[Ura-list] CfP: ‘Before the shift: sociolinguistic description of indigenous languages of Russia’ (April 2018)

Olesya Khanina olesya.khanina at gmail.com
Fri Feb 16 04:58:49 EST 2018

Dear ura-list members,

We are glad to announce a call for papers for a workshop *‘Before the
shift: sociolinguistic description of indigenous languages of Russia’* to
be held on *April 13, 2018* at the Institute of Linguistics, RAS (Moscow,

Today many indigenous languages of the Russian Federation are seriously
endangered due to the shrinking of their functional domains at the expense
of Russian. These languages were actively spoken not so long time ago,
though not much is known about sociolinguistic details of their former
usage. E.g. many areas manifested a degree of bilingualism or even
multilingualism with a neighboring language or neighboring languages: there
were cases of asymmetrical or symmetrical bilingualism, of receptive or
full multilingualism; simplified or pidginized forms of Russian are
reported to be used here and there, as this lingua franca was acquired not
from its native speakers, but from indigenous neighbors who had been
exposed to Russian first; dialect chains were also wide spread, and so
communication with neighbors could be realized with each party speaking
their own language; marriage patterns could be influenced by membership in
a particular linguistic community, etc.

Linguistic fieldworkers now often work with languages that are not used
anymore on a daily basis, and even in cases of languages which are actually
used today, a part of sociolinguistic patterns typical for the linguistic
communities concerned has been lost. For example, it is usually more or
less standard Russian that is used for communication with neighbors.

The goal of the workshop is to discuss sociolinguistic details of
indigenous languages of Russia observed before the massive shift to
Russian, that took place in the 1940s – 1970s, depending on the region. A
particular emphasis is set on methodology of such sociolinguistic studies
of the past.

The workshop will consist of a plenary by Yaron Matras (University of
Manchester) and oral papers selected by the organizing committee. Working
languages will be English and Russian: most papers will be delivered in
English. We invite 1-page anonymous abstracts to be sent not later than
*March,1* to the email address olesya.khanina AT gmail.com. Please,
indicate your name and affiliation in your email.

The workshop is organized under the auspices of the project ‘Dynamics of
language contact in the circumpolar world’ supported by the Russian Science
Foundation. Follow the link to learn more about the project and the
workshop organizers:


Olesya Khanina
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