Language Choice and Identity in Post-Soviet Armenia  (2015)

Rabanus, Stefan; Haykanush, Barseghyan
Language Choice and Identity in Post-Soviet Armenia
Type of item:
Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)
Tipologia ANVUR:
Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)
A Stampa
Book Title:
Linguistic Construction of Ethnic Borders
Page numbers:
bilinguismo; russo; armeno; multilinguismo; identità linguistica e culturale
Short description of contents:
Russian is still widely used in Armenia, with most speakers exhibiting bilingualism with Eastern Armenian and Russian. An exception are the so-called Western Armenians, who recently moved to the Republic of Armenia from the Middle East or the other non-Russian-speaking diaspora. Usually they are also bilingual, but with language pairs such as Western Armenian-English, Western Armenian-French or Western Armenian-Arabic; hence, they do not speak Russian. Conversely, there are also ethnic Armenians from Azerbaijan who have come to the Republic of Armenia during the Nagorno-Karabakh war and speak Russian, but no or only very little Armenian (Weitenberg 2006, p. 1900). That aside, Armenia is characterized by a strong national consciousness for which the Armenian language plays a major role. Because of this complex situation, it is unclear how to characterize the general attitudes towards Russian in today's Republic of Armenia. Thus, the question arises: what role does Russian play for (staged and perceived) identity construction, and what factors control the language choice between Armenian and Russian. There are no modern surveys on these issues. However, because of the aforementioned close relationship of Armenia with Russia, the situation is likely to be different from better-surveyed areas like Georgia or the Baltic States. From the many possible questions on language choice and language attitudes, we selected the following key questions which will be answered by interpreting the data from our sociolinguistic questionnaire:1. Do Armenians perceive Russian as a legitimate second language of Armenia, or exclusively as the language of Russia?2. Which identities are constructed by the choice of Russian in Armenia (staged and perceived identity)?3. Are there tendencies to maintain or further develop Armenian-Russian bilingualism in Armenia?
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Last Modified:
August 16, 2022
Bibliographic citation:
Rabanus, Stefan; Haykanush, Barseghyan, Language Choice and Identity in Post-Soviet Armenia Linguistic Construction of Ethnic BordersPETER LANG2015pp. 13-32

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Title Department Managers
Grammatica contrastiva tedesco-armeno Department Lingue e Letterature Straniere Stefan Rabanus


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