1st Edition

Promoting Heritage Language in Northwest Russia

By Laura Siragusa Copyright 2018
    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 53 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume illustrates how language revival movements in Russia and elsewhere have often followed a specific pattern of literacy bias in the promotion of a minority’s heritage language, partly neglecting the social and relational aspects of orality. Using the Vepsian Renaissance as an example, this volume brings to the surface a literacy-orality dualism new to the discussion around revival movements. In addition to the more-theoretically oriented scopes, this book addresses all the actors involved in revival movements including activists, scholars and policy-makers, and opens a discussion on literacy and orality, and power and agency in the multiple relational aspects of written and oral practices. This study addresses issues common to language revival movements worldwide and will appeal to researchers of linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics, education and language policy, and culture studies.

    Chapter 1. Introduction: revival of a heritage language. A question of literacy and orality

    Chapter 2. Vepsian representations and language in history

    Chapter 3. Multilingual Russia: superdiversity meets language revival

    Chapter 4. Revaluation of language: field work as a give-and-take phenomenon

    Chapter 5. Metaphors of language: independent entity vs. experience of life

    Chapter 6. A way to make sense of the world using dialects in villages

    Chapter 7. Vepsän kel’ and the city

    Chapter 8. Education and the babushka

    Conclusion. Revitalizing a heritage language. Towards multimodality and "multispatiality"


    Laura Siragusa is a linguistic anthropology working within a program on Indigenous Studies at the University of Helsinki. She has co-edited a special issue on Language Sustainability for the Journal Anthropologica, and published miscellaneous articles on Vepsian matters in Sibirica, JEFUL, and Folklore.