LANGUAGE SITUATION IN THE SAKHA REPUBLIC (YAKUTIA) IN THE FOCUS OF PROSPECTIVE SOCIOLINGUISTICS

Nina I. Ivanova

The Institute for Humanities Research and Indigenous
Studies of the North, Russian Federation

Abstract

The functional status of the Yakut language has a strong position in rural areas, but in the city there are serious problems in ensuring the right to study and educate in the native language, in using the Yakut language in office work, in public administration, etc. A slight increase in the level of fluency in the Yakut language (from 77.6 to 80.6 %) was recorded. Active knowledge of the Yakut language is more common among elder citizens, passive is more common in the group of the youngest (16–25 years old).
Age becomes the main factor in the decline of ethnolinguistic identity and knowledge of the mother tongue. The material of associative experiments made it possible to identify the greatest number of features of communicative consciousness of Sakha and Russian students, their mutual language attitudes and dispositions in dynamics. Respondents’ reactions reflect serious problems with the Yakut language in the Yakut community. The analysis of the materials received shows a generally positive language attitude of the Yakut respondents to the Yakut and Russian languages and an increase in their Yakut language loyalty; nihilism with respect to the social functions of the Yakut language is preserved to a small extent. Among native speakers of the Russian language there is a strengthening of integrative trends, the further expansion of which will favor the general interethnic climate in the city of Yakutsk and in the whole republic.
Keywords: language situation, the Yakut language, the speakers of the Yakut language, linguistic competence, ethno-linguistic identity, functional status, language attitudes, ethnolinguistic relationships

For citation: Ivanova N.I. Language situation in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in the focus of prospective sociolinguistics. Sociolinguistic Studies, 2020, no. 1, pp. 94–108 (In Russ.)