Ethnic Language Uses under Conditions of Lingua Franca Domination (the Case of Makhachkala)

Ethnic Language Uses under Conditions of Lingua Franca Domination (the Case of Makhachkala)

Tisova D.S.

Master Sci. (Linguist.), Research Assistant, Linguistic Convergence Laboratory, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

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Tisova D.S. Ethnic Language Uses under Conditions of Lingua Franca Domination (the Case of Makhachkala). Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 6. P. 114-121


Daghestan is a multicultural republic of Russia with more than 40 languages coexisting on its territory many Daghestanians being multilingual. However, in urban areas minority languages are almost redundant as Russian has become the Lingua Franca. Furthermore, share of ethnically mixed families has been growing. Therefore, there emerges a problem of minority languages preservation and maintenance. In order to understand attitudes towards ethnic language maintenance the author conducted a study in Makhachkala – republican capital finding, as a result, considerable variations among three groups which the author calls generations of urban citizens. This paper reveals differences in their individual motivation to maintain ethnic languages and their attitudes towards language transmission to children. The first generation imposes language practices, which restricts Russian language use at home, while the second and the third ones take it less strictly. Ethnically mixed families turn out to be unique. Siblings can feature one to three languages (including Russian) depending on how well their parents know ethnic languages.

ethnic language; heritage language; lingua franca; the Republic of Daghestan; family language policy


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Content No 6, 2020