LINGUIST List 14.1978

Mon Jul 21 2003

Diss: Socioling: Das: "A Study of Languages in ..."

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  1. Drakdas, Socioling: Das: "A Study of Languages in Russian Federation"

Message 1: Socioling: Das: "A Study of Languages in Russian Federation"

Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2003 20:06:54 +0000
From: Drakdas <>
Subject: Socioling: Das: "A Study of Languages in Russian Federation"

Institution: Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Program: Centre for Russian, Central Asian and East European Studies
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2003

Author: Alok Kumar Das 

Dissertation Title: 
A Study of Languages in Russian Federation

Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics 
Dissertation Director 1: Zafar Imam

Dissertation Abstract: 

This is as much a study on the languages of the Russian Federation, in
particular, as on the sociology of language, in general. For,
multilingualism, as such, is in many respects the foundation field out
of which the sociology of language grows and ramifies.

	One of the important issues that has come on the scene as a
result of the disintegration of the Soviet Union is the linguistic
cauldron in New Russia affecting its multilingual
configuration. Although, the erstwhile USSR was also a multinational
state, the issue of language and various problems emanating from it
assumed a novel importance in New Russia. This study is an endeavour
to present the complex linguistic scenario of Russia in its
contemporary socio-political set up, as well as to address the issues
that usually come up, for that matter, in any multilingual/ bilingual

	Through this study, we have tried to put forth concept,
information and suggestion for the construction of as yet an
unrealised, and admittedly distant, general theory or model or
typology, which should give fuller understanding of the complex
conjunctions of variables affecting the over-all language situation in
the Russian Federation. All in all, it presents a profile of this
linguistic issue with the hope to make a significant contribution to
the development of a more 'reflexively aware' and 'culturally
focussed' field of language study. A systematic chapter framework,
consisting six chapters, has been followed.

	Language is historical memory of people, whether in India,
Russia or elsewhere. Depicting more or less realistically the present,
it ties it up with the mastered past and the desirable
future. Language situation in Russia today is therefore a product of
the policies put in place in years past. The processes of language
policy and its planning carried on since 1991 in the Russian
Federation has been explained with a short reference to the
historical, political and social outcomes raised by the nationality
and language policies implemented during decades in the former
USSR. Chapter I, The Soviet Legacy, deal primarily with
sociolinguistic background, in which the language policies right from
the Tsarist period up to the disintegration of the former USSR have
been discussed. Language legislation, right through, had a close
bearing on the language situation, in general, and on linguistic
pluralism and syncretism, in particular. It also critically analyses
policy anomalies in the Soviet period, and the role of oscillating
language ideologies over the years in constructing perceptions of
social, ethnic and national difference. The construction of this whole
thesis is made on the foundation of this legacy.

	The disintegration of the USSR was one of the most
unprecedented events of our times. It has impelling impacts on the
sociolinguistic and socio-economic situation of Russia. Chapter II
deals with this impact on language distribution and language
maintenance in the Russian Federation. Massive changes in the
population structure of Russia after 1991, together with factors other
than population movement, such as the social ones, have added a new
dimension to the already existing sociolinguistic complexity. The
ethnic experience in a modern society provides insight into the rich
diversity of human experience. And language is considered to be a
depository and a chronicle of the ethnos. Likewise, the viability and
continuity of the language are almost necessary conditions for the
continuity of the ethnic groups as such. Chapter III tries to put
facts on file as far as the present language-distribution in the
Russian Federation is concerned, with due consideration to the
ethnolinguistic factor affecting the same.
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