Vida Yu. Mikhalchenko

Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation


Modern sociolinguistics, like other linguistic disciplines, seeks to use modern technology in its research. As a good example here can serve the attempt to develop a sociolinguistic classification of written languages of the world undertaken by the scientists from the Laval University (Quebec, Canada) in 1988–2002. The main idea of the classification was to measure the vitality of a language by determining the intensity of its social functions in different areas of communication. The written languages of a number of countries, such as China, India, were studied. The sixth volume of this international work consisted of two books devoted to the languages of
Russia, where the sociolinguistic parameters of all languages of Russia were studied, except for the languages of national minorities. According to this international study of Canadian scientists, it was possible, fi rstly, to clarify the number of written languages of the world, secondly, to create a sociolinguistic classification of world’s languages. However, for objective reasons the work was not completed, and the achievement of the above-mentioned possibilities remains the scientific task of the future.
Keywords: sociolinguistic classifi cation, functioning of a language, social
functions, written language, world languages, language vitality

For citation: Mikhalchenko V.Yu. Unrealized potential of sociolinguistics of the 20th century // Sociolinguistic Studies, 2020, № 1, pp. 29–33 (In Russ.)