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Auteur: Aisa BITKEEVA

Ethnic Languages in a Globalising Epoch: The Russian Feeration

Abstract/Résumé: The paper considers the specificity of the language situation, language policy and language legislation in the present-day Russian Federation, touches upon language revitalisation process of ethnic languages of Russia in the context of globalization. Nowadays the majority of languages are in danger of disappearance within several generations. Experts are of the point of view that the greatest threats to linguistic diversity causes European model of nation-state that is followed by all European nation-states. In spite of the fact that this model was designed to stimulate the use of national languages and in the policy of these countries there is a tolerance towards different ethnoses, languages, yet programmes of nation-building based on the forced used of a single language. Linguistic diversity can be better safeguarded in the countries build on empire model. It comprises several ethnic groups, speaking several different languages. The dominant language of an empire does not have to exterminate the other minority languages of the country. Empire model can be the only serious alternative to the nation-state as a basis for political consolidation. Three important empires in modern world are defined by the experts - China, Russia and India. In the present-day Russian Federation great attention is given to maintenance, preservation of language variety, revival of minority languages. Russia is a multiethnic state whose basis is formed by 176 national groups and a similar number of languages. It's quite natural that languages are on different levels of development. Nowadays attempts are being made to make a transition to civic society. These two features that make the present language situation complicated, contradictory and fraught with potential conflicts. Many of the titular languages mentioned above have been proclaimed the eponymous languages of the respective republics (the paper presents the data received within RFH project № 12-04-00273). National state bilingualism is quite pertinent as a way of compromise, that is the adoption of two national languages in accordance with federal and republican legislation. In this case certain republics within Russia become territories of national state bilingualism. In several republics there arises a very difficult problem of correlation between supposed communicative functions of the language and proficiency of the population in this language. The UNESCO Red Book of Endangered Languages identifies only three languages in Russia which are not threatened - Tatar, Yakut and Tuvean. All other languages are “in process of extinction” or “endangered”.