1st Edition

The Soft Power of the Russian Language Pluricentricity, Politics and Policies

    278 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    278 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Exploring Russian as a pluricentric language, this book provides a panoramic view of its use within and outside the nation and discusses the connections between language, politics, ideologies, and cultural contacts.

    Russian is widely used across the former Soviet republics and in the diaspora, but speakers outside Russia deviate from the metropolis in their use of the language and their attitudes towards it. Using country case studies from across the former Soviet Union and beyond, the contributors analyze the unifying role of the Russian language for developing transnational connections and show its value in the knowledge economy. They demonstrate that centrifugal developments of Russian and its pluricentricity are grounded in the language and education policies of their host countries, as well as the goals and functions of cultural institutions, such as schools, media, travel agencies, and others created by émigrés for their co-ethnics. This book also reveals the tensions between Russia’s attempts to homogenize the 'Russian world' and the divergence of regional versions of Russian reflecting cultural hybridity of the diaspora.

    Interdisciplinary in its approach, this book will prove useful to researchers of Russian and post-Soviet politics, Russian studies, Russian language and culture, linguistics, and immigration studies. Those studying multilingualism and heritage language teaching may also find it interesting.

    Part 1. Russian as a communicative tool: Lingua franca, intermediator or something else?

    Chapter 1 The Russian Language away from Metropolis: Challenges of Pluricentric Development

    Arto Mustajoki, Ekaterina Protassova, Maria Yelenevskaya

    Chapter 2 The History of the Internationalization of Russian

    Vladimir M. Alpatov

    Chapter 3 The Democratization of Russian

    Arto Mustajoki

    Part 2. The Russian-Language Legacy

    Chapter 4 Language Policy in Relation to the Russian Language in Georgia before and after Dissolution of the Soviet Union

    Kakha Gabunia, Ketevan Gochitashvili

    Chapter 5 Russian in Armenia: Between Thriving and Surviving

    Suren T. Zolyan, Karen S. Hakobyan

    Chapter 6 Russian in Azerbaijan: Changing Practices and Emerging Paradigms

    Jala Garibova

    Chapter 7 Variability in the Russian Diaspora Speech of Estonia

    Jelisaveta Kostandi, Irina Külmoja, Oksana Palikova

    Chapter 8 The Russian Language in Latvia—The Historic Linguistic Situation

    Pavels Jurs, Alida Samusevica

    Chapter 9 The Russian Language of the Lithuanian Republic as Reflected in Mass Media Discourse

    Birute Sinochkina

    Chapter 10 The Russian Language in Belarus and Ukraine

    Jan Patrick Zeller, Dmitri Sitchinava

    Chapter 11 The Russian Language in Kazakhstan in the 21st Century

    Damina Shaibakova

    Chapter 12 Russian Language in Kyrgyzstan: Status, Functioning and Collisions between Languages

    Mamed D. Tagaev, Ekaterina Protassova

    Part 3. The Russian-Speaking Diaspora

    Chapter 13 The Russian Language in France: from the Russian Community to the National Education System

    Irina Kor Chahine

    Chapter 14 Russian in Germany

    Katharina Hamann, Kai Witzlack-Makarevich, Nadja Wulff

    Chapter 15 Russian and its Speakers in Finland

    Johanna Viimaranta

    Chapter 16 The Russian Language in Canada

    Veronika Makarova

    Chapter 17 The Russian Dialects Outside Russia: The Situation in South America

    Olga Rovnova

    Chapter 18 Connected by Digital Imagination: Discourses of Belonging and Community Building of Russophone Migrants in the USA and Great Britain

    Oksana Morgunova (Petrunko), Renat T. Zinnurov

    Part 4. New Trends in the Functioning of the Russian Language

    Chapter 19 Heritage Russian in the US and the New Type of Pluricentricity in the Context of Immigration

    Tanya Ivanova-Sullivan

    Chapter 20 Family Language Policy, Russian Language Use, Maintenance and Transmission in Cyprus and Sweden

    Natalia Ringblom, Sviatlana Karpava

    Chapter 21 Russian As A Foreign Language Education in Japanese High Schools:A Multilingual Education Policy on the Margin

    Sachiko Yokoi Horii


    Arto Mustajoki is Professor Emeritus at Helsinki University, Finland.

    Ekaterina Protassova is Adjunct Professor in Russian language at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

    Maria Yelenevskaya is Senior Teaching Fellow at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.