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Auteur: Tamara BORGOIAKOVA

Khakass in a Regional Multicultural Setting: Bringing an Indigenous Language Forward

Abstract/Résumé: Khakassia, an autonomous oblast of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, elevated its status to a Republic within the Russian Federation in 1991. In accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation of 1993 (Article 68) and Federal Law on Languages of the Peoples of Russia of 1991, Khakass language received an official status of the second state language of the Republic. It resulted in general positive changes in the position of the Khakass language and in ethnocultural practices of the Khakass population. The paper suggests analyses of the sociolinguistic development in Khakassia and southern Siberia pointing out its contradictory sides and consequences. It shows that despite positive legislative steps on the federal level the lack of regional and local mechanisms of enforcement and implementation has limited the potential benefits to the Khakass language functional development. The case of Khakassia is presented in the context of federal language policies development aimed at strengthening the status of Russian as the solo national language of the Russian Federation, on the one hand, and delegating more responsibilities on minority languages support to the regional level, on the other (Changes to the Federal Law on Languages of the Peoples of Russia, 1998). Analyses of the dynamic situation and efforts to bring the indigenous language forward is based on sensus data of 2002 and 2010 and data of current sociolinguistic research in Khakassia and Tyva. Contemporary domains in which Khakass is represented are analyzed with more attention to the sphere of education in the context of language loyalties of both Khakass and Russian respondents and looking at how Khakass ethnonym is used in the republican mass media. The research was funded by the grant of Russian Humanitarian Scientific Fund (Project 12-04-00112).