The persistence of antiquity: language ideologies and perceptions of language vitality among Sakha speakers
language ideologies, Sakha (Yakut) language, language vitality, language purity, language attitudes
This paper explores language ideologies and attitudes among both urban and rural speakers of Sakha (Yakut) in the Far Eastern region of the Russian Federation. Like other non-Russian languages in the Soviet era, Sakha was subject to many repressive and often contradictory policies; while today there is a sizeable, growing population of speakers and the presence of top-down support for the language within the Sakha Republic’s government, many contemporary Sakha speakers still express uncertainty about the future of Sakha. Differing perceptions of linguistic value and vitality together with the sustenance or abandonment of connections with other local speakers all shape Sakha speakers’ beliefs about whether the language is flourishing or disappearing. By tracing the shifts in contemporary metalinguistic discourse that circulates as language ideologies, we can see that while there have been positive changes in Sakha language policy and practices, some ambiguities from the Soviet period still linger and continue to influence how speakers view the future of the language.
Jenanne Ferguson (2022) The persistence of antiquity: language ideologies and perceptions of language vitality among Sakha speakers, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 43:3, 214-227, DOI: 10.1080/01434632.2022.2050382
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