PRESERVATION OF LINGUISTIC DIVERSITY IN RUSSIA: CONTOURS OF THE PROGRAM

Andrej A. Kibrik


Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
Russian Federation Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Federation

Abstract

This article proposes a draft program of preserving the linguistic diversity of Russia, as conceived from a linguist’s perspective. The process of mass extinction of languages accelerates in Russia, and the society must give indigenous language speakers and linguistic communities a chance to preserve their languages. The proposed program for the preservation of linguistic diversity is based on the fact that languages are acquired in early childhood in a spoken vernacular form, and it is this process of natural acquisition that must be supported in the fi rst place. Various linguistic situations call for different forms of support. Three necessary conditions
of linguistic revitalization include key participation of local activists, administrative and monetary support, and scientifically grounded methodology. The feasibility of the program is provided by three considerations including the manageable number of the languages of Russia, the availability of substantial prior experience accumulated in
the world, and the centralized character of the Russian state.
Keywords: linguistic diversity, natural language acquisition, intergenerational language transmission, language shift, language preservation, language activism

For citation: Kibrik A.A. Preservation of linguistic diversity in Russia: contours of the program. Sociolinguistic Studies, 2020, no. 1, pp. 17–28 (In Russ.)