002 census data and uses descriptive statistical and linear regression analysis.      iii TABLE OF CONTENTS  Abstract .......................................................................................................................ii Table of Contents .......................................................................................................iii List of Figures............................................................................................................. iv Acknowledgements......................................................................................................v Introduction.................................................................................................................1     1.1 Why does language vitality matter? .....................................................................1     1.2 Vitality of titular languages in the national republics of Russia: Hypothesis.........3 Language vitality: Conceptual clarifications and theoretical framework ................8     2.1 A linguistics approach to language vitality and definition of language vitality .....8     2.2 Ethnolinguistic vitality....................................................................................... 10     2.3 Critiques of the ethnolinguistic vitality theory.................................................... 11     2.4 Ethnolinguistic vitality vs. linguistic vitality ...................................................... 13     2.5 Status, institutions and demography for language vitality................................... 15 Language planning in the Soviet Union.................................................................... 18 Language policy in the Russian Federation: Status of titular languages in the national republics of Russia. Statistical analysis...................................................... 22 Conclusion ................................................................................................................. 33 Bibliography.............................................................................................................. 35 Appendices................................................................................................................. 38    Appendix A.............................................................................................................. 38    Appendix B.............................................................................................................. 39    Appendix C.............................................................................................................. 40          iv LIST OF FIGURES   Figure 4.1: Knowledge of the Russian and Titular Languages by Titular Nations ........ 25 Figure A.1: Regression Coefficients (Dependent Variable: Linguistic Knowledge) ..... 38 Figure B.1: Percentage of titular nations in the national republics in 2002, 1989 and 1979 .................................................................................................................................... 39 Figure C.1: Titular nations in the national republics of Russia (2002).......................... 40                        v ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  I am truly grateful to Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom for all her support and guidance not only in writing my thesis but also throughout the programme.  I have been extremely lucky to have great peers in the Department of Political Science and would like to thank them all, Anastasia Shesterinina, Beth Schwartz and Priya Bala-Miller in particular. Same goes to my peers at Green College, especially Jo Ogden.  Finally, for me being at UBC in the first place I have to thank Jan De Ridder, whose support meant a lot to me throughout the year.                         vi DEDICATION  Саамай күндү таптыыр ахтар киhибэр ийэбэр аныыбын.                       1 Introduction: 1.1 Why does language vitality matter?  Language in its multifaceted texture fulfills several key functions in our lives.  First and foremost, we use language to express ourselves and communicate with others. Through this conversation based on the knowledge of a common language we not only satisfy our communicative interests, but also ‘situate’ ourselves in the social world and become “full human agents capable of understanding ourselves and, hence of defining our identity” (Taylor: 1994, 32).  The very acquisition of a mother tongue, thus, is involved in the construction of our identity, which is not solid and changes through different stages of our life. Sociolinguists alert us that linguistic diversity is immensely threatened and that numerous languages, minority languages in particular, are in danger of disappearing in the upcoming future.  Fifty per cent of the world’s languages will arguably cease to exist within the next century (Stephen May: 2001, 2).  The forecast is far from optimistic but is not unexpected, especially if one considers that ninety-six percent of the world’s six thousand languages are spoken by only four percent of its population (Michael Krauss (1992) quoted in May: 2001, 2). Given the functions that language performs, being allowed to speak one’s mother tongue may be seen as a basic human right that one should enjoy regardless of one’s social, economic, and political status.  As argued by UNESCO, all languages deserve to be equally respected and preserved, as each one of them comprises the wealth of human knowledge and amplifies not only cultural diversity, but also biodiversity in general (Kymlicka: 2003,  2 10).  These arguments make for a broad claim to the importance of language writ large and the vitality of endangered languages in particular.  For these reasons, international action aimed at raising awareness to save endangered languages or revitalize already silenced vernaculars has been underway for a few decades now.  The Council of Europe adopted the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages to protect the linguistic heritage of the European states.  The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples secured the rights of indigenous peoples to establish and control educational and media institutions that would eventually help to enhance the vitality of their languages.  UNESCO became involved in raising and spreading awareness of threatened languages to the wider public.  An ad hoc group of scholars was established to categorize languages depending on a level of endangerment and to identify the carriers of these languages.  The Red Book of Endangered Languages was then created to maintain a comprehensive list of languages facing disappearance.1  The actions of these international bodies once again reflect the importance of language in the international political realm and the need to safeguard endangered languages as a part and parcel of the world’s “intangible cultural heritage” (‘UNESCO: Culture’).  Finally, the upsurges of nationalism and interethnic tensions in states across the world, often involving the status of language as an aspect of the threatened heritage, which is sought to be upheld, point to the significance of language vitality in domestic political settings.  One such setting is the former Soviet Union, which experienced a wave of national mobilization after Gorbachev’s policy of glasnost, including numerous  1 It was found that many of these languages are intensely concentrated in the areas where colonization of indigenous populations had taken place.  The languages of First Nations in Australia, Canada, and the United States are thus recognized as not only “unsafe” (according to the UNESCO Language Endangerment Scale) but most of them in danger of extinction (‘UNESCO: Culture’).  No doubt the colonial intervention, as noted by a Cree/Métis writer and educator Kim Anderson, is at the heart of this linguistic erosion (Anderson: 2000).  3 demonstrations in Tbilisi, Yerevan, Riga, Vilnyus, and Tallin that demanded independence from the Soviet Union (Christoph Zurcher: 2007, 39).  Simultaneously with this mobilization, language laws were passed in the Soviet Union republics, starting with the Estonian language law of January 18, 1989 (Grenoble: 2003, 206).  These language laws granted the titular languages of the Soviet Union republics the status of official state languages, and were ratified in a matter of a few months.  The Turkmen language law concluded the stream of language laws implemented by eleven out of fifteen Union republics on May 24, 1990 (Grenoble: 2003, 206).  The legislation of language rights in these republics was a focal point of a counter action against the Soviet language policy of Russification and was symptomatic of the coming disintegration of the Soviet Union (Grenoble: 2003, 206).  To sum up, the events, that preceded the collapse of the Soviet Union, suggest that there may be a close relationship between the vitality of languages, recognition of language as one of the core symbols of the nation, and socio-political outcomes, such as national mobilization for independence or group rights within the larger state.  Thus, integrating the concept of language vitality into the political science literature may be a fruitful endeavour, to further advance theories of ethno-nationalism, ethnic mobilization, and civil conflict.  1.2 Vitality of titular languages in the national republics of Russia: Hypothesis  Ethnic revival movements demanding independence were also present in the newly born Russian Federation.  These movements, especially those in the Chechen Republic, were considered to pose a major threat to the Federation’s integrity.  It is yet to be studied whether incentives behind ethnic mobilization in the national republics of Russia were also  4 influenced by the urge of titular nations to revive their culture, an essential part of which is language.  While it was suggested above that exploring the relationship between ethnic mobilization and language vitality issues may significantly contribute to theories of ethnicity, given the limits of this paper, it focuses solely on the effect of political institutions on language vitality.  This in the end may constitute one of the initial links connecting language vitality to socio-political outcomes in form of ethnic mobilization. Hence, the paper seeks to determine the extent to which the institutionalization of the Russian language affected the vitality of languages indigenous to titular nations in the national republics of Russia, leaving the connection between language vitality and ethnic mobilization for further study.  According to the Ethnologue language database, one hundred different languages exist in Russia and five are recorded as “dead” (‘Ethnologue: Russia’).  This plurality of spoken languages is relatively modest,2 especially if one considers the territorial division of Russia, which comprises eighty-three federal subjects, or constituent units of different status, population, and area size, along with diverse historical and cultural backgrounds.  National republics hold exceptional status within the Federation compared to the other five types of federal subjects.3  Historically, they have been organized around one major ethnic group recognized as a “titular nation” – although this does not always mean that this group constitutes a majority in the republic.  The exceptional status of national republics is demonstrated in their legal capacity to enjoy autonomy over all institutional  2 Indonesia, for instance, has more than seven times the number of individual languages spoken in Russia (‘Ethnologue’). 3 The Russian Federation consists of 83 federal subjects: 21 national republics, 9 krays (regions), 46 oblasts (provinces), 2 cities of federal significance, 1 autonomous oblast, and 4 autonomous okrugs (district/area).  5 organizations within their borders.  This is clearly reflected in the constitution of the Russian Federation as well as in the republics’ constitutions.  In terms of linguistic autonomy, national republics have the right to authorize one or more official languages within their territories in addition to the official state language – Russian.  Thus, except for one republic – the Karelian Republic – all twenty republics are bilingual or multilingual, recognizing languages of titular ethnic groups along with the state language as official languages in the republics.  Language vitality of titular nations in national republics provides an opportunity for a complex cross-case analysis.  I hypothesize that years of Soviet rule that promoted the Russian language as a sole lingua franca and the prime medium of inter-national communication in the entire Soviet Union could not leave languages indigenous to titular nations without any impact.  Therefore, I argue that federal and regional language laws in present-day Russia,4 including the official status of titular languages recognized by the state and the republics’ constitutions, alone do not guarantee the safe position of titular languages in the administrative, governmental, and juridical bodies of the republics. The collapse of the Soviet Union signified a disappearance of a supra-national state from the world political map; yet, it did not bring considerable changes to the formal institutional framework of the new Russian state.  At least in terms of linguistic development, the movement towards Russification prevalent among Soviet policy-makers and characterized by a deliberate promotion of the Russian culture and language still seem to be present in contemporary Russia.  Although some scholars argue that Russification  4 In the preface of her book entitled ‘Language Policy in the Soviet Union’ Grenoble acknowledges that “there was a difference between stated policy and actual practice”. (Grenoble: 2003, VII)  Furthermore, she states that “there was no guarantee that any given policy would be implemented, even when it had been officially legislated” (Grenoble: 2003, VII).  This seems to still be true in the case of present-day Russia.  6 ended with the dissolution of the Soviet Union (Yagmur, Kroon: 2006), the legacy of the Soviet language policy, aimed to develop the Russian language as a lingua franca in the entire territory of the vast empire, as mentioned above, continues to penetrate traditional linguistic habitats and undermines the vitality of minority languages and their survival as distinct individual languages.  In this sense, I suggest that the current Russian state and regional laws aimed to revive the use of autochthonous languages within the republics seem to be overshadowed by the legacy of the Soviet language policy.  For the bureaucratic machine to cease being fuelled by the use of the Russian language and to recognize and involve titular languages on par in practice, bottom-up efforts from the members of titular linguistic communities are essential.  This leads me to argue that the official status granted to titular languages and the attributes of symbolic power associated with the official status matter insignificantly in maintaining strong vitality of titular languages in the national republics in so far as these laws are not complemented by a concentrated titular nation population in a republic and, are supported by these linguistic communities themselves. Thus, another hypothesis derived from the above discussion, and the central one as we will see in the empirical analysis of the cases, is that the demographic composition of the republics is likely to play a key role in determining the vitality of titular languages in Russia: The higher the concentration of a ethnic populace, whose mother tongue is a titular language, in the republics, the lesser the probability that the vitality of their heritage language will be vulnerable to endangerment and, further, disappearance.  The aforementioned thesis is supported in the pattern identified in the analysis of the cases of linguistic vitality in Russia. This pattern draws a parallel between the share of an ethnic group in a population and the knowledge of that group’s language within the group.  7 Three outliers are found to diverge from the overall demographic pattern and are considered to be a significant puzzle for this paper.  Contrary to the expectations, the linguistic situation in the Adygheya, Chuvashia, and Kalmykia republics does not ‘fit’ the outlined demographic pattern and provide the opportunity for future studies that need to be undertaken in order to explore these unique cases in depth.  Numerous studies have been dedicated to exploring the linguistic situation in the Soviet successor states, i.e. in the Baltic states (e.g. Estonia, Lithuania etc.) and in the Central Asian states (e.g. Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan etc.), but the vitality of titular languages in the national republics within the Russian Federation has not been addressed in the literature.  This study begins to fill this gap.  Indeed, there is a significant difference between the former Soviet Union republics – which are now sovereign states and which have legitimate and, in Weberian terms, exclusive control over the establishment of their state language – and the subunits of the Russian state, which need authorization of the central government for all major actions within their territories.   The unique characteristics of the Russian national republics in terms of their demographic composition and status of quasi autonomous states make these republics an interesting case for comparison and shed a new light on the management of linguistic diversity in Russia.        8 Language vitality: conceptual clarifications and theoretical framework 2.1 A linguistics approach to language vitality and definition of language vitality  I adopt the term ‘language vitality’ (alternatively referred to as ‘linguistic vitality’) from Margaret Florey, a student of indigenous languages in Indonesia (‘Florey’). Attempting to assess linguistic vitality of four different languages indigenous to communities in central Maluku province in Indonesia, Florey designed a language vitality test, which was supposed to recognize receptive (lexical recognition), productive (translation), and creative (discourse) abilities of a speaker (or a speaker group) in the target language (‘Florey’).  Based on the results of this test, she then categorizes the vitality of a language as threatened, endangered, or moribund (‘Florey’).  The major purpose of this assessment is to determine the state of endangerment of indigenous languages and most importantly to prompt actions that can be directed to save these languages from their ultimate erosion.  This is an ‘ideal’ assessment of linguistic vitality, which is accomplished according to all complexities of a language fluency test, but which seems possible only when applied to indigenous communities fairly small in size.  David Laitin confirms that it is a very ambitious project to access language skills where trained interviewers do in-depth “linguistic background scales,” especially in cross-national surveys (Laitin: 2000, 150). Moreover, Laitin suggests that “there are immense conceptual problems and lack of interest from social science in obtaining cross-national data on people’s language repertoires” (Laitin: 2000, 144).  For these reasons, in this paper the proportion of the population that reports fluency in a particular language helps to evaluate language vitality, which I define as the ability of a language5 to survive as an individual language among the speaker  5 Where by ‘language’ I mean language of a minority group.  9 population in a multilingual setting without being assimilated into a dominant language.  To be more precise, the paper evaluates the degree to which native speakers (titular nations) maintain their language and identifies the variables that affect the knowledge and sustainability of their mother tongue.  I use census data to find the proportion of the titular nations that report fluency in the titular language to measure the strength of linguistic vitality.  In sum, the term ‘language vitality’ is used to indicate the ability of a minority language to endure as an individual language in a multilingual environment.  The term linguistic vitality used by Florey and ‘measured’ according to all complexities of a language fluency test (i.e. the knowledge of the specific lexicon and grammatical constructions) will not refer to the same kind of linguistic knowledge but rather be indicative of an approximate language proficiency.  Linguistic vitality can and should be assessed using special linguistic tests in order to get an objective and comprehensive data.  However, when it comes to an assessment of linguistic vitality of a large population on a state (or regional) level, there is almost no census data that does not rely on a subjective and thus ‘approximate’ interpretation of a speaker population in identifying their linguistic repertoire6.  In the following sections of this paper, I discuss the ethnolinguistic vitality theory and critiques of the theory by other commentators on ethnolinguistic vitality and conclude that distinction of linguistic vitality as a concept is necessary for the purposes of this study.     6 It is worth noting that the questions of census data changed over the years.  For example, the 1989 Census of the Soviet Union identified a ‘mother tongue,’ whereas the 2002 Census reported the knowledge of a given language rather than a mother tongue in particular.  10 2.2 Ethnolinguistic vitality  The concept of Giles et al.’s ethnolinguistic vitality (Giles et al 1977, 2001; Kutlay Yagmur and Sjaak Kroon: 2006) provides a different approach on the notion of language vitality and to date is the only theory that deals with an issue of vitality.  Contrary to Florey, who tests vitality of a language per se, Giles et al. examine vitality of a language within a prism of an ethnolinguistic vitality framework.  They define ethnolinguistic vitality as a group’s ability “to behave as a distinctive and active collective entity in intergroup situations” and argue that “ethnolinguistic minorities with little or no group vitality would eventually cease to exist as distinctive groups” (Giles et al.: 1977, 308).  The assimilation with larger dominant groups is seen as a major reason of group’s extinction as an enduring collective entity.  Giles et al. identify three sets of variables that to a large extent determine ethnolinguistic vitality: status and demographic and institutional support factors.  The status of an ethnolinguistic group is that which determines “a configuration of prestige variables” (Giles et al.: 1977, 309) including economic, social, and sociohistorical status along with the language status of the ethnolinguistic group.  The demographic support factor refers to the sheer numbers of an ethnolinguistic group members and their distribution throughout a certain territory.  And finally, institutional support factor indicates the extent to which a language of a particular ethnolinguistic group receives recognition and “formal and informal representation in the various institutions within a nation, region or community” (Giles et al: 1977, 309).  As noted by Giles et al. themselves, the taxonomy of socio- political factors that affect vitality of an ethnolinguistic group is not exhaustive or necessarily mutually exclusive (Giles et al: 1977).  Thus, numerous other factors may addition the three sets of variables identified in their theory.  11 2.3 Critiques of the ethnolinguistic vitality theory  John Edwards recognizes the necessity of a comprehensive and well-specified ‘framework of variables,’ which could serve to illuminate contexts of language maintenance7 (John Edwards: 1992).  Examining three different typologies, including that of Giles et al., which he claims are not used systematically, Edwards takes an interdisciplinary approach that involves sociology, linguistics, politics, geography, and economics. This approach greatly benefits Edwards’ classification of various factors that affect language vitality (or maintenance).  Edwards believes that a comprehensive typology could serve as a tool to compare various contexts of minority language vitality and concludes that such framework of variables could even permit general predictions when applied in different cases.  In the same vein, Harald Haarmann suggests that while the Giles et al.’s taxonomy is effective when applied at a macrolevel, it fails to consider specific language relations at microlevels.  Thus, Haarmann suggests that “language ecology” or, in other words, the whole social milieu, where languages are activated, should be covered in order to draw a comprehensive picture that responds to demands to accurately identify explanatory variables that affect language vitality (Haarmann (1986) quoted in Diarmait Mac Giolla, 2003, 46).  Contrary to Edwards and Haarmann, Colin Baker justifies Giles et al.’s theory by suggesting that “Giles et al create a model rather than a list of many factors involved in language vitality” (Colin Baker: 2006, 55).  At the same time, however, Baker seems to agree with Edwards’ statement that a comprehensive model would be a valuable tool in  7 The term ‘language maintenance’ used by Edwards implies a similar meaning to language vitality and is therefore used interchangeably.  12 predicting whether a particular minority language will survive and sustain or fade and disappear.  Finally, Husband and Khan (Husband and Khan 1982), quoted in Colin Baker (2006), add another significant contribution to the critiques of Giles et al.’s model, arguing that socio-political variables that affect language vitality are not separate and independent of each other but interrelated, and that it is problematic to analyze them individually since these factors are mutually dependent.  As demonstrated, critiques of Giles et al.’s theory are disparate, and as any other theory, the conceptualization is not fully inclusive and has several limitations.  In general, there seems to be a little conceptual agreement on what types of variables are sufficient to adequately determine language vitality and how they should be systematized. Notwithstanding Giles et al.’s valuable contribution in the vitality theory and keeping in mind the critiques by other commentators, such as Edwards or Haarmann, the most important shortcoming for the purposes of this paper is that the theory fails to provide an explicit definition of what is considered an ethnolinguistic group.  Moreover, even the critiques of the ethnolinguistic theory described above do not seem to clarify the difference between two diverse notions of vitality: vitality of an ethnolinguistic group and vitality of an individual language, whereas the two are not synonymous8.    8 Though cited in numerous academic works, the ethnolinguistic vitality theory has not been revisited or updated except in a small excerpt in Howard Giles’ (2002) recent work in collaboration with Valerie Barker where they reinterpret Giles et al.’s initial ‘ethnolinguistic vitality theory’ into ‘vitality theory’.  In so doing, they eliminate ‘ethnolinguistic’ from the theory leaving it under the heading ‘vitality theory’ and employ the terms “language groups” or “language minority populations,” e.g. “Latino group vitality” or even “Hispanic population” instead of “ethnolinguistic groups”.  These conceptual changes seem to be made in order to leave ethnicity aside and put emphasis on the linguistic characteristics of the ethnolinguistic groups (Giles et al.: 2002).    13 2.4 Ethnolinguistic vitality vs. linguistic vitality  Whereas Giles et al. analyze vitality of an ethnolinguistic minority group as a whole, I attempt to focus my analysis particularly on vitality of languages of ethnolinguistic groups, rather than vitality of enthnolinguistic groups as such.  This is done to open up the category of language vitality, taken on its own, which has so far been considered in combination with a number of other factors in studies of ethnolinguistic vitality.  As a result, I hope to point out a new direction in generating and testing theories that have language as one of their components, which would focus on language vitality as one of the categories deserving individual attention.  Indeed, languages do not exist on their own and ability of language speakers to survive as a distinct homogeneous group might largely predetermine vitality of a language itself.  However, I suggest that it is necessary to pin down linguistic vitality instead of examining ethnolinguistic vitality as a whole since survival as a distinct collective entity may differ from survival of an individual language.  It is possible that some traditions and customs that are said to be intrinsic to ethnic groups (or to identities related to ethnic groups) (Kanchan Chandra: 2006) may cease to exist or be diminished while language is still sustained.  Or, in a different case, the language indigenous to a particular group may be abandoned but ethnic identity (or a sense of belonging to a certain ethnic group) in general would still remain strong.  This was exemplified in Khilkhanova and Khilkhanov’s case study of Buryat minority group in the Buryatia Republic of Russia, where despite the fact that the Buryat language is not widely used among Buryats who favour the Russian language instead, the Buryat language still holds “a symbolic, unifying value and its abandoning does not affect the ethnic identity itself” (Khilkhanova and Khilkhanov: 2004,  14 85).  Secondly, it seems difficult (if at all possible) to be concerned about vitality of a group identified as ethnic or ethnolinguistic without a consensus (or definition) on what constitutes ethnicity (ethnic group) or ethnic identity (Chandra: 2006).  Debates on these issues are ongoing and limitless.  However, “construction and choice rather than blood and inheritance, is now the standard story line” among these debates (Laitin: 1998, 12). Stephen May provides an argument contrary to the constructivist approach.  He believes that in order to understand why minority languages’ vitality is in such low esteem in the modern world one must not ignore related debates on ethnicity (May: 2001, 19). Contesting a ‘primordial’ approach on ethnicity, which views human beings as belonging to fixed ethnic communities characterized by language, culture, and a shared belief in common ancestry, and a ‘situational’ approach, which emphasizes the ability of an ethnic group to ‘situationally’ define (or construct) its beneficial existence in the social interactions with other groups, May concludes that this polarization is not fruitful in revealing what ethnicity is (May: 2001, 28).  Moreover, he suggests that both approaches offer a partial view on ethnicity.  May regards an alternative position that includes salient features of both extremes as an ultimate solution in the ‘ethnicity problem’ – thus “ethnicity cannot simply be a convenient and largely fictive construction and the ‘cultural stuff’ of ethnicity [such as] ancestry, culture and language does matter” for many people and needs to be taken into account (May: 2001, 25).  In contrast to both of the above positions, Taiaiake Alfred separates language from other characteristics of ethnicity, arguing that language is “the only true source of distinctiveness among human group identities” (Taiaiake Alfred: 2005, 246).  However, being both “constructed and contingent, [as well as  15 representing] a social, political and cultural form of life,” (May: 2001, 10), ethnicity includes language as well as several other definitive attributes, such as, for instance, “the belief in common descent,” traditions and customs (Weber in May: 2001, 27).  Thus while a part of ethnicity, language cannot be regarded as the sole indicator of ethnicity.  These arguments force me to conclude that the analytical distinction of language from ethnicity and a study of its vitality separately from an ethnic group’s vitality might be a fruitful endeavour.  Thus, while other attributes of ethnicity may die or may be diminished, language can still be sustained or, conversely, language may not survive, whereas ethnic identity may still be vigorous.  No doubt, the existence (or belief in the existence) of an ethnic group as a homogeneous entity does advance chances of its language survival.  However, survival of a particular ethnicity as a group is not the same as a survival of a particular language as an individual language.  Studies in political science focusing on ethnicity or ethno-national mobilization have incorporated language as one of the elements into their analysis.  Yet, language has not been studied as a separate category, both within the broader ethnicity-related theories and in contexts where a strong ethnic component has not been identified.  For this reason, a study of language outside the framework of ethnicity is beneficial to broadening the insights into collective action and mobilization.  Language may prove an important category on its own when it comes to such issues.  2.5 Status, institutions and demography for language vitality  While I differentiate between ethnolinguistic and linguistic vitalities, I adopt a similar set of variables to Giles et al. in assessing language vitality among its speaker  16 population: status, demographic support factors and institutional support factors.  By status I understand the prestige of a language formed as a result of a socio-historical and institutional change and perceptions that speakers have towards their mother tongue. Language status thus is constructed both externally and internally.  The prestige of a language may derive from a number of external variables including, inter alia, institutional support through e.g. official recognition of a language, rich literary tradition, and a regular use of a particular language in the media.  Arguably, it is difficult to prove a direct causal relationship between demographics and institutions and language status, as well as to adequately ascertain the degree of language status among its speakers (Grenoble, Whaley: 1998).  However, there seems to be a close relationship between institutions and linguistic status.  For example, official recognition of a language or state-supported activities aimed to promote a use of a particular vernacular in public domains may represent symbolic recognition of a language, which uplifts its prestige not only on a state level but also most importantly among its speaker population.  Or to the contrary, negative attitudes towards one’s mother tongue can stem from deliberate politics that stigmatizes the language and thus diminishes its linguistic prestige.  I suggest that in a hierarchy of factors affecting language vitality, media and linguistic landscape broadly defined as “public and commercial signs in a given territory or region” (Landry, Bourhis: 1997, 23) including road signs and signs inside and outside commercial and administrative buildings should take one of the uppermost levels.  Not only media and linguistic landscapes ascertain symbolic recognition of a language but also provide repetitive practice of a language in a day-to -day life and therefore enhance the  17 chances of its being used in both public and private domains, which is crucial for overall language vitality.  The demographic factor refers to a size of a speaker group and its density within a defined area. Potentially, subcategories like birth rate, mixed marriages or immigration and emigration may influence the absolute number and concentration of a speaker group.  For example, a low birthrate combined with a high mortality rate might negatively affect an intergenerational transmission of a language so crucial to vitality of a language.  Or alternatively, children born in mixed marriages are likely to speak the language of the dominant majority group, thus contributing to a language shift in a broader sense.  To sum up, the taxonomy of variables that influence linguistic vitality is not limited to three variables. Moreover, all of these factors one way or other are interrelated with each other and need to be seen as a complex combination rather than individually crafted categories.  However, in order to draw a pattern indicating language vitality in several national republics evaluation through a limited number of individual variables – status, demography and institutions – is necessary.          18 Language planning in the Soviet Union  Any comprehensive study of language vitality in national republics of the present- day Russian Federation requires familiarity with a history of language planning in the Soviet Union.  From the very foundation of the Soviet Union, language planning played a crucial role in the overall state policy.  Soviet leaders could not ignore the multilingual character of the newly established country (Grenoble, 2003).  According to the 1989 Soviet census, there were 150 languages9 that coexisted in the vast territory of the Soviet empire (Grenoble: 2003, 1-2).  The level of linguistic advancement was as diverse as languages spoken in the country – from well-developed and long-standing literary traditions such as the use of an Arabic script in the Caucasus regions to languages of Far East Siberia, which did not have written forms at all and were maintained only orally.  This diversity, however, was uneven and most languages did not have literary forms – it is estimated that out of 150 languages only thirteen had literary traditions and just nineteen had any kind of written form (Grenoble: 2003, 45).  Eradicating illiteracy in such diverse population in terms of its ethnic composition, language use and literacy rate was not an easy task, but one recognized as necessary by the early Soviet authorities.  A state-supported campaign known as ‘Liquidation of illiteracy’ (Likvidatsiya bezgramotnosti, or “Likbez”) was prompted quickly as soon as the goals of language planning were recognized.  Intensive language planning activities such as creation of new alphabets and changing existing ones into Latin and then to Cyrillic were among first and major steps of mass literacy campaign.  A special Alphabet Committee consisting of the Soviet scholars-linguists was organized in order to facilitate these reforms (Crisp: 1989,  9 Although linguists estimate 200 languages (Grenoble: 2003, 1-2).  19 36).  Efforts of language planners resulted in extraordinary outcomes – in a matter of just over forty years the literacy rate accelerated from only 24 percent in 1897, just two decades before the Bolsheviks came into power, to a remarkable 81.2 percent in 1939 (Grenoble: 2003, 46).  Therefore, the goal of the early language planners in the Soviet Union to eradicate illiteracy was nearly accomplished.  Language planning started to change drastically during the Stalin era and as later supported by Khruschev’s rule. The early period of Soviet language planning promoted, at least in official documents and statements, equal rights and development of all existing languages.  Lenin firmly believed that no priority should be given to one single language over another and that all nations should be able to use their mother tongue in all spheres of social and political life.  However, Stalin’s view on language planning differed markedly from that of his predecessor.  The decree “About Compulsory Russian Language Learning in Schools in National Republics and Districts” from March 13, 1938 (Khilkhanova, Khilkhanov: 2004, 88) was a turning point in language policy envisioned by Lenin.  The decree signified the beginning of the policy of Russification not only in the educational system, but signaled the institutionalization of the Russian language on a state level.  The years of Khrushchev’s rule are characterized by further popularization of the Russian language and its de facto implementation as a state language of the Soviet Union. It is then the Russian language became recognized as a “second native language” of all citizens in the Soviet Union (Kreindler: 1989, 47).  The course taken towards bilingualism was supported by the implementation of educational laws of 1958-59 that allowed parents to choose their children’s language of instruction at school and even decide whether they should be taught their mother tongue at all (Kreindler: 1989, 49).  However, this ‘choice’  20 meant that more parents ‘chose’ the Russian language in expense of a mother tongue as a language of instruction for their children.  It was perceived that pupils who had mastered the Russian language had better chances of acceptance into universities (Francis Knowles: 1989, 159).  In sum, economic and educational incentives influenced parents’ choice to limit their children’s opportunity to study in their mother tongue and thus initiated a major language shift in favour of the Russian language.  While Khrushchev praised the Russian language for pragmatic reasons mainly as the language of communication and development, the eighteen years of Brezhnev’s rule glorified the Russian language as “the language of October, of Lenin, and of the Communist future” (Kreindler: 1989, 53).  It was then that the Russian language was proclaimed “inherently superior” (Kreindler, 53) to all other languages of the peoples of the USSR, which subsequently diminished not only the prestige of the non-Russian languages but had negative implications on self-perception of the speakers of those languages. Brezhnev was eager to construct a “new human community10 sharing a common territory, state, economic system, culture, the goal of building communism and a common language” (G. Smith 1990:9 from the Materials of the 14th Party Congress in Grenoble: 2003, 59). Thus, the ideas of building great communist future added to the glorification of the Russian language as a “superior” to other non-Russian languages further enhanced the politics of Russification.  As we can see from the above discussion that traces a history of the Soviet Union language policy, there is much evidence to suggest that the Russian language was promoted over almost the entire Soviet Union as a lingua franca and served as the de facto state  10 Also known as the Soviet nation (sovetskii narod)  21 language in all major political and social realms.  The Russian language was first declared as a state official language only in 1990 with the ratification of the “Law on the languages of the peoples of the USSR” from April 24, 1990.  While this may seem surprising, it suggests that official recognition of the Russian language was not necessary given its already established de facto status.  However, it is also essential to keep in mind that although the legal status of the Russian language was not required for it to have actual prestige within the state, the “Law on the languages of the peoples of the USSR” from 1990 was issued as a reactionary document in the aftermath of the wave of the language laws by the Union republics (Grenoble: 2003, 206).  As I have already mentioned in the introduction of this paper, these language laws declared titular languages as official languages within the Union republics and in doing so, for the first time undermined the status of the Russian language.  The next section discusses how language policy developed in the Russian Federation after the fall of the Soviet Union and attempts to determine the influence of the Soviet language policy on the language vitality of titular nations in the national republics of Russia.         22 Language policy in the Russian Federation: Status of titular languages in the national republics of Russia.  Statistical analysis.  The collapse of the Soviet Union – the world’s biggest state in the past century – created fifteen independent new states.  The Russian Federation, or Russia,11 was the largest of all of them and originally formed as a federation of 89 federal subjects – constituent units – that differed in their historical and cultural backgrounds, size, status, and population density and diversity.  During Vladimir Putin’s rule, some (usually two) federal subjects were merged into one federal entity, causing speculations about Putin’s intentions to make the country a unitary state (Hans Oversloot, 2009).  Despite these speculations, present-day Russia is still a federation and consists of 83 constituent entities that differ significantly in their political status.  There are 21 national republics, 9 krays (regions), 46 oblasts (provinces), 2 ‘cities of federal significance’ (Moscow and St. Petersburg), 1 autonomous oblast (autonomous province), and 4 autonomous okrugs (autonomous district/area).  The Constitution of the Russian Federation declares that all federal subjects (regions) “shall have equal rights as constituent units of the Russian Federation” (The Constitution: Article 5).  However, this is not entirely the case in practice.  The former Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics (ASSRs), or national republics of the Russian Federation, hold exceptional legal status compared to the other five types of subjects.  Even among the republics, there are noticeable differences in terms of their formation as national republics and demographic composition.  Sixteen republics out of twenty-one are former Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics (ASSR) that were renamed and became national  11 According to the Article 1 of Constitution of the Russian Federation, both names are equivalent.  23 republics of the Russian Federation after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  These, therefore, have long-standing traditions as autonomous entities within a federation.  The other five republics used to be autonomous regions or districts that were reorganized into republics predominantly after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.  Each of the twenty-one republics was formed around a distinct major ethnic group that is recognized as the ‘titular nation.’ Among the republics, both population size and ethnic density and diversity vary greatly. For example, Bashkortostan has the largest population of the republics with over four million inhabitants, whereas the population of the Altai republic is just over two hundred thousand people.  Dagestan is one of the most diverse constituent entities in the world in terms of its ethnic composition and languages spoken, while Khakassia is populated almost entirely by ethnic Russians (80.3 percent).  The greater rights of national republics relative to other constituent units is clearly stated in the same Constitution of the Russian Federation which leaves the right to implement “own State language” to the discretion of the individual republic: Republics shall have the right to establish their own State languages. In State government bodies, local self-government bodies and State institutions of republics they shall be used together with the State language of the Russian Federation (The Constitution: Article 68).  The Republics did not hesitate in actualizing their rights, and all but the Karelian Republic established titular languages as state languages in the republics’ constitutions.  Thus, with the exception of four republics, Karelia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachaevo-Cherkessia and Dagestan, all republics are officially bilingual, declaring both the Russian language and a language of a titular nation as state languages.  Kabardino-Balkaria recognizes three languages as official languages in the republic, and Karachaevo-Cherkessia recognizes five. Dagestan is an outlier in that its constitution declares that fourteen languages have official status in the territory.  Speculations that the status of these languages is only nominal and  24 the main language of use is the Russian language are inevitable.  The governments of these republics grant official status to three or more languages, thus creating a linguistic fusion on an official level that seems, if not overly idealistic, then hard to maintain.  One can argue that the officially recognized multiplicity of languages alone determines the monopoly of one language, especially in the administrative institutions.  The official monolingualism of the Karelian republic on the other hand might be explained by the insignificant share of the ethnic-Karelian population within the Republic’s total population, where they are a minority constituting only 9.2 percent (Census data 2002).  This suggests that density of a speaker population within a political unit not only may determine the vitality of a language but also play an essential role in recognition of the legal status of a language.  The demographic situation in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachaevo-Cherkessia, Dagestan, Chechnya and Ingushetia underwent major changes.  This is mainly due to the uniqueness and complexity of these republics’ social and political upheaval, primarily the ethnic deportations orchestrated by Stalin in the mid-1940s in all five republics, and military interventions in the Chechen Republic that left the region in utter destruction. These major artificial demographic shifts in the republics lessen the probability of the demographic variable that this study relies on and any pattern I might find would be misleading; therefore I exclude Kabardino-Balkarian, Karachaevo-Cherkessian and Dagestan, Chechnya and Ingushetia republics from my analysis.  The Karelian republic is the final republic to not to be included in my analysis.  As mentioned above, it is the only Republic out of twenty-one that is monolingual recognizing the Russian language as an official language and therefore do not fit in the analysis.  Hence, fifteen republics where a share of titular nations remained fairly stable (see Appendix B), and which are bilingual,  25 recognizing both Russian and a titular language as official state languages, are considered for the analysis of this paper.  Using results from the 2002 census of the Russian Federation, Figure 1 below illustrates knowledge of the Russian and titular languages by titular nations.  As the chart demonstrates, the knowledge of titular languages by titular nations is predominantly weak. Only five out of fifteen Republics listed in the chart are cases where knowledge of titular indigenous languages is higher than the knowledge of the Russian language. Figure 4.1: Knowledge of the Russian and Titular Languages by Titular Nations  Source: Own elaboration from the 2002 Census of the Russian Federation.  In Tuva, Osetia, Sakha and Tatarstan republics, titular nations are in the majority within the republics in varying degrees, but an average of 96.16 percent of the members of the titular nations indicate knowledge of their titular language (see Appendix C).  This suggests a high level of language vitality in these republics.  In contrast, in the republics where titular nations are in the minority in Khakasia, Udmurtia, Komi, Bashkortostan, Mari, Buryatia, Mordva and Altai the percentage that indicates knowledge of a language indigenous to titular nations is 77.9 percent – significantly lower than the knowledge of  26 titular languages among titular groups in Tuva, Osetia, Sakha and Tatarstan (see Appendix C).  This suggests that language vitality is weaker in the former eight republics.  Hence, the data indicates that in republics where titular nations are in the majority, policies of Russification have had insignificant influence and the knowledge of titular languages has persisted despite the bilingualism that occurred as a result of the Soviet language policy. To the contrary, in the republics where titular nations are in the minority, institutionalization of the Russian language had considerable negative impact on the knowledge of titular languages by titular nations.  To confirm the above hypothesis that suggests a relationship between the demographic composition of the republics and knowledge of the titular languages I use a linear regression analysis.  The analysis indicates that there is a significant linear relationship between the share of a titular nation in a population and the knowledge of the titular language within the titular nation.  The results suggest that each one percentage point increase in the share of the titular nation is associated with a 0.345 percentage point increase in the knowledge of the titular language and this is highly significant (p<.01) (see Appendix A).  The descriptive statistical analysis of the data from the censuses from 1979, 1989 and 2002 illustrates that there was moderate change in the demographic composition of the republics considered in this paper (see Appendix B) and thus, increases probability of the assumption that demographic factor may play a significant role in language vitality in case of titular nations in the national republics of Russia.  Given the results of both the linear regression and the descriptive statistical analysis this paper suggests that the impact of the policy of Russification on the vitality of titular  27 languages is contingent on demographic composition of the republics.  However, it is possible that language vitality is affected by a third unidentified variable.  This unidentified variable (or variables) may explain the linguistic vitality of three outliers from the general pattern.  The vitality of titular languages indigenous to the Adyghe in the Adygheya republic and the Chuvash and Kalmyk languages in the Chuvash and Kalmyk republics respectively and the demographic composition in these republics do not seem to be related. This is demonstrated by the 2002 census data where the percentage of the Adyghe people in Adygheya reporting the knowledge of their mother tongue comes second after the Tuvin people living in Tuva.  However, while Tuva fits the pattern identified (Tuvin people constitute 77 percent of the population of the republic), the Adyghe people are a minority in the Adyghe republic at 24.2 percent.  In sharp contrast, although the Chuvash and Kalmyk people constitute majorities within the Chuvash and Kalmyk republics (a share of the Chuvash people within the Chuvash Republic is 67.7 percent and Kalmyk – 53.3), more report knowledge of the Russian language, than of their own titular languages.  Language vitality in the above-described outlier republics provides an opportunity for intriguing in-depth case studies.  First of all, the titular population in all three republics practices three different religions:  the Adygh people historically been Muslim, while the Chuvash are among the first from Turkic-speaking language group converted into Orthodox Christianity (Vovina: 2000, 696), and finally, the Kalmyk practice Buddism.  According to Colin Baker, “religion can be a strong and important vehicle for the maintenance of a language” (Colin Baker: 2006, 56).  In this sense, religion is one possible variable that may help to interpret language vitality in these republics where contrary to predictions of this paper, languages of the titular nations in the republics are maintained independently of the  28 demographic composition.  Among other exceptionalities of these three republics is the fact that Adygheya is an enclave within a larger Krasnodarskiy kray (region), which is primarily inhabited by a Russian-speaking population.  Hence, it may not have been a necessary prerequisite for the Adyghe to be surrounded by the similar linguistic cultures or to be a majority within the republic to maintain strong vitality of their mother tongue.  In fact, current development of local politics may only further advance strong language maintenance of the Adyghe language among the Adyghe people. It was observed that after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, efforts of “the Adyghe intelligentsia and elites created conditions of positive discrimination for the Adyghe minority and its language” which has long suffered from policies of Russification (Zeynel A. Besleney: 2002).  Thus, politics of positive discrimination, that is, policies explicitly favouring the Adyghe culture and language, and elites’ role in awakening a strong sense of identity may be linked to the strong language maintenance of the Adyghe language by the Adyghe.  It is also a noticeable fact that the Adyghe Republic is a former autonomous region, which gained the status of a national republic only after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Unlike the Adyghe Republic, the Chuvash and Kalmyk republics have been autonomous republics since the years of the Soviet Union.  But this privilege of having higher legal status of a political entity did not have a positive impact on vitality of the Chuvash and Kalmyk languages.  In both republics, titular nations that are a significant majority within the republics favour Russian instead of their heritage tongue.  Diminished prestige of a language may have been one of the primary reasons why the Kalmyk language is not maintained.  A.N. Bitkeeva from the Institute of Linguistics of Russian Academy of  29 Sciences suggests that Kalmyks’ negative attitude towards their heritage language as a non- prestigious one creates a real threat of disappearance of the Kalmyk culture and even Kalmyk people (A.N. Bitkeeva: 2002).  However, she also notes that revitalization of the Kalmyk language has started since the early 1990s with the adoption of “The Language Law of the Kalmyk Republic” in 1991 and foundation of a “Programme of maintenance, study and development of languages of ethnic groups of the Kalmyk Republic” devoted to revitalization and development of the Kalmyk language along with other languages in the republic (A.N. Bitkeeva: 2002). Revitalization efforts have also been carried out on a school level with opening 67 new Kalmyk classes and 83 kindergarten groups in 1993 where teaching instruction is in Kalmyk (A.N. Bitkeeva: 2002). If these efforts continue to develop, language revitalization programmes at school in particular, the Kalmyk language may be transmitted to the future generations and its vitality may be strengthened.  The Chuvash is Russia’s fourth largest national group (Vovina: 2000, 696), with a majority of members (67.7 percent) historically living in the Chuvash Republic.  However, as noted above, this demographic presence was not enough to resist the politics of Russification and linguistic assimilation was evidently in place.  Industrialization and urbanization of the republic is one possible explanation to widespread linguistic assimilation, which rapidly developed in the post-Second World War period (Vovina: 2000, 696). It is also worth noting that the first language law among national republics was ratified in the Chuvash republic.  Thus, even before the dissolution of the Soviet Union in October 1990, the Chuvash Republic declared itself as a Union republic and ratified the “Law on Languages in the Chuvash Soviet Socialist Republic” (Neroznak et al.: 2001). This seems to suggest that there was awareness among local elites in the Chuvash Republic  30 to raise vanishing vitality of indigenous languages, the Chuvash language in particular. However, it is also possible that electoral incentives of the local elites to earn greater popularity among the Chuvash who are a majority in the republic were behind the legislation of language rights in Chuvashia.  The stream of language laws from other national republics almost immediately followed the Chuvash Language Law.  Among first republics that issued language laws are: Tuva (in 1990), Kalmykiya (in 1991), Buryatia, Komi, Tatarstan, Khakassia, Sakha (Yakutia), Altai (all six in 1992) and finally, Adygheya (in 1994) (Neroznak et al.: 2001). Given the numbers of the republics that prompted implementation of language laws and a time frame within which many of these laws were introduced, one may argue that language issues and legislation of language rights in the republics were one of the first priorities (no matter what was actual incentives behind these legislations) in the national republics after gaining greater legal independence within the Russian Federation.  To sum up, in-depth case studies should be undertaken to solve the puzzle of vitality of titular languages in the above outlier republics.  I suggest that an interdisciplinary approach that encompasses different fields of study (e.g. linguistics, sociolinguistics, political science etc.) may serve as a tool to better evaluate the vitality of the Adyghe, Chuvash and Kalmyk languages.  Moreover, as briefly discussed, some efforts were made in order to revitalize languages of these republics’ titular nations on a republican level. For example, language laws in several republics and special programmes aimed at promoting indigenous languages as in the case of the Kalmyk republic or even the conditions of positive discrimination for the Adyghe minority and its language in Adygheya.  Time will reveal which factors prove to be more salient in terms of enhancing vitality of titular  31 languages in these republics.  However, the argument this paper attempts to make is that the declaration of official state status for titular languages alone may not bring considerable change in the overall language vitality, as the impact of the Soviet policy of Russification was significant.  Even legislation of language rights in the republics may not be fruitful in maintaining titular languages prosperity if it is not supported by members of linguistic communities.  One of the authors of the “Law on the Languages of the Peoples of the Buryat Republic” passed in 1992, Galina Dyrkheeva seems to agree with the hypothesis of this paper in that she reveals that the Buryat language law did not have positive influence on the Buryat language vitality and the process of Russification launched by the Soviet language policy is still proceeding in the republic (G.A. Dyrkheeva, 5).  Based on her sociolinguistic research conducted in 1989-1990 and 1990-2000, she acknowledges that “modern Buryats know Russian better than they know the Buryat language” (G.A. Dyrkheeva, 2). This tendency Dyrkheeva explains by the deterioration in the status of the Buryat language as a result of the language having limited spheres of its application (G.A. Dyrkheeva, 2).  The course taken by the current federal government seems to be explicit in its promotion of the Russian language.  A four-year Federal Target Programme aimed at promoting the Russian language in Russia and abroad has been implemented since 2006.  In the context of this programme, the year of 2007 was declared as the “Year of the Russian Language”.  Not only did it stimulate prestige of the Russian language but also the development and study of Russian was financially encouraged.  For example, the “Russian World” Fund was established to improve the conditions that would enhance learning and further advancement of Russian.  Notably, the allocation of financial recourses was directed  32 towards facilitating the Russian language and literature classes with learning equipments in the regions.  One can predict that the Federal Target Programme initiated during Putin’s presidency will likely be carried on by his successor, Dmitry Medvedev, who was appointed as the deputy of the organizational committee responsible for the Programme while he was serving as Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister in 2007.  In sum, federal language policy in Russia seems to be continuing along the path taken by the Soviet authorities and the promotion of the Russian language, if not as deliberate as it was during the Soviet Union, is still present in current-day Russia.                 33 Conclusion Significant work remains to be done on the subject of language vitality in order to explain fully the patterns that have been identified in this paper.  First, as noted by Laitin, it is a “gargantuan project” (Laitin: 2000, 143) to adequately assess language vitality at the level of a nation-state.  It is likely impossible to use language proficiency test as linguists do to determine language vitality among a speaker group on a state level and not all states conduct census on the linguistic knowledge criteria.  Additionally, censuses are highly politicized constructs and therefore cannot provide fully accurate information, especially when it comes to determining language vitality among speaker groups with large population sizes.  In order to decrease reliance on census data, new methods need to be developed through collaboration between linguists and social scientists. Second, ‘language vitality’ is a new concept in the political science literature that remains to be explored in depth. A possible relationship between ethnic mobilization and language vitality issues in particular should be examined thoroughly since it may significantly contribute to theories of ethnicity and nationalism.  Finally, a comprehensive typology of variables that would facilitate research on language vitality seems essential. An adequate measure of linguistic vitality needs to be ascertained. Tracing the history of the Soviet language policy and analyzing language policies in present-day Russia, I conclude that official recognition of titular languages by the state and republics’ constitutions alone may not have a considerable impact on vitality of these languages.  It may be demographic composition of the republics, a share of the titular nations within the republics in particular, that determines strong or weak vitalities of titular languages.  The outcomes of the linear regression and descriptive analysis support this  34 hypothesis. Based on this analysis, I suggest that the republics’ governments should implement policies that aim to bring awareness of a heritage tongue and promote government- supported programmes to raise prestige of titular languages.  I as well emphasize that bottom-up efforts from members of titular linguistic communities may be essential in revitalizing or maintaining vitality of languages indigenous to titular nations.  In the absence of well-defined programmes aimed to revitalize vitality of titular languages, e.g. special policies to promote prestige of a language, especially among young generation, and bottom-up efforts to maintain strong language vitality of their heritage tongue, the authority granted to national republics to recognize official languages may not be effective in influencing the acquisition and maintenance of titular languages and thus have insignificant practical value to the overall vitality of these languages.             35 BIBLIOGRAPHY:   Alfred, Taiaiake (2005). Wasase: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom.  Broadview Press, LTD.  Anderson, Kim (2000). A Recognition of Being. Reconstructing Native Womanhood.  Sumach Press.  Baker, Colin (2006). Foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism.  Multilingual Matters LTD  Besleney, A. Zeynel (2002). Policy of Positive Discrimination for the Titular Nation  and its Impact on the Local Politics in the Republic of Adgeya of the Russian  Federation.  _the_titular_nation_in_Adygeya_.htm  Bitkeeva, A. N (2002). Language Policy in the Republic of Kalmykia: The State and  Perspectives.  Chandra, Kanchan (2006). What Does Ethnic Identity and Does it Matter? In Annual  Review of Political Science. 9 (June), 397-424.  Crisp, Simon (1989). Soviet Language Planning since 1917-53. In Language  Planning in the Soviet Union, Michael Kirkwood (Ed.). The Macmillan Press  LTD.  Diarmait, Mac. Giolla Chriost (2003). Language, Identity and Conflict. A comparative  study of language in ethnic conflict in Europe and Eurasia. MPG Books Ltd  Dyrkheeva, Galina Alexandrovna. Factors in national-language development: The  Buryat example.  Edwards, John (1992). Sociopolitical Aspects of Language Maintenance and Loss:  Towards a Typology of Minority Language Situations. In Maintenance and  Loss of Minority Languages. William Fase, Koen Jaspaert, and Sjaak Kroon  (Ed.). John Benjamins Publishing Company.  Ethnologue. Languages of the World, Russia.  Fishman, Joshua (1991). Reversing Language Shift: Theoretical and Empirical  Foundations of Assistance to Threatened Languages. Multilingual Matters  LTD   36 Florey, Margaret. Building Tools for assessing linguistic vitality. Monash University.  Giles, Howard et al. (1977). Towards a Theory of Language in Ethnic Group  Relations. In Language, Ethnicity and Intergroup Relations, Howard Giles.  Academic Press INC.  Giles, Howard. Valerie Barker (2002). Who Supports the English-Only Movement?:  Evidence for Misconceptions about Latino Group Vitality? In Journal of  Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 23:5, 353-370.  Grenoble, A. Lenore (2003). Language Policy in the Soviet Union. Kluwer Academic  Publishers.  Grenoble, A. Lenore. Lindsay J. Whaley (1998). Ebdangered Languages: Language  Loss and Community Response. Cambridge University Press.  Hale, Ken and Leanne Hinton (2001). The Green Book of Language Revitalization in  Practice. Academic Press.  Khilkhanova, Erzhen. Dorji Khilkhanov (2004). Language and Ethnic Identity of  Minorities in Post-Soviet Russia: The Buryat Case Study. In Journal of  Language, Identity and Education. 3:2, 85-100.  Knowles, Francis (1989). Language Panning in the Soviet Baltic Republics: An  Analysis of Demographic and Sociological Trends. In Language Planning in  the Soviet Union, Michael Kirkwood (Ed.). The Macmillan Press LTD.  Kreindler, T. Isabelle (1989). Soviet Language Planning since 1953. In Language  Planning in the Soviet Union, Michael Kirkwood (Ed.). The Macmillan Press  LTD.  Kymlicka, Will. Patten Alan (2003). Language Rights and Political Theory. Oxford  University Press.  Laitin, David (2000). What is a language community? In American Journal of  Political Science. 44:1, 142-155.  Landry, Rodrigue. Richard Y (1997). Bourhis. Linguistic Landscape and  Ethnolinguistic Vitality: An Empirical Study. In Journal of Language and  Social Psychology. 16:1, 23-49.  Lepretre, Marc (2002). Language Policies in the Soviet Successor States: A Brief  Assessment on Language Linguistic Rights and National Identity.   37 May, Stephen (2001). Language and Minority Rights: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and the  Politics of Language. Pearson Education Limited.  Neroznak, V. P et al (2001). Russkiy Yazyk v Russkom Zakonodatelstve.  Oversloot, Hans (2009). The Merger f Federal Subjects of the Russian Federation  During Putin’s Presidency and After. In Revivew of Central and East  European Law. 34:2, 119-135.  Taylor, Charles (1994). The Politics of Recognition. In Multiculturalism: Examining  the Politics of Recognition, Princeton University Press.  The 2002 Census Data of the Russian Federation – Всероссийская перепись  населения 2002 года.  United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)  Vovina, P. Olessia (2000). Building the Road to the Temple: Religion and National  Revival in the Chuvash Republic. In Nationalities Papers. 28:4, 695-706.  Weinstein, Brian (1990). Language Policy and Political Development. Ablex  Publishing Corporation.  Yagmur, Kutlay. Sjaak Kroon (2006). Objective and Subjective Data on Altai and  Kazakh Ethnolinguistic Vitality in the Russian Federation Republic of Altai.  In Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 27:3, 241-258  Zurcher, Christoph (2007). The Post-Soviet Wars: Rebellion, Ethnic Conflict, and  Nationhood in the Caucasus. NYU Press.            38 APPENDIX A  Regression Coefficients (Dependent Variable: Linguistic Knowledge)  Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients T Significance of the relationship     B Std. Error Beta B Standard. Error 1 (Constant) 71.293 5.091   14.005 .000   Titular Population .345 .114 .643 3.024 .010                                     39 APPENDIX B   Percentage of titular nations in the national republics in 2002, 1989 and 1979  Titular nations in the national republics  2002 data 1989 data 1979 data Khakas 12 11 11.5 Adyghe 24.2 23 21.3 Komi 25.2 25 25.3 Buryat 27.8 26 22.9 Udmurt 29.3 32 32.1 Bashkir 29.8 24 24.3 Altai 30.6 34 29.1 Mordvinian 31.9 35 34.2 Mari 42.9 44 43.5 Sakha 45.5 35 36.9 Tatar 52.9 50 47.6 Kalmyk  53.3 48 41.5 Osetian 62.7 54 50.5 Chuvash 67.7 71 68.3 Tuvin 77 65 60.5  Source: Own elaboration from the 2002 Census Data of the Russian Federation, Data provided by Natsionalnii Sostav Naseleniia, in Lepretre (2002), and Data provided by Chislennost’ I sostav naselniia SSSR: Po dannym Vsesoiuznoi perepisi naselenia 1979 goda in Kirkwood (Ed.) (1989)              40 APPENDIX C  Titular nations in the national republics of Russia (2002)   Source: Own elaboration from the 2002 Census Data of the Russian Federation                           


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