Elena Vedernikova (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest):

Language choice among rural Mari families and their motives

Language choice is the core value of language policy that consists of three elements: management, or direct efforts for manipulation of language situation: practice, a sum of sound, word and grammatical choices that an individual speaker makes; and ideology, a set of beliefs about appropriate language practice (Spolsky 2004). As stated by author, language usage within a family can be determined even by one of these factors.

The results of an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data collected during fieldwork (from 2013 to 2017) in Mari El (Russia) will be presented. Comparative analysis of the survey data confirmed the process of weakening of intergenerational language transmission among rural Maris; and that linguistic behavior of family members varies according to the generations. It was determined that usage of Russian or Mari within family mainly results from different values attached to each language, and their social roles among certain sectors of society.


Spolsky, B. (2004) Language Policy. Cambridge University Press.