Nina Dobrushina (State University Higher School of Economics, Departement of Language and Literature, Moscow, Russia) talar under rubriken "Multilingualism and polyethnicity in Archi: data from a sociolinguistic questionnaire"

Tid och plats: Den 27 november 2008, kl. 15-17, C 307

Nina Dobrushina has carried out field work on several languages spoken in Daghestan in the Caucasus, a region famous for its linguistic diversity. The Daghestanian languages are, in turn, famous among linguists for their structural complexity.

This paper presents a study of a trilingual community in South-Western Daghestan, comparing the functions of the languages spoken and examining speakers’ attitudes towards each of the languages they speak. Archi belongs to the Lezgic group of the Nakh-Daghestanian. Archi speakers (about 1200) live compactly in several small villages in the heart of the high-mountain part of Daghestan (Caucasia). The language is unwritten. The village’s environment is multilingual, it is surrounded by Laks and Avars, languages only very remotely related to Archi. Avar and Lak are literary languages with strong written tradition and hundreds of thousands of speakers. School education is in Avar (in primary school) and in Russian (in secondary school), no Archi is taught or officially used at school at all. Thus, the vast majority of adult Archis come to speak three languages. In 2006, 2007 and 2008 I have carried out a sociolinguistic questionnaire research of the villagers of different age and educational level. The resulting sociolinguistic model of the Archi community shows that substantial change took place during the 20th century. * Non-native language competence shift (from Lak to Avar and Russian, and the respective weight of the latter two languages has been changing during the last fifty years).

* Language attitude shift (from negative attitude towards the mother tongue and ethnicity typical of older Archis to more ‘patriotic’ attitudes of today’s youth)

* Local intellectuals’ view on sociolinguistic and ethnic issues in Archi.